I recently gave lessons to two brothers. The elder was 17 and the younger 12 years old. I have been helping people better understand the golf swing for over 30 years, but it had been a while since I had met two people as excited about golf as these two.

Gold Mountain's PGA Professional, Mark Knowles

Gold Mountain’s PGA Professional, Mark Knowles

Our lesson time was fairly ordinary. By fairly ordinary I mean that they would seem to understand our discussions, the drills and the techniques and would show modest improvement in the hour we worked together. However, magic would happen at some point during the week, because when I saw them the following Tuesday night they had it! Heck, they not only had it…they owned it.

Learning to play golf takes time. All skill sports require time, focus and passion to learn to develop a repeating motion. With golf, the motion is complex and the margin for error is minimal. These two boys left their lesson on Tuesday, and they spent every waking hour for the next seven days walking, talking, practicing, and watching golf. It was summer vacation and what else are you going to do as a kid besides hit golf balls into your neighbor’s house and watch the Golf Channel non-stop?

There are a few things that come to mind as I reflect on the magic of learning golf. First of all, it helps to have your summers off! But more importantly, keep golf fun. No matter your age, learn through the eyes of a child. Have every day be a new day. Enjoy the opportunity to play golf! Celebrate your successes and forget the miss-hits! Swing the club in balance and go see your favorite PGA Professional for a little direction.

Making the turn,

The fall season brings clearance sales on demo equipment and new lines from some of our favorite producers.

The fall season brings clearance sales on demo equipment and new lines from some of our favorite producers.

What a year it has been in golf retail. The US Open brought so many new golfers to Gold Mountain and of course they all wanted a little something to take home to remind them just how much they enjoyed their visit. Logo shirts, towels, flags, ball markers, you name it we sold it! But as in every business we have a little extra inventory so September is the month of the “End of Summer” clearance sale. Our most popular items right now are the current demo equipment. Our entire selection of 2015 demo clubs are on sale at reduced prices, so if there was something in this year’s club lines you really wanted, now is the time to purchase.

The 2016 merchandise will also start hitting the floor this month. The new Callaway Great Big Bertha and Mac Daddy 3 wedges have already arrived along with the new fitting clubs. Taylor Made is not far behind with a new driver coming out this fall. It’s a little overwhelming at this point to start thinking of the 2016 season but it will be here before you know it!

Every Pacific Northwest golfer needs some Seahawks gear this season.

Every Pacific Northwest golfer needs some Seahawks gear this season.

Also late this fall we will be opening our Gold Mountain Golf Club store in the Kitsap Mall again, making your holiday shopping with us more convenient. Our opening date will be November 1st and we will be there until December 31st, located right next to Sears. Our store will feature apparel, gift certificates, Seahawks merchandise, shoes, balls – pretty much every department that we currently carry. Come on down!
Thank you all for this amazing golf season, and hope to see you out here enjoying my favorite golfing season: fall!


Liz, Retail Manager

Some exciting news from the Gold Mountain Maintenance Department.  We took delivery this week of our two new Toro Procore Aerators. Last spring our old aerators bit the dust and we were unable to aerate our greens as scheduled.  These machines have been on my wish list for years and thankfully we had the funds available in our capital budget to buy them at a great deal.

The Procore is the top of the line in greens aerators and can also be used to aerate tee’s and  approaches.  With a 48 inch coring width and variable spacing options these machines will allow us to remove more organic matter (thatch) with smaller tines resulting in better turf health and quicker recovery time for our greens. With two of these machines we will be able to complete aeration of our 42 greens in just two days.  With the use of smaller tines our greens will be back to perfection in three weeks rather than four given good growing weather. We are scheduled to aerate greens at the end of September but we will start aerating tees and approaches at the beginning of September. My team can’t wait to get these machines out and see what they can do, but with the hot weather we are experiencing we will have to wait a little longer to get started. We don’t want to start punching holes while we are still in the 80’s and 90’s. So for now they are sitting in our shop for everyone to admire.

