It's well known that Portland's rainy season is a long one, but those sunny, perfect temperature, blue-sky days that come after make it all worth it. The best way to spend a day like that is obviously outdoors. For some, it's camping, others prefer exploring the city's various neighborhoods or checking out a local farmer's market, but if golf is your game you're in luck.
Several of Portland golf courses are nationally renowned — it is the only city in the U.S. to host four different USGA championships. When you're ready to hit the links, there's no need to settle for anything under par, go too far from home, or join a club. Whether you boast a low handicap or you're still working on your golf game, you can find a course to fit your skillset.
Here are the 10 best public golf courses in Portland:
Claremont is a nine-hole, well-groomed course spread over 3,000 yards in northwest Portland's wooded Bethany neighborhood. Challenges like dog leg-shaped holes, lakes, and ponds keep golfers on their toes while providing a scenic backdrop.
Each hole offers four sets of tees for varying skill levels and a fast pace of play, meaning anyone is welcome and you won't necessarily be there all day. However, they do offer a special value on a par-72 round for those who can't get enough.
Take a quick, 20-minute drive southeast from downtown Portland to Happy Valley for a unique golf experience at Eagle Landing. This club puts the spotlight on the short game with a 27-hole par 3 course to allow some quality time with your favorite putter.
Each hole is only between 40-90 yards with an array of hazards and elevations, making it a fast-paced but strategic outing whether you want to play nine, 18, or the full 27 holes.
Even shorter yet, they have a beautiful, 36-hole mini-golf course worthy of a PGA level event that's perfect for keeping the kids entertained, or for a fun date.
If that wasn't enough, they are also the first dedicated soccer golf course in the country with 9 holes of fun in case you've ever wanted to tee off with your feet.
Located in southeast Portland, Eastmoreland Golf Club is a historic, 100-year-old course. Ranked among some of the best public courses in the country, its gorgeous 18 holes highlight the tree-lined fairways and scenic waterways frequented by many species of native birds.
This course is a challenge that will bring out the best in your golf game but probably isn't the most suitable for beginners.
The east course is longer and features tight, tree-lined fairways and water hazards on three holes, making it more of a challenge. The west course is more open with fewer bunkers, so choose accordingly but know that both courses offer four 4 sets of tees for varying skill sets.
The landscape is a bit on the hilly side which can make for tricky putts, but it is an easy walk if you prefer to play the course on foot.
Heron Lakes is home to two beautiful championships, 18-hole courses just minutes north of downtown Portland. The Greenback course has six serene ponds, as well as a number of tricky bunkers and large trees to navigate. The par 3's build pressure but this is generally the more welcoming of the two courses.
The Great Blue course, however, is one of the most difficult in Portland. Most of the fairways on the Great Blue narrow into small, sloping greens that can send balls rolling in any number of directions, that is if you're able to avoid the abundant water features, sand and tall rough areas.
This challenging 18-hole par 3 course will require some strategy as you play over its 2,500 rolling yards.
A serene creek winds through the back 9 and a beautiful view of St. Helens and Mt Adams are on display in some areas. There's also a covered and lighted driving range to work on your long game in any weather and footgolf options if you'd rather play with your feet.
The sprawling course is available for nine or 18 holes that invite beginners and experts alike to enjoy a day on the links. Their covered practice facility is a nice option as well for rainy days when you just want to hit a few balls. This course is known for its Scottish-inspired mounded fairways and vast, sandy bunkers so don't forget to bring your wedge club and some patience.
Northeast Portland's hidden gem, Rose City Golf Club is a charming municipal, 18-hole track. The course features gentle, rolling fairways decorated by mature trees, well-placed bunkers along the green, and water hazards accompanying several holes.
After a round of 9 or 18 holes, be sure to stop by the beautiful brick clubhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places to connect with the club's rich history.
Just east of Portland is Clackamas County's Sah-Ha-Lee Golf Course. Offering a year-round, par 3, 18-hole course, this is one of the most affordable places to golf in the area with nice scenery nestled in a valley along the Clackamas River and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
Sah-Ha-Lee is a great place to practice your short game, but if your drive could use some love the covered, lighted range is the place to go in any weather. They also have a quaint mini-golf course and offer a small foot-golf zone for other family-friendly options.
Fifteen miles southwest from Portland tucked back in the countryside of West Linn is the Sandelie Golf Course. This course is accessible to all and very family-friendly with accommodating weekend rates and amenities for all ages.
Sandelie is a great place to take the kids to learn. But if you're with a group looking to play an intense round with no distractions, it isn't the best choice. The course is a well-manicured 18 holes with two sets of tees for varying skill sets featuring wide open fairways, majestic northwest trees and even some occasional wildlife.
The Portland metro area is home to many fantastic public golf courses, each with its own unique qualities. A few hours on the green is also a perfect way to enjoy the region's natural beauty, from its wildlife to various landscapes, you can take it all in while getting some exercise out on the green.
With so many options, it's easy to find the right fit for your skillset, budget, how long of a round you want to play and what part of your game you want to work on. Just remember, even a bad day on one of Portland's golf courses is better than a good day at work.