Rose City Golf Course

Rose City Golf Course, in Northeast Portland, is a classic municipal course with a parkland feel. Nestled into a charming old neighborhood, it’s common to see the surrounding trails and park benches being utilized by residents. Opened in 1923, Rose City is the second oldest course in the city, and has a throwback feel with traditional features. Like the Wrigley Field of Portland public golf, there’s a vintage quality here that is easy to appreciate, even if evidence of its age exists. The handsome brick clubhouse is a signature to Rose City’s historic appeal. The abundant rows of old growth trees are a staple to the traditional style this course was founded upon, and adequately symbolize the long history of these grounds. Perhaps the easiest of Portland’s municipals, Rose City is a fun, affordable course for all golfers.

Rose City Golf Course is a regulation length track, but modest in distance. The front nine is a warm-up to the back nine, as shorter distances and minimal water make it user friendly for finding a groove. The back nine has several water hazards, and is a bit longer and no less narrow. The heavily tree-lined fairways are the biggest obstacle throughout the entire course, and provide risk-and-reward decisions. There’s a diverse array of trees ready to knock down ball flights and alter shot angles. If you can successfully navigate past them, you will be in good shape to score. The greens at Rose City are relatively simple and flat. Perhaps their toughest attribute is large surface areas, creating potential demand for accurate lag putts. In season, they can firm up and roll quite fast for their purpose. But they are otherwise average in speed and condition and modest in difficulty.

Rose City Golf Course is a good course for practicing while you play because the practice amenities are otherwise limited. There’s a small putting green outside the attractive clubhouse, but no driving range. There is however a small practice area off the 4th fairway with a few old tires for targets, where locals attempt to perfect their mid-iron game. The clubhouse contains the pro shop with it’s small supply of merchandise, as well as a snack bar and restaurant.

Rock Creek Country Club

Rock Creek Country Club in the Westside suburban outskirts of Portland, OR is a private community course with a classic parkland setting. Play is primarily reserved for club members, although open tee times are available throughout the day through GolfNow. Built in the 1950’s, Rock Creek has a bit of a throwback feel. Thanks to modern day improvements in drainage and maintenance, Rock Creek has overcome the challenges of the wet climate, restoring itself to its long-standing country club standards. If you hold quality putting surfaces in the highest regard when it comes to course characteristics, then Rock Creek, which is highlighted by some of the purest and fastest greens in the area is sure to meet your mark. Surrounded mainly by homes and single-filed tree lines, the overall layout is rather straightforward and understated. It is the well-kept grounds and tour quality greens that have this middle aged golf course operating in its prime. Factor in some narrow fairways and respectable length, and Rock Creek provides players with a true test of golf while withstanding its own test of time in the lineage of Portland and Northwest golf.

Rock Creek Country Club is a great walking course as it is primarily flat with some gradual sloping. The course plays pretty tight due to lots of tree lines and out of bounds in the form of residential property. The trees are mainly single-filed, making them manageable to recover from and definitely a better miss than the O/B property lines. Aside from the tight layout, there is little in the way of hazards. There are green side bunkers on most holes but nothing in the way of directional bunkers en route to the greens. The traps that do exist are well placed and protect the greens which vary in difficulty. While some of the greens are welcoming with front-to-back slopes or larger surface areas, many of the greens can be difficult to approach due to smaller sizes or well-designed shapes and builds. In peak season, the fast and firm surfaces make it all the more difficult to hone in on the pins. Moderate slopes and tiers create some obvious breaks to contend with, but subtle breaks on these fast greens are also a challenge to look forward to. Hit the line and respect the speed and you will enjoy some of the truest rolls of any course, young or old in the area.

RedTail Golf Course

RedTail Golf Course is a long, challenging course in Beaverton, OR, and a very popular facility for golfers of Portland’s west side suburbs. Formerly known as Progress Downs, this city course was renamed as RedTail in 1999 after a significant course renovation, and other changes. What was once moderately difficult is now one of the toughest public courses in Oregon. The renovation transformed RedTail from a traditional, municipal course with simple and flatter landscapes, to one that has more shape and better incorporates the rolling hills of its terrain. There is a lot of natural beauty despite it’s busy suburban surroundings. This course is enjoyed by all types of golfers, but it’s downright tough. Sharpen your game at RedTail, and you will enjoy the results when you visit the next golf course. Utilizing RedTail’s practice facilities, which are arguably the best available to Portland’s public, is highly recommended and will likely seem like a no-brainer after playing a round here.

