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Hidden Gems In The PNW


asofine

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Hi All,

 

A friend of mine is visiting the US for the first time this Summer. He's hoping to play lots of golf during his stay.

 

He's more interested in playing hidden gems than household name courses. I'm in Vancouver, Canada and am hoping to go on a 2-3 week trip with him in Washington/Oregon/Northern California.

 

I'm hoping for any recommendations of some great courses. 

 

Thanks in advance!

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Thanks for these recommendations. I'll check them out.

 

I guess I should open the kimono a bit more...

 

He and I are both YouTubers and planning on making content together. As beautiful as Bandon, Pebble et. al are, there's loads of content out there at those places. We'd love to showcase some lesser known courses. Not necessarily obscure courses or anything, but just not the same exact hit list we all know about and see all the time.

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White Horse, The Home Course.

 

Of course there's Chambers Bay.

 

Cedars at Dungeness and Sky Ridge are across from each other and couldn't be more different (one an 18 hole tree-lined course, one a 9-hole links-style built on former farmland) that could make for good content.  Not many venture out to the Olympic Peninsula for golf, but there are some fun little courses such as those mentioned above and my former home course Peninsula Golf Club.

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The Oregon loop.

 

There are around a dozen great courses in the Portland area. Pick 5.

 

Besides the Bandon complex, there are 5 other truly great courses along the Oregon coast. Not as crowded, not as expensive, often as picturesque.

 

There are 30 (at my last count) courses within an hour of Bend. If there is another place with this concentration of great courses, I don’t know it. Several are well known. Many are not. Bend is also a much nicer place to visit than the standard resort environment IMO.

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Washington-

Bellingham has some really good public golf if you're coming down I5. Loomis Trail, North Bellingham, Sudden Valley, Semiahmoo, Lake Padden fit the bill of "Hidden Gem" in my eyes.

 

South of Seattle- Gold Mountain Olympic, Salish Cliffs, McCormick Woods

 

Further down I5 toward Oregon- Tri Mountain and Camas Meadows are favorites of mine, although haven't played either in years so can't speak a ton to the conditions.

 

Gamble and Palouse on the east side for sure. Haven't played Wine Valley but it's top of my list for courses to get out to in WA that I have yet to see. Have never heard anything other than praise for that track.

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A couple hidden gems that are kind of off the beaten path would be Tokatee, Quail Run (LaPine) and Juniper. All Central Oregon tracks, none world class but all a very worthy play. In the Portland area you could check out Camas Meadows then venture over to the coast and check out Gearhart then wander down to Sand Pines (I think it’s called Florence Golf Links now).

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7 hours ago, mallrat said:

A couple hidden gems that are kind of off the beaten path would be Tokatee, Quail Run (LaPine) and Juniper. All Central Oregon tracks, none world class but all a very worthy play. In the Portland area you could check out Camas Meadows then venture over to the coast and check out Gearhart then wander down to Sand Pines (I think it’s called Florence Golf Links now).

Langdon Farms perhaps?

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It all kinda depends on your definition of "hidden."

 

Most of the tracks mentioned are not hidden to anyone who lives in the PNW, but they would almost all qualify as "hidden" to someone who hasn't lived in the region.  It's not like Scotland, where you can't swing a cat without hitting a golf course.

 

Having said that, Elk Ridge is also my pick for a hidden gem, even amongst the locals.  Probably would include Tokatee, Juniper, Eagle Point and Florence Golf Links, too.

 

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1 hour ago, kart17wins said:

Am planning a couple days in the Portland area after July 4th.

 

Please list these great courses as the only one I have ever played there is Pumpkin Ridge


 

The big 3 are probably-

 

OGA

Pumpkin Ridge

The Reserve

 

3 more that are very nice and a bit more unique perhaps 

 

Camas Meadows

Heron Lakes

Langdon Farms

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11 hours ago, spud3 said:

It all kinda depends on your definition of "hidden."

 

Most of the tracks mentioned are not hidden to anyone who lives in the PNW, but they would almost all qualify as "hidden" to someone who hasn't lived in the region.  It's not like Scotland, where you can't swing a cat without hitting a golf course.

 

Having said that, Elk Ridge is also my pick for a hidden gem, even amongst the locals.  Probably would include Tokatee, Juniper, Eagle Point and Florence Golf Links, too.

 

This.

