Back in the mid-1960's three friends - George Geyer, Airline Pilot; George Puetz, Astute Golfer; and Roy Moore, Trucking Professional; came together to brainstorm the idea of creating and operating a public golf course. In 1966 that dream became a reality as the Tyee Golf Course opened as a top shelf golf complex.
For years the facility featured an 18 cup course with some interesting holes for championship caliber play; a driving range to hone a swing; a pro shop offering a rich assortment of golf related merchandise; a restaurant for entertainment and a lounge for improving one's recollection of the just completed round of golf - where the reported score probably improved with each new round of drinks!
It was then as it is now, the noisiest course in the world with jets landing and taking off at just a few hundred feet overhead. And just about every golfer in this area has played Tyee, the unique track at the south end of Seatac Airport.
In 1990, Mark Olson was hired as the course Golf Pro where he operated the pro shop until 1999 when Roy Moore made the decision to retire and Mark decided to take ownership of the property lease.
In the past decade the course has adapted to changing conditions. In 1999 the restaurant and lounge were forced to close and the driving ranged was shuttered. In 2001, the golf course was shortened to 17 holes; subsequently reduced to 12 and finally adjusted to 9 holes to make way for the airport expansion of the third runway and other various port projects.
In 2011 while entering the third year of a five year lease, the FAA had completed a study of Sea-Tac airport operations and advised the Port of Seattle to shut down the golf course at that time. With the help of Jolene Culler, Senior Property Manager at Port of Seattle and with additional support from City of SeaTac Parks Director Kit Ledbetter, an agreement was reached to let Mark continue Tyee Course operations through the end of the existing five year agreement.
November 2014 is when that 5 year lease agreement will expire and Mark Olson has announced that the Tyee Golf Course will officially close their doors for the last time on October 26th, ending a nearly 50 year run supporting the game of golf for local enthusiasts and organizations throughout the south end and to visitors passing through the airport looking for a quick pick up round during their travels.
The course will remain open through the month of October and is accepting Tee Time Reservations through the Tyee Golf Course Website. An 18 hole round cost $15 or less, depending on day and time selected.
Once vacated, the land that is owned by the Port of Seattle will be transformed into a habitat to attract native animal species, discourage open space where Canada Geese prefer to accumulate and to expand the Ports beneficial insect program which encourages bee colony expansion and increased dragon fly populations.
It is always unfortunate to see economically viable businesses leave SeaTac. We'd like to take this opportunity to recognize Mark for his effort in continuing to operate this golf course in our neighborhood for the past twenty-five years and wish him all the best in whatever his future brings.