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Golf - Portland, Oregon


Golf enthusiasts will be happy to discover that their sport has flourished all around the state of Oregon. From courses situated in fertile valleys below the snowcapped Cascades to the high-desert links with fairways framed by lava rock outcroppings, peppery sagebrush, and twisted junipers, this is a golfer’s paradise. Many superior golf courses have sprung up in coastal regions, in southern Oregon, and around Bend, the gateway to central Oregon.

Oregon offers an amazing diversity of golf courses, and the Portland Metro area courses are some of the most interesting, challenging, and attractive in the state. With dozens of both public and private courses to choose from, you’re sure to find the links to suit you, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a neophyte.

Professionals and amateurs alike have found Portland to be a friendly host for tournament play. Portland is home to several major golf tournaments—the LPGA Safeway Classic is a regular events (also see the Recreation and Spectator Sports chapter for more information). The US Amateur Open has been played in Oregon from time to time, most notably at Pumpkin Ridge in 1996, when Tiger Woods won it.


It’s easy to see why the area has an outstanding reputation for golf. In Portland, and in the numerous courses a few minutes just outside the city, the golf courses are beautifully laid out and meticulously cared for. Small lakes and streams do a good job of defending par, and in the summertime, the greens throughout the region are quite fast. While the terrain is impressive, even for well-traveled golfers, and the facilities are superb, golf in Oregon is an affordable luxury. In Portland, greens fees fall mostly in the $25 to $45 range and sometimes lower. Discounts are available for weekday and off-season play, and afternoon and twilight rates are also common. Factor in relatively low costs for meals (and accommodations, if necessary), and golf here can be a downright thrifty habit—and a healthy one too. Walking is not only permitted at most of the courses, but here in fitness-oriented Portland, it’s also encouraged.

Portland-area courses are open year-round, but May to Sept is prime golfing time. The off-season may be a good time for you to visit a familiar course or to try a new one, because then the courses are quieter and less crowded. In the Portland area alone, about 30 golf courses are open to the public and all rent clubs and carts. The city’s four municipal golf courses offer some outstanding golf and lower-than-average greens fees. You can make tee times six days to one hour in advance for the municipal courses—Eastmoreland, Heron Lakes, Red Tail, and Rose City—by reserving them on a central website, www.portlandpublicgolf.com (or by calling the pro shops directly, listed below). Also, many area courses offer discounted greens fees for juniors, seniors, or both. Senior players can get a need a discount card for the municipal courses—call Portland Parks and Recreation at (503) 823-4328 or check www.portlandpublicgolf.com for more information. Most courses now have an online reservation system, so be sure to check their websites. Many of them also offer online discounts and coupons. And while reserved tee times are always recommended, courses are often not as crowded as they can get in some metropolitan areas, and it is usually possible to find somewhere you can walk on.

This chapter is devoted to the 18-hole courses in the area that we like to play the most, but many more are out there: Colwood (503-254-5515), Gresham Golf Course (503-665-3352), Meriwether National Golf Course in Hillsboro (503-648-4143), Oregon City Golf Course (503-518-2846), Camas Meadows Golf Club (800-750-6511 or 360-833-2000), and Three Rivers (360-423-4653 or 800-286-7765) are fine local courses. And that’s only a few of them. You will also find lots of 9-hole gems, such as St. Helens Golf Course (503-397-0358) and McKay Creek (503-693-7612). Complete listings of Oregon golf courses are available at information kiosks at the POVA information center, the airport, the zoo, and other tourist gathering places. NOTE: Nonmetal spikes are the only kind allowed on most Portland golf courses.

1. Broadmoor Golf Course

City: Portland, OR
Category: Golf
Telephone: (503) 281-1337
Address: 3509 Northeast Columbia Blvd.

