I felt like a stalker. Hiding behind trees; peering over hedges; and cowardly standing behind all those protective screens. This is how I spent my time at Claremont Golf Club. I arrived late in the day, without any clubs, so I was too late to complete a round. I set out on foot (with permission) to walk the course and take a few notes.
At the first tee box, the conversation between a couple of twosomes went like this – “I’m new to golf” and “I haven’t played in ten years”. This confirmed that I would not have finished before dark. No doubt the lake looming to the right of Hole #1 attracted a few balls by this foursome. The long par 5 second hole produced a 45 degree tee shot by the next foursome into the homes on the right. I did not hear the sound of breaking glass – so no harm, no foul!
This is a very family and high-handicap friendly course. The downside is that the pace of play was slow – at least on this day. Nicole, from the pro shop, said for faster play, plan a morning round. Tyler, who was on break from the University of Colorado (small world), also was very helpful with course information.
The course winds through the Claremont neighborhood, so please obey the stops signs as you need to cross a number of streets. As a side note, if you are looking to move to Portland, this is an awesome neighborhood. The fairways and greens were in great shape with just enough trees, water and bunkers to keep the round interesting.
As I surveyed each hole, I started to question the family-friendly designation. Every house on Hole #4 had a protective screen in the backyard. As I mentioned earlier, they served me well as I dodged errant tee shots. Hole #7 proved to be very entertaining. I watched a father and son each hit four tee balls. All eight shots combined totaled about 100 yards. I finally decided that the safest place to view the course was not cowering behind those screens, but by standing in the middle of the fairways and greens. Even though I was trying my best to keep out of everyone’s sight, they probably saw my head peering over the hedges and wondering who was this idiot. I was also riveted to this spot as the smell of steaks on the grill had me thinking about dinner (but I digress). Time to finish the last two holes.
Birdie: I liked the layout and condition of the course and with all the screen protection, it probably is safe for all ability levels. I wonder, though, which company has the glass replacement business for this neighborhood?
15800 NW Country Club Dr., Portland, OR 97229; 503-690-4589; www.claremontgolfclub.com