Anyone looking for a good course that’s relatively easy to score on, yet not completely giving, can look no further than Quail Valley Golf Course. While the location is not perfect for Portland’s East Side golfers, those of you on the West Side can find it an easy drive. Westbound on Highway 26 and a mile and a half off the Banks exit, the light highway traffic makes this a convenient destination.
On arrival, ample parking is provided and away from the course (so no worries of errant golf balls causing car damage). Inside the clubhouse, snacks range from candy bars to hot dogs to pastries. While the customer service when paying for your tee time is not top notch, one must remember it is a public course. From the clubhouse, a nine hole putting green is a mere 20 yards from the first tee. The driving range is located on the north side of the clubhouse adjacent to the 10th fairway with a sufficient supply of tee boxes.
The course itself plays fair and open, but by no stretch should be considered a cake walk. On the front side, water comes in to play on #2 (driveable Par 4), #5 (Par 5), #6 (Par 3 over water from tee to green) and #9 (tough Par 4 with water fronting the green). On the second nine, holes #11 (right of green), #14 (left side and fronting the green), #15 (behind the green) and #17 (right of fairway) does a water hazard affect shot making. What makes Quail Valley so difficult is the wind. On a non-windy day, the course can be had. However, should wind come in to play, the difficult holes become even tougher.
Eighth, 9th, 12th, 14th and 18th holes, all Par 4 grinders, turn into attitude testers with prevailing winds. And if the pin placements are on the high sides of numbers 2 and 11, your short game will be put to the test. The bright side are the Par 3 holes and Par 5 holes. The threes are all of reasonable distances (shortest at 129 yards, longest at 172 yards) and the fives are all birdie holes, even for the average player.
As with all courses in Oregon, this is a spring/summer course. Now that the weather has allowed it to dry out, the fairways and greens are susceptible to solid shots. There are scattered fairway bunkers, but the dangerous ones are greenside on every hole except 9, 11 and 15. Quail’s drawbacks are the previously mentioned wind conditions (it’s a rare day when wind is not a factor) and slow play. As the season continues, and play increases, get ready for 4-1/2 hour rounds during the week. However, for the opportunity of enjoyment and improving your game, Quail Valley is the course for you.