FALL CITY, Wa. — The Aldarra Golf Club, a Tom Fazio-designed course 20 miles east of Seattle, is breaking from its own tradition to host the men’s 2017 NCAA Division I Regional Championship May 14-17.
Aldarra, which opened 16 years ago with the mission of providing a premier golf facility for its members with a limited appetence for outside events, said in a statement Tuesday that various golf organizations have approached the course to host an event. The club was always open to the idea “as long as the event harmonized” their core ideas, “did not impose a financial burden on members and the lost member play was manageable.”
As it turned out, it was Fazio himself who sparked the change.
“When Tom Fazio visited last summer, he opined that great courses are generally considered great only after they have been tested by the best players,” read the club’s statement, adding, “we are convinced this event will showcase the magnificence of our course, will have zero financial impact, and will disrupt play for only four days in May. Based upon this analysis, the Board has unanimously approved and committed to host this event.”
The event was originally scheduled to be hosted by Washington National but a change in course ownership put it back in play.
The host school, the University of Washington, which has a working relationship with Aldarra for its men’s and women’s golf teams, approached the Board to consider. (The picture above with the ‘W’ was chalked across Aldarra’s first-hole fairway last May to honor the Huskies’ 2016 NCAA champion women’s golf team).
There will be 13-15 men’s teams competing in the regional, approximately 80 players. It is expected that several West Coast and Pac-12 teams, including perhaps UW, will qualify for the event. Five teams will advance to the NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois.
The Board added, “we will use this evaluation in considering similar future endeavors, but do not contemplate considering more than one event per year nor events that are costlier in terms of member play.”