Summer Opening Set for Environmentally Friendly Golf Course
April 11, 2000
From the Metropolitian King County Council
A new public golf course will open this summer near Auburn that highlights the traditions and beauty of the University of Washington campus, while adhering to strict environmental standards outlined by King County.
King County Executive Ron Sims and Metropolitan King County Council Chair Pete von Reichbauer joined University of Washington Athletic Director Barbara Hedges today to announce a summer opening of what is hoped to be one of the top public golf courses in the nation. Washington National is located four miles off the Black Diamond exit on Highway 18. It will offer a par 72, 18-hole public championship course, with a second 18-hole course set to open in 2002. It will also be the training ground for the University of Washington Husky men's and women's golf teams.
In addition to sweeping fairways in a campus-like setting, Washington National has features that conserve water and decrease environmental impacts. "Not only did the owner and contractor follow King County's strict environmental regulations, but they also went above and beyond what we now require for any golf course project," said Sims.
Over the past several years, King County has worked with golf course designers and developers to create a set of Best Management Practices (BMP) to guide the construction and maintenance of golf courses. The goal of the BMPs is to minimize water use on new golf courses, and prevent erosion and environmental damage during construction.
The King County Department of Development and Environmental Services' golf course BMP Manual is being requested by building departments and golf course contractors all over the country and world.
"The developer and contractor of Washington National worked in close partnership with our Department of Development and Environmental Services," said von Reichbauer. "Consequently, permits were secured faster and the ultimate product will be one of the most environmentally friendly golf courses constructed in King County."
Washington National was designed and developed by OB Sports, a company that focuses on creating quality golf courses in major metropolitan and resort markets.
"Washington National is truly the realization of a dream for me and OB Sports," said company president Orrin Vincent. "I've spent my entire career trying to get back to Seattle to build a course worthy of hosting a major championship - and I believe we have. As an avid supporter of Husky athletics, the partnership with the University of Washington makes it all the more special."
The entire project has a University of Washington theme. Overlooking the 18th green will be a tournament pavilion that resembles a wing of Husky Stadium, complete with tiered seating overlooking the course. The interior design of the clubhouse will also echo the campus feel. Plus, Washington National will offer special programs for students, faculty and alumni of the UW.
"We are excited about our partnership with Washington National," said Husky Athletic Director Barbara Hedges. "Thanks to Orrin Vincent and OB Sports, our men's and women's golf teams will have one of the best facilities in the country."