Depending on whom you ask, golf is either “a good walk spoiled” or as Chi Chi Rodriguez noted, “Golf is the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off.” Whichever camp you land in, the Oregon Coast has plenty of amazing golf courses (or walking areas) to choose from.
Seaside Golf Club, tucked behind the cove on the south side of town, is a scenic 9-hole course with a 90 year history. Designed by renowned American golfer and golf course architect, H. Chandler Egan, it is an established recreational hub in the area. This club is open 365 days a year (weather permitting) and is open sun up to sun down. This course is family friendly and there are no pre-booked tee times. A low handicap golfer will find this course less challenging, but visitors still think this is a fun way to spend a few hours.
The Gearhart Golf Links “The oldest golf course west of the Mississippi” opened around 1888, with three holes of true links-style golf. Over the years, it has expanded to the 18 holes it boasts of now, and is both cart and walker friendly. Although assertions are that players will enjoy a variety of links-style holes and small, fast greens, plan to spend around four hours on this golf course. Accommodations can be secured through three different Stay and Play Packages: The Gearhart Hotel (on site); Gearhart by the Sea; and the Gearhart Ocean Inn are all great places to relax and unwind after a day on the greens.
Heading down Hwy 101, Salishan Spa and Golf Resort in Gleneden Beach will “wow” you with their top caliber par 71 course. This lovely area is surrounded by lush, green old growth timber and sits atop a rise overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On-site Pro Mark Swift is available to fit you with rental clubs and offers guests lessons on their year round driving range or practice green. Once you’ve enjoyed an energizing spell on the 18-hole course, enjoy a lovely glass of Oregon wine as you relax on the balcony of one of the 205 guest rooms or suites. Or pamper yourself by choosing one of the many spa treatments that await you in their serene spa area. Finally, you can round out your evening with gourmet, locally grown produce and fresh seafood choices or sit down to casual, family style dining, depending on your style.
Olalla Valley Golf Club, home of the All Day Play, is sheltered from the high coastal winds and weather and sits just outside Toledo (six miles east of Newport on Hwy 20). This regulation 9-hole golf course with a slope of 127 and a USGA course rating of 34.6 will test your mettle. Olalla Valley Golf Course features three sets of tees for different skill levels. Lessons and clinics are offered for both adults and children. Once you have had your fill of golf, head back into Newport for an amazing selection of seafood options at one of their many eateries. With over 1,700 lodging rooms throughout the city, visitors will have many choices for overnight accommodations.
Windswept sand dunes and towering pines surround the Sandpines Golf Links near Florence. The 18-hole course contains beautiful fairways and greens, interlaced with ponds, natural grasses and groves of trees. Golf Digest gave them the nod with a 4½ -Star Rated ”Places to Play in the USA.” The clubhouse includes Tavolo Restaurant & Lounge and guests will revel in the breathtaking views as well as the first-rate culinary offerings. Lodging partners such as Three Rivers Hotel and Casino and Driftwood Shores add to the whole coastal golf experience.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort follows the spirit of Scotland’s ancient links. The modern game of golf goes back to Scotland in the 15th century and this resort offers traditional links courses. Bandon Dunes presents its players with rugged shoreline, grassy dunes and five distinctly different courses, all within a natural environment. Although you can secure caddy services, do not plan on riding a golf cart. Those are not allowed at this property nor can you sport any foot gear other than soft spike shoes. Overnight stays are varied, with single accommodations at the Lodge and Inn, to roomy four bedroom cottages….and when you’ve worked up a healthy appetite, choices from traditional pub fare with local microbrews to Pacific Northwest cuisine and a fine wine, tempt the most discerning of tastes.
So, whether you are a scratch golfer or a self-described hacker, the Oregon coast is a wonderful place to work on your game…and if you can include a few nights enjoying panoramic views, relishing culinary delights and relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of your day to day life, well…what are you waiting for?!
Submitted by: Kim Voetberg