In 1891, before any formal golf course existed west of the Mississippi River, a clatch of homesick Scotsmen confounded the locals by burying tin cans into the dunes and then knocking balls with sticks until they dropped into the cans. For these Scots, the landscape at Gearhart was strongly reminiscent of the native, ancient courses of St. Andrews and Montrose.
Gearhart Golf Links is a public resort course with 18 holes of spectacular, links-style golf located in the town of Gearhart on the beautiful North Oregon Coast. Memberships are also available, and we are open for play 365 days a year. We are even open for “Free Golf” on Christmas Day, with a donation of canned goods for our local food bank. We welcome all golfers, of all skill levels, to enjoy a casual game or tournament play for a golf outing experience you won’t soon forget.
Welcome to Gearhart Golf LinKS
Peter Jacobsen – 7 time winner on the PGA Tour, NBC and Golf Channel Analyst
Kris Fay – Owner “North West Golf Adventures” and Golf Writer
David Jacobsen – Decorated Amateur Golfer and Member of the R&A
Dave Butler – Men’s Club President
1. Making me feel like I am special by the management, greens crew, and cart shed personal.
2. Being able to play most anytime that we want.
3. Affordability of fees – golf, locker, cart storage.
4. Course condition – it’s great to be a member of one of the best golf courses in the Northwest.”
Peggy Cole – Ladies’ Club President
Don Frank – Men’s Club Vice President
Jay Hart – Decorated Amateur and Member at Royal Oaks Country Club
Legend has it that Gearhart Golf Links began life in about 1888, starting out as three holes of true links-style golf amongst the seaside meadows that characterize the North Oregon coast. Golf, somewhat new to the U.S., came to Gearhart by way of visitors to the bustling resort who had experienced the game in Europe and found Gearhart’s meadows the perfect setting. By 1892, golf was a regular pastime for guests of the Hotel Gearhart on the three-hole course just across the street. With this history, Gearhart Golf Links is The Oldest Golf Course West of the Mississippi River and shares the early spotlight with such courses as Victoria Golf Club (1893), Tacoma Country and Golf Club (1894) and Del Monte Golf Club (1897). From its original three holes, Gearhart Golf Links has stayed true to its Scottish roots and offers a pleasurable round (now 18 holes) for all golfers. To this day, the course retains that classic links-style flavor, with a hint of traditional Northwest design features. A rich history, but with an eye to a glorious future. Golf itself boasts a long and mythical residency in Gearhart, appearing almost from the moment nails were being pounded into boards to build Gearharts first homes. Much of our colorful past is on display throughout the property in the form of historic photos and original paintings created by artists Olivia Behm, Kolieha Bush, Joe Cotter, Lyle Hehn, Jennifer Joyce, Isaka Sham Su Din, and Myrna Yoder. Artists have created colorful murals depicting the history of the Gearhart region, the golf course, and The Kelly House. Our stalwart historians are on the case, researching and gathering stories about the property and notable characters in the area. Have something to share? Gearhart welcomes historical information, photographs, and archives. Click here for more information on our history!
The Sittin’ Seagulls – a silly little bit of history at Gearhart Golf Links.
The Sittin’ Seagulls Tournaments (1959-68) stand as the most unorthodox golf events held at Gearhart. It wasn’t really even about golf — it was about people coming together, having fun, doing silly (even surreal) things on and around the golf course. Each year, a different theme was selected and participants dressed accordingly: Hawaiian, pirate, kilt-wearing Scots, Spanish bullfighters, etc. Parties erupted in the Sand Trap and across the street at the grand, old Hotel Gearhart. Golf was played, sometimes of a high quality, more often a laughable one, prompted by trick holes, dummy flags and a refreshment-cart-toting mule named Egad! This festival of life, food, drink and golf was a huge hit…..and has been re-Established and is now part of our full Tournament Schedule!
January 26th – Mcmenamins Scramble: Spirits Tour
January 27th – The True Oregonian
What can we expect at the first tee, Jason?
“The first hole is a welcoming start. A solid tee shot avoiding 4 fairway bunkers will leave you a short iron to an open fronted green.”
What is the best par-5 on the course?
“Number 18 is a great finishing hole and very fun to play — crazy long at 640 yards, it’s a winding, uphill hole with the beautiful Kelly House as the backdrop.”
What is the best par-3 on the course?
“Number 11 can stretch back to 262 yards, with an ominous complex of bunkers guarding the green on the right; 3 is a great score.”
“Number 18 gets a lot of attention, but #5 is the toughest hole under 400 yards due to a perfectly-placed water hazard and twisting fairway. “Number 12 is the toughest par-4 over 400 yards for it’s tee shot out of a chute and well guarded, elevated green.”
Gearhart Golf Links is a 4-hour golf course. You will be asked to keep pace with the group in front of you, and allow faster groups to play through at the earliest opportunity. All alcoholic beverages must be purchased from The Sand Trap or Pot Bunker bars. (OLCC Law)
Most of all, have fun!
Does Gearhart Golf Links sound like the kind of course you’d like to be a member of? We’d sure like to have you! For membership information, click here or give us a call at (503) 738-3538.
