There are two things that
just really irritate me as Pete and I slog along on our great Quest to play
every golf course in Oregon. One I've mentioned time and again: courses that
don't have logo balls for sale. I would very much like to have a logo ball from
every course we've played, but
some just flat out don't have them. Frustrating but understandable in some
cases, such as small private courses (Coquille Valley Elks, Eugene Eagles on
the Green, Prineville Country Club) that really don't often have non-members
play. Or the little city-owned course in Condon, which has no clubhouse, just
an honesty box to tuck your $5 into.
But Stewart Meadows in
Medford, the eponymous Milton-Freewater course, Laurelwood in Eugene —
those are all "regular" golf courses with no excuse to not have logo balls.
The other thing I hate is
when a course closes before we have a chance to get there. I hate that on two
levels: one, that we didn't get there, and two, that a course closed,
Seven Oregon golf course
have closed since 2006. Our course in Newberg, Chehalem Glenn, is the only new
one in that same time frame — the front nine opened in 2005, the back
nine in 2007.
Orenco Woods near Hillsboro
closed in 2006, the year before Pete and I began our Quest. Having grown up in
Forest Grove, I had played there several times, though probably not since I
graduated from college in 1980. Battle Creek in Salem let people know well
ahead of time they were closing in 2007, the year The Quest started, so Pete
and I made a point of getting there. Battle Creek was 18 holes crammed into too
little space; the ideal solution would have been to remake the course as a
nine-hole layout, which would have left room for the additional housing units
developers wanted there.
Kentuck (no "y") in North
Bend closed in 2009. I guess it was a glorified cow pasture; indeed, locals
referred to it as "The Pasture." And that's pretty much what it is now; I've
driven up to look and you can't begin to make out where a course may have been.
Coos County is using part of the property for wetland mitigation. 2010 saw the
Roseburg VA Hospital Course shut down. It was right there along I-5 southbound.
A nine-hole course at most, it was actually only seven holes for its last
couple of years because the VA needed two holes worth of land for a new
pipeline project. In 2010 they decided to expand the hospital facilities and
shut down the rest of the course. It had a cool nickname: Aspirin Acres. I hope
I didn't miss out on a logo ball with that moniker on it.
Colonial Valley, about three
miles north of Grants Pass and a mile or so east of I-5, officially closed in
2011, though it didn't seem operational for some time before that. I know
because Pete and I played there during Golf Week 2008, they didn't have logo balls,
but I checked back from time to time when I was down there for work. The course
was almost like a huge back yard and it wasn't well kept. The No. 1 green was
more moss than grass, and there were molehills all over the green. It was
probably the worst course we played, and the guy who ran it was up there in
years and didn't look very healthy when we were there. He apparently (and
unsurprisingly) passed away. Ironically, a person from Newberg — of all
places — bought the property and was going to try and make a go of it.
That didn't happen (again, unsurprisingly). But there was a little cadre of
(very) senior citizens who drove their golf carts down the rural road to
Colonial Valley that miss the place.
A lot of people never knew
there was a little par 3 pitch and putt course inside the racetrack at Portland
Meadows. It was open late spring through summer, after racing season. We never
got there, it was always a course we'd get to "some day." And in fact, we did
stop by one afternoon after playing elsewhere in Portland a few years ago. It
was a day they should have been open but weren't — somebody there told us
why and I don't even remember. But they've started a summer racing series at
PM, and the course didn't open in 2012 and then, in the spring of 2013, a
racetrack official told me they had quietly decided to close the course. I was
hoping for a cool logo ball there, too.
But of all the recent
closures, none is more frustrating than Cedar Links in Medford, which just
closed here in September 2013. Frustrating because it's just pure happenstance
— and bad luck — that Pete and I didn't play there during Golf Week
2008. There was going to be one nine-hole course that didn't fit our schedule
(along with Oak Knoll in Ashland), and Cedar Links just happened to be the one
we didn't play. It could just as well have been Red Mountain, Quail Point,
Applegate River, Bear Creek or Stewart Meadows that we skipped on that trip,
but no, we skipped Cedar Links. And now it's gone. Cedar Links was on our list
for Golf Week 2014, we were going to hit it before swinging over to Klamath
Falls for the bulk of the week. And of course, it was the day after Cedar Links
closed that I heard about it (although you can't exactly run down to Medford at
the drop of a hat). But again, it's just frustrating, and not the way we want
our "courses to go" list to dwindle.