Rainier was officially founded on March 11, 1919. For months prior to that there had been discussion among a group of business and professional men—most of whom played their golf at Jefferson Park Municipal.

Jefferson was becoming increasingly crowded. The participant sport of golf was in the beginning of a boom era. The Seattle and Earlington Golf Clubs had long waiting lists for membership.

At a meeting in February, 1919 Charles A. Reynolds, a real estate dealer, who lived on the Des Moines Road, came up with a site—120 “remarkably fertile” acres—above the Duwamish Valley in an area known as “The Highline” one mile south of Seattle’s city limits.

The land was purchased for $40,000 and the number of memberships in the club was set at 200. Each member bought $300 a share for club stock.

Work on construction of the first nine began almost immediately on what is presently our second nine and first play by members began in the summer of 1920. However, the formal opening ceremonies were not held until September 25th of that year.

In the spring of 1921, the trustees decided to employ a greens keeper “to be paid $100 a month for five months only.” Grass was cut with a gang mower drawn by horses and local rules permitted kicking the ball out of horse tracks.

On May 5, 1922 47 members were present at a meeting at the Butler Hotel and authorized construction of a clubhouse at a cost not to exceed $18,000. This first clubhouse was built at an actual cost of $12,591 and was formally opened on New Year’s Day, 1923. It consisted of an office, a dining room (where the ballroom is now) and a locker room.

With work progressing on the second nine holes and the clubhouse under way, more members were needed to help defray the bills, so on July 10th, 1922 it was voted to increase the membership to 400. The new members paid $250 each for stock, and the membership chairman, presumably working full time at this enterprise, received a ten percent commission on each stock sale. Also members were assessed special dues of $10 each for the month of October, 1922, to buy clubhouse furniture.

The contract for clearing and preparing the second nine holes was set at $375 per acre and completion by April 1, 1923. To meet the deadline the contractor had to take a few shortcuts by burying logs, brush and other debris under a few feet of earth. Decomposition, over the years, of this buried material caused the fairways to settle unevenly, a condition rectified by the leveling program conducted in the 1960’s. The second nine opened to play in the summer of 1924. At this time members were required, before starting to play, to pick up a bucket of rocks off the new fairways. No rocks, no game.

1924 was also the year in which the stucco portion of the clubhouse was added giving the unique architecture and impressive appearance it has today. Through the years much has been added to the original building, fortunately in a manner that has given the whole structure a unity and attractiveness.

In 1952, the Lounge was added, in 1958 the Dining Room, Kitchen & Swimming Pool was added.

The Snack Shack alongside the swimming pool complex was built in 1964. For many years prior there was a between nines snack shack on the tenth tee.

The golf course has been gradually lengthened over the years. About 1950 the 3rd green was moved back and to the right 50 yards. In 1968 the tees on nos. 1,4, 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,14,15,16, and 18 were lengthened adding about 225 yards to the course. The 5th green was moved back about 75 yards in the mid 80’s and in 1997 the 6th hole was lengthened by 12 yards.

Many of the original greens have been improved over the years. About 1964 the 7th and 8th greens were redone. The biggest change was on No. 7 with the addition on several hundred yards of fill and sand to elevate the green to its present position. In the mid 80’s a fairway & green improvement program was begun. This involved lifting the turf and addition of 6 to 10 inches of sand. No. 4 was the first green improved followed quickly by Nos. 10 and 12. Greens Nos. 3,11,16,17 and 18 remain to be finished. In 2000 the Nos. 3,15,17 and small practice green were reconstructed with a sand and substrate profile conforming to USGA specifications.

In 2007 a new short game facility was added with two large greens and bunker surrounds.

In 2012 a remodel and design of #9 and the Practice green on west side of Clubhouse commenced in adjoining the original two putting surfaces to one large.

In 2014 the remodel and design of the #11 green along with some minor shaving of the fairway hill was performed.

Most recently, in 2016 the remodel and design of #12 green was completed along with #13 tee boxes.

And whatr the future holds next....?

Thank you to Dick Bristol, Club President 1980 for synoposis of Club History