Tumwater Valley is on the rise after hard times

Updated: August 1, 2013

Tumwater Valley Golf Course is quickly showing signs of life after several disappointing years of declining revenues. Tumwater City Council determined the need for a change after the course suffered a $350,000 deficit in 2012. Parks & Recreation Director, Chuck Denney has assembled a local team comprised of Russ Olsen, serving in a consultant role, Dave Nickerson, Operations Manager, and an almost entirely new Guest Services staff led by Chuck Johnson and Steve Frost.

In addition, Tumwater Valley is now home to one of the strongest instructional trios in Joe Thiel, PGA Master Professional, LPGA Teaching Professional Kathy O’Kelly, Golf Digest’s 50 Best Women Teachers in America, and Kris Swanson, Head Men’s Golf Coach at Pacific Lutheran University. After compiling his team Denney said he hopes to get revenues back on track without an increase in green fees. He said Tumwater just needs to “do a better job at filling the tee sheet.” Olsen has an extensive background in golf course operations as a general manager for the American Golf Corporation at The Classic and Capitol City Golf Club. The team appears to be delivering on Denney’s hopes as the course numbers are immediately trending towards success as Tumwater Valley has quickly realized an eight percent increase in total revenue and 13 percent increase in rounds.

“Dwane Erich (Superintendent) and his crew have this course in great shape and players are realizing the value here” said Denney. Tumwater is also welcoming The First Tee program which will benefit numerous youth in the area to gain access to golf so there is a lot of positive momentum happening in Tumwater.