Indian Creek Golf Course's layout snakes through the Hood River Valley between a network of sprawling orchards and wineries with panoramic views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams creating a dramatic backdrop. Water comes into play on 11 holes, including three creeks that bisect fairways to disrupt play and tempt players to take fairway naps to the melodic babbling of their playing partners. On the par 5 fourth hole, precision is paramount, as the dogleg right is entirely fortified by water to the right and the small, narrow green make short putts strenuous with hard-to-read-breaks.
Indian Creek Golf Course won an Environmental Excellence award from Audubon International for its efforts in areas of wildlife and habitat management, chemical-use reduction, and water-quality management. The course and its surrounding land act as a sanctuary to a variety of wildlife, including several species of caddies now endangered because rampant cart use. Course at a Glance:
In 1971, a group of like-minded locals set out to build a golf course amid the natural splendor of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Setting to work on the Washington-side of the mighty Columbia River, they dedicated their time, labor, and resources to setting their loop against the backdrop of Beacon Rock and Archer Mountain. The course itself may now be over the hill, but those imposing peaks still loom high above golfers as they make their way through the 18-hole layout. Along the way, players encounter the watery threat of Hardy Creek, plenty of tree groves, and smooth-rolling greens—not to mention enough picturesque views to distract focus from important iron shots and pre-putt tai chi routines.
As part of its outreach program with local public schools, The Children's Course introduces elementary school students to the game of golf using SNAG (Starting New at Golf) equipment and set of simplified rules. Each lesson will teach healthy habits and at least one of The Children's Course's nine core values—courtesy, respect, responsibility, judgment, confidence, sportsmanship, honesty, integrity, and perseverance—which students will learn to apply in everyday situations.
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
Journey to Young's Vanco Golf Range in Vancouver, Washington, for a 40-minute, round-changing golf makeover and a bountiful bucket of superior-quality golf balls to whack your new talents upon. Jack has more than 20 years of experience teaching golfists who golf at all skill levels, from beginners to tournament champions. The lesson (a $50 value) takes place in a covered outdoor range where Jack's diligent eye, step-by-step coaching, and fancy video and computer equipment break down every aspect of your swing for careful analysis; the video swing analysis will allow comparison to the swings of over 200 golf professionals. Although he's yet to discover an effective way to teach his trajectory-altering telepathy to students, his before-the-strike tutoring works wonders, slicing hooks and hooking slices into fairway-splitting straight-shots.