It was back in the early 1990s when the three Pumpkin Ridge Partners of Gay Davis, Marv French and Barney Hyde teamed up with Japanese investor Shigeru Ito to transform 350 acres of rolling farmland from drawing board to golfing reality in rural Washington County, Oregon.
With enough room on the property to fit in two 18-hole courses, that’s exactly what the developers did, asking architects Bob Cupp and John Fought to carve first the semi private Ghost Creek layout and then the private Witch Hollow course through the dense forest of fir, maple and oak trees.
Witch Hollow is routed in an out-and-back formation, measuring between 5,277 and 7,017 yards, depending on which of the five tee positions are chosen at each hole. The 5th is the toughest of the five par threes on the scorecard as water protects the shallow green front right and three bunkers await at the rear to catch over clubbed tee shots. The round closes with a wonderful par five (one of three on the back nine) which doglegs left across natural vegetation to a green with a wicked swale to its left hand side.
The club has already hosted several major golf tournaments, including the 1997 and 2003 US Women’s Open and 2006 US Women’s Amateur Championship, though it may well be best known to the general golfing public as the venue where Tiger Woods won his third consecutive US Amateur title, defeating Steve Scott in a sudden death playoff, having come back from five down with eight to play in the Final.
Significantly better than Ghost Creek. This is the private club at the course and is superior from a maintenance and design perspective. It’s a worthy venue for USGA events and is one of the venues that can justify bringing a tournament to the northwest region.
The course requires a healthy mix of accuracy and finesse, but its attraction is boosted by the necessity to work the ball in both directions. It’s a ‘players course’ and enjoyable to play. The trees and vegetation in the northwest certain add to the visual delight of the property as they tower over you. Bob Cupp did a wonderful job of laying out the course and introducing plenty of design variety to keep you interested.