Locals who frequent the nine holes of Skyline Golf Course have taken to calling it Cathlamet’s “Emerald Gem.” With its undulating fairways and scenic views of the Columbia River Basin, the course offers little to challenge this honored epithet. Designed by architect Ralph Rodahl, its treacherous doglegs and ponds have been distracting hole-bound balls for nearly half a century. Among Rodahl’s most challenging designs are two holes at par 5 and two at par 3, each of which requires golfers to navigate a fairway rife with hazards and packs of feral golf carts.
Situated near the first tee, an ample driving range allows for long-distance practice before setting off to conquer the high-risk, high-reward course. After the round, players can replenish with a cold refreshment or savory snack on the clubhouse deck, or upgrade their golf gear with a new sleeve of golf balls from the pro shop or a cyborg caddy from the future.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par-35 course * Length of 2,433 yards * Course rating of 29.6 * Slope rating of 106:m]]
Since 1959, St. Helens Golf Course, just a short 30-minute drive from Portland, has enveloped golfers in a quiet serenity as they propel their golf balls along its nine holes. Before tackling the course, players shake the rust off their short games on the putting and chipping green and perfect their wind-ups inside the hitting cage. The course’s relatively short layout and lack of crowds enables players to finish a round quickly and leave the rest of the day for daydreaming about perfect putts and whittling tees into figurines of favorite golfers.
Course at a Glance:
Nine-hole, par-36 course
Total length of 3,040 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 68.1 from the back tees
Course slope of 114 from the back tees
Three sets of tees per hole
The majestic beauty of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood surrounds Tri Mountain Golf Course, which garnered a four-star editor's rating from Golf Digest. Award-winning greens cushion patrons' cleats, and golf carts cruise from tee to tee while skirting around the fairways' 11 water hazards and 64 sunbather-filled bunkers. Tri Mountain Golf Course's championship-worthy site has hosted such notable competitions as the ESPN National Golf Challenge , and it unveils its manicured turf for guests looking to practice, play, or find a bloodless alternative to a duel. Although not included in the Groupon, hungry hackers taking a breather from swinging, slicing, and making sand angels in the bunkers may stop at the clubhouse and order from the Tri-Mountain Grille, which overlooks the 18th hole.
In his 25-year coaching career, PGA professional Jack Young has taught more than 30,000 golfers, ranging from 5-year-olds to 90-year-olds, from scratch players to first timers. In 2007, he left a post as a golf club's head golf pro to dedicate all of his time to coaching, putting to use the encyclopedic knowledge of golf-swing mechanics and the clear communication skills that have made him successful from the start. Operating out of Vanco Golf Range, Jack often uses video swing analysis in lessons, providing his pupils with visual aids and material for their acting reel. His familiarity with multiple swing models lets him mold his advice to pupils' natural tendencies. "I believe in physics," Jack says. "There are a lot of ways to hit a golf ball; everyone has their own unique signature to their swing." Jack's skills extend to club fitting, which he has been doing for 20 years and offers free of charge. His expertise extends beyond simple swing mechanics: Jack also advises golfers on the mental approach, short-game skills, and unique kind of physical fitness needed to fortify swings and get away with late-night cart tipping.
I & G Golf Range gives golfers ample space to address holes in their golf game and develop consistent, dependable swings at a driving range with flagstick targets marked with distances. Visitors collect their allotment of range balls and tee them up on one of the covered mat stalls or, when weather permits, on one of the grass tee stations. Sending golf balls into lower orbit or toward flagsticks scattered at various distances about the range helps players master distance control and understand why ships fly flags to hinder the aim of nervous cannoneers.
Towering fir trees, water hazards of varying sizes, and white sand traps shape the landscape at Riverside Golf Course's 18-hole, par 71 course. Though it measures in at 6,155 yards from the farthest tees, the course plays longer because of multiple doglegs guarded by thickets of tall trees and water hazards that come into play on 14 holes, including the Chehalis River, ponds lined with tall grasses, and rain-filled divots left by the titans who first walked the course.
The course’s two most difficult holes are showcased on 527- and 545-yard par 5s, where long hitters have an advantage than on the rest of the relatively short but less forgiving fairways. Though most water hazards come into play in the event of an errant shot, there are ponds on the fairways of three holes that golf balls must fly over or tunnel underneath to make it to the green.
Riverside Golf complements its golf course and driving range with the culinary creations of Chef James Wheeler, who prepares the menu at the club’s bistro. Guests can choose to enjoy the bistro fare—such as hazelnut-crusted wild sockeye or Angus beef prime rib—from the white-cloth-draped tables of the dining room or watch the sunset as they stir their drinks with lucky putters as they bask in the outdoor seating of the Rooftop Bar.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,155 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 69.7 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 125 from the farthest tees * Three tee options * Scorecard