There’s a common misconception that for truly great golf on the West Coast, you need to head for California.
While the Golden State certainly has its fair share of incredible golf courses, in our opinion, the Pacific Northwest has them all beat. Here are our picks for the best places to spend a golf weekend in the Pacific Northwest.
Sunriver Resort Golf – Sunriver
When it comes to premium golfing in Oregon, it doesn’t get much better than Sunriver Resort. An on-site golf academy lets those interested in learning the game improve their skills on the architect-designed courses. Of course, the location in Sunriver is certainly a plus. Sitting in the shadow of Mount Bachelor to the north and Paulina Peak to the south, there’s no shortage of stunning views to enjoy as you play.
Aspen Lakes Golf Course – Sisters
Another Central Oregon course, Aspen Lakes is nestled near the town of Sisters, which itself is right near the jaw-dropping trails of the Willamette National Forest. As such, the public golf course features some amazing views of the trees, as well as the towering peak of Mount Washington. After a rousing game on the course’s 18 holes, you can treat yourself and your group to a delicious meal at Brand 33, the on-site restaurant. With both Sisters and Bend just a few miles away, however, you have plenty of options for celebrating your game!
Chehalem Glenn Golf Course – Newberg
Where better to enjoy a relaxing round of golf than in Oregon’s gorgeous wine country? The Chehalem Glenn golf course offers beautiful scenery ideal for enjoying any game, whether it’s a full 18 holes or a shorter nine-hole course. Offers like on-site lessons and free golfing for kids after 5:30 p.m. make this a fantastic option for newcomers, as well as veteran golfers looking to show the joys of the game to family and friends. Don’t worry if it rains—not only is golfing in wet weather a unique experience on its own, but Chehalem Glenn offers a five-dollar raincheck towards your next game of golf, even if you finish your round!
Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club – North Plains
Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club is Portland’s premier golfing destination, lying just 20 miles westward on a plot of pristine former farmland. The public Ghost Creek course takes advantage of the natural wetlands west of the city, creating an 18-hole course that’s both engaging to play and beautifully lush. As you play, you can admire the distant views, ranging from far-off mountains to fringes of trees with branches swaying in the wind. Afterwards, stop by the public clubhouse to kick back and relax.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort – Bandon
As the name would suggest, Bandon Dunes is located just near the town of Bandon, tucked away along the southern Oregon coast. The scenery is nothing short of breathtaking, with crashing Pacific waves, rolling sand dunes, and the shores of the beach all popping up throughout the club’s five courses. The courses themselves harken back to golf’s Scottish origins; they’re groomed just enough to make for engaging play, but have a certain roughness that you just don’t see in most modern courses.
Chambers Bay – University Place
One of the best golf courses in Washington State, the elite Chambers Bay course is worth every penny. The course hosted the prestigious U.S. Open in 2015, and it’s not hard to see why. Located on the southeastern side of Tacoma, the views are a breathtaking blend of crashing ocean waves, gently swaying trees, and distant mountains. It’s an incredible backdrop for one of the best golf courses in the Pacific Northwest.
Palouse Ridge Golf Club – Pullman
Palouse Ridge Golf Club is just near the quaint towns of Spokane and Pullman, right near the Idaho border. The course is flanked by visually striking rolling hills, offering a unique taste of eastern Washington geography that visitors who don’t make it over the mountains never see. After an exciting nine—or 18—holes of golf, backtrack to the club to celebrate. The on-site Banyans Restaurant serves up delicious colonial-inspired steakhouse fare, and makes for a perfect end to a day full of golfing.
Wine Valley Golf Club – Walla Walla
Just west of Walla Walla, the Wine Valley Golf Club is a fantastic way to enjoy the scenery of Washington’s often-overlooked southeastern region. The course itself is unique among golfing in the Pacific Northwest, trading in the heavy forests for tall grass and waving meadows. Eighteen amazing holes of golf await you, with delicious burgers and brew specials available to celebrate at the on-site restaurant on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Gold Mountain Golf Club – Bremerton
Located near Bremerton, Gold Mountain Golf Club offers more of the best golfing in Washington state thanks to its championship-level courses. The scenery highlights everything that makes the Pacific Northwest great: towering pine trees, rolling hills, and vibrant flower bushes line each of the club’s two courses. Thanks to the facility’s golf lessons, Gold Mountain Golf Club is also one of the best ways to introduce people to the sport—where better to learn the game than on a stunning course surrounded by picturesque scenery?
Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Club – Coeur d’Alene
When you’re not spending time by the sandy shores and warm waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene, you can take your time enjoying all 18 holes of the Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Club. The lightly-wooded surroundings are almost more reminiscent of a New England golf course than a western one, making for a nice change of pace if you’re visiting other courses in the area. After your game, be sure to drop by the Broken Tee Grill for a bite to eat!
McCall Golf Club – McCall
The western Idaho town of McCall offers plenty of reasons for travelers to pay it a visit. For visitors who enjoy golf, McCall Golf Club has to be near the top of the list. The tree-lined course is famous for its hazards, giving each of its three nine-hole courses an expertly-tuned challenge.
Don’t let your preconceived notions about the ideal golf course get in the way of an amazing experience. The next time you’re in the Pacific Northwest, don’t hesitate to check out a few of these fantastic courses!
Featured photo courtesy of Ryan Healy
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