By Kevin Anthony
Long before Brad Rew ever imagined running his own construction company,
he dreamed of owning a golf course.
He grew up playing the courses of the Tri-Cities and his first job after
graduating from Richland High School was mowing the greens at Buckskin Golf
He studied golf course management in college, figuring he’d soon be on
the road to running his own course.
After 13 years — and a major detour into construction after the golf
course bubble burst — that dream has been realized.
Rew closed a deal March 14 to buy Horn Rapids Golf Course for $1.5 million from Bob Soushek, the owner of Fore Inc. Golf Course Construction in Maple Valley who built the course.
“It’s always been a dream,” said Rew, noting that it isn’t just about
guaranteeing good tee times.
“I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Even more than the game of golf, I
love the business of golf.”
Rew, the owner and president of Gale-Rew Construction, said he plans to
make upwards of $5 million in improvements at the course just off Highway 240
in northwest Richland.
Among the big-ticket items are fixing the course’s outdated irrigation
system, adding a practice facility and building a ritzy new clubhouse.
Improvements to the course’s fairways and green already are evident.
Rew said he expects the project to take 3 1/2
to 5 years.
Those improvements hinge on developing some of the nearby land that came
with the course into townhouses — a $25 million project of up to 70 homes built
in three phases.
“That makes this course viable to purchase,” said Rew, noting that
getting loans for buying or renovating golf courses is next to impossible.
He came up with the $1.5 million purchase price out of his own pocket —
easily the biggest check he’s ever written.
He said the development will be aimed at the 55-plus crowd, with homes selling
for between $329,000 and $375,000. The land first must be rezoned, but Rew said
he already has more than 30 people interested in buying.
He hopes to break ground on the first phase of 25 homes this summer.
Rich Quadrel, president of the men’s club at Horn Rapids, said he was
thrilled to see someone from the Tri-Cities buy the course after it had been on
the market for nearly five years.
“To have a local owner who spends time at the course, who is actively
engaging in dialogue with golfers — I don’t think there’s a better situation,”
He added that members he’s talked to are “real excited” about Rew’s
plans, which were unveiled at two town hall meetings at the club earlier this
“At best,” Quadrel said, “what we hoped for was an owner who would make
repairs to things that had started to fall apart over time.”
It’s going to make for a lot of busy days for Rew — adding golf course
renovations and a townhouse project to the home renovations that are Gale-Rew’s
bread and butter.
“It’s the biggest project for me,” he said. “Gale-Rew Construction has
taken on a lot of big projects, but nothing this scale. But this is the
dream for me.”
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!