Golf course groundbreaking set for Friday, June 9

PULLMAN – A public groundbreaking ceremony  for construction of the Palouse Ridge Golf Club at Washington State University, a new 18-hole championship golf course and practice facility, is slated for 4 p.m. this Friday, June 9.

The ceremony will feature remarks by WSU President V. Lane Rawlins, the course architect and other representatives of the university and local community. It will be held at the tee of the final hole of the university’s existing nine-hole course.

Renown designer

Designed by John Harbottle III — called “one of the best golf course designers in America,” by Golf World — the new course is scheduled to be constructed over a two-year period on a 315-acre site on the Pullman campus, where it will serve as a recreational amenity to students, faculty, staff and visitors.

“We have a spectacular location for this golf course,” said Rawlins. “It will add to everything we are trying to do. It will provide access for our students, for faculty, for community people, for visitors and for a few people who will play it as a destination course. We feel it fits in well with our overall plan and will augment Washington State University.”

Patterned after Scotland

Harbottle said the design philosophy he employed for Palouse Ridge is based on his study of courses in Scotland, which fit closely to the lay of the existing land, making the best use of natural features and ensuring that artificial features remain indistinguishable from nature.

“The character of the Palouse region is full of the rolling hills and the grass fields and we wanted that to be a part of the characteristic of this golf course,” said Harbottle. “We have the opportunity to create something that’s a part of the school that will raise the image of the school that will bring players and student and golfers and people from around the region to the area and Washington State University.”

Minimizing water use

University officials have said the course is designed to minimize water use and to protect environmentally sensitive areas, including Round Top Park, a small campus park maintained by campus and community volunteers. The design of the course includes outdoor teaching areas for turf sciences and environmental sciences.

The course will be constructed at a cost of $8.4 million and funded through private donations and by borrowing against future golf course revenues. Operation of the course will be managed by CourseCo Inc., of Petaluma, Calif., which operates a number of courses, including the Crystal Springs and Los Lagos courses in Northern California, and was only one of four recipients of the 2003 California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for Sustainable Practices.

The groundbreaking can be reached from Stadium Way on the WSU campus by taking Wilson Road east past the Lewis Alumni Centre and the arboretum, then turning left on Roundtop Drive to a parking lot at the top of the hill.


For additional information on the golf course go to:

* Feb. 17, 2006 issue of WSU Today at

* the Capital Planning and Development website at