There is an easy answer to this question, as the oldest golf course in Oregon is even arguably the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi, and there is no argument it is the oldest continually running golf course west of the Mississippi.
The answer is the seaside Gearhart Golf Links, established in 1892 as a 3-hole golf course by some homesick Scotsmen as the legend goes.
Gearhart Golf Links’ website gives a lot of detail about the origins and subsequent history of the over 130-year-old course in the northwestern county of Clatsop. This includes homesick Scotsmen sticking tin cans into the dunes and knocking balls into them with sticks. A rudimentary yet accurate explanation of the game of golf.
The oldest course in Oregon started out with just three holes in 1888 along the seaside meadows of the Northwest Coast. Although golf was relatively new to the U.S. at that time, guests from the close-by Gearhart Hotel adopted it as a regular past-time. Over the years, the links course grew to 18 holes as it is today.
Some of the interesting history of the oldest golf course in Oregon includes donkey-powered beverage carts, the Sittin’ Seagulls Tournaments from 1959-68 where participants dressed in a different theme every year, and it recently hosted the 2021 U.S. Hickory Open where only hickory shafted golf clubs are used – the tournament was started in 2008 at Mimosa Hills in Morganton, N.C by the Society of Hickory Golfers.
Here are the yardages of the 18-hole course layout:
- Green: 5157 Par 71
- White: 5741 Par 72
- Craic: 5896 Par 72
- Black: 6176 Par 72
- The Stones: 6551 Par 72
While Bandon Dunes Golf Resort might get the attention when it comes to links golf in Oregon, Gearhart Golf Links is a special place with a rich history. To put in perspective how old the course is, the oldest golf course in the U.S. started only 8 years before, the Oakhurst Golf Club in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Other notable old golf courses in Oregon are the public municipal Eastmoreland Golf Course founded in 1917 located in Portland, and east of the Cascades the Pendleton Country Club had its origins around 1903.
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