Christmas Valley Golf Course
The nine-hole layout looks simple, flat and narrow,
but hooks and slices are severely punished here. The rough
is sagebrush, dust and roots. Some shots chase down jackrabbits;
some fall down sage rat holes. - James King-Loo Yu,
The Sunday Oregonian Sports Forum, In the Rough
(August 19, 2001).
If this was Scotland, you would be in the gorse and heather, but
since it is Christmas Valley, Oregon, if you are off the fairways
you are in the sagebrush, greasewood and salt grasses which thrive
in sand. This is an indigenous course which makes good use of the
||A few aspen and pine trees grace the fairways but primarily
you will find yourself out in the desert sun. Be generous with the
sunscreen, wear a hat and if you don't carry water, take advantage
of the drinking fountain on the course. Chances are you will find
yourself communing with coyotes, sage rats, jack rabbits and ants.
It might be a course to keep the big dog in the bag and use long irons
off the tee. Play will test your golf skill with a premium placed on your
ability to hit long, straight drives. It is a long course including a
600 yard Par 5 on Hole 6. The course designer can be justifiably proud
of the championship length.
|Expect narrow fairways with no rough. It is very easy
to lose balls in the sage and rabbitbrush. Those found are often in
unplayable lies. Bring lots of balls and in the interest of fast play
adhere to the five minute search rule. It is a good course to practice
a bump and roll chipping technique. If you don't birdie or eagle during
your round there is a good chance you will get a goose near
the ninth hole water hazard.
If you regularly tour other, well-known golf courses of Central Oregon, it is worth the
drive to Christmas Valley to test your skill on a true links style course. You will find
interesting geological attractions in the vicinity as well.
|Name of Course:
||Christmas Valley Golf Course
||Christmas Valley Blvd., Christmas Valley, OR
||Lakes County, Oregon
||$15 for 9 holes, $20 for 18 holes. Subject to
change without warning.
||Pay Fees at the City Park & Recreation office
or at the restaurant next door. If no one is available at the Christmas
Valley Lodge or the Parks office, an "Honest Box" is provided
where you can pay your golf fees.
|Number of Holes:
||Regular Women's Course = 3070, Regular Men's
Course = 3393, Champ. Course = 3517
||A match with one open hole ahead must upon request
permit the following match to play through. On short hole No. 1 and
No. 5, as soon as all players are on the green, they must immediately
signal the following match to drive. Replace divots, smooth sand traps.
No caddie carts on greens.
|Facilities & Amenities:
||Maintained by Christmas Valley Parks & Recreation
||Boots Porterfield of Grants Pass who shot a 33-35--68
to win a Pro-Am tournament held at Christmas Valley in 1964.
||Wear boots to protect against the hazard of Canadian
goose "residue" near the ninth green pond.
Scenes of Christmas Valley Golf Course September 1999
||We played this course on a Saturday when the Park &
Rec. Building was closed and so paid our fees to the waitress in the Christmas Valley
||Putting for par on the first and shortest
hole of Christmas Valley at 170 yards.
||The little shade found on the course was at the second
tee. On a breezy day, you send your drive away with the sound of whispering pines and
rustling aspen leaves overhead.
||In the interest of etiquette and fast play, ready golf
is agreed to in advance. Here two players, both ready, move toward the pin.
||A sandy strip separates the fairways from the deeper
rough. When a ball goes beyond that point, it is nearly impossible to get a line on it as
the sage appears so similar in size, shape and color. Finding a ball out there was
sometimes just a matter of luck.
||To play it where it lies was a challenge
at times.As another player mentioned, anthills in the rough made for
some awkward stances. Some players make the claim they are searching
for arrowheads while actually looking for a lost golfball in the rough.
A good question for the course marshall (of which there is none
in Christmas Valley) would be, when a ball is in an unplayable lie,
such as in a rodent hole at the base of some sagebrush, and in attempting
to retrieve the ball, it rolls down a tunnel into a den completely
out of reach, is the ball now lost and does the player take a two-stroke
According to local custom, a player who recovers a golfball from
a sage rat hole is allowed to give the ball a hard throw toward
the next putting green.
||Twice efforts were made to install sand traps on the
course, both attempts foiled by scouring westerly winds that carried
away the sand leaving piles of tumbled sagebrush in its stead.
||Expect to flush out a jack rabbit or two while searching
for lost balls in the rough.
Valley Golf Course - a featured course in the Annual Northwest Highland
James King-Loo Yu wrote about the competition in
the August 19, 2001 Sunday Oregonian Sports Forum. His In the rough,
was a chronicle of one Portland foursomes' four days of golf at four Oregon
Pasture Golf Tour Courses.
The Northwest Highland Tour took place on the following four courses:
Bear Valley Meadows in Seneca, Oregon; Christmas
Valley Golf Course in Christmas Valley, Oregon; Kinzua
Hills Golf Club in Fossil, Oregon; and Condon
Golf Course in Condon, Oregon.
The tour season ran from January 1 to September. To participate in the
tour, pasture golfers played all of these courses within that timeframe.
Maybe next year we'll bring the tour back again.
For more information click here.
about the amenities of Lake County and Christmas Valley, Oregon
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