September 18th, 2012 by Dan Wheeler
For golfers with an eye for scenery, it’s always a great time to play in Oregon, a state famous for its craggy coastline, lush forests and the Cascade Mountains. However, September—generally one of the warmer, drier months—is especially opportune. If you find yourself in Portland, for example, there are a number of easily accessible courses that promise beauty, challenge, creature comforts—and even a little history.
First, the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club at 12930 NW Old Pumpkin Ridge Road in North Plains, is about a 30-minute car ride west of Portland. Pumpkin Ridge has two renowned courses, Ghost Creek and Witch Hollow, both of which have hosted USGA tournaments. You probably remember the latter as the site of Tiger Woods’ unprecedented third straight title in the 1996 United States Amateur Championship. And most recently, in August, Mika Miyazato won the LPGA Safeway Classic there.
Ghost Creek, the 6,839-yard public course, has a reputation for nuance. With rolling fairways, and deep roughs and bunkers, it’s among the best tour golf courses you can play, according to Golfweek.
The 7,017-yard Witch Hollow is threaded through clusters of fir, maple, oak and ash, with the Tualatin Hills gently rippling on the horizon. Finely manicured, with lakes, ponds and streams, it’s the premier private course in the area and one of the top such courses in the nation.
Designed by the legendary Bob Cupp, both Ghost Creek and Witch Hollow are eminently walkable, allowing you to take in the wetland scenery as it’s best enjoyed. For more information, call (503) 647-4747 or email email@example.com, or you can connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.
- Par: 71 (Ghost Creek), 72 (Witch Hollow)
- Penn Eagle bentgrass fairways and Penn Links bentgrass greens.
- PGA Master Professional Jerry Mowlds holds golf clinics every Saturday from May through October. (Another reason why September is a good time to visit.)
- Seventeen acres are devoted to practice, including a driving range, putting green and chipping area.
- Members receive a variety of benefits and special amenities, including year-round events for all ages.
- Social amenities, depending on the course, include a clubhouse, restaurants, snack bars, a members’ lounge, a sauna, Olympic-sized and children’s swimming pools, and tennis courts.
The Oregon Golf Club is at 25700 SW Petes Mountain Road in West Linn, about 25 minutes south of Portland. Designed by tour pro Peter Jacobsen, the 7,052-yard course, nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, is meant to evoke the great courses of Scotland, and, in doing so, melds with the untamed character of the landscape. Thick outcroppings of Ponderosa and the Willamette River itself demand strategic thinking. There are lots of hills, difficult greens and deep roughs. The club locker room, with its vaulted wooden ceilings, stone fireplace, and bar and grill, is also worth mentioning. Ranked as the No. 1 private course in the state by the Portland Business Journal. Call (503) 650-6900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can also stay connected to the club through Facebook or Twitter.
- Par: 72
- Colonial bentgrass fairways and bentgrass/poa greens.
- The 10-acre practice facility includes a driving range and 12,000-square-foot putting area.
- Members receive a variety of benefits and amenities, including discounts at the pro shop.
- Social amenities include access to the fitness center, swimming pool, tennis facilities and the clubhouse—among other perks.
- Rose garden.
- Caledonian aesthetic with amazing views: It’s a popular wedding spot.
The Corvallis Country Club, located at 1850 SW Whiteside Drive in Corvallis, Ore., is about 80 miles south of Portland. The 6,171-yard course melts into a landscape of oak and fir trees, streams and lakes, with the Cascades visible in the distance. The strategic challenge posed by its hilliness and hazards, including 21 bunkers and all those trees, will impress. Call (541) 745-3471 or email email@example.com for more information. You can also stay up to date with the club through Facebook and Twitter.
- Par: 71
- Bermuda grass fairways and bentgrass/poa greens.
- Two-tiered driving range and short-game practice area, as well as chipping and putting greens.
- PGA teaching professionals are on site.
- Members receive a variety of benefits and special amenities, including pro-shop discounts.
- Social amenities include a members’ grill, dining room, swimming pool with food and beverage service and tennis courts.
The Persimmon Country Club, in Gresham at 500 SE Butler Road, is a 30-minute drive east of Portland. Lodged in a mountain bowl and straddling a hill, this private, 6,455-yard course, with challenges for all levels, is a stately departure from the rush of the city nearby. Valley views are spectacular. The late designer Gene “Bunny” Mason’s courses are popular throughout the Pacific Northwest. For more information, call (503) 674-3259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The club is also on Facebook and Twitter.
- Par: 71
- Poa and rye fairways, poa and bentgrass greens
- Heated, covered driving range and short game area with putting and chipping greens
- PGA professionals on site.
- Members receive a variety of benefits, including pro-shop discounts.
- Social amenities include a fitness facility, jacuzzi, restaurant, snack bar, sauna, junior and Olympic-sized swimming pools (in summer months), tennis, and a bar and grill.