THE OLDEST COURSE IN THE WEST
MCMENAMINS SAND TRAP
AND POT BUNKER PUBS
You won’t believe the “new” Gearhart Golf Links!
When Gearhart Golf Links first opened, there were no trees on the course at all. It resembled the treeless, gorse and heather-lined links courses of Scotland. Recently we’ve completed a program to restore GGL’s true links character and identity by removing the majority of the interior trees. The result is incredible. The Shore Pines on the course (90% of the trees), were planted after the Depression as a work relief program. This species has a 50 to 60 year life span. Now in their 7th decade, Gearhart’s trees were dead or dying. With each passing storm, we would lose limbs or entire trees, so in the interest of safety, we were happy to remove the trees. What we’ve been delighted to discover is how normal and natural Gearhart GL looks in its restored state.The natural rolling dunescape is no longer disguised by trees marching in formation down the edges of the fairways. The views from the tees now take in not simply a single hole but the panorama of the golf course. Removing the trees has made the course seem larger. Without trees determining the playing corridors, players now have options off the tee, the prospect of finding different angles for approach shots, and a chance to use both ground and aerial tactics around the greens….the true essence of Links Golf. We are very excited! The fairway and collection area mow lines have been adjusted, as they are no longer bound by cart paths or trees. As is the case with other golf courses that have taken on tree removal programs, the turf grass quality will improve from greater airflow and sun exposure, as well as from the removal of larger tree root systems. Areas that will need resurfacing will be seeded with Fescue, which will provide firm, fast surfaces. Most of all, the playing experience will go from that of a pretty little Parkland Course, to a fast, unique, interesting, and really fun Links Golf Course! Special thanks the Keith Keranen Excavating for the terrific and efficient work with this extra large project! (pictured are Keith Keranan on the left, and former GGL Assistant Superintendent Jack Brock on the right)
DESIGN CONSULTANT – JOHN STRAWN
GEARHART GOLF LINKS & CARNE GOLF LINKS
Gearhart Golf Links on Oregon’s north Pacific coast is the oldest course in the western United States. Carne Golf Links (Click here to view website) in County Mayo is the newest of the great links courses scattered along Ireland’s west coast, having opened its first nine for play in 1992, one hundred years after the first shots flew and bounced across Gearhart’s dunes. Now, these two celebrated courses—one with a rich history, the other with a robust future–have linked hands to form a unique sister course relationship, recognizing their shared affinity for golf as a conduit to friendship and community. No place in the USA resembles the green charm of Ireland more than the Pacific Northwest, which moves to the center of the golf universe in 2015 when for the very first time the US Open is held on a Northwest course—Washington state’s Chambers Bay. The long axis of Pacific coast links golf stretching from Chambers Bay to Bandon Dunes goes through Gearhart, which is both a cornerstone in the founding of Northwest golf and a strong pillar in sustaining its future. Beginning in 2015, members of Gearhart Golf Links will be honorary members of Carne, and Carne members will enjoy honorary privileges at Gearhart. Gearhart’s unique sister-course relationship with Carne Golf Links will foster an enduring union between golfers in Oregon and Ireland. Built on slightly more than 100 acres and playing at just over 6550 yards, Gearhart Golf Links was established in 1892, and thus predates the USGA, which was founded in 1896. Gearhart’s current routing was laid out in the 1920s by the great early American golf champion Chandler Egan, who moved to Oregon from Chicago right before WWI. In addition to winning two US Amateurs and a team gold medal at the 1904 Olympics, Egan established himself as a leading west coast golf course designer. Egan’s design portfolio included almost twenty new courses and numerous re-designs, such as his reworking of Gearhart. Collaborating with Alister MacKenzie and Robert Hunter, who was also Egan’s teammate on the winning US Olympic team, he helped re-design of Pebble Beach Golf Course in advance of the 1929 US Amateur Tournament. Carne Golf Course was the last links golf course designed by the late Eddie Hackett, the long-time professional at Portmarnock whose role in Irish golf design echoes Egan’s work in the Pacific Northwest. A portrait of Hackett hangs in Carne’s clubhouse, honoring the man who was able to envision Carne’s arresting green sites and winding fairways tucked into the formidable dunes overlooking Blacksod Bay. In 2013, a third nine was opened at Carne, weaving among the original holes and facilitating a combination course, adding to the pleasure and complexity of Carne Links. Visitors to Carne are surprised to discover that a course almost unknown outside of Ireland is among the greatest links courses in the world. Gearhart has undergone a several year remodeling under the watchful eye of John Strawn, of Hills and Forrest International Golf Course Architects, to bring the course back to its original links style. Trees were removed and several of the holes were lengthened and modified to bring the course up to 6551 yards. Gearhart is meticulously maintained by Forrest Goodling’s staff of professional groundskeepers, and the entire operation is managed by Jason Banglid, PGA, professional.
We have been fortunate to have some nice articles written about the Links over the last few years. Here are a few of our favorites:
Golf Digest Article: Click here
Links Magazine Article: Click here
Oregon Lifestyle and Home Article: Click here
Great Northwest Wine Article: Click here
Bellingham Golfer Article: Click here
© 2017 Gearhart Golf Links All Rights Reserved.
Photography Thanks to
1157 N. Marion Ave
Gearhart, OR 97138