Scott’s Golf Course Twitter Thread & A Recommended Reading List

Laura Loe
4 min readApr 18, 2019
A lot *over fifty thousand* folks agreed with this tweet:

Have you read Shaun Scott’s epic golf course twitter thread? I’ve included a couple of highlights below.

…. & please send me any articles, studies, podcasts or videos on the topic of (public or private) golf courses and affordable housing.

Here are my key takeaways from Shaun Scott’s tweets:

Proposal: Revenue generated by ending tax subsidies for Seattle’s private courses would help pay for public / deeply affordable housing & maintaining equitable open space on the current ‘public’, city-owned golf courses

Private golf courses receive a massive tax subsidy
EXAMPLE: Just *3 houses* in Broadmoor pay more TOTAL taxes than the **entire** 115 acre Broadmoor Country Club.

Decommissioning city-owned golf courses, and putting deeply affordable housing on those lots instead
~ $45m for anticipated and accrued golf-related expenses for the City of Seattle to maintain 4 courses …. compared to:

2020 Seattle Arts Budget: $14m
’20 Seattle Firefighters Pension: $21m
’18 Seattle Early Learning Funds: $42.6m
’20 Seattle Golf Budget: $45m

Many golf courses in Seattle were established in the same era that single family zoning became our city’s invisible ink of inequity.
This zoning code made apartment buildings illegal in 70%+ of the city, cementing race/class segregation into our residential grid.

— — —
Shaun Scott is a candidate for Seattle City Council District 4, the area comprising the U-District, Wallingford, Eastlake, Roosevelt, and NE Seattle.

recommended reading: “More than 800 golf courses have closed over a decade. Now clubhouses are going up in flames.”

Recommended Listening:

Revisionist History podcast: A Good Walk Spoiled

“In the middle of Los Angeles — a city with some of the most expensive real estate in the world — there are a half a dozen exclusive golf courses, massive expanses dedicated to the pleasure of a privileged few. How do private country clubs afford the property tax on 300 acres of prime Beverly Hills real estate? RH brings in tax assessors, economists, and philosophers to probe the question of the weird obsession among the wealthy with the game of golf.”

Transcript: “That guy’s back of the envelope calculation was that the club’s land was worth about $6 billion. But that was a couple years ago. Then I heard from another guy who said that they now think it’s with 9 Billion. 9 Billion! Under normal circumstances, the property taxes on that much land would come to about $90 million a year. Do you know what LA Country Club actually paid after you add up the Bob Hope exemption and spatiotemporal continuity ruling? $200,000, give or take.”



Laura Loe

Laura Loe is a renter, an educator, a musician, and a gardener from Colombia/NY/LA/Chicago who has lived in Seattle for over 10 years.