Description: This is one of the friendliest, cheapest, and most popular golfing locations in Portland proper. Broadmoor was built in 1931, and since then it has been a favorite of Portland golfers, whatever their ability. The 18-hole, par-72 course unfolds over 220 acres, dodging water hazards and trees; the billowing fairways flanked by the Broadmoor Lake and Slough add aesthetic interest to the technical challenge of maintaining a low score. In addition, Broadmoor offers a well-equipped golf shop and full-service clubhouse. Carts are optional; tee time reservations are recommended.

2. Eastmoreland Golf Course

City: Portland, OR
Category: Golf
Telephone: (503) 775-2900
Address: 2425 Southeast Bybee Blvd.
Insider Pick:

Description: Rated one of the top 25 public golf courses in the United States by Golf Digest, Eastmoreland is Portland’s oldest and one of its most beloved greens. Eastmoreland has an endless variety of trees and shrubs on its 6,529 yards and is bordered by Crystal Springs Lake, the Rhododendron Gardens, and Johnson Creek. The course, which is the site of the annual city championship, also offers a pro shop, restaurant, snack bar, reception and meeting rooms, and a double-deck covered and lighted driving range. The greens fees are among the best values of all the local courses. Rates may vary according to the season. Junior and senior rates are available. Carts are optional.

3. Glendoveer Golf Course

City: Portland, OR
Category: Golf
Address: 14015 Northeast Glisan St.

4. Heron Lakes Golf Course

City: Portland, OR
Category: Golf
Address: 3500 North Victory Blvd.

5. Red Tail Golf Course

City: Portland, OR
Category: Golf
Telephone: (503) 646-5166
Address: 8200 Southwest Scholls Ferry Rd.

Description: This 7,100-yard championship 18-hole public golf course in Southwest Portland is a redesigned course on the site that was formerly known as Progress Downs. Red Tail has incorporated significant advances in drainage systems—always a problem for Oregon golf—and even during the winter, the ball rolls and springs instead of sinking into muddy grass. In addition to the great greens, the teaching, training, and equipment advice are key features of this course, and the staff is renowned for its teaching ability, with many camps and clinics. They also have state-of-the-art instruction facilities to help you perfect your game. Red Tail is run by Portland Parks and Recreation, so its lush greens and beautiful driving range are available at very reasonable prices.

6. Rose City Golf Course

City: Portland, OR
Category: Golf
Telephone: (503) 253-4744
Address: 2200 Northeast 71st Ave.

Description: One of the oldest golf courses in the entire state, Rose City is a challenging course in a beautiful setting. The long par fours and tree-lined, narrow fairways on the 18 regulation holes demand concentration and will test your technical skills. With plenty of hills, sand and water hazards, and trees spread over 6,520 yards, this course plays long and affords excellent scenery. Rose City also has two of the hardest finishing holes in all of Portland public golf. Facilities include a pro shop and a full-service snack bar. Book your tee time up to six days in advance. Lessons can be scheduled with a pro.

7. Wildwood Golf Course

City: Portland, OR
Category: Golf
Telephone: (503) 621-3402
Address: 21881 Northwest St. Helens Rd.

Description: Beautiful Wildwood on the outskirts of Northwest Portland offers 18 regulation holes on one of the most gorgeous courses in the area. No fewer than three creeks run through the 5,756 yards of hilly greens. You can spend a whole day here, practicing your swing in the driving range, browsing in the pro shop, and celebrating your birdies in the full-bar clubhouse. Lessons are available and tee time reservations should be made a week in advance, but Wildwood can probably squeeze in one or two golfers on short notice. Note that the driving range allows irons only.

8. Safeway Classic Tournament Golf

City: Portland, OR
Category: Golf
Telephone: (503) 626-2711, (503) 287-LPGA

Description: The LPGA Safeway Classic has a purse of almost $2 million; it raises millions for children’s charities and is one of the most popular events in Portland golf. Tickets run about $10 per day, $25 for the week, but Safeway shoppers can receive significant discounts—and kids under 17 are free when accompanied by an adult. It’s held at some of the Portland area’s showcase golf courses; it now makes its home at Pumpkin Ridge (See the Recreation & Spectator Sports chapter for more information on this great golf event.)
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