Vibrant groves of trees and gardens provide a scenic backdrop for year-round driving range practice and miniature golf at Tualatin Island Greens. At the range, 43 synthetic hitting bays (including 25 covered and 12 heated stations) look out onto a vast field with plenty of real estate for Herculean drives and accuracy-testing target areas, including a green surrounded by a moat to keep area lawn gnomes from stealing the flagstick. The range also features target flags at 20, 30, and 40 yards to facilitate short-game practice or serve as the destination for balls hit out of the practice sand trap.
Water trickles over a tiny canyon of bedrock that runs alongside Tualatin Island Greens' mini-golf course. The 18-hole course is situated in the shade of towering pines that, paired with its well-manicured gardens, instill peace of mind as players read tricky slopes and avoid obstacles such as Lilliputian ponds, sand traps, and Olympic track hurdles. Golfers can improve their par-hunting prowess past sunset, as the entire complex has lights for nighttime use. Tualatin's Island Grill is also onsite to keep appetites at bay with burgers, chicken wings, and other savory fare.
Safari Sam's virtual jungle of kid-friendly entertainment is densely packed, thoughtfully designed, and well maintained. The enormous jungle gym is built big and strong so parents can play along with their kids. The Black Diamond Challenge Course challenges older kids with more physically demanding obstacles. The indoor miniature golf course is well designed, with glow-in-the-dark paint on jungle-like details on the kid-friendly obstacles, including palm trees and Aztec-like temples. Gonzo's game room is an old-fashioned redemption arcade with more than 75 games in which kids can win prizes, from key chains and stuffed animals to glow-in-the-dark senses of superiority.
Though beautiful views and impeccable maintenance are typically found at long, difficult courses, the staff at Lake Oswego Golf Course believes that beginning and intermediate players should also be able to enjoy a top-notch course while learning the game. At 2,517 yards in total, the 18-hole, par-3 layout removes the physical stress of extreme length. Players can learn to hone in their game while golfing against the backdrop of Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. Individual holes range between 74 and 179 yards, creating a hole-in-one opportunity on every tee box?provided a golfer can avoid Lost Dog Creek, outstretched tree boughs, and lost center fielders searching for fly balls.
Away from the links, golfers can refuel at the course's on-site restaurant, Casa del Pollo. Here, they can feast on home-style Costa Rican food, including chicken and steak tacos, burritos, and casado con carne?a grilled steak fillet atop a plate of rice, beans, pickled onions, and carrots.
The game of golf is rife with opportunities for children to build character, learn new skills, make new friends, and adopt healthy, active lifestyles. As the local chapter of a national nonprofit organization, First Tee of Greater Portland seeks to expose the community's youth to this fun pastime and plant the seeds of a lifelong passion. Unfortunately, a number of hurdles lie between the game and those kids who stand to benefit the most, ranging from equipment cost to course proximity to the inner city. The First Tee helps disadvantaged youth overcome these issues with programs dedicated specifically to their unique situations, including free rounds and lessons, educational programs, and mentorships with responsible adults who aren't just desperate for caddying gigs.
The Portland chapter of The First Tee operates at 6 locations around the city, but only one is dedicated solely to the development of junior golfers. The Children's Course is a 9-hole layout with different pars for different age groups: it's a par 3 course for anyone 13 and over, a par 5 course for ages 9-12, and a par 7 course for those 8 and under.
Old-growth douglas firs, wetlands, and 43 bunkers populate Stone Creek Golf Club's award-winning, par 72 layout designed by Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy. The 165-acre course’s front nine holes are straighter laced, and the back nine’s tree-lined fairways of fescue grass challenge swingers with elevation changes and distractingly beautiful views of Mount Hood, the same "Hood" made popular in mainstream rap music. Players can hone their aim at the hitting stations of extensive practice greens, which include a full swing area with target greens at a variety of distances, before returning to face hole nine's six sand traps.
After sending dozens of dimpled balls soaring through the air, golfers can pop in at the Stone Creek Deli for a hot dog and foamy swigs of beer. Links magazine named Stone Creek Golf Club a Top 10 Green Course for using pesticides sparingly and only irrigating stretches of grass currently in use, inviting ground-nesting birds to build their two-story colonial mansions in the fallow areas.
Course at a Glance
18-hole, par 72 course
See the scorecard
Length of 6,873 yards from the farthest set of tees
Course rating of 72.4
Slope rating of 125 on fescue grass
6,000 yards of practice greens