Don Barth and company: Giving new look to golfing in the Central Washington

Updated: July 3, 2012

Don Barth started small. He bought Alta Lake Golf Course in Central Washington back in 1983 when it was a nine-hole layout. But since then, he has literally become the King of Central Washington golf.

Barth not only owns Alta Lake, but also Rock Island, Desert Canyon and Bear Mountain Ranch. Barth and partners Lyn and Randy Anderson joined forces to put the deals for Desert Canyon and Bear Mountain Ranch together.

Barth now operates four golf courses in Central Washington – including two, which are near or at the top of many Pacific Northwest’s golfers’ must-play lists in both Desert Canyon and Bear Mountain Ranch.

Barth has had a hand in all of the courses. He designed and added nine holes at Alta Lake in 1993 giving the course 18 holes. He designed and added nine at Rock Island, which opened for play last year giving that course 18 holes.

At Desert Canyon, he worked with original owner Jack Frei in the early days of the course before taking over ownership two years ago. And at Bear Mountain Ranch, Barth actually designed the course and had it built but was bought out four years ago.

When his original partner Jerry Scholfield came back with an offer last year to get back in, Barth and his partners jumped at the chance.
Now, he has four golf courses and he is excited to show them off to people who want to make the trip east of the Cascade Mountains.

And to get the golfers to head over and keep them coming back, Barth is making changes. At Desert Canyon, plans are underway to make the course more user-friendly including widening fairways and removing some of the desert area, replacing it with turf. Desert Canyon has been highly regarded since opening, in fact the course is ranked 10th on GolfWeek’s best in Washington list.