by Kiki Canniff
Kaizer, OR - The natural beauty and creative golf courses in America's Northwest Corner will test the skills of most golfers. Forested hills, large trees, rugged lava fields, sagebrush filled gullies, wetlands, gorgeous lakes, rivers and desert outcroppings are all part of golf course landscapes in Oregon and Washington.
Washington Golfers See It All
Some of Washington's golf courses offer unbeatable views. You can play within sight of live volcanoes, in the shadow of towering mountains, in view of islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, beside rivers, in an alpine desert and other scenic places.
West of Seattle the San Juan Islands have three islands that offer public golf courses, Orcas, San Juan and Lopez Island. That makes the San Juan Islands a great place for island-to-island golfing. In all you'll find dozens of courses in the Seattle Area, everything from a 705 yard 9-hole par 27 course to an 18-hole course that is 7,093 yards long with a par 72.
The Tacoma Area has nearly 20 public golf courses to choose from, several are in Tacoma itself. There are also three public courses in Auburn, two in Spanaway, and one apiece in DuPont, Ft. Lewis, Puyallup, Sumner, Union and Gig Harbor. That makes Washington a great place for both Seattle and Tacoma golfers.
Washington's Suncadia Rope Rider at Cle Elum covers 7,271 yards. This is the fourth city with a course longer than 7,000 yards in Central Washington creating a great place for long-distance players.
Eastern Washington has five public courses 7,000 yards or longer. They are located in Kennewick, Moses Lake, Pullman, Richland and Walla Walla. The Kennewick Canyon Lakes Golf Course and Pullman's WSU Palouse Ridge Golf Club are among the state's highest rated courses.
Oregon Golfers Play Everywhere
At the Oregon coast you'll find lots of courses where deer, elk, waterfowl and other wildlife can be seen. The natural terrain of this area provides plenty of water hazards, hills, sand dunes and forests to keep you on your toes. Here a golfer can drive against brisk winds, play within 100 yards of the Pacific Ocean and choose from courses designed by world-class golfing legends.
One of Oregon's greatest golfing destinations is Portland, due to the sheer number of public courses found within a 30-minute drive of downtown. These include three multiple course sites.
The serious golfer will also love Central Oregon. Between Black Butte and Sunriver there are more than a dozen 18-hole public golf courses. Black Butte Ranch has two courses that are over 7000 yards in length and at the Crooked River Ranch the course plays across a 300' deep gorge.
Redmond's Eagle Crest Resort offers three 18-hole courses plus there's more courses in the city. In Bend there are four 18-hole courses and Sunriver Resort has another two public courses. Resort accommodations are plentiful too.
Eastern Oregon has public courses in eleven cities. You'll find 18-hole courses in Baker City, Milton-Freewater, Pendleton and Umatilla.
There is plenty of great golfing in Oregon and Washington. Nearly 350 course are open to the public in these two states. They charge less than $10 a game to more than $200. Many have special times when it's cheaper to play. Taking advantage of twilight, early bird, senior, junior and military discounts is one way to cut green fees; some course even let you play for 1/3 the normal rate.
KiKi Canniff is the author of The Northwest Golfer, a 2-volume series providing complete details on all of Oregon and Washington's public golf courses. Updated in 2016, books include times and seasons when you can play for discounted rates, what to expect at each course, how to make reservations, website addresses when available, easy-to-follow directions, and a whole lot more. Both books are available in print as well as eBook format; for more information visit http://onemorepress.com/OregonWashington.html.`