RedTail Golf Course has a bit of everything in regards to challenging features and trouble areas. The holes here are very long. There are several large water features providing danger for over half of the holes. Much of the course is lined with large trees and plotted with fairway traps. Some of the more open holes are arguably the toughest, due to tough layouts amid water and sand. Many of the greens are guarded by deep set bunkers, knolls and steep sides. They can become very firm in the summer, and roll moderately smooth for the amount traffic they support. A few notable holes at RedTail, includes the 589 yard Par 5 7th, and the Par 4 11th and 15th that average 421 yards; all three bend around or cut through water hazards and are filled with trees and sand. Considering its purpose and heavy usage as a municipal course, RedTail is kept in fair shape and can be a beautiful place to play during peak season.

As an overall golf facility, RedTail Golf Course really shines. The double decker driving range is very wide, providing space for two long rows of hitters. They have a large putting green near #1. They also have a very nice chipping green near #9, as well as another little putting green. An additional short game area is in the works. The pro shop is large and has a big selection of equipment and merchandise. They also have a quality club fitting station off the pro shop at the end of the range. In the summer, they have outdoor tent sales. At the turn, Bunkers Bar & Grill is a great place to grab food while you’re golfing. The Stockpot, a classic local restaurant and RedTail’s unofficial 19th hole, has excellent food, drinks and company.

Quail Valley Golf Course

Quail Valley Golf Course, in Banks, OR provides a great links course in a rural setting. Once farm grounds itself, Quail Valley provides views of neighboring farmsteads, including a scenic silo on the back 9. Naturally, the grounds are flat, yet they lie at the foot of neighboring hills and vineyards, east of the coastal range. Also visible is a panoramic view of Portland’s west hills and a peering Mt. Hood in the distance. Quail Valley is user friendly for any golfer, and provides good scoring opportunities mixed with some real challenges that will test all. When you factor in the great upkeep of the course, Quail Valley weighs in as one of the better values for fun, quality golf in the Portland area.

Quail Valley Golf Course is a links course in every sense. The hole layouts are very open with minimal trees; mainly of the small, landscaped variety. Aside from the out of bounds perimeter of the grounds, the trouble areas lie within water, sand and some wild grasses. Large ponds and wetland areas are present on most holes, and are the biggest threat to the safekeeping of your golf ball. Tall grasses have also been known to consume errant shots, but at times, these areas are cut down and are less of a factor. Avoid these dangers, and Quail Valley is otherwise very playable for all skill levels. While the holes are relatively forgiving to inaccuracy, the same cannot be said for the greens. Common to many links courses, mindful putting is a must, and in essence, that goes for many approach shots too. The greens are well-guarded by bunkers and water, and their surfaces boast some dramatic ridges and breaks. Although Quail Valley sees typical saturation in the offseason, the greens remain in fantastic shape, and always roll smooth.

Quail Valley Golf Course is also a great place to tune up your game with their full practice facility. The driving range has grass surface hitting, as well as a covered area for rainy times. The ample practice green is good for warming up your putting and chipping stroke, and is well representative of the putting you will enjoy in play. And there is an additional practice green with bunkers, primarily used for chipping. In the clubhouse there is a café/grill and dining lounge, as well as standard merchandise.

Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek)

Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, in North Plains, OR, is a signature course for world class golf in the Northwest. Pumpkin Ridge is comprised of two championship style 18 hole courses; Witch Hollow and Ghost Creek. Witch Hollow is for members only and is a well known course on a national level. In 1996, Tiger Woods won his third and final US Amateur championship here, prior to turning pro and signing with Nike in nearby Beaverton. In 1997 & 2003, Witch Hollow hosted the Women’s US Open. Ghost Creek, Pumpkin Ridge’s public side, rivals its exclusive counterpart in most areas. There is no discernible difference in the level of quality and beauty between the two courses, only the perceived allure of Witch Hollow’s storied past. Ghost Creek is carved into the same forested and wetland setting with the same vision and level of care. Every aspect of the course plays to the tune of the surrounding beauty and is wonderfully laid out amid its natural elements.

Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club’s Ghost Creek course provides a full array of challenges and fantastic scenery. Don’t be fooled by the wide open layout of the 1st and 10th holes, visible from the clubhouse. They may be a friendly invitation to swing aggressive, but from then on, nature brings on more restrictions. As you head toward the forested areas of Ghost Creek, fairways narrow, tree lines impede and wetlands are plentiful. If you land the fairways you will enjoy hitting off their extremely short cut. Beyond that, the rough is thick and often plotted with deep set bunkers or various forms of water hazards. Rolling terrain, large knolls and some fairway-side embankments can create awkward lies, which are welcomed versus penalty drops out of protected wetlands. The greens at Pumpkin Ridge are immaculate. They are intricately engineered and heavily defended. Short of the putting surfaces themselves lies the challenge of avoiding the bunkers, creeks, ponds, and unleveled surrounding terrain next to them. Once you’re past these neighboring nuances, your focus must turn toward their lightning fast speeds and sharp slopes with an undivided attentiveness. From tee to green, Ghost Creek is very tough, but playing here is a true privilege that not even the worst of rounds can interfere with.

Playing Ghost Creek at Pumpkin Ridge

The first hole begins the challenging front nine at Pumpkin Ridge. A straightaway and particularly open Par 4, the first hole may be the most scorable on the front. Hole #2 is one of the tightest holes on the golf course. A tee shot to the right half of the fairway is ideal, since a large tree may block approach shots from the left. The 3rd Hole at Pumpkin Ridge is a long Par 3 with plenty of trouble surrounding the green, and requires a lengthy carry to a two tiered green. The next hole  #1 Handicap and well earned. The fourth hole at Ghost Creek is long Par 5 and the definition of a three shot hole. From tee box to green, everything feeds to the left with three unique tiers moving right to left. The green also includes three tiers on a long green, meaning you may be looking at a very long putt if you don’t stick it close. Par is a great score on this hole.

Another long Par 3 awaits you on #5 before reaching #6, the shortest Par 4 on the front nine. Many players choose to leave the driver in the bag, opting for a safer shot to the widest part of the fairway. Your approach into the smallest green on the course can be tricky as the entry into this green is miniscule. Hole #7 is one of the most instantly recognizable holes on the golf course, featuring grass mounds in the long fairway bunkers lining the left side of the fairway.  Tee shots missed right can make this a three shot hole. The 8th Hole is a downhill Par 5 reachable in two, although the slender green puts a premium on accuracy. An extremely challenging hole finishes the front nine at Ghost Creek. A small creek runs along the right hand side of the fairway before cutting the hole in half. Only the biggest hitters will be able to clear the stream, leaving the rest of us with a long iron coming in. The green is fairly large with a few bends and turns, but the main challenge on this hole is getting there in one piece.

The back side of Ghost Creek begins with a Par 5 reachable in two for heavy hitters. Tall grass awaits stray balls to the left hand side, but overall the hole is fairly wide open. Hole 11 is the first of three Par 3′s on the back nine and is a straightaway mid-iron hole. Put your tee shot on the green and par should be in your reach. The location of the tee box at 12 can dictate your play on this severe dogleg right. A shortcut over the trees on the left hand side is possible, but can leave you with no look at a second shot if you don’t make it. Hole #13 is a straight yet uphill Par 4. Players will generally have a short iron into this green, but don’t miss long. The longest Par 3 on the course awaits next and plays longer than it appears, particularly into a westerly wind. Many players will need a fairway wood to reach the green.

The longest Par 3 is followed by the longest Par 5 on the course (from all tee boxes but Black). Requires three nice shots to get to the green in one place. Hole #16 is he shortest hole on the course, but trouble surrounds the green. Left is bad. Right is trouble. Long isn’t better. The only place you can leave the ball off the green is short right. Hole #17 follows and is the shortest Par 4 on the course. Many have been penalized for attempting to drive the green. The closing hole at Pumpkin Ridge is as difficult a hole you will encounter on the grounds. A wide open tee shot allows you to go after your tee shot, but shots left will be knocked down and extend the hole. A long approach awaits most players with a large lake on the right. The safe play is left, while the scoring play is over the water. A large two-tiered green offers a nice challenge to end your day.

Oregon City Golf Club

Oregon City Golf Club at Lone Oak, in the namesake city of the Greater Portland area, is a simple, yet classic local course established in the 1920s. Modest distances serve as the primary factor in making Oregon City a user-friendly experience for all skill levels and a popular venue among Clackamas County golfers. Furthermore, the course is compact with closely aligned holes and minimal hazardous areas within, so inaccuracy rarely results in lost balls. Despite a fairly basic design, Oregon City offers some fun holes and incorporates a full mix of features, even if in sparing fashion. Tree-lined layouts are about the only constant, but there’s also enough of everything else to constitute Oregon City as a complete test of golf.

