44 Golf Inc. Summer 2014
embers of the Tacoma Country & Golf
Club, of Lakewood, Wash., decided to
have the course renovated for two reasons: The bunkers had deteriorated and
the drainage system was so slow that contamination had become a problem. Golf
architect John F. Harbottle III, also happened to be a club member and on the
board of directors, so the club had major
talent — with a vision for the renovation — at the ready. Unfortunately, after
completing the first six bunkers, Harbottle passed away of a ,heart attack. Superintendent Joel Kachmarek brought in
Harbottle’s close friend and protégé Nick
Schann of David McLay Kidd Golf Design
to complete his work.
“Some members questioned whether
John would have liked Nick’s work be-
cause he wouldn’t have been so bold,”
Kachmarek said. “But no one knew what
John would have done more than Nick.”
in May 2012 just after a
major ice storm trashed
the Tacoma course. The
team chose to change the
bunker style to more ac-
curately reflect the club’s
heritage during the gold-
en era of golf as it is one of the first 100
clubs ever built in America.
“The Club’s membership overwhelmingly embraced the new bunkers, which
in turn prompted the development of a
comprehensive plan to complete all the
bunkers in one phase,” Kachmarek said.
A new plan was submitted; it included
removing 14 bunkers, building 47 new
bunkers and constructing nine new teeing grounds. That allowed all of the spoils
from the project to be left on site. In order
to accommodate construction of the new
tees, 15 large fir trees were removed.
“This new plan raised many eyebrows,
but it was certainly more affordable and
would result in a course that was also
more maintainable or sustainable given
the uncertainty that exists with the current state of the game,” Kachmarek said.
Ultimately, it was Harbottle’s memory and enthusiasm for the project that
pushed it forward.
“People got so excited about the bunkers
and John’s work,” Kachmarek said. “
Members finally said, ‘Let’s do it for John.’ We
picked ourselves up and charged forward.”
Tacoma Country & Golf Club
Architect: DMK Golf Design
Contactor: Ridgetop Inc.
Year course opened: 1905
Renovation Timeline: May 2012 to May 2013
Tacoma Country and Golf Club