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White Horse clubhouse expects to open in spring

Golfers enjoy a sunny day at the 18th hole at White Horse Golf Club, while construction on the new clubhouse continues in the background. The clubhouse is expected to open in spring.                               - Megan Stephenson / Herald
Golfers enjoy a sunny day at the 18th hole at White Horse Golf Club, while construction on the new clubhouse continues in the background. The clubhouse is expected to open in spring.
— image credit: Megan Stephenson / Herald

SUQUAMISH — Dedicated Kitsap golfers aren’t letting the lack of swanky clubhouse facilities deter them from White Horse Golf Club. As the Suquamish Tribe-owned golf course builds a new clubhouse, play is up, according to Bruce Christy, general manager.

“I like where it’s going,” Christy said of the five-year-old golf course. “Rounds played has grown steadily over the course of the last two years and membership has remained constant.”

Christy was hired under the previous owner as general manager in 2006, excited at the opportunity to begin a brand-new venture. He previously managed golf courses in Everett.

Suquamish Tribe’s business arm, Port Madison Enterprises, broke ground on the new 22,500-square-foot clubhouse in June. Christy expects it to open in spring, with 75 or more employees “at the height of the season.”

Port Madison Enterprises CEO Russell Steele said they don’t disclose the cost of their projects.

Its design will be a “classic” Northwest-style lodge, with a restaurant, banquet hall for 250-plus guests, bar, outdoor deck and pro shop. Christy said White Horse has already been seeking events, especially for local nonprofits and charities.

“It’s important for us to win the backyard,” Christy said. “We want the people around us to know we’re supportive.”

The golf course has hosted 74 tournaments so far this year, including a Pacific Northwest PGA Pro-Am tournament.

White Horse Golf Club opened in 2007 under owner Bob Screen. It went into foreclosure in 2009, and Port Madison Enterprises bought the golf course and 159 vacant housing lots from Columbia Bank for an undisclosed price in 2010. While the course was voted by Golf Digest magazine as a top 10 affordable course in the U.S. soon after opening, it also became known for its difficulty. Christy said Suquamish decided to “soften” the course, removing bunkers and making the course more user-friendly.

The 18-hole course is open 364 days a year, closed only on Christmas Day. Like the Suquamish Tribe, White Horse is committed to customer service and community, Christy said.

“Instead of looking up, we’re trying to lead now,” he said.

 

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