Oregon City Golf Club provides a mix of flat and rolling terrain throughout. The first few holes to each side are rather cut-and-dry with flat ground, fairly straight layouts and tree-lined roughs. As you progress, the course has a bit more to offer in the character category. Some of the parametric holes border and/or dogleg around thicker areas of trees. And other man-made features exist, like some fountained water features and well-placed bunkers. But like many Northwest courses, trees are the most likely cause of trouble, mainly of the single-file old growth type, as opposed to wild, wooded areas. Water is present on just a few holes, including the final holes on each side. Sand exists green side only throughout Oregon City GC, with exception of one mid-fairway trap. Overall, the bunkers are fairly shallow and manageable to play out of. The greens are relatively flat with mild and detectable breaks. Coupled with a respectable smoothness, the putting surfaces are favorable to scoring.

OGA Golf Course

OGA Golf Course, in Woodburn, OR, is the unofficial home course for all members of the Oregon Golf Association. With affordable rates and discounted greens fees for members of OGA certified clubs, such as the NW Golf Guys Players Club, the OGA Course is a high value experience. Along with reasonable prices, the course layout is just user-friendly enough to cater to the average golfer, while the quality of maintenance here will appease even the elite. With a balance of punishment and forgiveness amid a full array of course features, the OGA Course a fantastic serve-all venue. Thanks to a strategic annual sanding process, the overall grounds are growing evermore tolerant of the offseason rain, and the greens are notably superb. Despite being built on a residential development, there is a wealth of natural elements and areas, especially on the front 9 where old growth trees and hazards largely outnumber houses. Even the back 9, where homes are abundant, one must avoid plenty of manmade water sources and penalizing zones. Whether nature-filled or neighbor-filled, the OGA Course offers a complete taste of the exemplary golf found in the region in which its namesake governing body oversees.

The OGA Course is built primarily on flat land with a touch of rolling terrain and peripheral knolls or mounds. No one feature stands out above the rest regarding sources of trouble. There is a great blend and fair balance among trees, water and sand amid fairly sizable landing targets. Out of bounds exists mainly in the form of residential properties on the back 9, and several wooded areas on the front. Otherwise, water hazards and fairway bunkers are the prominent points of avoidance. The trees of the back 9 are mostly of the smaller landscaped variety, allowing for a bit more forgiveness regarding errancy from the tee. The putting surfaces are a talking point of the OGA Course as their fast speeds appeal to the experienced short-gamers, while their slope remain manageable for those who are less seasoned. The greens generally provide subtle to average breaks, and their smooth and speedy surfaces offer an opportunity to score.

Mountain View Golf Club

Mountain View Golf Club is an 18 Hole Course tucked away in the edges of the Portland metropolitan area in Boring, OR. Known for its tight fairways and slick greens, Mountain View will push your short game to the limit while maintaining a true test of target golf. Mountain View is also home to a hole that belongs in the pantheon of interesting golf holes in the state. Ask any local golfer if they have played Mountain View, and odds are they will instantly bring up the 12th Hole. A 180 yard Par 3 with a 180 foot drop, it truly has to be seen to be believed. Watching your ball fly on this hole is a sight to see, and a draw will seem to continue forever. From a value standpoint, Mountain View ranks near the top in the area, as a great round of golf can be had for a great price, even in the peak months of summer.

While Mountain View Golf Club is not a long golf course, tall mature tree lines put a premium on accuracy. There are a few holes on the course where you can really let loose with the boom stick but often times the better play at Mountain View is to leave the driver in the bag, even on a Par 5. The rough at Mountain View is manageable but rarely extends very far off the fairway before you end up with a lie better served by a punch out to safer territory. Swales in the fairways throughout the course provide yet another challenge. Level lies come at a premium, particularly on the front nine. As tight as the course can play, the real challenge lies on the greens at Mountain View. As a shorter course, the primary defense against low scores at Mountain View are the severe slopes of the greens. Pin placements can end up in brutal positions where a five foot putt can have two feet of break. This is especially true as you reach the back nine. Assuming your short game is on, Mountain View is a scorable golf course. A small stream runs through the course, affecting shot selection on more than one hole. Sand is present in the form of green side bunkers throughout the course.

Playing Mountain View Golf Club

Mountain View Golf Club begins with one of the more open holes on the course, a Par 4 with a great view of Mt. Hood. The 2nd Hole begins your trip into the trees with a bending Par 5, with nearly a 90 degree dogleg right. Hole #3 is a narrow Par 4 with a pond reachable on the right. The fourth hole may be the most difficult on the course, particularly from the back tees. A narrow Par 4 lined by OB stakes on the right, this uphill Par 4 plays longer than it shows on the card. Hole #5 is a fairly straight forward Par 4, followed by the first and only Par 3 on the front nine. Keep your ball right on the #6 and watch your ball feed to the hole. Back-to-back-to-back Par 4’s complete the front nine. #7 is short but a stream running through the back end of the fairway prevents you from playing too aggressive. The 8th Hole turns around a large tree to an inviting green. The finishing hole on the front is a tough dogleg right around the driving range.

