The quest to produce quality content on this site is a constant battle. I’m have mild OCD and not spending the time to detail and craft things really bothers me much more than it should. But, it’s Spring time in the Northwest and the people deserve content.
My plan from here on out is to provide an instant reaction and a mini review of courses that I play, and to follow them up with a full review down the road. I figure the benefits are two fold;
1) It will allow me to keep a healthy limit to the review backlog I’m currently sitting on.
2) It’ll give a concise and brief outline of my feelings on the course without boring the new reader to tears with a full, drawn-out manifesto on geeky design bits.
Today I trekked down the road from my Portland hotel to Lebanon, OR and Mallard Creek Golf and RV Resort. It’s located about 30 minutes SE of Salem, in a pretty rural area at the base of the Cascades.
I initaly learned about this place by attending the Portland Golf Show and receiving a free round voucher. I had no plans of actually driving all the way out, but that was before I followed the Superintendent Lyle on Twitter. I followed him a while ago, and have found him to be very approachable and honest, which is a refreshing in the world of mostly self-aggrandizing golf tweeters. * Side note: Go follow him, if for no other reason than following good people.
The course plays to a par of 72 at up to 7000 yards from the tips. I played the Blue tees which are a touch over 6500, and found this to be a great challenge without overpowering my fun quotient.
The routing is solid, with two distinct 9 hole loops, the front playing on some gentle hills with lots of sharp doglegs and well protected greens. The highlight holes are the 420 yard par 4th and the 180 yard par 3 7th. The 4th is a beast of a hole, allowing you to decide how much fairway to take on before leaving a tough downwind approach that sees the green guarded by water behind. The 3rd is a long downhill shot to a horseshoe green that wraps around a nast front bunker. Depending on pin position, this can be a brute.
The back has some quirky holes that didn’t really do it for me, but the monster 450 yard par 4 17th is followed up by the 560 yard par 5 18th and the form one of the more formidable finishing combos this side of Echo Falls.
The greens feea top out around the $50 range, and the course is walkable, but I’d recommend a cart because of the elevated back 9. It’s a fantastic value, and it’s kept in great shape, despite having the wettest March in Northwest history. I can’t say enough nice things about the staff and course, so I’ll leave you with this tl;dr assessment; Mallard Creek is one of the top 4 courses in the greater Portland area.
Great rates. Great layout. Great staff. The only thing holding it back is the remote location and the fact that all the water can eat up some balls. But hell, go buy some extras and grab their 5 rounds for $150 “Summer Card”, because it most definitely gets the Golf by Bryan stamp of approval.