Letter to Editor: What’s happening at Alderbrook Golf Course?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We reached out to Alderbrook Golf Course, and learned that the course is listed for sale as “potential for development”. Their website has this message – The golf course, along with the restaurant and bar, are closed until further notice. The course has been listed for sale for five years. For information, please contact realtor Katy Laviolette – lavioletterealty@gmail.com See below for more information and listing details.

Inquiring minds want to know what is happening with Alderbrook Golf Course? Since the course gates were locked several months ago, there has been minimal reporting on the issue and most of what we hear is through the grapevine. I encourage you to investigate and report on Alderbrook’s status.
Thanks for the reminder, David. We did follow-up – see below for some answers to your questions.

Since the course has closed, we’ve lost a precious community resource with social and economic consequences. In two years, if Alderbrook is still around, it will have been part of Tillamook life for 100 years. For the last 36 years, the course has been home to the hugely successful Gary Anderson Benefit Golf Tournament, which will need to find a new home if Alderbrook does not reopen. The Tillamook High School golf team is now practicing at the Quail Valley course in Banks, a 100-mile roundtrip. Other local golfers are also traveling long distances to find a course, spending their golf money outside the Tillamook area. Tourists who would normally stop to play and spend money will pass right through. People who want to retire to the Tillamook area and who like golf will likely choose another location, closer to a golf course.

Some of the questions residents have include:
•What is the owner’s plan? Is it to sell the course to another golf course operator, or to sell it for some other use? To sell the course – use to be determined by buyer; according to Katy Laviolette, “It would be great to see the nearly 100 year old course re-opened for use, but the course is for sale with potential for development.”
•Has an appraisal been done? If so, what was the result? What is the current asking price? The asking price is $4.9 million for the 149 acre property – and marketing as potential residential development for 27 homesites. HERE is the listing information.
•Are the county commissioners concerned about the status of the course? Given its importance to the community, what are their thoughts on the matter? Over six months ago, the Pioneer followed up on rumors of pending sale and “hundreds of homes” going into the area, so we contacted Sarah Absher at Community Development about the zoning. There is the potential for development, but zoning changes or variances would have to be determined, what the options would be, and are being considered. The need for available, buildable land makes this a desirable property so the county is interested in working with housing developers. Also interested in hearing from the community about what they would like see.
•What do other members of our community think? If you are reading this and are concerned about the future of Alderbrook, it’s time to speak up and let your views be known.

Of course, the owner has the legal right to remain silent, but considering its long history here and the love so many have for the course, it would be greatly appreciated if his plans and desires were shared with the wider community. Doing so might easily be in his best interests since it could lead to an agreement being struck with interested local buyers. It would also calm the rumor mill.
Golf is a game all ages and genders can play. It teaches civility and encourages players to deal with their imperfections. (I speak from experience.) It helps build friendships and a sense of community. If we are to permanently lose the course, it will not be the end of the world. But the area will take an economic hit, squander an historic community resource, and be a less enjoyable place to live.

David Bailey