Gearhart Golf Links, off the shores of Gearhart, OR, is a classic oceanside links with historical significance and appeal. Built in the late 19th century, Gearhart Golf Links is the oldest of all of Oregon’s courses and is among the oldest in the entire country. Though renovated in recent past, Gearhart fittingly provides an old world golf experience representative to that which is found in the games birthplace. Naturally, due to its rugged coastal climate and weathered course features, Gearhart closely resembles what you’d expect to find in a European links. Despite no actual ocean views, there’s no mistaking that you’re directly inland from the Pacific surf; you can smell the ocean air, see the marine fog and feel the swirling winds of land’s end. To the east and south there are vistas of forested foothills and distant rocky cliffs. Thanks to its long history and strong parallels to the origins of the game, Gearhart is an impressionable golf venue with a timeless mystique, and a staple in the wide spectrum of Northwest golf.
Gearhart Golf Links has a flat topography, but the shapely rolling terrain ebbs and flows like the neighboring ocean tides. Large berms and knolls exist throughout the course, sometimes guiding errant shots back into the fairway, other times providing unpleasant lies or difficult approach angles into greens. The course length and layout favors precision over distance, with short yardage and many narrow fairway cuts. The roughs are mainly lined with short, scraggly pines, and the grounds are otherwise rather open. Fairway and greenside bunkers are a common feature at Gearhart Golf Links, ranging from shallow to deep-set depth. Logically, the traps are filled with beach sand and play heavy, but very soft. There’s no water on the course aside from the Par 4 5th and 7th holes. The greens are very small and often tightly placed between large mounds of earth and bunkers of sand. Their surfaces remain in great shape with true rolls and fast speeds amid a typical array of sloping.