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Playing Salishan in a month.


bobby.uchida
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I played there for the first time last week. I enjoyed myself, but the course didn't quite meet my (admittedly pretty high) expectations. I will say, everyone was super friendly and the customer service was great. It felt like management and the players were taking COVID-19 seriously, which was a relief. Lot of people wearing masks around the clubhouse area and driving range.

Course is very much a tale of two nines. Front is hilly and tight. You will lose a lot of balls. I think I lost three on the first hole alone (...I guess I need to do a better job warming up in the future). There is a lot of housing (across both nines), but the land (and housing) is so varied that I didn't find it to be an issue; it didn't feel like you were playing through a subdivision.

Back nine is more coastal. It's not oceanside, but it feels like you're near the ocean. The gnarled trees drip with moss, you can feel the salt air, it's pretty breezy. It's a nice environment to play golf in.

Course was in pretty decent shape. Greens were good. Bunkers were in nice shape. I couldn't identify the fairway grass, but it's not super manicured or consistent. It's sorta patchy, almost scrubby grass cut short. It was fine, but not your typical fairway. The course was a bit soft in places (mostly in areas of the rough), but apparently they've had a lot of rain recently.

I think I what was lacking for me was the holes. There were some good ones – 1, 9, 10, 15, 16, 18 – but a lot of them are just sorta unremarkable with minimal design (and not necessarily in the good way). The course was pretty penal, and you can easily lose a ball on pretty much every hole. You don't even need to mishit the ball that much. I shot a terrible score and thought I played terrible, but when I looked at my scorecard later I realized I actually had parred a majority of holes. I just also had an ungodly number of triple bogeys (and a 10 on the first hole). A bunch of times I just clipped pine trees that were leaning into the fairway and then never saw my ball again. Which is fine, I should have played better. But it's hard.

The setting was definitely the best thing about the course. It's worth playing, but it's not a course I'd pay $100 for. They have some solid twilight deals, so that's when I'd play.

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From what I'd seen online, I was expecting one of the better non-Bandon, non-top tier Bend courses in the state. But on my personal ranking of Oregon courses, I put it 15 out of the 30 I've played. It's not bad, but your enjoyment primarily comes from the setting, not the course.

So yeah, your assessment was more accurate than mine.

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I am hoping to play somewhere along the Oregon coast at the beginning of August. This was good information. As much as I would like to play Bandon, I don't think there is a chance I can get that far south.

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  • 1 month later...

Where are you coming from?  You will be adding quite a bit of driving.  Gearhart to Bandon is about a 5 hour trek, all on 101, which while stunning, can be a real nightmare if you get behind the wrong RV.  If you're leaving from Portland, that's adding about two hours to the drive to Bandon. And Tokatee is about an hour off I-5 to the east, so you're adding two more hours of driving.  An alternative would be Emerald Valley , which is very close to I-5 and about the same level of interesting as Tokatee (minus the good views of the mountains).  +1 on Langdon.  Arguably the best public course in the state, and right off I-5.

 

While Gearhart may be worth the effort (though a bit over-priced), Ocean Dunes is not.  Play Florence Golf Links (formerly Sandpines) instead.  Rees Jones designed and far more interesting.

 

Having said all that, I'll take an extra round on one of the Bandon courses over all of them....

"take that, you miserable little white swine!"

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16 hours ago, spud3 said:

Where are you coming from?  You will be adding quite a bit of driving.  Gearhart to Bandon is about a 5 hour trek, all on 101, which while stunning, can be a real nightmare if you get behind the wrong RV.  If you're leaving from Portland, that's adding about two hours to the drive to Bandon. And Tokatee is about an hour off I-5 to the east, so you're adding two more hours of driving.  An alternative would be Emerald Valley , which is very close to I-5 and about the same level of interesting as Tokatee (minus the good views of the mountains).  +1 on Langdon.  Arguably the best public course in the state, and right off I-5.

 

While Gearhart may be worth the effort (though a bit over-priced), Ocean Dunes is not.  Play Florence Golf Links (formerly Sandpines) instead.  Rees Jones designed and far more interesting.

 

Having said all that, I'll take an extra round on one of the Bandon courses over all of them....

 

Have had to cancel our trip but hope to reschedule at some point. Coming from Australia through Vancouver. So the 3/4 days driving south along the coast gives us time to adjust to the PNW and the time zone. I have mentioned the plan elsewhere but its Chambers Bay, Gearhart and maybe Florence. A week at Bandon, then Tokatee, Langdon and Salish Cliffs on the return.

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  • 10 months later...

Playing this Saturday and having a hard time choosing between Florence and Trysting Tree (staying in Newport for a wedding and both are within an hour). Any recommendations between the two? I considered Salishan but seems to be narrow and penal. Thinking to rule that out as I’m playing with a higher handicap and want to enjoy ourselves.

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It's really a tossup.  Both good courses, but different feels.  FGL is links-y, but not on the water.  TT is park-like, but has quite a bit of open.  TT probably easier, but not by much.

 

Kinda comes down to whether you want sea breezes and sandy lies or big maples and lusher fairways.  Very different drive to get to each, as well

"take that, you miserable little white swine!"

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Florence is a fun course. Strong coastal vibes. Parts of it are open and links-y but there is also a lot of water and some tree lines holes. You can't help but feel the design could have been better than what it is, with the location it has, but it's still enjoyable. Last time I played there – August 2020 – the greens were extremely slow. 

 

Trysting Tree is also very open, with the occasional large tree. The design itself isn't super exciting but it has some nice holes and I think the course is generally underrated among Oregon folks. It's in a flood plain, so all the greens are elevated and there is very little sand. Bring a good short game; if you miss a green by a little bit, your ball is going to get kicked down and away and you'll have a challenging chip back to the green. Trysting Tree is usually in phenomenal shape – I think the OSU agricultural school is responsible for its upkeep (or something like that). 

 

Personally, if I had 10 rounds to play, I'd play Florence 7 times and Trysting Tree 3 times.

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