Plus: OREGON'S PUMPKIN RIDGE GOLF CLUB
A ‘Must Play’ on Any Oregon Golf Itinerary
Oregon appeals to golfers, travelers, and golf-travelers on so many levels. Bandon Dunes, the resorts and courses of Bend, and the Portland metro area combine to create one of the country’s truly great golf “triangles” tailor made for a multi-day sojourn.
Meanwhile, oenophiles revel in the Willamette Valley’s numerous wineries -- many boasting world-class Pinot Noir – while craft brew lovers flock to the state that many credit with starting the microbrewery movement in earnest.
Aforementioned Portland and its convenient, clean and downright entertaining airport (PDX) serve as the perfect hub for a golf trophy-hunting trek to the Beaver State. And whether in search of a place to tee it upon arrival, or on the tail-end of an Oregon swing, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club beckons.
Located only 30 minutes from PDX in North Plains Pumpkin Ridge opened in 1992 amid golf’s national building boom. The 36hole facility has forged a well-deserved reputation as one of the Pacific Northwest’s iconic golf destinations. This is due in large part to the club’s impressive architectural pedigree, beautiful setting and strong tournament heritage.
The Ghost Creek (daily fee) and Witch Hollow (private) courses were both designed by former Golf World “Golf Course Architect of the Year” Bob Cupp, with input from Portland-native and former protégé John Fought.
A par 71, 6,871-yard course, Ghost Creek meanders through wetlands punctuated by lush stands of trees. Undulating fairways, immaculate greens, strategic bunkering and the ever-present Ghost Creek are other hallmarks. It is recognized as one of the top eight courses in Oregon by Golf Digest, GOLF Magazine and Golfweek, and ranked 56th in GOLF Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses You Can Play.”
Holes like the par-5 eighth (with its postage stamp-sized green) and par-4 ninth (which many believe is the most difficult hole on the entire property) make a round at Ghost Creek one to remember.
Moreover, the course has hosted its share of significant tournaments. David Duval took his burgeoning professional career to new heights when he conquered it to win the 1993 NIKE TOUR Championship. LPGA stars Suzann Pettersen and Ai Miyazato topped the Safeway Classic leaderboard during its four-year run. Ghost Creek also hosted the 2000 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and 2000 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, giving Pumpkin Ridge the rare honor of hosting five different USGA Championships in a 10-year period.
Not to be outdone, sister track Witch Hollow is perhaps best known as the site of Tiger Woods’ dramatic comeback over Steve Scott to capture the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship.
The 7,017-yard par 72 has been ranked in Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Courses,” GOLF Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses in the U.S.” and Golfweek’s “Best Modern Courses.” Set in the shadows of the scenic Tualatin Mountains, the layout is well-defended by mature fir, maple, oak and ash trees.
In addition to the aforementioned U.S. Amateur, it has hosted many other prestigious championships like the 1997 and 2003 Women’s U.S. Opens and 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Witch Hollow is also the current venue for the season-ending WinCo Foods Portland Open where the top 25 Web.com players are awarded PGA TOUR status.
For those who fall in love with the outstanding golf, gorgeous setting and exemplary service at Pumpkin Ridge, Witch Hollow offers a variety of memberships. They include full golf, business, junior executive and non-resident options.
When play is completed for the day, Ghost Creek’s beautiful modern clubhouse serves as a welcoming focal point for dining and special events, with its understated décor, comfortable furnishings and some of the best casual dining in the area. Numerous windows afford stunning golf course views and the fully-stocked golf shop features the latest in Nike merchandise and apparel. Champion’s Grille, recognized by many as the place with the best burgers in town, serves breakfast all day and stocks a full bar.
As one would expect from a world-renowned mid-size city, hotel options abound in nearby Portland. Luxury lovers flock to Hotel Monaco and RiverPlace, while the trendy crowd might opt for the Jupiter or Ace hotels. For those on an extended stay, outdoor and indoor activities are nearly endless in the Rose City. Multnomah Falls showcases the power and beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. Less adventurous types can simple wonder the street of downtown and enjoy its vast collection of coffee shops, bookstores and craft breweries.
Escalante Golf, a Fort Worth, Texas-based boutique owner-operator of high-end clubs and courses, recently acquired a controlling interest in Pumpkin Ridge and promises to make a great facility even better.
For more information: www.pumpkinridge.com.
Witch Hollow Hole #3