In Oregon spring can mean lots of rain and very little golf, unless you know where to find wet-weather courses. But once the sun finally breaks through the clouds, one of the best places to head for some challenging and beautiful spring and summer golf is the Oregon coast.
Some of this state’s coastal courses are truly spectacular, with oceanside holes, forested hills, gorgeous views and windswept challenges, and many are open to the public. Most offer discounted times, so golfers in the know can take advantage of reduced rates, allowing them to play even the most expensive courses for less.
Public golf courses along the Oregon coast include some pretty spectacular places; you’ll encounter courses designed by world-renowned golfers, a one-of-a-kind old-style golfing opportunity, and a course said to rival Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill, as well as a couple towns that make great golfing destinations.
Oregon’s beachside resorts, plentiful hotels and vacation homes make the coast a terrific area for anyone looking for a weekend of golf; some are situated in locations where it’s only a short drive to three or four good courses. Golfing couples will find plenty of romantic spots to stay too.
Green fees for a round of golf along the Oregon coast range from $6 to $225 per game; this area includes plenty of moderately priced courses as well as some of the state’s most expensive. Discounted rates are available; check The Northwest Golfer by KiKi Canniff for times and seasons. From north to south, coastal cities where you will find public golf courses are Gearhart, Seaside, Manzanita, Tillamook, Neskowin, Lincoln City, Gleneden Beach, Newport, Toledo, Waldport, Florence, Reedsport, North Bend, Coos Bay, Bandon and Gold Beach.
In Gearhart there are two public golf courses. These include the state’s oldest, established in 1892, as well as a quick 9-hole course; both are year-round courses where you can find some good wet-weather golf. In Seaside, the Seaside Golf Club’s second green is situated just 100 yards from the Pacific Ocean. In Manzanita you’ll find a well-groomed 9-hole course with tree-lined fairways that provide a pleasant place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Tillamook has two fairly level public golf courses; one offers a quick 9-hole game and the other is an 18-hole course with gorgeous views. Heading south, the Neskowin course floods in the winter but that’s why it’s so lush and green all summer long; save this course for later in the season. At Lincoln City the casino course is a tough one, and they have a High Definition Golf Simulator upstairs over the pro shop for rainy days.
Along the central Oregon coast golfers can play the spectacular oceanside Salishan Golf Links in Gleneden Beach, enjoy a round of golf surrounded by forests at the Agate Beach course in Newport, play a quiet family game in Waldport, and if the fog settles over the coast they can make the 7-mile drive inland where the Toledo course often provides a chance to play in the sun.
Florence has both a Rees Jones designed public course and a golf course that is built on rolling sand dunes; both offer challenging year-round golf. There’s a relatively flat summer course in Reedsport, an 18-hole year-round course in North Bend, and two interesting courses in Coos Bay. The first, Sunset Bay Golf Course, is located just east of the Bay Bridge; the Watson Ranch Golf Course sits on the site of the old Coos Country Club and includes overnight RV space for travelling golfers.
Bandon is the queen of the coast with three public golf courses – Bandon Crossing, Bandon Dunes and Bandon Face. The Crossing opened in 2007, the Dunes in 1999, and the Face has been around since 1929. The Bandon Face Golf Course was originally known as Bandon Golf Links and has the distinction of being the only golf course in the United States to offer players the opportunity to play just like the early golfers did, with authentic hickory clubs and real gutta percha balls.
And, at the southern end of the Oregon coast, Gold Beach provides a John Zoller designed year-round course with plenty of water to test your aim and occasional wildlife wandering across the fairways.
So why not consider the Oregon coast the next time the weather forecasters predict a weekend of sunny weather. With sixteen towns offering public golf, the endless beauty of the Pacific Ocean, lots of activities to keep the family busy, and the laid-back atmosphere of Oregon’s coastal towns, everyone’s sure to have a good time.