Portland Golf Club
5900 Southwest Scholls Ferry Road
Portland, OR 97225-1299
Course Review Date: 05.14.2011
Course Reviewer – Ian
Not every day you get to play a golf course that has hosted a major championship (1946 PGA) and a Ryder Cup (1948). Maybe I was overly excited, but how many times are you going to walk in the front door of a country club and the Wanamaker and Ryder Cup trophies are staring at you. I think they winked at me and said, yeah right buddy. This place is full of history and you can feel it in the club house as much as you can see it on the walls. Ben Hogan won the 46’ PGA Championship and led the 48’ Ryder Cup team to victory at this golf course. Current tour professional Ben Crane is a member here. Man, if the course lives up to all this I am going to be floored after this round.
Portland Golf Club is old school golf at its finest and isn’t going to beat you with crazy length or tricked out features. It is very reminiscent of Tacoma Country and Golf Club where placement of your tee shot and leaving yourself a comfortable approach to the green is of the utmost importance. It’s pretty lush out there too. Tee boxes and fairways are all in incredible shape as if the track hasn’t been played by a soul in a month. The greens are all in superb condition and roll as smooth as can be. Amazing to think that this golf course lost all 18 greens just 20 months ago. Without knowledge of it, I would not have had a clue. In the summer, when this course gets to bake in the sun a little, those poa greens will be lightening fast. This is a very playable golf course as well, where people of all skill levels can enjoy themselves. The majority of the holes provide plenty of landing room for tee shots and the greens are very receptive to approaches.
If I am making it sound easy, well that is just a blatant lie. Any course that has a slope of 143 from the tips and is only 6703 yards is going to be tough. How many “easy” Robert Trent Jones golf courses have you played? Just to give you a measuring stick on that slope, Chamber’s Bay has a slope of 142 from the tips. The back nine is the real nails of this course and displays a lot of the golf courses’ character, but the front 9 has one extremely cool feature. The green for hole number 9 sits right in front of the clubhouse dining area where given the right time of day, is packed with members enjoying dinner. Make an extra nice putt and you can expect some nods and claps from your dining audience. Hit a chip off the hosel, or try a ridiculous flop shot over a tree you have no business doing and you can expect a chuckle from the crowd.
The back 9 starts you off with a reachable 509 yard Par 5 but I wouldn’t even think about going for my friends. A greenside bunker on the right and a creek on the left gobble up any missed approaches to this green. Trust me, you want a wedge in your hands. After number 10, hole 12 is a 208 yard, par 3 that I think is as tough as they come. Trees and out-of-bounds to the left and a green surrounded by 4 bunkers (see picture below). And, to finish you off you get to battle a 558 yard, par 5. This hole features bunkers left and right to gobble up any wayward drives, and 4 greenside bunkers to chew up anyone brave enough go for it….after a 300 yard or more tee shot I assume. Excellent finishing hole.
This is truly country club golf at its finest, and one that is owned by the members, not a seperate management company. In other words, they spend some bucks to make this thing immaculate and don’t necessarily have to worry about some of the budget constraints other courses might have. If you do get a chance to play here, enjoy yourself. I’m hard pressed to say I have ever played a course that is kept in more prisistine condition as the Portland Golf Club.
A big thank you to the staff at Portland Country Club for having me out to play, especially the first assistant Matt Favre. Thanks brother!
Golfchops.com rating: None
* No scoring as I couldn’t do it without an obvious bias. Could you publicly critique a course your brother worked at?
Customer Service: N/A
Condition of Greens: N/A
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: N/A
– The greens were fantastic. They have some new ones that just opened that are a touch slower than others, but all of them look and play great.
– Remarkable is the only way to describe the condition the course was in.
– Value unknown, but can’t imagine it’s cheap ;)
– Smallish driving range, excellent putting and chipping areas, beautiful clubhouse. Didn’t check for PBR :)