Ed Faulk, Superintendent

Not a lot to report on this time of year. We are busy repairing and staining all 72 tee benches when the weather keeps us off the courses, and mowing whenever we can. We had one inch of rain last night and mowed greens this morning. There’s not a lot of courses around here that can say that. We truly are one of the driest golf courses around.  The majority of our property is built on native sand and drains extremely well. The recent cold spells we have experienced help too, as the deep freezes heave the soil and loosen the compacted sand allowing even better drainage.

I hear from our guests frequently how firm the fairways are and how surprised they are to see their ball actually bounce down the fairways and not plug. I had a guest just this morning tell me how quick the greens are rolling which I don’t hear often this time of year.

Other than staining benches, we are also cutting around valve boxes and sprinkler heads on the Olympic Course and cleaning up branches and fir cones on Cascade after yet another wind event. In the shop we are servicing all of our equipment and sharpening all of our mowers getting ready for the upcoming season.

80 foot fir tree damaged in windstorm at Gold Mountain Golf Club

There is a reason this time of year is called fall. Trees are falling! Branches, leaves and needles are falling! It seems like just when we get everything cleaned up, there comes another windstorm and it starts all over.

These pictures are of an 80 foot tall fir tree that snapped off in a recent windstorm. This happens more on the Olympic Course as the trees are tall and the branches are all near the top causing them to really sway in a strong wind. The trees on the Cascade Course are shorter but are heavily branched. When we have a wind event, some of the branches that fall from these trees are so big we have to cut them up to remove them.

One real problem we have is the falling fir needles on the greens.  They are so small that our mowers don’t pick up very many and the blowers don’t move them very well. We have started using our brush reels on our mowers and they work great. These reels are used to mow up excess sand after aerification, but we have discovered another use for them now! The mowers work much  faster than blowing.

When we are not cleaning up from windstorms, we are edging cart paths and mowing down the native areas on the Olympic Course. We are also limbing up trees on the Cascade Course so we can mow under them without getting smacked in the face by low hanging branches!

Fall has fallen. The rain is back and our season is winding down.

The greens on both courses were aerified two weeks ago and are healing nicely. My team and I completed core aerification, harvesting the cores, sand topdressing and dragging in the sand on our 41 greens in two days. The weather cooperated with nice sunny days and we were able to jump right on dragging in the sand as soon as we were done coring.

Our other fall projects include aerating the tees on the Cascade Course and mowing down the native areas on the Olympic Course.

UW Golf - Husky Invitational

UW Golf – Husky Invitational

In September we hosted the Husky Invitational on both courses for three days. I thought it went very well from our end although it didn’t go as great for the UW team, as I think they finished third. In May of 2015 we will host the NCAA Regional Championship on the Olympic Course, and the Huskies will have a chance to redeem themselves then!

On October 30th we are hosting our second annual Columbia Hospitality scramble tournament, and I hope to see everyone out for that! Last year we had pretty nice weather, and hopefully this year will be the same.


18th Fairway of Cascade Course at 5am on Friday, August 22


Making Progress


18th Fairway of Cascade Course Four Hours Later!

Friday morning, a 7:30 shotgun start tournament and this is what we have to deal with. I love summer and all, but one of the disadvantages of maintaining a 45 year old irrigation system is the occasional mainline failures. This is a 3″ mainline on our 18th fairway on the Cascade Course. A repair coupling split down the side aiming down sending a mix of sand, gravel and water rushing down the fairway.  The hole was big enough to fit a golf cart in it. My Assistant Superintendent on the Cascade Course, Craig Byerly, was already in the hole with the pipe repaired when I arrived at 5:00 a.m. Craig and two helpers had this repaired and re-sodded in four hours.  The tournament went on and most of our guests had no idea anything had happened there. These guys are just that good.

