Ellensburg Golf Club doesn’t require much out of its customers as long as you have a T-shirt and shorts/pants on, keep up with the group in front of you, and enjoy yourself.

The club hasn’t changed its demands for its golfers, at least since the Crimp brothers took over in 1985. It’s offered that laid-back atmosphere that’s alluring to various players. It’s what makes Ellensburg Golf Club different.

Collared shirts aren’t required, shorts don’t need to be no more than three inches about the knee, and all skill levels are welcome. Heck, you can even have your dog tag along while you play.

Tee times are accepted, but most golfers are walk-ins and they can almost always be guaranteed to get out and play.

And of course, the prices are equitable. During the summer, a player can walk 18 holes for as low as $25.

“The reasonableness of the price certainly is a motivating factor,” said owner Frank Crimp.

Ellensburg Golf Club is a 9-hole layout located off of Thorp Highway. It was originally named “Willowwood Golf Club,” a 7-hole course in the 1920s off of Sanders road. Then in 1931 with the growing number of golfers in the city, Ellensburg Golf Club was formed with the purchase of Leo Stevens farm.

Fast forward to 1981 when it was owned by the Ellensburg Elks who no longer wished to continue the ownership, it was leased to the club membership for four years until Frank, Keith Crimp and Betsy Crimp bought the course.

And it still stands today, offering nine holes, but golfers can go around twice with a different set of tee boxes on the back side.

It isn’t long, capping out at 6,360 yards, but it’s uniquely challenging. And it offers a peaceful scenery.

“It is a beautiful little 9-hole course there, away from housing development and the likes. People like that,” Frank said.

“Plenty of fresh air,” said member Rich Farrel chiming in.

THOUGHTS OF EXPANDING

When the Crimps took ownership, there were thoughts on expanding. In the early 1990s, they offered to buy 80 acres from a farmer that was off of the 7th hole, but he was looking for more funds, around $400,000.

“We wanted to try to buy the property at least to have it, but it never worked out,” Frank said.

But the 9-hole layout has paid dividends.

Golfing can take up a lot of time when playing a full round of 18. It will generally last from 4-5 hours, and maybe more depending on the pace of play.

With a course offering a 9-hole rate, it opens doors to players who aren’t looking to be out at the course for very long. And also for travelers heading east off of I-90 who may want to make a quick stop in Ellensburg.

“A lot of people just want to play nine holes, take up two hours of their day,” Frank said. “... It’s a nice option.”

According to Frank, college students have been the bread and butter of their business for quite some time. While tourism reels in some revenue during the summer months, the late fall and springtime have many Central Washington University students out playing.

CWU RATES

Ellensburg Golf Club offers a quarterly CWU rate which runs at $200 and lasts about three months. They can play as much as they desire, but if they do want a cart, that’s paid separately.

Frank said in the spring alone, the course will sell about 45-60 CWU memberships. But there’s also a plethora of CWU students who will come out and pay the standard green fees.

And it works out well because the students won’t come out until the afternoon after classes, as the regular membership plays in the morning.

“Gosh, 95-99 percent of the kids are pretty darn well behaved. They’re pretty good kids,” Frank said. “Although their skill level isn’t that great, they just want to come out and play nine holes and rip it. They lose a lot of golf balls, but that’s OK for us. We sell them more.”

As for the regular membership, Frank estimated there is about 130. Roughly 90 men and 40 women. And there are leagues that take place during the week as well.

One of the members is Tom Gauron, who’s been coming out to the club since his retirement five years ago. He was the president of the Audubon Society, so he likes seeing the birds and wildlife while he gets his nine holes in.

“Nice landscape, you know, it’s a beautiful relaxing place in my opinion,” Gauron said. “If you keep that attitude and don’t get too upset about the score, it’s a wonderful thing to do.”

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