[buzz] There are no 'hidden gems' between SF and the border, in the sense of - oh hey if you are in the neighbourhood on your way to play X you gotta check out Y & Z; there just aren't [/killington]

 

OK sure maybe some years ago Northwood and Gearhart, but Fried Egg, NLU, and the rest beat you to it. If you are looking to monetize and get clicks around golf videos, golfing in the PNW isn't it. Everything is too spread out for a start and as much as I enjoy a number of the courses mentioned here, they either aren't 'hidden' as such or really aren't anything besides the area's decent option(s).

[url="http://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTOZNxdsDKajrKxaUCRjcU8eB7URcAMpaCWN-67Bt6QG8rmBUPYW3QAQ7k87BlYizIMKJzEhuzqr9OQ/pubhtml?gid=0&single=true"]WITB[/url] | [url="http://tinyurl.com/CoursesPlayedList"]Courses Played list[/url] |  [url="http://tinyurl.com/25GolfingFaves"] 25 Faves [/url]

F.T.

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Plenty of "hidden" golf courses they just aren't that nice, or worthy of a vlog typically.

 

For example. 

 

A few weekends ago we played a 27 hole course on the south end of the Olympics, called Lakeland Village, a very well maintained course, but on the short side and pretty plain.  Based on the level of maintenance I loved it for a casual Sunday round, but would never recommend going out of your way for it. Then hidden about 20 miles from there was Lake Limerick (a 9 hole course) we combined the two for a 36 hole day. Limerick is truly hidden, but short with slippery greens running through a 1970s housing development.  Narrow with lots of trees and OB - if you break 40 your first time playing it, you are very good. Maintenance level is OK plus a little. 15 miles from there is Salish Cliffs which has wide fairways like plush carpets right now, and is definitely worthy of a  trip for all levels of golfers. Plenty of length and a good overall experience.

 

My favorite in WA, is Wine Valley. 

 

HIdden Gem in Nor Cal. Mt Shasta Resort. It is  within 10 minutes of I-5. A narrow, twisty, turny track with lots of elevation changes. Beautiful setting in mountain forest.  Maintenance just OK, but interesting layout to say the least. Lots of blind shots so playing it 2x is recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, kart17wins said:

Am planning a couple days in the Portland area after July 4th.

 

Please list these great courses as the only one I have ever played there is Pumpkin Ridge

If you've got a couple days, and have already played Pumpkin, then:

 

1. Langdon Farms

2. The Reserve

3. Heron Lakes Blue

4. Eastmoreland

 

This is assuming you are playing in the summer.  If it's wet, substitute Stone Creek for #2, and probably forget #3 and #4, as they are both munis and do not drain well, despite being fantastic layouts.

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9 hours ago, RmoorePE said:

Plenty of "hidden" golf courses they just aren't that nice, or worthy of a vlog typically.

 

For example. 

 

A few weekends ago we played a 27 hole course on the south end of the Olympics, called Lakeland Village, a very well maintained course, but on the short side and pretty plain.  Based on the level of maintenance I loved it for a casual Sunday round, but would never recommend going out of your way for it. Then hidden about 20 miles from there was Lake Limerick (a 9 hole course) we combined the two for a 36 hole day. Limerick is truly hidden, but short with slippery greens running through a 1970s housing development.  Narrow with lots of trees and OB - if you break 40 your first time playing it, you are very good. Maintenance level is OK plus a little. 15 miles from there is Salish Cliffs which has wide fairways like plush carpets right now, and is definitely worthy of a  trip for all levels of golfers. Plenty of length and a good overall experience.

 

My favorite in WA, is Wine Valley. 

 

HIdden Gem in Nor Cal. Mt Shasta Resort. It is  within 10 minutes of I-5. A narrow, twisty, turny track with lots of elevation changes. Beautiful setting in mountain forest.  Maintenance just OK, but interesting layout to say the least. Lots of blind shots so playing it 2x is recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both Mt. Shasta and Lake Shastina were terrific courses years ago when they cared more about maintenance.  

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A couple years ago I did a golf trip with friends to Medford, OR.  We played Eagle Point (Robert T. Jones, Jr.), Centennial (John Fought) and Rogue Valley CC (H. Chandler Egan).  Three great courses , by noted architects within 20 minutes of downtown Medford, and all reasonably priced.  The RVCC shouldn't be too hard to book, either through a reciprocal or just calling them up and asking.  If you can't get on RVCC, there's also an Arnold Palmer course near Klamath Falls at the Running Y Resort, about 1.5 hours east of Medford.

 

I would put all of these courses in the gem category, and they probably qualify as hidden since nobody has mentioned them yet!

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