In 1924, the architect who tendered for the design of the Astoria course proposed an east-west routing with fairways laid out across dunes that run through the property. Club President George Halderman and Greenskeeper George Junor thought otherwise and so the holes were actually set out between the ridges in a north-south fashion.
There’s nothing fancy about Astoria Golf & Country Club, so don’t expect to find extravagant bunkering or complicated greensites if you tee it up here – it’s just a good, old-fashioned layout with delightful short par fours at the 2nd and 6th holes and a trio of testing par threes at holes 4, 10 and 17.
Known to some as the “St. Andrews of the Pacific,” Astoria has been hosting the prestigious annual Oregon Coast Invitational Tournament since 1937 and this week-long event has grown into one of the top amateur golf competitions in the northwest of the country.
Somehow, Astoria County Club, a true links course by every definition and one of the only true links courses in the US, didn't find it's way into George Peper and Malcolm Campbell's, True Links. Nor did it find it's way into the 246 Links Courses of the World listed by the Links Association. Guess what, they are all wrong!
Astoria Golf & Country Club is a wonderful and rarely quirky links course where 18 holes are played over dunes in the shape of cresting waves. Often teeing off from on top of one crest and playing down into the trough of the dunes. It's played perfectly firm and fast on every visit I've made and is a joy.
I'd say it deserves to be ranked ahead of almost all courses in Portland in terms of relative interest, fun and playability, not to mention architecture.
If you find yourself in Oregon, near Astoria with golf clubs then I'd highly recommend a visit to Astoria Country Club. Let us know what you think!
I haven’t played Astoria, but from quickly looking at the club photos, it’s the strangest looking links course I’ve ever seen. It sure looks fun to play – some of the valley fairways look rather like those at Hindhead – but is Astoria really a links David?
Your comment about The Links Association made me take a deeper look. Their list of 246 links courses is the identical number referenced in True Links. The only difference between the two lists is that True Links records Cruit Island and “The Links Association” doesn’t, listing Cullen Links instead.