HISTORY OF BROADMOOR GOLF CLUB
The Golf Course
In 1924, the Puget Mill Company (a Pope & Talbot subsidiary) dedicated 200 acres of its property consisting of old growth timber and rolling fields for the creation of a residential community surrounded by an 18 hole golf course which came to be known as Broadmoor. In 1917, the building of the Montlake Ship Canal lowered the level of Lake Washington by about nine feet. This provided a great deal of additional property for the golf course, including the current 18th hole.
The golf course was designed by A. Vernon “Mac” Macan, one of the leading golf course architects of the time. Macan designed many golf courses in the Western United States and Canada including Inglewood, and Overlake and Fircrest in Tacoma, to name just a few. Broadmoor’s golf course, as designed by Macan, is a classic woodlands course with gently twisting fairways bordered by tall firs. As originally laid out, the nines were reversed, with the 10th tee box on the present putting green, hitting down the hill to a green on the present parking lot.
Opening Day for Broadmoor Golf Course was April 16, 1927. The first drive was hit by President Sam Hedges with a “glistening silver embossed steel staff driver”. He split the first fairway with a “220 yard screamer”. The ball he hit on that first shot is on display in the trophy case at Broadmoor. Opening day included golf competition for women and men, including low net and long drive; however, “not more than one trophy per person” was stipulated! Plans were underway for an elegant $100,000 club house which opened a year and five days later.
Golfing Legends at Broadmoor
Many of golf’s greatest players have played Broadmoor. On the men’s side Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Fred Couples have challenged the course. We’ve also hosted many women greats including Nancy Lopez, Babe Zaharias, and Betsy Rawls.
Broadmoor has hosted a number of nationally recognized tournaments including the Seattle Open in 1945, 1961, and 1964 which drew the sport’s top players. Lord Byron Nelson won in 1945, Miller Barber won in 1961 (with a hole-in-one on #7), and Billy Casper won in 1964.
In 1952, the Women’s Weathervane Tournament was held at Broadmoor with Betsy Rawls the winner. Broadmoor’s own Anne Quast Sander began what became a championship laden amateur career as a teenager in this tournament. Anne went on to win the USGA’s Women’s Amateur Championship in 1958, 1961 and 1963. She is the only person to win that many amateur championships. She was also the runner up in 1965, 1968 and 1973. She played on six Curtis Cup teams and was the Women’s Western Amateur Champion in 1956, 1961 and 1988.
In 1982, Edean Ihlanfeldt won the National Senior Women’s tournament and was Washington State Women’s Champion in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1975. Jim Frost was the USGA Senior Open Low Amateur medalist 5 times, the Senior Masters Champion in 1989 and the US Senior Champion in 1990 and 1994.
Other nationally recognized tournaments hosted by Broadmoor include the Western Amateur Championship in 1954, the USGA Girl’s Junior Championship in 1961, and the USGA Women’s National Amateur Championships in 1974 and 1984 and the 1996 US Senior Women’s Amateur tournament. In 1999, Broadmoor hosted the Men’s Pac 10 Championship won by Paul Casey. He shot 60 in his final round of this event which remains the Broadmoor course record for men.
In 2007, Broadmoor hosted the Pac Ten Women’s Championship which was won by UCLA’’s Tiffany Joh, with ASU’s Anna Nordqvist placing second. Both are LPGA professionals. During this event, Anna shot 68 which remains the Broadmoor course record for women.
Besides hosting NCAA events, Broadmoor supports college golf by allowing the men’s and women’s teams from the University of Washington and Seattle University to practice here. Many former Husky golfers who honed their game while practicing at Broadmoor have played or are currently on the PGA tour. Matt Thurmond, the UW’s long time golf coach, says “Broadmoor is the ultimate test for skills development. By playing Broadmoor regularly, you can’t help but develop the crucial golf skills it takes to be great!”