5900 SW Scholls Ferry Road,
Oregon (OR) 97225,
- +1 503 292 2651
4 miles SW of Portland
Members and their guests only
Portland Golf Club was founded back in 1913 and nine holes on the present site opened for play in 1914. A few years later, club professional George Turnbull added a further nine holes. Subsequently Portland has received numerous makeovers, including one from Robert Trent Jones who is attributed today as Portland’s course designer.
Ben Hogan claimed his first Major title here at Portland Golf Club, winning the 1946 PGA Championship. The following year the club played host to the Ryder Cup that nearly didn’t happen but resulted in a comfortable win for the USA team. Numerous other important events, including the U.S. Senior Open (won by Miller Barber) and the 2015 U.S. Women's Amateur (won by Hannah O'Sullivan) have been hosted at Portland, but the club is rarely billed alongside other historic golfing venues.
Measuring a modest 6,700 yards from the back tees, the parkland Portland is not the longest course in the Beaver State but it’s still a challenging test which demands attention right from the off. The opener is a tough par four which requires an accurate tee shot that must avoid the avenue of trees to set up a mid-iron approach to a shallow, well-defended green. There’s no letup at the plus 400-yard 2nd, where the elevated tee shot provides a clear view of the task at hand. This was once voted among the best 18 holes in Oregon by The Oregonian newspaper.
Portland’s most picturesque hole is the short par four 7th called Bristol – so called as it was funded and designed by Henry Bristol. The 350-yard hole features a lake, which cuts in front of the green. The lake was dredged from former swampland by horses in the 1920s and is perhaps the most memorable hole at Portland Golf Club.
Portland Golf Club’s history is well over 100 years. It is not very long and boasts a proud tradition, Hogan’s first major and saving the Ryder Cup.
While the first hole is straightaway it is not easy. Favor the left off the tee. This is a small green with a bunker right and a stream left and rear. The 2nd is a long straight par four from an elevated tee. Fairway bunker right to a green protected with bunkers left and right. The 3rd is a dogleg left. There is a bunker on the outside elbow and tree lined down the left. Consider laying up to your preferred wedge yardage to this two-tier green. The first par 3 is the shortest hole. A short iron, but the green is surrounded by multiple bunkers. The first par five is straightaway with OB left and fairway bunker right. It is reachable but I do not understand why it is the number one handicap. The 6th-9th are good birdie oppties in my opinion. The 6th leans left and the creek does cross the fairway, a decent drive will easily fly it. This green slopes back to front with bunkers front left and right. The 7th is a short par with a water hazard in front of the green. The fairway runs out about 80 yards out, so you may want to lay up off the tee. The 8th is a ho-hum mid-length par three with a green with compass point bunkers. The 9th tilts a wee bit right with a fairway bunker keeping you honest on the left side. A well protected green with three bunkers.
The back starts with scoring holes. The 10th is a reachable par 5. There is a fairway bunker on the right side, so green light is just left of that. If you are not going for it, pick your preferred lay up yardage as the fairway does tighten up with that pesky creek running down the left side and right behind the green. The 11th is a pretty short par four. A short water carry to an uphill fairway with a blind approach to an elevated green. The 12th is rated the easiest hole on the course. A mid-length downhill par 3. The 13th bends to the left, but the fairway is contoured right. This is a demanding two tiered green. The toughest part of the 14th is the tee shot. You will be coming out of a chute and the hole bends a little left with a fairway bunker on the left. Greenside bunkers left and right. The 15th is the longest hole on the course and it is tight. Play it as a 3 shotter and favor the right side. The 16th is a good golf hole. Dogleg left with a fairway bunker on the outside elbow. Left is death off the tee. A high draw is the way to go. The creek slides by about 30 yards in front of the green. The 17th is a short par 3 with 4 greenside bunkers, the one in front is a BAB. The 18th is along uphill par 5. The fairway bunkers left and right are just about where you would expect them to be off the tee. Another well protected green.
A fun golf course that I would play again
I enjoyed getting to play Portland Golf Club this past Sunday. It is a gem with a great deal of history. Typical old parkland style golf club with great routing. An interesting bit of history too. The Ryder Cup was basically saved by Portland Golf Club member Robert Hudson who arranged and paid for the British team to play in the 1947 Ryder Cup matches at his home club. The PGA was also won by Ben Hogan the year prior.
We played the course on a gorgeous February afternoon. The course was green and in great shape. The rough was a bit soggy from all the rain in January, but the fairways and greens were pure and GREEN. My personal favorite hole was the short par 4 7th which is an uphill hole over water. Very aesthetically pleasing to the eye as was the downhill 8th par 3. Probably my favorite holes on the course paired with number 9 back towards the clubhouse.
I would highly advise playing Portland if you ever have the opportunity. It was an enjoyable experience. Yes there is a lot of trees, but its the Pac NW, they add to the experience. There was only a few that need to be removed in my opinion. They don't mess with the integrity of too many of the holes.
Recently had the pleasure of visit one of the premier private clubs in Portland, Oregon. the Portland Golf Club. Set in the hills of Northwest Portland this club was the host of the 1946 PGA Championships won by Ben Hogan and the 1947 Ryder Cup won by the USA 11-1 in a rainy Pacific Northwest mud-fest!
Portland Golf Club is one of these perfectly manicured private parkland courses that gives you the feeling you are walking through some beautiful garden. We played it on a simply perfect fall day (felt like summer to me). Course was playing surprising firm though it was very green and lush.
Most fairways are lined with huge trees right out of PNW forest and while I think removal of many of these trees would ad greatly to the quality of the course I can't say that it feels too narrow or unfair off the tees. It would however, be tough to play a complete round here (unless you are extremely straight) without finding your self having to hit recovery shots around or from under trees. In most cases this is possible since the bottoms of the trees have been cut away and are maintained pretty well.
The terrain is rolling forest with significant elevation changes and that makes for a lot of exciting shots, some highly elevated tee shots and other steep uphill approaches which are very interesting. In true parkland form there are various ponds to navigate, some more for decoration for good players, others challenging your peripheral vision and other simply right in play.
The course also has a fun mix of short and long holes including a few reachable par 5's.
All in all a great day out especially when the course is playing firm and a wonderful course to be a member of. Though I'd be pulling for serious tree removal, as that's what's needed to have the course reach its full potential.