The back nine begins with a flurry of Par 3’s. Remember your club selection on 10, because it will come to play two holes later. The Par 4 11th is a short hole, but play too long on the right side and you have no look at the green on your second shot. The aforementioned 12th Hole is as interesting a Par 3 as you will find, dropping 180 feet to the green. The club you used on Hole 10 should get you to the green on 12. The final Par 3 of the day may be the most difficult, a deceiving uphill shot that plays a club longer than you expect. Two quirky Par 5’s greet you next. The 14th hole may provide the best view on the course, followed by a huge dogleg left on the 15th. The green on 15 is probably the most challenging on the course. Holes #16 and #17 both start way downhill before coming back up. #17 in particular plays longer than it looks. The closing hole at Mountain View may be your best scoring opportunity of the day, allowing for a positive finish to your round.

Meriwether National GC

Meriwether National Golf Club, in Hillsboro, OR, is a simple and straightforward golf course, but has a lot to offer. Meriwether has 18 regulation holes and a 9 hole executive course. The official 18 holes for Meriwether is comprised of the “West” and “North” courses, respectively. They are the most challenging of the sides with some typical obstacles to contend with. The “Executive” course is a fun and challenging Par 30 course with several short Par 4s and a nice mix of Par 3s. Regardless of your skill level or current golf mood, the grounds of Meriwether will serve your purpose.

Meriwether is a complete golf venue overall, with adequate practice facilities to go with it’s diverse offering of on-course experiences. They have a standard driving range with covered mat surfaces. Practice greens exist near the starting hole of each of the full length sides. The traditional-style clubhouse is a large, white building with a stately appeal. It houses a nice proshop with plenty of retail items, and a large restaurant and bar, looking out upon the 18th hole.


Meriwether West & North is a traditional style 18 hole course of moderate difficulty. The grounds are simple and mostly flat, much like the surrounding farmlands. The course has average sized landing zones, but many of the holes dogleg around trees and out-of-bounds areas that are unforgiving to errant tee shots. With no fairway bunkers, and a lack of contrast between the rough and fairway cuts, top priority is to simply put your tee shot in play. Greenside bunkers exist on every hole, but most are favorably shallow. There’s very little water on the course, with the exception of a couple of the Par 3s. The greens are a mix of easy, flat surfaces and testy, breaking surfaces. In season, they’re servicable in condition and provide ordinary speed and roll.


Meriwether Executive is a standard executive course, with a collection of short Par 3s and Par 4s. The longer holes on this side have open layouts, while the shortest of the Par 3s are tucked into a grove of trees. There’s a little bit of water, but no sand. The greens here are arguably more difficult than those of the regulation courses. They are typically elevated a bit and offer some big breaks. The Executive course is excellent for laid back fun, short-game practice and on-course experience for newcomers to the game.

McKay Creek Golf Course

McKay Creek Golf Course is a basic, short 9 hole course near downtown Hillsboro, OR. Despite a close-in location, McKay Creek is quietly situated at the end of a residential street, bordering woods and farmlands. The course has a regulation design, but includes three Par 3s and three Par 5s. The holes have generally short distances and are very closely lined to one another. Factor in a lack of large fairway trees, and you may hear a few “fores” at this beginner-friendly course. For Washington County golfers, and especially residents near Hillsboro, McKay Creek is an affordable place to learn the game or enjoy an informal round of golf.

McKay Creek Golf Course is generally very flat, with many straightforward hole layouts. Most of the trouble areas lie in the forested perimeter around much of the grounds, as well as other out-of-bounds edges. On-course trees must also be contended with on several holes. However, the holes within the center of the course play very open, aside from an occasional small tree. Sand is limited to just a few green side bunkers. Water can come into play in the form of a couple of ponds, and the namesake creek traversing the front of the tee box on the Par 4 1st, and short of the green on the Par 5 9th. The greens are mainly flat, but offer a few breakers. Their surfaces are slow to average in speed and respectable in shape for such a venue.

McKay Creek is not only a fine course to learn the game, but has solid practice amenities for a small facility. There’s a full driving range with covered, mat-surfaced stations. There’s also a nice practice green with plenty of break to challenge your short game touch. The proshop is small and simple, containing basic merchandise, snacks and drinks.