Beginning Monday, from the cement path that runs along the hillside above the Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, you can watch the high-powered sprayers shoot green hydroseed mulch onto the sandy, sculpted fairways, roughs, greens and tees.
With 10 months to go before opening day, the fescue grasses reminiscent of Scotland's rugged seaside golf courses need time to grow.
So I set up a card table and chairs along that path Wednesday afternoon and posted a handwritten sign inviting folks who regularly walk and bike there to stop and talk about their perspectives on the development below.
Has Pierce County's entrepreneurial venture to create a destination golf course grown on them?
No, not really.
Those who liked the concept of golf-course-as-economic-development-strategy still like it. But those who had doubts still have them. Those who wanted something else to replace the 930-acre gravel mine still do.
"I've watched it from the get-go, " said James Harris, who walks by nearly every day. "Since I'm not a golfer, I'd like to see the whole thing be a park. I don't know what benefit I'm going to get out of it."
What about the three miles of public trails that will run around and through the course? The 22-acre public park in the central meadow down near the water? The 5-acre public park on the wooded northwest promontory overlooking the bay and the course? The eventual pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks to the 14-acres of public beachfront?
"Oh, I'm happy about that, " Harris said. "It's just that I'd rather see it all as a park."
Richard Parrish has lived in University Place since 1963. He stopped his mountain bike to let me know the course, to him, represents "a big waste of money."
"We had this marvelous space of land. Why not put in a couple hundred thousand trees and make a 'Point Defiance Park' for all of us?" he asked.
Bud Truitt, who lives in the Oakbrook area of Lakewood, came by with his two spaniels, Bagel and Saffra. He often walks them along the hillside path, then pops in to visit his parents down the block.
And nothing he's seen down below makes him think a golf course with greens fees up to $120 for a round of 18 holes will do anything but wind up bankrupt - even if county residents get a price break.
"I'm very skeptical as to whether this thing is going to be a success, " Truitt said. "We get so much rain here, who's going to pay huge green fees? They're predicting people will fly in to golf here. In the rain?
"To me, it's a single-use facility that isn't going to work. I didn't buy it from the beginning, and I still don't buy it."
Pierce County, apparently, has a lot of Missouri transplants. You know, "The Show Me State"?
So, from my card table post, I spoke by cell phone with Mark Luthman, Western regional director of operations for Kemper-Sports, the company hired by Pierce County to market and manage Chambers Bay Golf Course.
Can you help me reassure the locals that you can sell the world on this golf course, Mark?
"It will be a fantastic golf course, " he said. "We expect it's going to receive a tremendous amount of attention. Due to the quality, the location, the links experience, the length, that it's caddies only and no carts, that it will get tremendous national press attention.
"We would hope to expect and achieve recognition as one of the best new golf courses in the country, " he said.
Photographs will sell it best. Maybe from this spot where I'm sitting now above the eighth fairway looking at the sweeping left-to-right view of Steilacoom and Ketron, Anderson, McNeil and Fox islands and Puget Sound and Olympic mountain peaks.
"You can tell somebody how beautiful you think a golf course is, but until people see pictures of it for themselves, that's what really captures the imagination, " Luthman said. "We expect people, after they see (photographs) will want to come from all over the country and all over the world to play Chambers Bay."
I found one zealous believer Wednesday afternoon.
Ron Wilson has lived on Anderson Island for six years. He stopped by for a few minutes - before he needed to catch the ferry at Steilacoom - to get a close-up view of progress on the course.
"I'm behind it 150 percent, " Wilson said. "I can't wait to come over by boat and watch a PGA tournament."
He's referring to hopes that the course's uniqueness will inspire the Professional Golfers Association to book its U.S. Open or PGA Championship here.
"I like that the county is doing something for the benefit of everybody, " Wilson said. "It's not just a golf course. This area has a lot of reasons for people to visit and like it."
Yes. Chambers Bay will eventually feature a boat launch and dock; a classy, hilltop restaurant; and low-rise, bungalow-style hotel lodging - perhaps 75 units - built into the hillside.
"I think we're all a little too quick to prejudge based on our perceptions, " Wilson said.
You can draw a fine line between destination and destitution in the dictionary. Maybe you also can draw a fine line between which word will best describe the ultimate fate of Chambers Bay Golf Course.