Westport Golf Links plans taking shape on Washington coastline
Westport Golf Links is awaiting regulatory approval for a 600-acre state park.
Westport, Wash. — For many years, Ryann Day considered Westport a family destination. A place where he grew up captivated by the magic of Washington’s Pacific coast and one with nature. But deep inside, he always felt that something was missing. Golf.
“I would jog up and down the dune trail and look at this land and I kept seeing a golf course,” Day said.
Day, a contractor in Seattle, decided to take his plan a step further and started researching what needed to be done.
Westport Golf Links is entering the final phase of its environmental review on Friday. Together with a group of private investors, Day teamed up with world-renowned golf course designer David McLay Kidd and created a master plan for an 18-hole golf course in a 600-acre state park. between the historic Grays Harbor Lighthouse and the ocean.
McLay Kidd said: “I love golf and this presents a great opportunity in the field that you will only see in Scotland and Ireland. “It’s a shame there isn’t a real link-style golf course on the Pacific Ocean here.”
With more than a dozen courses, McLay Kidd is also behind projects like the award-winning Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington, and Bandon Dunes along the Oregon coast. He hopes Westport will also become an international destination.
The project could also provide a boost to the local economy. Westport Golf Links estimates the golf course and its amenities will create 350 local jobs and an economic impact of $20 million per year. Day said little or no public taxpayer funding would be needed for the project.
“When you’re in a community of just 2,200 people, every job matters,” said Molly Bold, general manager of Westport Marina.
While Westport is considered one of the most prosperous fishing communities in the United States, the 15% poverty rate in Grays Harbor County is much higher than the state average.
“It’s a great town, but we have this golden opportunity with 600 acres perched across the Pacific Ocean,” Bold said. “It’s about time we opened it up for the public to enjoy.”
The 600-acre site is collectively known as Westport Light State Park. Much of it is inaccessible and currently includes invasive species. While many feel the land should be preserved without human intervention, Westport Golf Links investors see golf as a sustainable way to preserve the land for protection.
“It’s all about the environment,” Day said. “We want to do this the right way. There’s a lot of investment in this.”
Two public hearings on the master plan drew a record number of residents hoping to hear more about the project. The Washington State Parks Commission will now review an environmental and economic site analysis before the project can receive any final regulatory approval.
Day said it’s too early to give any timeline for when golfers can tee off. But he hopes to see golf in 2025.
“This place is amazing,” Day said. “It deserves to be enjoyed by the people of Washington.”
https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/golf-resort-plans-washington-coastline/281-fafcc98a-192f-45d7-bc54-512ec198d3ff Westport Golf Links plans taking shape on Washington coastline