As we make our way through the major cities, this time we explore the best public golf courses in Portland. 

This epic city, a couple of hours drive from the Pacific coastline, is one of the most desirable places to live in the US. It’s not littered with golf courses, but those that it does have are more than good enough to grab our attention.

I explored the best golf courses in Portland in a separate article. Yet on this occasion, we’re going to focus purely on the publicly accessible golf facilities. Let’s jump into them now.

See also: What are the best golf courses in Portland?

The best public golf courses in Portland

RankGolf Course
1Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek)
2The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club
3Langdon Farms Golf Club
4Stone Creek Golf Club
5Heron Lakes Golf Course (Great Blue)
6Mt Hood Oregon Resort (Pinecone, Foxglove, Thistle)
7Eastmoreland Golf Course
8Glendoveer Golf & Tennis (East Course)
Table showing the best public golf courses in Portland

Best for…

Value for moneyStone Creek Golf Club
GroupsHeron’s Lake Golf Course
ClubhouseThe Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club
ViewsMt Hood Oregon Resort

1. Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek)

Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Portland, Oregon, Permission Given - reisez

So we kick off our list of the best public golf courses in Portland, with the superb Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. 

This fine club is located approximately a half hour drive to the west of Portland just past North Plains. It’s been in this location since 1992 when the first of the two courses onsite opened.

This course was Ghost Creek, which was designed by Bob Cupp and is open to members of the public. Whereas Witch Hollow, which followed a couple of years later, is solely for the use of its members. 

The club has hosted some reasonably high-profile tournaments. These include the 1996 US Amateur Championship. The WinCo Foods Portland Open, which was part of the Korn Ferry Tour. And a number of U.S. Women’s Opens. 

Yet it really shot to fame in 2022 as the first US based event on the LIV Golf Invitational Series. 

As for the layout, it combines natural wetlands, swathes of long wispy grasses and elegant trees. The conditioning is excellent, without doubt one of the redeeming features. 

All in all, the setting is sensational. This is a private golf club experience, playing on a course maintained to a high-level. 

And you’re probably thinking it’s going to be expensive. Well you’re wrong. The rates are really reasonable and if you’re willing to play a little later in the day, rates start from just $50!

2. The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club

The REserve Vineyards and Golf Club, Portland, Oregon, Permission Given - resized

Yet another fine golf club which opens its doors to the public. The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club is a fantastic facility and an example to many other golf courses in how to make the game of golf more inclusive.

The club is located a thirty minute drive due west of Portland, just past Aloha. This is a primarily urban area, that is until you get to The Reserve Vineyards. Pristine farmlands with swathes of dense woodland and serene water features. This is lovely. 

The semi-private Reserve Vineyards has an ingenious way of allowing the public to enjoy both courses onsite. One of the courses is open to the public for the first 15 days of the month, whilst the other is reserved for its members. This then rotates allowing us to enjoy the second course. 

The two courses are superb and provide a real contrast to one-another. The North was designed by Bob Cupp and is an inland coastal links-style layout. While the South course was a John Fought creation. A traditional parkland layout, with big bold fairways and an abundance of bunkers. 

This really is a great day out with a top class clubhouse to match. 

See also: What are the best golf courses in Bend, Oregon?

3. Langdon Farms Golf Club

Langdon Farms Golf Club, Portland, Oregon, PErmission Given - resized

Just 15 miles south of central Portland, is the premier public facility of Langdon Farms Golf Club. Travel south on Interstate 5 and within about half an hour you’ll be entering the gates. As they proudly boast, this is ‘Public only’! 

There are 18-holes here, designed by Bob Cupp, John Fought and David Johnson. Cupp, and to an extent Fought, have been responsible for a number of golf designs in the region. Yet Langdon Farms is without doubt one of the best publicly accessible ones. 

After opening in 1995, the club has remained ever-popular amongst the locals. In 2000 there was a considerable restoration project led by Todd Schoeder. Whilst in recent years the club management have continued to invest in the course to ensure it remains as one of the best public golf courses in Portland.

Numerous charity days and other events are hosted at Langdon Farms. Not just because of the quality of the course, but also the ever-popular Langdon’s Grill. This american-style family restaurant has a great atmosphere and bar area.

But all of this would count for nothing if the course wasn’t great. Fortunately, this is a fantastic design, both interesting and immensely playable. The conditioning is immense, what you would expect of a private member’s club with a lower footfall.

It is no wonder the course for many years was chosen as a US Open qualifier. 

4. Stone Creek Golf Club

Stone Creek Golf Club, Portland, ORegon, Permission given - resized

One of the newest additions to the golf scene in Portland, Stone Creek Golf Club is a gem. 

The club is located just over a half hour drive south from downtown, the other side of Oregon City. Effectively as you drive further south, things get less residential and at Stone Creek, you know you’re well out of the city. 

Surrounding the club’s 165 acres, there are a dozen or so impressive houses. But aside from that, the site is relatively exposed with instead proud Douglas fir trees the main greenery. A handful of lakes are dotted around the site which have been ingeniously integrated into the routing.

The course opened in 2002 and was designed by Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy. Since then, it has consistently received all manner of awards and recognition. 

