Grateful Acknowledgment: Long-time members Karen Aumend, Barb Babik, Rosemary Dawson and Janice Deiglmeier did the necessary research to compile a booklet, Alderbrook the Beginnings: A History, which is the primary source of information for this summary.
The Alderbrook Inn (now the Alderbrook Resort & Spa) was one of the first tourist destinations on Hood Canal. In 1959, the Alderbrook Inn and associated uplands were purchased by Hoodsport real estate broker Wesley M. Johnson and his wife Frances. Johnson determined that the Alderbrook uplands were ideal for construction of a golf course and vacation community. He established Alderbrook Development Inc. to develop the property. As a result of Johnson’s ownership of the Inn and the uplands, the two were closely linked in a convoluted history until the Johnsons died in the 1990s and the estate disposed of the property in 1998.
Johnson offered home sites as 99-year renewable leaseholds, which included an automatic membership in the Alderbrook Community Club. Each leaseholder also became a member of the homeowners’ organization. The original Covenants were signed on June 28, 1965, and included many terms still in effect. The first home at Alderbrook was occupied on October 15, 1965. A few AGYC residents from the late 1960s still live at Alderbrook, and there are a number of AGYC members with family ties to the original homeowners or who have lived here for several decades. By 2013, almost all of the residential lots had been converted from leaseholds to fee simple ownership.
On June 30, 1968, the present-day Alderbrook Golf and Yacht Club (AGYC) was formed at the first annual meeting of owners by combining the Alderbrook Community Club and the Alderbrook County Club into one entity. Seven trustees were elected, including Wes and Frances Johnson and their daughter Nancy Lynch, and four members from the AGYC community. This re-organization resulted in each owner having a membership in one club with monthly dues. The development was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1968.
Alderbrook Development Inc. oversaw the construction of the par-72 golf course designed by Ray Goss and Glen Proctor. The front nine holes officially opened in July 1965 and the back nine in June 1970. The first cart paths were built in 1974. The driving range was opened in March 1984. Effective June 1, 2015, the driving range is leased to AGYC for a $3,000-a-year for five years with the first lease payment forgiven.
The Men’s Club and Ladies Club were organized by 1970, and both groups continue to hold monthly meetings, play golf weekly and sponsor golf competitions and tournaments. The first Golf Professional was hired in 1965, and only eight individuals have held the position over the years. The Yacht Club has also been an important community group at Alderbrook. It was established in 1974 by members who moored their boats at the Alderbrook Inn dock. Surprisingly, owning a boat was never a requirement for membership. Today, the Yacht Club is an active social club open to all AGYC members, and many old traditions are still honored.
The original Pro Shop was built by Alderbrook Development Inc. and housed a small snack bar and storage area. This building also served as the clubhouse. An expanded clubhouse opened on April 17, 1982. Other amenities, such as the Wickiup (community picnic area and tennis courts), The Annex and The Pointe, have been added over the years.
In 2006, the Board of Directors took initial steps to replace the outdated clubhouse with a first-class facility. The membership approved a budget that provided for a new clubhouse and pro shop, and the Board approved a $1.9 million construction budget and a one-time assessment of $2,000 per lot. Hood Canal Fine Homes was the general contractor for the project, did the construction at cost and donated $100,000 back to AGYC when the project was completed. The new Clubhouse held its Grand Opening on May 16, 2009. The 42nd annual HOA meeting was held there on September 20, 2009.
AGYC has published a newsletter, the Foremast, since March 1970 and a yearly membership directory since the early 1970s. Past issues of the Foremast are a treasure trove of information about AGYC people, developments and activities.
As the result of a lawsuit settled in July 1978, AGYC assumed ownership of the community areas and control, operation and maintenance of all common areas but continued to lease the golf course from Johnson. After the Johnsons died in the early 1990s, the family sold the Alderbrook Inn and Alderbrook Development Inc. to Crista Ministries, a Seattle-based Christian service organization, for $5.75 million in 1998. Crista planned to use the Inn as a Christian conference center, but, when this was not successful, the Crista Board voted to divest themselves of the Inn, the building lots, the water company and the golf course in a way that was positive for the community and agreed to honor AGYC’s rights under the 1978 Agreement.
In the ensuing transactions, Alderbrook Properties, Inc. (now renamed Hood Canal Fine Homes) became the land developer and successor to Crista Ministries as the owner of the unsold lots within Alderbrook. Crista sold the water company to Mason County PUD #1 for $300,000 with $400,000 slated for capital improvements after rejecting AGYC’s bid for $240,000. Crista wanted to sell the golf course to AGYC and worked with AGYC to reach a satisfactory deal. AGYC signed a letter of intent with Crista on July 3, 2001, to purchase the golf course and common areas along with the 10-acre well site and approximately 13 acres where The Annex and the Clubhouse are now located and trade some land for $1.3 million. After the Board of Directors approved the final terms of the sale with Crista, the agreement was approved by the AGYC membership. The sale closed on December 7, 2001. Crista financed the original purchase of the golf course. AGYC refinanced the golf course loan with HomeStreet Bank in February 2004 and again in May 2015 on more favorable terms.
The break between the Inn and uplands was complete when North Forty Lodging, owned by Jeff and Tricia Raikes, purchased the historic inn for $2.36 million in 2001 and launched a $13 million renovation, which included moving SR-106. The Alderbrook Resort & Spa re-opened in June 2004 as a luxurious but laid-back Northwest destination lodge.
For many years, the seven-person, volunteer Board of Directors managed AGYC’s affairs with the Board president acting as Chief Operating Officer and department heads reporting to the Board through different committee chairs. After the golf course was purchased, the Board decided to hire a professional General Manager to run AGYC’s day-to-day operations, supervise all the department heads and report to the Board. The first General Manager was hired in October 2001. The Board of Directors and many members have volunteered over the years to ensure AGYC’s continuing success. Currently, eighteen committees have been established to provide guidance and recommendations to the Board and the General Manager in their specific areas of interest. All AGYC members in good standing are welcome to participate in or attend any committee meetings.
AGYC has grown from a small group of vacation homes to a thriving, primarily retirement, community of full-time and part-time residents. Even though there are more than 350 homes now, residents enjoy unmatched peace and solitude. The golf course is consistently listed as one of the top 25 in the Northwest, and there are many social and recreational activities for golfers and non-golfers alike. AGYC’s unspoiled location, the allure of Hood Canal at the bottom of the hill and the proximity of the Olympic Peninsula are as enticing as ever.
In 2015, AGYC celebrated its 50th anniversary with a number of activities culminating in a party for the entire membership on July 26, 2015. Over 200 people attended this event.
A permanent exhibit in the Clubhouse featuring AGYC’s history was unveiled and a time capsule was dedicated. Note: The complete History of Alderbrook Golf & Yacht Club may be found in the Membership Directory.