Sahalee Country Club Course Preview May 5, 2010 By David Shefter

The 2010 U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club will be the first USGA "open" championship ever held in the state of Washington. (Rob Perry/USGA)

Sahalee Country Club (North and South nines), Sammamish, Wash.
Yardage: 6,857/6,866 yards
Par: 35-35—70 
2009 champion: Fred Funk
Opened: 1969
Designer: Ted Robinson (revisions done by Rees Jones in 1996)

USGA championships: This will be the first USGA championship conducted at Sahalee C.C., but the 1998 PGA Championship was held here and won by Vijay Singh. The course also hosted the 2002 World Golf Championship-NEC Invitational won by Craig Parry.

USGA and Washington: Prior to 2010, the state of Washington had been the site of 21 previous USGA championships. The U.S. Senior Open will be the first of two USGA events in the Emerald State this year. The U.S. Amateur is set for Chambers Bay south of Tacoma in late August. This is the first time a USGA open championship will be conducted in the state.

Championship notes: Depending on the placement of the tee markers, the par-3 fifth hole will measure either 181 or 190 yards. The North and South nines will be used for the championship.

Formation of a club: Sahalee was first envisioned in 1965, when two separate groups of golf club members, one from Inglewood Country Club, the other from Broadmoor Golf Club  (site of four USGA championships), decided concurrently that the Greater Seattle Area was in need of another championship golf course. The endeavor began to take shape in the summer of 1966, as the two groups merged to form Par Golf, Inc. Par Golf, Inc.'s property search ended in early 1967 when the 320 acres that was to become Sahalee was found on the Sammamish Plateau five miles east of Redmond. The club’s 27 holes were carved out of the tall majestic Cedar and Douglas Fir that are native to the Pacific Northwest.

What’s in a name: The final step in the formation of Sahalee came in the selection of a name for the new club. The same eight men who had led the project from the beginning decided on Sahalee or High Heavenly Ground in the language of the Chinook. The name was chosen to reflect the Northwest's heritage and tradition.

Did you know: Sahalee’s first head professional was two-time PGA Champion, four-time U.S. Ryder Cup team member and two-time Senior PGA Champion Paul Runyan, who came north from La Jolla, Calif. 

Welcome home: Seattle native and 2009 U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples will serve as the honorary chairman for the 2010 U.S. Senior Open. The 1992 Masters champion, who turned 50 this past October, will be competing in his first U.S. Senior Open.