Measuring 6,840 yards, the perfectly manicured fairways meander through four different wetlands and offer spectacular views of the distant Mt Hood. 

Expect to see Stone Creek Golf Club continue its rise up these rankings.

5. Heron Lakes Golf Course (Greenback & Great Blue)

Heron LAkes Golf Club, Portland, Oregon, Permission Granted - resized

This time we’re up in North Portland towards the majestic Columbia River. It is yet another public offering on this list, Heron Lakes Golf Club.

This is a wonderful club which over the years has received a number of awards and recognition. Golf Digest, GolfWorld Magazine, Travel Portland…all of these recognised publications have lauded the club with praise. 

There are two championship tracks both designed by the great Robert Trent Jones Jr. The Greenback Course which opened in 1972, followed twenty years later by the Great Blue in 1992. 

Both courses contrast one-another perfectly, offering golfers a choice of layouts to enjoy. 

The Greenback is a traditional parkland course. From the back tees, the Blacks, the course measures over 6,600 yards. Expect plenty of bunkers, six lakes to circumnavigate and tree-lined fairways leading to the many elevated greens. 

As for the Great Blue, it is a links-style layout with constantly moving and undulating fairways leading up to small well-protected greens. Long fescue grasses lie in wait for errant shots. And  if you fancy a challenge, play from backs which stretches the course to over 7,000 yards.

All in all, this is a fabulous public offering and great value. 

6. Mt Hood Oregon Resort (Pinecone, Foxglove, Thistle)

Mt Hood ORegon Resort, Portland, Oregon, Permission Given - resized

Right, so people who know Portland well, will also know Mt Hood Oregon Resort is a fair drive from the city. Probably about an hour. But hear me out. 

Mt Hood Oregon Resort is a luxury mountain resort and a popular weekend getaway for people in the city. This Best Western Premiere Collection property has plenty of fantastic amenities including the sumptuous 5,000 square foot spa. With elegant dining options and set in a sensational landscape, it is well worth staying the night. 

It is within this sensational landscape that the resort’s three nine holes are located. Winding through lush evergreen forests whilst in the distance are impressive mountains and waterfalls. 

The first of these three nine holes, Pinecone, was established in 1928. Alongside the hotel, this officially made Mt Hood Oregon resort the first ‘golf resort’ in Oregon. 

Over the years, two more nine hole courses followed. Thistle which is considered the most forgiving, although water does come into play on half of its holes. And the second nine to appear arrived much later in 1981, called Foxglove. 

The superb Foxglove is a fantastic addition. You have the serene Salmon River running adjacent to the first three holes. Whilst right in the middle of the first fairway, you have a giant boulder known as ‘The Rock’. 

With so much care and attention to preserving and fostering the local environment, the resort is certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. It goes without saying, playing a round of golf here is immersing yourself in nature. There can surely be fewer more blissful rounds of golf in Portland? 

See also: What are the best golf courses in Portland?

7. Eastmoreland Golf Course

Eastmoreland Golf Course, Portland, Oregon, Permission Given

Not far from the Willamette River and just a few minutes drive south of downtown, is the top class Eastmoreland Golf Course.

Eastmoreland’s original design has been here over a century, having been designed by the iconic H. Chandler Egan in 1918. It is one of a handful of courses around central Portland designed around the turn of the nineteenth century. 

This is a fine layout and one which is greatly enjoyed by the locals. This is their “city center gem”. 

The routing is one of a traditional parkland layout, relatively flat and with plenty of mature trees flanking the fairways. It is these trees which provide the greatest hazard for stray shots. 

There isn’t an overabundance of sand or water. But when water does come into play, it does it in a big style. For example the 12th hole, a par 3 straight over water. Even the par 3 17th hole has water all along the left hand side.

The course recently underwent a new management change, so expect big things and more investment. 

8. Glendoveer Golf & Tennis Club (West & East)

Glendoover Golf & Tennis Club, Portland, Oregon, Adobe

In the north east of the city, surrounded by residential areas, is the hub of outdoor activities which is Glendoveer Golf & Tennis Club. 

With something for everyone, this is a popular place to visit. There is a two-mile nature trail, a number of indoor tennis courts and of course the golf.

There are two 18-hole championship golf courses onsite, the West and the East courses. Both were designed by John Stenzel, opening for play in 1926 and 1928 respectively. 

If you’re a beginner, the West course is the one to play. The par 71 course is easier with very few hazards including water or bunkers. The flat fairways are wide open, allowing you to stray shots from the tee. 

Widely considered the better and more challenging of the two is the East course. Despite being on the same plot of land, there is slightly more movement in the land. Water comes into play on three holes whilst generally the tight tree-lined fairways will keep you honest.

That said, there aren’t any doglegs. So this really is a tee it up and release the driver type course.

What is the best public golf course in Portland, Oregon?

The best public golf course in Portland is the Ghost Creek course at Pumpkin Ridge. One of two courses at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, it is the only one open to members of the public. The club is located about a 30 minute drive west of central Portland, whilst Ghost Creek was designed by the prolific Bob Cupp.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply