The terrain that gives the Pacific Northwest its lush beauty will also tax the skills of most golfers. Wetlands, lakes, rivers, forested hills, large trees, lava fields, sagebrush filled gullies and desert outcroppings have all been incorporated into golf course landscapes in Oregon and Washington. The following eight locations offer great golf and a little bit more.
Along the Oregon coast you’ll find lots of scenic courses; you can tee off on Scottish-style links, drive against brisk ocean winds, play within 100 yards of the Pacific Ocean, and choose from courses designed by world-class golfing legends. Green fees range from $6 to $225 along the coast; knowing when to play can make even the most expensive courses affordable.
Portland is one of Oregon’s greatest golfing destinations because of the sheer number of public courses found within a 30-minute drive of downtown; there are nearly three dozen 9 and 18-hole courses from which to choose. The variety of terrains will have you using all your clubs.
Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, east of Portland, is a great place for the golfing family. Mineral spas, swimming pools, teepee campsites, resort accommodations, a casino, horseback riding and 18 holes of golf are among the attractions here. And, in a rainy state like Oregon, the fact that the sun shines 300 days a year at Kah-Nee-Ta is a real bonus for the golfer.
Central Oregon is a great place for a serious golfing vacation. Between Black Butte and Sunriver there are more than a dozen 18-hole public golf courses. Black Butte Ranch has two courses; both are over 7000 yards in length. At the Crooked River Ranch the course plays across a 300′ deep gorge. Redmond’s Eagle Crest Resort offers three 18-hole courses; two additional courses can be found in town. In Bend there are four 18-hole courses, and Sunriver Resort has another two public courses, bringing the total count to 14. Resort accommodations are plentiful too.
Washington’s newest public golf course opened in Cle Elum last August; Rope Rider covers 7271 yards and is steeped in local mining history. This is the fourth course longer than 7000 yards to open in Central Washington, making this area a great place for long-distance players.
The southeast corner of Washington also has four public courses longer than 7000 yards; they are located in Kennewick, Pullman, Richland and Walla Walla. Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, and Palouse Ridge in Pullman, are among the state’s highest rated courses. For great golf courses on the far side of the state, visit southeastern Washington.
The San Juan Islands, west of Seattle, have three islands offering public golf courses. On Orcas Island the Orcas Island Golf Club is situated in an evergreen forest dotted with ponds. The San Juan Island Country Club provides links-style public golfing with gorgeous water, island and mountain views. Reachable only by boat or airplane, the Lopez Island Golf Course is adjacent to the island’s small airport. That makes this part of the San Juan Islands a great place for island-to-island golfing.
The Tacoma area has 20 public golf courses, eight are in Tacoma proper, and at Fort Lewis the army base offers public play on three 9-hole courses. You will also find three public courses in Auburn, two each in Sumner and Spanaway, and one each in DuPont, Puyallup, Union and Gig Harbor. That makes this a great place for Seattle and Tacoma golfers.
That’s a lot of great golfing, but with 350 public courses in all, it’s just a glimpse at what’s available.