Waverley Country Club
1100 SE Waverly Drive
Portland, Oregon 97222
Course Review Date – 11/4/2012
Course Reviewer – Ian Favre
I’m a big fan of H. Chandler Egan golf courses so I was really licking my chops to play the private and highly regarded Waverley Country Club in Portland, Or. Originally designed by Egan 100 years ago, Waverley recently completed a full course restoration by Gil Hanse. According to Waverley’s website, over the past 100 years the course had lost a lot of the design characteristics and elements that Egan had originally created and Hanse aimed to reapply the original design vision from a century ago. What they have is probably the best private golf course I have had the opportunity to write about.
At 6338 yards from the blue tees the course doesn’t play overly long, but uses trees, fairway and greenside bunkering, and strongly undulated greens as it’s protection. The golf course isn’t overly wooded and the recent restoration removed some additional trees, allowing the course to play a bit softer from a few teeboxes. Without debate the biggest challenges comes from avoiding the bunkers and finding a putt below the hole without 5 feet of break. The bunkers play fairly heavy, leaving most plays short with a long, high break putt to follow. It created some really tricky scoring holes where you hit a drive in play, barely find a greenside bunker and you’re knocking knees hoping that your ensuing putt won’t be a 20 foot sidewinder.
Waverley isn’t without it’s fair share of complete randomness either. A few holes out there feature bunkers that are randomly completely out of play. The 4th hole (pictured below) is a 451 yard par 5 that features a fairway bunker no more than 15 yards in front of the tee box. Doesn’t it just seem mean to penalize the golfer who duffs a tee shot on a par 5 maybe 20 yards in front of him, only to find a fairway bunker? Talk about insult to injury. There’s a couple other holes out there that are like this. A par 4 with a fairway bunker 60 yards in front of the box. Never seen anything quite like it.
The magic of Waverley is in the 3 closing holes which minus a few holes at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is the best 3 hole stretch I’ve played in Oregon or Washington. The 16th hole, the signature hole of the golf course is long (215 yards) downhill par 3 with the Willamette River and wooded hillside as the backdrop. I’d put this hole right up there with the 15th at Chamber’s Bay as the best visual golf holes I’ve played in the Northwest. The 17th and 18th hole run back to the club house and along the bank of the Willamette. Both challenging, but straight forward golf holes with obvious danger right and fairway and greenside bunkering to keep you thinking. 3 truly amazing golf holes.
* A note on the course designer: Waverley’s website lists it as “1912 H. Chandler Egan and 2012 Gil Hanse.” A bunch of third party sites I’ve looked at have it as Jack Moffitt. Not sure what’s with the discrepancy there.
Hole Specifics (click for full image):
Picture 1 – Sneaky tough, short par 4, 3rd hole. Only 347 yards from the blues, but heavy fairway bunkering on both sides and a triangle of greenside bunkers. Anything but straight or short gets you in trouble.
Picture 2 – Graveyard right off the back of the second green. Free drop off the dead.
Picture 3 – View from the 1st tee box. A straight forward, short par 4 with a fairway bunker right and a bunker guarding the front left on your approach shot. Only 324 yards from the blue tees.
Picture 4 –Ultra-narrow, 451 yard par 5, 5th hole. Ob right, tight trees left and a fairway bunker maybe 20 yards in front of the teebox. In case you decided to go gap wedge I guess. Played as a Par 4 from the tips at 463 yards. That is just wrong.
Picture 5 – House in the background was incredible…had a seaplane parked at the dock. Great view of the Willamette River from the course.
Picture 6 – November and the greens were perfect. Not overly fast but in great condition, and very challenging. Some serious knee knockers out there.
Picture 7 –9th hole with the clubhouse and proshop in the background. 119 yard par 3 with a horribly steep front bunker.
Picture 8 – Par 3, 11th hole. 156 yards with a very steep false front that eats everything that isn’t hit to the back. Anything duffed is in the drink.
Picture 9 – Tough par 3 with a brutal front bunker and a heavily undulated green. It doable, but that putting surface was tough.
Picture 10 –Gentleman playing a shot from the 18th fairway.
Picture 11 – Picture didn’t come out great, but this long, downhill par 3 was amazing. One of the best golf holes I’ve ever played. 215 yards from the blues with some bunkering short to keep you honest and the Willamette River behind the green.
Picture 12 – View from the 17th teebox which plays over top the 16th green. 16, 17 and 18 might be the best 3 hole stretch in the Northwest.
Picture 13 –The 18th Green
Picture 14 – 18th Fairway
Picture 15 – Side of 18
Golfchops.com rating: 25/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
– Service you would expect from an elite private club.
– Beautiful (blue grass) greens. Very challenging, but honest. Make putts here and you can make putts anywhere.
– Fairways look like no one plays golf here. Tee boxes, fairways, greens, hazards, bunkers, etc all in tip top shape. This place is dialed in.
– Hard to say, anything but inexpensive. It’s the oldest country club in the state and very highly regarded. I don’t think you’re losing any sleep over price if you’re a member here. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but that house across the river looks like the Taj Mahal. It’s massive.
– A couple different putting greens, excellent driving range with side practice facility, great clubhouse and proshop. Solid.