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golf membership - Pumpkin Ridge - improved drainage conditions in last 3 years ??


chainama
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I moved from North East last year and I am looking to join a private golf club - I am looking at playing whole year round as winters here are like fall of North East !

 

I am deciding between Pumpkin Ridge and Columbia Edgewater.

 

I am looking for feedback from golfers who have played Pumpkin on regular basis over the last few years specially the private course - golfers who are members of Pumpkin or non-members who have played as guests.

 

I have read threads regarding golf membership and water drainage issues and course conditions of Portland golf courses. Based on this info I had originally shortlisted the clubs to Columbia Edgewater and Willamette Valley - and had finalized my decision to join Columbia Edgewater as its the best combination of drainage, course layout and time of travel. Ideally I would have loved to join Willamette Valley Golf Club which is the best combo of drainage and course layout - but the time travel is far more than CECC

 

But last month, I decided to check out Pumpkin just so as a comparison measurement against CECC and I was surprised with course conditions. Checking on threads in this forum, I have found that ALL the information regarding Pumpkin is outdated. Ever since ownership changed to Escalante at Pumpkin 3 years ago, they have hired a new superintendent and started a program of sanding to improve the drainage. According to staff this has made a big difference to playability. They have put more effort and sand on the private course for obvious reasons and hence the private has improved much more than the public. So I would like to hear the feedback regarding the private course.

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Fortunately, you've just had a weeks worth of heavy wet weather and cool temps to be able to find out if the Witch course is playable. Call and ask for a round ASAP. If the course is playable after what we've had the last week, then you've answered the question.

"take that, you miserable little white swine!"

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Drainage is a lot more than sanding. Look at Langdon, I believe they finally added drainage on 18 which is the last hole that needed it or all others have had drainage added. If I remember correctly they added close to a mile of drainage on that one hole (or bought a mile worth of drain pipe). Part of Pumpkins issues are the land it was built on.

 

Have you looked at Portland Golf Club also? Where are you located? 26 can be a nightmare; as can I-5, at random times. Especially Saturdays in the summer when everyone is heading to the coast.

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Lots of moisture from he Pacific in this decade or two, before the draught set in.

I'd study the forecast for the Pacific Coastline before I invest in anything golf.

Last year we had a relatively dry and warm Winter, and this year we're pounded with sequence of snow storms and wet weather. Whomever bought the Winter Program had been lucky if they'll make the face value back.

Golf courses should extend their original Winter Program into the first part of Spring to make up for the weather condition, it's only business smart to try to retain some of these golfers for the future programs.

 

My personal feeling is, make it affordable for the majority of the golfers instead of worry about balancing the book at the beginning of the season. Once the chance is missed, it's gone, the sunny days won't wait, the golfers might spend the money somewhere else, the economy might slow down a predicted. Or the golf course can up the green fees and lose the volume. In the next few years will be the survival mode for most of the golf courses.

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fwiw, I played Ghost Creek three weeks ago after a short (less than a week) dry spell and I found the course to be right on the threshold of playable. Zero roll but balls weren't plugging. Any shot I hit even a little fat resulted in an explosion of sandy mud. I wasn't disappointed with the condition, considering it was January and I got a cheap tee time but idk if I'd say it was "good" for winter golf.

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I still wouldn't call either course at Pumpkin Ridge particularly well-draining. I don't know if I'd call the information outdated, but sure... there has been a small improvement. I would never join Pumpkin unless I lived and worked in Hillsboro though. Great place to peg it May-Sept though.

 

As noted above, they simply haven't had enough time for a real sanding program and done enough drainage after the ownership change. WVCC and CECC are both pretty good though. CECC is the clear choice for the better golfer though, tons of excellent players there (pros and ams alike).

 

Curiously, did you even check Royal Oaks? Oaks is a better track than Columbia, but Columbia has more golf amenities. If CECC is a much better commute for you, Oaks isn't much further either.

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I still wouldn't call either course at Pumpkin Ridge particularly well-draining. I don't know if I'd call the information outdated, but sure... there has been a small improvement. I would never join Pumpkin unless I lived and worked in Hillsboro though. Great place to peg it May-Sept though.

 

As noted above, they simply haven't had enough time for a real sanding program and done enough drainage after the ownership change. WVCC and CECC are both pretty good though. CECC is the clear choice for the better golfer though, tons of excellent players there (pros and ams alike).

 

Curiously, did you even check Royal Oaks? Oaks is a better track than Columbia, but Columbia has more golf amenities. If CECC is a much better commute for you, Oaks isn't much further either.

 

From what I have played and been told Royal Oaks has amazing greens, only behind Tacoma in the PNW.

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Thanks for all the replies.

 

My response to all the feedback and ideas :-

 

1. Yes, I did try out Royal Oaks and Willamette Valley - both have great drainage

 

2. I had decided on CECC as it was BEST combo of drainage, course layout and travel time.

 

3. I don't want to go further beyond CECC - as its ALREADY pretty far : 30 mins on good day, 40+ on average and 60+ on bad day !!

 

4. Before settling on CECC, I had completed ruled out Pumpkin because everyone had said its a swamp.

 

5. So the reason Pumpkin is attractive to me is due to the fact that its SO close - 20 min ride - pretty much guaranteed at all times, which means I would be able to play it a lot even during the weekdays!

 

6. I guess what I am looking for is the feedback from fellow golfers regarding the "trend" - if the course drainage has continuously improved over the last few years then I can look forward to course improving even further over the next few years. Please give feedback.

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The “sanding” program at Pumpkin will only get them so far. They need to actually install drainage. It may get a little better but will never be good until they do that. It’s really not possible to add enough sand. There will always be clay underneath because that is what the soil is up here and eventually the water is going to hit that layer and that’s where the problems start. You could never add enough sand to make it drain like one of the Bandon courses because those are sand based.

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My expectations are not getting close to Bandon conditions but close to Langdon farms (CECC would be asking for too much !)

 

A. But I hear that CECC and Langdon farms went through this same process about a number of years ago which made a big difference.

 

B. Yes, actual underground drainage system in key areas would be the next step - I have no idea if they would do this although they hinted at it (which means most likely no or bare minimum)

 

C. Of course, all this can only take it so far as there are limitations due to the lay of the land

 

I am hoping for it to become much better than Reserve and get closer to Langdon

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FWIW, it has taken Langdon roughly 12 years to get to where they are now. At Max they did 2 fairways a year. Not trying to argue, just give information. Part of that depends on how you want to fill in your trenches, resod or seed.

 

I’ve never heard CECC put in the conversation for best draining courses. Interesting.

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FWIW, it has taken Langdon roughly 12 years to get to where they are now. At Max they did 2 fairways a year. Not trying to argue, just give information. Part of that depends on how you want to fill in your trenches, resod or seed.

 

I've never heard CECC put in the conversation for best draining courses. Interesting.

Hi Mallrat, thanks for all your feedback - it has been informative.

I have scheduled followup rounds at Pumpkin to further evaluate it and will keep you posted on my findings.

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Additionally, other private courses which were on my initial list but I crossed out :

 

Rock Creek - too wet in winter (and too dry in summer !)

 

Reserve - too wet

 

Portland Country Club - too expensive !

 

I guess Waverly is out of the running as well:)

 

ha ha

and the fact that they don't just let anyone in ;-)

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