A ‘Must Play’ on Any Ore­gon Golf Itin­er­ary

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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 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.pump­kin­

Witch Hol­low Hole #3

Ghost Creek at Pump­kin Ridge Golf Club

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