Road Holes — 05 January 2013 by Bob Sherwin
Top Five: Oregon/Portland

Where’s the best place to play golf on the West Coast? We’ll give you hundreds of choices.

Golferswest.com continues its annual assessment of the Top Five courses to play within 12 West Coast states and British Columbia. Today, the 25-part series focuses on: Oregon/Portland.

NO. 1 COURSE: LANGDON FARMS

LOCATION: Aurora, Or.

DIRECTIONS FROM PORTLAND: Take I-5 south to 282B exit, toward Charbonneau District. Turn left on E. Miley Rd., over overpass. Then turn slightly right onto NE Airport Rd.

PHONE: 503-678-4653

OPENED: 1995 (Architects: Robert E. Cupp/John Fought)

GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: langdonfarms.com

LAYOUT: Par 71, 6,935 yards (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: Given a 4-star rating by Golf Digest, Langdon has been consistently rated one of the best places to play in Oregon.

There are two unique features at Langdon. One is the horseshoe-shaped double green for the ninth and 18th holes and, two, when you drive your cart on No. 8, the cart path goes through an old original ban used when this was a working farm.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 18, par-5, 514 yards. The fairway is wide open but it gets interesting on your approach to the green. It’s a double green – shared with No. 9 – and is protected by a large lake in front left and a bunker back right. If the pin is back, it’s a delicate shot to get there.

 

Camas Meadows

NO. 2 COURSE: CAMAS MEADOWS

LOCATION: Camas, Wa.

DIRECTIONS FROM PORTLAND AIRPORT: Take I-205 across the bridge into Washington. Get off at SW Mill Plain Blvd. Go right to 192nd Ave and left a left to 13th Ave. Turn right then slightly left to Goodwin Ave. Course in on the right on Camas Meadows Dr. It’s a 15-minute drive.

PHONE: 360-833-2000

OPENED: 2000 (Architect: Andrew Raugust)

GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: camasmeadows.com

LAYOUT: Par 72, 6,571 yards (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: You need to venture to another state, Washington, for this experience but it’s only about a 15-minute drive over the Columbia River from the Oregon border.

There are 50 bunkers on the courses and some of the fairways are quite narrow. You pay for your mistakes.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 4, par-4, 392 yards. Wonderfully shaped hole, with a natural look to it. You need to carry the waste area on your tee shot, with plenty of landing room. But it narrows on your approach as all along the left side is a hazard followed by a large bunker. You must keep the ball to the right of the fairway.

 

The Reserve Vineyards

NO. 3 COURSE(S): RESERVE VINEYARDS – NORTH COURSE/SOUTH COURSE

LOCATION: Aloha, Or.

DIRECTIONS FROM PORTLAND: Head west on Hwy 26 to exit 64. Go four miles to Tualatin Valley Hwy-8. Turn right and go two miles to SW 229th Ave. and turn left. The resort is one mile down on the right.

PHONE: 503-649-8191

OPENED: (North) 1998 (Architect: Robert E. Cupp); (South) 1997 (Architect: John Fought)

GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: reservegolf.com

LAYOUT: (North) Par 72, 6,845 yards (four tee positions); (South) Par 72, 7,172 yards (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: On alternating days, one course will be open to the public and one will be for members only. One of the south course’s unique features is triple-green for the 8th, 10th and 17th holes.

It’s one of the best tests of golf in the region as several high-powered tournaments have been held here, such as The Fred Meyer Challenge (1998-2002) and the JELD-WEN Tradition ((2003-2006). Golf Digest gives it a 4 1/2-star rating and lists it as the ‘Best Place to Play’ in Oregon.

SIGNATURE HOLE: (North) No. 8, par-5, 635 yards. It’s a long trek with water on the left-hand side and water on the right near the green. It requires accuracy. (South) No. 10, par-4, 479 yards. A rock-walled creek near the green. Water on left, bunker on right at the green.

NO. 4 COURSE: HERON LAKES/GREAT BLUE COURSE

LOCATION: Portland, Or.

DIRECTIONS FROM DOWNTOWN PORTLAND: Take I-5 north Seattle. Just before the bridge that crosses into Washington, take exit 307, N. Mariner Dr. Take a left then another left on N. Force Ave. Right on N. Victory Blvd.

PHONE: 503-289-1818

OPENED: 1992 (Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Jr.)

GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: heronlakesgolf.com

LAYOUT: Par 72, 6,916 yards (three tee positions)

LOWDOWN: What’s great about this place is it’s so close to downtown and quite affordable. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed course, with a Scottish-style flavor to it, held the 2000 U.S. Amateur Public Links.

All the greens were renovated in 2004. Bring your ball retriever because the course is filled with water hazards, especially on the back nine. It has been given a 4-star rating by Golf Digest and designated as the best place to play in Oregon in 2008 and 2009. The site also has a sister course, the 6,615-yard Greenback course, built in 1971.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 17, par-5, 523 yards. If you are right-handed, you need to control your slice. For the entire length of the hole, water is on the right-hand side. You also can’t simply just steer the drive left as there are four bunkers alongside the fairway near the landing area of your tee shot. The fairway narrows at the green with a backside bunker.

 

Booardmoor in Portland

NO. 5 COURSE: BROADMOOR

LOCATION: Portland, Or.

DIRECTIONS FROM PORTLAND: Located between I-5 and I-250, near Portland International Airport. Take NW Columbia Blvd. East toward NE 42nd Ave. Take first left on NE 42nd Ave. Turn left on NE Buffalo St. to the course.

PHONE: 503-281-1337

OPENED: 1931 (Architect: George Junior)

GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: broadmoor-1931.com

LAYOUT: Par 72, 6,404 yards (three tee positions)

LOWDOWN: The course is relatively flat with and fairly challenging, a good family kind of course. In fact, the course has stayed in the family since it was opened in 1931 so they know the value of good service. It’s convenient and affordable.

The Columbia River Slough runs through the layout and you can see glimpses of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and even Mt. Rainier. It’s a course you can score.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 9, par-4, 356 yards. A picturesque hole as you need to get you tee shot over the Columbia River Slough. The green is elevated but situation between two quite wide and mature trees. Keep it straight.

- Bob Sherwin

TOMORROW: Southern Oregon

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About Author

Bob Sherwin

Bob grew up in Cleveland, an underdog city with perennial underdog teams, and that gave him an appreciation and an affinity for the grinders in golf, guys such as Rocco Mediate, Jhonattan Vegas and star-crossed John Daly. This is the 41st year for Bob as a sportswriter, the first 34 working for newspapers throughout the west, Tucson (Daily Star), San Francisco (Examiner) and Seattle (Times), and the past seven years as a freelancer. He has covered just about every sport, including golf tournaments, Tucson Open, Bing Crosby/AT&T Pro-Am, the 1998 PGA Championship, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the annual Champions Tour Boeing Classic. He also writes articles for golf magazines. For most of his 20 years at the Seattle Times his primary beat was the Mariners. He then picked up Washington men's basketball in the winter. He also was the beat writer for the Sonics, including 1996 when they played the Bulls for the NBA title. After a lifetime hacking on public courses, he finally gave in and joined a country club in 2011, the Members Club of Aldarra near Seattle. He won't win the club championship any time soon with his 15 handicap and default-swing slice but he does have a pair of aces – 37 years apart – and in 2009 came agonizingly close to his ultimate golf goal of scoring in the 70s when he finished with an even 80. He lives in Seattle, and spends part of his winters in Marco Island, Fla.

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