What ever happened to the plan for a West Seattle miniature golf course?

Someone asked us that question recently, recalling that a miniature-golf course was supposed to have been built at the city-owned West Seattle Golf Course by now.

Indeed, it was on page 101 of the 757-page 2015-2016 budget plan announced by Mayor Murray in September 2014.

We published a followup about it two days later, with more details from the Parks Department, including that it “would be a replacement for the driving range that had been planned for the golf course.” (The driving-range plan was canceled amid a wave of concerns in 2011, after a quarter-million dollars had been spent on its design.)

In late 2015, we checked on the project’s status. Parks told us that the miniature-golf course was in the “planning, permitting, and budgeting stages” and that a community meeting was expected soon.

And that was the last we heard of it. 2016 went by. And then, here in early 2017, a reader question. We took it to Parks, and spokesperson Rachel Schulkin replied:

I have talked with our team here at Parks and Recreation about the mini golf project at West Seattle Golf Course.

What I have learned is that project is indefinitely on hold as the funding set aside for this development were required to address the emerging safety issues at the Jefferson Park golf course on Beacon Hill.

Recently there has been an increase in safety concerns from golf-ball trespass due to the age and decline of the trees that surround the golf course. The money originally slated for the mini golf is now held in reserve to go toward addressing these imminent safety issues.

We found a mention of the Jefferson problem in a course newsletter from last June, citing ball-trespass problems after “numerous trees” along the course were “removed or topped.” The newsletter also said that the city and course operator were “working toward a permanent solution” but didn’t get into funding details. We so far haven’t found any previous public mention of the plan to shelve the West Seattle miniature-golf course plan and move the money elsewhere.

–Tracy Record, WSB editor

15 Replies to "What ever happened to the plan for a West Seattle miniature golf course?"

  • gh March 2, 2017 (6:12 pm)

    Safety issues at Jefferson Park?  Honestly, does anyone really believe this?  I suspect the money went for one of their pet projects.  A quarter million to design a driving range?  There was a driving range there for years – another scam like so many with this administration.

    • AMD March 2, 2017 (8:21 pm)

      If you read the story, it wasn’t “this administration” that led the $250,000 driving range plan.

  • M March 2, 2017 (7:00 pm)

    Didn’t we just pass a taxpayer funded Parks levy too? 

  • Chemist March 2, 2017 (7:18 pm)

    That probably doesn’t bode well for generating the money to fund the West Seattle golf course perimeter trail that was a “highest priority” in the master plan.

  • seaspades March 2, 2017 (7:37 pm)

    I’ll design it for free if you give me a lifetime pass.  Seattle citizens deserve better.

  • Westside45 March 2, 2017 (8:24 pm)

    “Numerous trees were removed or topped”. They didn’t have the foresight to know that without trees balls may fly onto the street? Your tax dollars at work.

  • jay March 2, 2017 (9:21 pm)

    Ugh.  Thanks, WSB, for looking into this.  I was the person that asked about it.  My kids and I were excited about the prospect of being able to walk down the street to the mini-golf course.

  • Eric1 March 2, 2017 (9:50 pm)

    There will be no consequences for poor planning… Well maybe a spanking… 


    Perhaps people forget that the director of planning and development for Seattle Parks and Rec is….


    Nah, that can’t be it.

  • ACG March 2, 2017 (10:11 pm)

    That is a big bummer. We were looking forward to it. 

  • aa March 3, 2017 (5:04 am)

    Speaking of Seattle Parks, did you know that Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club, on their 75th year as an active club and member of the community, has learned this week that the parks department has plans to replace their clubhouse with a brand new youth golf clubhouse.  I wonder,  why can’t they include that in the new JP Golf Clubhouse? Its obvious if you go there that there is unused space. Or develop a new clubhouse within the vast acreage that is already in the possession of JP Golf?  Seattle Parks is choosing to eliminate a club that has been active for 75 years that provides a unique opportunity for people to remain  active both physically and socially all through their senior years, to give kids a clubhouse to play golf. Really? Lets remember they are already playing golf there just fine. Oh, and this has all been done in secret, planning for months denying it all along the way to all who asked, until the RFP shows up this week.



  • d March 3, 2017 (7:19 am)

    Make them produce receipts for the money they spend at Jefferson Park it all sounds real Shady government officials need to be held accountable

  • squareeyes March 3, 2017 (8:31 am)

    A couple of years ago a long row of trees at Jefferson Park alongside the road all died at pretty much the same time and had to be removed. I think they were all planted at the same time and came to the end of their natural life.  As a result they’ve had to shorten some holes until such time as they can make the adjoining area safe from errant balls. I think the plan is to put up netting, but that’s going to cost $$$.

  • BW March 3, 2017 (2:24 pm)

    I’m glad they decided against the miniature golf course.  I’d rather they reposition the golf range plan. 

  • Heather March 3, 2017 (2:24 pm)

    Such a bummer :(

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