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Golf Course Review: Heron Lakes Golf Club, Great Blue Course, Portland, Oregon

Location, Location, Location

As in many places, there are a lot of great golf destinations in Oregon. But many of the best in the Portland area are private clubs. The better public tracks, such as Bandon Dunes in southwest Oregon and various courses in central Oregon around Bend, are far away from the Portland metro area.

However, the Portland metro area does feature some very nice public golf courses. On the Bars & Pars journey, location is critical, especially on the northwest leg of the trip where the distance between the oldest bars is significant. So with that in mind, the course we chose for Oregon is Heron Lakes Golf Club’s Great Blue Course.

The course is formidable, yet approachable.

Rolling fairways framed by lush tall grasses and meandering waterways are common on this course. On a sunny day, it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

A former PGA tour destination and the site of various amateur events, the Great Blue Course offers many of the golfing features you expect from better courses.

Set up in the links style, there are fairway mounds and undulating greens that keep you on your toes. However, nothing is set up in what some might consider an unfair manner. Good shots are not penalized here.

What sets this course apart is its variety. Unlike many links courses that grind you with endless elevation changes, fairway mounds, and ridiculously deep bunkers, the Great Blue Course throws combo punches at you in the form of small greens and water hazards on some holes.

The Great Blue Course is a great value.

Water is a main feature of this course. To attack pins like this, you either have to take on the water or the sand. It makes for a fun day of golf.

In the final analysis, Heron Lakes Great Blue Course is a fine choice for the Bars & Pars challenge. At just over $40 for the round, it is definitely worth every penny.

And afterwards, you’ll be in the mood to enjoy a few drinks at Huber’s Cafe, which is located just a few minutes away in downtown Portland.