PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — The front nine at Discovery Bay Golf Course looks like a couple guys got together, took a stroll through the land and laid down a golf course. It was the early 1920s, and they weren’t professional architects. They did a damn good job.
The back looks different. It looks like a pro with international design experience trained his eye on the rural sprawl and carved out nine holes as good as any on the Olympic Peninsula. That, in fact, is what happened, in 1997, and it turned a representative country golf course into a destination experience.
Which, by rights, it should be. But the industry of golf wheels slowly up here.
Jeff Kent, the affable head PGA professional at Discovery Bay, was on front desk duty Saturday. He was asked if he had a pretty active men’s club. Nope, he said — 20 is a good number for events. And it’s not likely to explode any time soon … the men’s club is old and getting older. Young people aren’t coming up behind.
We Roadies didn’t do much to lower the average age of players on the course Saturday, though we did clock in younger than the guy celebrating a birthday round with his buddies — “75 and still playing golf,” he said. I’ll drink to that.
The front nine opened in 1925. which they say around here makes it the oldest public course in Washington state, and lived as Chevy Chase Golf Club for almost 80 years. The back nine was the work of Mike Asmundson, who was commissioned to design it and later, in 2004, bought the golf course and changed the name. The locals call it Disco Bay.
Asmundson sold it a couple years ago, Kent said, and returned to Phoenix. His Facebook page boasts numerous examples of his skill as a painter of mostly Southwest scenes, and he’s a poet and a raconteur and, at 71, a bon vivant, to judge by his profile picture (look it up) with a cigar as big as his forearm hanging from his lips. I’ll drink to that.