Washington’s Druids Glen appoints Richardson and Danner for project

  • Rock Creek
    Richardson | Danner Golf Course Architects

    A visualisation of the native treatment and landscape concept planned for Druids Glen in Washington

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Druids Glen Golf Club near Seattle, Washington, has appointed newly formed firm Richardson | Danner Golf Course Architects to lead a renovation project.

The architects will focus on renovating bunkers, reducing turf, updating irrigation and adding forward tees.

“Our work is aimed at creating a more aesthetic and thought-provoking golf experience,” said Jeff Danner. “Adding new forward tees will help make the course more enjoyable for those just learning the game as well as those keen on hitting approaches into greens that are more in line with the design intent of the holes.”

The Keith Foster-designed course first opened in 2004 and is set among nearly 300 acres of forest with Covington Creek running through the layout. “The property is a collection of meadows and forests that just happen to have a golf course meandering through it,” said Forrest Richardson.

Arizona-based Parks Legacy Project acquired Druids Glen in 2019 and, like at many clubs, rounds increased following the pandemic. Parks Legacy Project wants to renovate the course to capitalise on this rise in the number of golfers.

“Druids Glen has begun to show signs of needing renovation and infrastructure work,” said Danner. “Key features that made it a great experience simply need to be refreshed, which is typical for courses entering their second decade.”

Bunker work will involve some repositioning and some size reduction, and the installation of a hard liner system. These changes are designed to ease maintenance, while also preserving the strategy and challenge of bunkering.

Richardson and Danner aim to reduce the existing turf footprint of 113 acres to around 80. “There is an opportunity to reduce the water usage by as much as 15 per cent,” said Richardson. “Too much turf is being mowed and watered. Our approach is to transform many areas currently out of play to a natural landscape of heather and fescues.” 

The architects are working with agronomist Rick Elyea on native plant establishment and the introduction of heather to the course. “It turns out that heather does quite well in the Washington climate, and we are enthused to introduce this dimension to the landscape,” said Danner.

The turf reduction process has already started, while bunker work and forward tees is expected to begin in 2022.