On a lighter note, we have been very busy this month as the weather has been awesome.  Everyone has their “A” game on and we are knocking it out of the park.  FootGolf is picking up and the reviews are solid. All the reports I have heard is people are having a “blast” playing our course.  I have heard reports of 2 other courses in our area that are opening FootGolf courses or already have opened. Stay tuned for details on our first event FootGolf tournament on September 27-28.

That’s all for now, I can feel our season winding down as the temp. this a.m. was 49 degrees and the daylight hours are shortening, so make the most of what remains of Summer. Come on out and golf a round. We’d love to have you.

FootGolf is now open at Gold Mountain.  Monday June 30th we held our free opening day of FootGolf.  We had 67 players come out to try out this new and growing game.  It is played with a soccer ball and 21 inch cups.  The rules of golf apply so the object of the game is to get the ball into the cup with the fewest kicks. Unlike soccer you don’t run but walk around the course, enjoy the scenery and get a little exercise. It really is a game that anyone that can kick a ball can play. We are already booking tournaments and birthday parties.

As for our maintenance dept. we are busy trying to keep up with all the play that comes with being in the heart of our golf season.  We have trimmed the fescue grass on our Olympic bunkers to make them a little less challenging and hopefully speed up play. I really enjoy this time of year because there are new challenges every day and it keeps everyone on top of their game.

It’s a good time to be at the course. Come join us soon.

Memorial Day has passed and schools are letting out soon and we are gearing up for our busy season.  Greens have all been aerified and topdressed, the grass is growing and the weather is getting better so now all we need are the golfers.  When the forecast is for warm and sunny we are very busy but if the weather man mentions the “r” word it seems to scare everyone off even though we have had some beautiful days that were supposed to be wet. It’s been a great spring. So don’t believe the weatherman, they don’t always get it right.

The golf courses are in top shape with just a few maintenance projects underway.  We are finishing up our Tee aerification on the Olympic Course this week and giving some of our bunker faces a little trim so the Fescue grass doesn’t get too long and penalizing.

May 28 2014 Post

Entry Road Re-Paving is Underway!

Our entry road is being paved as I write this and it looks beautiful. This will be a huge improvement to what we had and will give a great first impression to our new guests.

Our bathroom replacement project is still on hold as we look for a contractor that will build what we want for the price we want.  Hopefully we will be starting soon.

I have recently been informed that one of my team is retiring at the end on June.  Dave Larson has worked for me here for 28 years and has been my Assistant Superintendent on the Olympic Course since its opening in 1996.  Dave has been a big part of the success of the Olympic Course due to his work ethic and attention to detail.  His will be some big shoes to fill.

Spring is in full swing here and the golfing has sure been sweet this week. As you plan your next tee time, I’ve outlined several updates for you on the going-ons here at Gold Mountain.

First, the greens aerification on the Olympic Course were accomplished on April 29th on the back 9 and front 9 will be done on one day next week.  We will be using ¼ inch tines for minimal disruption to playability.

The restroom replacement project on Cascade #4 is still pending bid approval but we hope to start on this soon as we know it’s a priority for our golfers.

The entry drive from the old highway to our parking lot is going to be repaved by the same contractor that is paving the old highway. We expect our project will begin  following the completion of the highway paving. Thanks to Jeff Elevado with the Parks Department for his help in getting this project approved on short notice.

On a personal note, GoldMountain lost a true friend earlier this month with the passing of Pat Westhoff. Pat was the Golf Operations Director for the City of Bremerton for many years and was instrumental in the construction of the Olympic Course. When the City of Bremerton awarded the contract to build our new clubhouse they were without a Project Manager so Pat stepped up and assumed that role for them. After Pat retired from the City he actually came to work for me for one season mowing rough on the Olympic Course.  He loved riding our big tractor but I think starting work at 5:00 a.m. disagreed with him. In his honor,  I have ordered a sign to be placed on the little creek that runs from the pond on Olympic #18 to the retention pond on #17 which was named after Pat. That sign will be a daily reminder to all who pass of Pat’s significant contributions to Gold Mountain.

For all who knew him, Pat was truly one of a kind.  I will miss him.