What’s to Love: Do you want a private golfing experience MINUS the private club? Eagle Landing Golf Course has a beautiful public facility featuring 36 holes (two 18-hole courses!) of the best, and most picturesque, miniature golf in Portland. Couple that with 27 holes of stellar par-three-golf, and you have an outing that is just right for the whole family.
We’ve visited Eagle Landing on two separate occasions, and both times my kids did not want to leave. This is particularly note worthy due to the fact that we are not golfers. I’ve toured much of the facility, played the “South 9″ par three, and played both 18 hole mini-golf courses with my kids. I still cannot believe it’s open to the public – it’s just too nice!
I was a bit nervous to play 9 holes of golf with my kids, because we’re COMPLETE NOVICES. I thought we’d embarrass ourselves or possibly, get kicked off the property. However, there were other families out playing with everyone taking their time and enjoying the game. The staff members were super friendly and helpful. If you want to learn and/or practice the game of golf, this is a great place to get started.
The par 3 course is a “short course” with holes ranging between 40 and 90 yards. This shorter distance makes it possible for children to actually get their ball on, or close to, the green directly from the tee. Although the holes are a short distance, there are still plenty of obstacles and interesting features to keep the game fun and challenging for all levels of play.
Caveats: When we visited, they were a bit short with kids’ rental clubs. If you come with a larger party, you may want to bring your own clubs, round up some from golfer-friends, or give the clubhouse a call.
Website: Eagle Landing Golf Course – the pages contains hours, directions, and prices.
Distance from Portland: 10 – 13 miles from Portland out in Happy Valley conveniently off I-205. Here is a Google Map.
Recommended Ages: While I’ve never gotten into golf, I enjoy it whenever I get the chance to play (both miniature and real). As a sport, I think it’s a good option for a wide variety of age groups. Without lessons, it’s difficult to pick up the swing, so kids younger than age six will have difficulties, even with mini-golf. However, that doesn’t mean that younger kids won’t enjoy themselves, especially putting around on the min-golf courses.
Parental Stress Factor: Just keep your kids away from each other when they’re swinging clubs, and you’ll have a relaxing time at Eagle Landing. I almost fell asleep while sitting on their patio eating lunch! Golf is generally a relaxing sport for me.
My advice is to not get hung up on playing the game perfectly – it’s supposed to be fun! When we play mini-golf, we don’t keep score, and I let my kids putt anyway they want. I don’t want to ruin their enthusiasm by constantly addressing their form or worrying about the score.
Physical Difficulty: The mini-golf courses and South 9 are all easy walking, and the mini-golf courses offer limited accessibility for those with physical disabilities.
Family Fun Factor: High! I think golf is a blast, and mini-golf is one of our family’s favorite activities. This is the best family-friendly facility I’ve experienced for short-course-golfing and miniature golf. If you haven’t been out, you need to go soon!
Pet Friendly: No dogs allowed golfing or miniature golfing.
Weather Considerations: I can’t imagine that you’ll want to drag your family around in the rain, but this is Oregon after all. The golfing is open and available year round at Eagle Landing, and I would imagine that miniature golf under lights is really fun.
The facility is perfect for weddings, special events, fundraisers, etc. They offer many different options for events. Visit this page on their website for more information.
If you’re going to play golf and are inexperienced, have small children, or both, I recommend starting with the “South 9,” which is right next to the clubhouse. If your kids get a bit whiny or don’t want to finish, it’s an easy walk back up to where you started.
Tucked away in a beautiful wooded setting, “The Cave” offers grilled burgers, garden burgers, hot dogs, PB&J, snacks, drinks, and chef specials. It’s open Thursday – Sunday 11am to 7pm, weather permitting. Call if in question.
While in a wooded area, the tees, fairways, and greens are all exposed to the direct sun. Make sure you bring hats, sunscreen, and a way to carry any kids that might get too tired to walk. A backpack is a good option. Strollers, even jogger-type-strollers, are not allowed on the course.
Other Posts of Interest...
Leaping Lamb Farm Stay on October 5th, 2009
Jackson Bottom Wetlands on February 1st, 2011
Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP) on March 18th, 2011