Flowing Lake Golf Course, located east of Snohomish, has announced that it will close on Sept. 29. Financial problems related to the lingering effects of the recent economic downturn are the cause, according to owner Stan Laz.
"After the great recession, golf went down and never really responded," Laz said. "We've been waiting for it to turn around, but it never did."
For the past few years, he added, "it was basically costing us more to run it than it brings in."
Flowing Lake becomes the third public golf course in Snohomish County to close in the past year. Wellington Hills Golf Course outside of Woodinville closed in October, and Ballinger Lake Golf Course, owned by the city of Mountlake Terrace, closed in November.
Flowing Lake is a par-68, 18-hole course measuring just more than 4,500 yards. The property, which is around 80 acres near the northeast edge of Flowing Lake, was purchased by the Laz family in 1946. Originally a Christmas tree farm, the land was converted to a golf course in 1995.
"And it worked pretty good (back then) because that was about the heyday of golf," Laz said.
At its peak, Flowing Lake generated around 30,000 rounds a year. But last year that total was closer to 10,000, Laz said.
Many of the course's "core group of golfers ... have been absolutely shocked" by news of the closure, said Flowing Lake general manager Marilyn Woolworth. "They say it's their favorite course. It's really laid back because we always wanted people to have a fun time.
"They understand why," she said, "but they're very disappointed."
Laz said he expects much of the golf course property to be put up for sale. "And some developer will probably eyeball it," he said.
Though he is sad the golf course will not have a happier ending, "I don't regret one minute of it," Laz added. "But now it's just time to move on and do something different. It's been a real experience, an interesting ride, but it didn't work and now we'll see what we do next."
The golf course will be giving away free rounds on the final day to golfers with Flowing Lake bonus cards, Laz said.
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