Driving on Cedar Valley Road all we saw were hills and mountains jam-packed with trees. Where could they have possibly built a golf course on this landscape? As we drove farther and farther up the hill and around the bend, here is what we found. A sweet, John Zoller designed, 9-hole course that is carved out of this heavily-wooded terrain. A wide, wooden bridge greets you as you enter the course, a precursor of the danger that lies ahead.
Hole #1 is a fun par 4 to start your round. Your tee shot needs to clear the vegetation fronting the green which can be a little intimidating to the high handicap golfer. The green is tucked up to the left on a small peninsula. Two flags were positioned on the green – one yellow; one red. The yellow is for the front nine and the red for the back nine. There are also two tee areas if you decide to play 18.
The second hole is another par 4 with a slight dogleg to the right. Trees dot both sides of the fairway but they should not create an issue. Hole #3 is a 515 yard par 5 with the creek to carry on your second shot. Go for it or lay up? When we are on the road, we always go for it! We just cleared it but still only managed to double-bogey this hole. We means me attempting the shot – Karen telling me to go for it! Hole #4 – it’s a par 3; it’s picturesque; it’s the easiest hole on the course…but don’t be long.
If you can get your shots airborne, Hole #5 won’t give you much trouble. If you can’t, make sure you have plenty of balls because the creek might take a few of them. Watch out for the ditch that fronts the green at Hole #6. It’s hard to see standing on the tee box at this 135 yard par 3. At Hole #7 (or #16), I would suggest hitting from the elevated teeing area (#16) if you are only playing nine holes. It is more fun playing from up there.
Hole #8 is a crazy, crazy (love it, love it) hole. Your tee shot needs to clear the water with your best draw (I brought out my best slice). The second shot at this 273 yard par 4 has an optical illusion. It looks like a large tree is growing in front of the green, splitting the red and yellow flags. Actually, the tree is behind the green and out of play. Keep right or face landing in the driving range at Hole #9. It is the number one handicap hole but not that difficult (he says, as he bogeys his 7th straight hole)!
Birdie: Another fun course along the Oregon Coast. 9 holes in the morning; beach time in the afternoon; ocean-side dinner in the evening; and a nightcap watching the sun go down into the Pacific Ocean. This was fun for Karen and me as we walked this same beach just a few years ago on our honeymoon.
34391 Cedar Valley Rd., Gold Beach, OR 97444; 541-247-6911; www.cedarbendgolf.com