Ghost Creek is the Robert Cupp-designed course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club that you can play; Witch Hollow is the one you can’t. One-year after Ghost Creek opened for play, the course hosted the 1993 Nike Tour Championship, which saw David Duval emerge victorious. The event remained at Witch Hollow for the following year and Mike Schuchart won the title.
The Ghost Creek fairways are laid out in two returning loops of nine and the closing hole on each circuit is played to a green nestled alongside substantial bodies of water.
The 9th is possibly the toughest on the course as bunkers steer golfers to the left of the fairway, even though that’s the side where wayward tee shots will end up wet. The average score on this hole for two years in the Nike Tour event was half a shot over par.
At the 18th, water runs down the right side of the fairway and it takes two mighty blows for most golfers to get anywhere near the green. David Duval sank a 17-foot birdie putt to win the 1993 Tour Championship, one of three threes he recorded at the home hole during his four rounds.
Other holes of note at Ghost Creek include the par four 312-yard 7th (where greenside bunkers are located a good way in front of the putting surface in an attempt to fool golfers that the green is closer than they think) and the short par four 17th which Mike Schuchart double-bogeyed during the final round of the 1994 Tour Championship on his way to winning the event.
Before the arrival of the Bandon complex of courses - Pumpkin Ridge was often cited as the key place to play golf when in Oregon -- both with the private Witch Hollow and the public Ghost Creek. That day has passed and Ghost Creek is simply outclassed by how public golf has evolved in a big time way since it first opened. The design is often formulaic and pedestrian in its approach and could certainly gain from an updated effort.
Playability is a highlight feature but simply providing larger size targets needs to have a bit of clear differentiation in the core of the design. Having hosted events of special note can certainly help with any course's exposure but to maintain real interest the essence of any course must have architecture that really possesses solid elasticity for all types of players.
Ghost Creek is better than adequate yet less than notable. When you're in the same State as Bandon it's akin to being the guy who sings in the shower and thinks he's capable in matching skills with the likes of Frank Sinatra. Not likely to happen.
by M. James Ward
The greens were punched 3 weeks before we played, and many of the greens on the front side were in the worst condition I’ve seen. EVER.
While I try not to entirely get bogged down with conditioning, it really disappointed us. The bunkering didn’t offer an ounce of inspiration and didn’t offer much in terms of challenge or strategy.
This is the public course at the club, and given that it’s a decent drive to get there from downtown Portland, the club needs to make a better effort to justify people making the trip and paying the high green-fee. It’s just not an exciting course.