Pumpkin Ridge Ghost Creek
12930 NW Old Pumpkin Ridge Rd.
North Plains, OR 97133
Review Date: 4/28/2013
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre
Having previously enjoyed the wonder that is the private 18 holes at Pumpkin Ridge (Witch Hollow), I was pretty excited to enjoy this random 70 degree weather and give the public side of Pumpkin a whirl. Ghost Creek undoubtably gets its name from the secret squirrel creek that meanders through the majority of the golf course and without much warning decides to eat up random tee shots that you think you have delivered to a safe and happy home. Definitely a golf course that takes a couple rounds to understand, Ghost Creek is fair while still being somewhat punishing and demands the absolute best of your short game on every hole. Without putting a lot of thought into club selection and tee shot placement, a first timer at Ghost Creek can find quite a few issues, so take your time and pick your spots to play aggressively.
Pre-round you’re greeted with a $90 greens fee (walking) which all things considered wasn’t too bad for the quality of golf we were about to enjoy. The fee does include range balls (thank you) and access to the practice facility which features a beautiful and very fast putting green. On to the first tee where you are immediately distracted by what looks like a super tough water carry approach shot to the 9th green on your right. Crafty…get me thinking about an approach shot 9 holes ahead of me. Hit that shot in the water by the way. Ugh. From the blue tees at Ghost Creek we were looking at a reasonable 6386 yards and a 72.1 rating/139 slope. She really feels like two different course packed into one 18. On one hand you get the wide open first hole where you can almost hit it anywhere off the tee and still have a reasonable approach to the green, but after that you work your way into ever tightening surroundings in the forest. Pretty cool contrast and use of the natural landscape really. By the time you reach the 4th hole you are playing golf in the middle of the forest.
It doesn’t take long, depending on your skill level of course, to determine that the rough is pretty damn penal out here. According to Jason, who I was playing with, it wasn’t quite as long as the last time he was out here, but the ball definitely buried down in there and you were either stuck smashing it out as hard as your can swing or watching a total flyer explode and fly 15 yards past the green. Basically, that rough was some difficult business, hence my previous statement about club selection. Keep the ball in the fairway out here. More than anything you want the opportunity to get the ball to the greens as quickly as possible because they are nothing short of awesome. Easily some of the best public golf course putting surfaces I have ever seen. Maybe the best. Fast, smooth as a pool table and as healthy as you will find anywhere. As someone who’s favorite part of the game is putting, I was in paradise. It was the 3 or 4 shots it was taking me to get to that point that was ruining my day 🙂
Favorite Hole: Probably the previously mentioned 443 yard, 9th hole that immediately stands out from the the first tee. Creek running up the right hand side, then cutting across through the fairway to the large water hazard awaiting your approach. Some additional fairways bunkers to the left to keep you honest and a head wind to make sure you have about 200 in. Jason and I both hit great drives with the wind knocking them down leaving us 210 in. Full water carry at 210 with a head wind? That’s a tough shot for the average joe. The hillside that slopes from the green to the water didn’t help my cause either. Very cool, very tough golf hole.
Click on Pictures to Enlarge:
Picture 1: Putting Green at Pumpkin Ridge Ghost Creek. Spend some time here because the greens are fast and short game is a must out here.
Picture 2: Solid driving range that is included in greens fees. Lots of targets and yardage marked off for you.
Picture 3: Deer all over the place the whole round.
Picture 4: The par 3, 3rd hole. Pretty straight forward, 158 yard par 3 from the blues…depending on pin placement. We caught the lucky day where is was placed directly behind the front greenside bunker.
Picture 5: Whew, the par 3, 5th hole. Home of an absolute monster green and playing at 205 from the blue tees. A slight wind and a tucked pin put it around 215-220 with the pin tucked far left. A fun shot because it seems so easy to make such a large green, but an easy 3 putt or more when left in the wrong spot. A really cool and wicked golf hole.
Picture 6: Teebox view of the 18th hole. Very similar to the 9th hole, wind in your face, long iron or more in your hand to carry. A scorecard wrecker for sure. Another hole at Ghost Creek that demands your absolute best tee to green.
Summary: Honestly one of the better golf courses in Washington or Oregon I have had the privilege of playing. Design was unique, challenging, and I’m always a fan of places that make you think instead of just hacking away. The greens were in remarkably nice condition and don’t be surprised to see chips and putts rolling many feet by the cup all day long. Tee to green the place was spotless and in tip top shape. Pace of play was excellent for a 2 some as we rarely waited on the 4 some playing in front of us (how impressive is that). Well worth the $90 green fee any day.
Golfchops.com rating: 24/25
Customer Service: 4
Condition of Greens: 5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
– Really friendly staff out here. A bit of a hard sell on the “Ghost Pass” but I guess it saves you cash out there.
– Perfect. Absolutely perfect greens.
– Very very obviously well maintained golf course. They’ve hosted big time tournaments here for a reason.
– The $90 tag is typically more than we like, but this was some seriously quality golf.
– Very nice practice facility featuring a good range and an excellent putting green. Cart service on the golf course a couple times. Chipping green and practice bunker available.