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Pleasures of Pendleton

Two challenging and affordable courses within driving range

There are many Spokane golfers who make an annual early spring getaway to the Tri-Cities, where they sample a diverse array of interesting and affordable public courses in an attempt to beat the winter blues.

Those who do might want to consider expanding their horizons.

Because about an hour southeast of the Richland-Pasco-Kennewick area, in Pendleton, Ore., are two more challenging and entertaining courses that are well worth the drive, and, perhaps, even a day or two extension of that golf getaway.

The two Pendleton layouts – Wildhorse Resort Golf Club and Pendleton Country Club – offer two completely different experiences and plenty of gorgeous views, hazards and surprises to pique the interests of all levels of golfers.

Wildhorse, located on the western edge of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, is a modern-style layout that provides a wonderful resort-like experience, while Pendleton Country Club, a semi-private course, unfolds in a more classic manner eight miles south of Pendleton in the Birch Creek Valley.

During a recent trip to Oregon, I was fortunate enough to be invited to play both courses, which remain open year-round as weather permits. And although my round at the Wildhorse Golf Club was plagued by a persistent, and sometimes heavy, rain, I am already making plans for a return visit.

Steve Bergum