In the town of Union, to the southeast of La Grande, this course is an open 18-hole public course built up and around the side of a valley (so there are lots of up or down shots). The front 9 goes on the outside of the layout and the back 9 goes on the inside. The scenery is attractive and the course is well maintained; areas in front of the greens are generally hard and the greens true, but a tad slow. There are many risk-reward holes with carries and angles. Forward tees provide benefit in both shorter distances and better angles. Although there are walking paths, the course is hilly and there can be some distance between holes. A cart may be preferred.
Built in 2000 by the City of Union. Ownership of the course has since been transferred to Union County.
Why It Is There
The course was part of a two-tiered project by the City of Union. The City was required to build a sewage treatment plant. The City voted to build the treatment plant and also voted to build the golf course, which would use the reclaimed water.
There are many drives over waste areas and/or to fairways that run off at an angle. Yardage over the waste areas or to the end of the fairways would be helpful (but there are no yardage books). The solution is to take good notes and play the course several times.
Did You Know
Soon after it opened, the course became famous for a picture of a judge driving off from the 4th tee with marijuana plants in the foreground. This was picked up by the local paper and then The Paul Harvey Show, a national radio show.
Good For Them
The course uses reclaimed water both in its own right and to assist the City of Union in completing a sewer treatment facility. The course is the home course for both Union and Imbler High Schools (when they have teams). The course annually hosts the United Way Scramble, benefiting the United Way of Eastern Oregon. The course is also a practice course for the Union High Cross Country Team.
The course has a unique layout and some unique holes. It is well maintained and has good pricing. In addition, the La Grande Valley and the City of Union are both good areas to explore (with the course being a great add-on).
- Type: 18-hole public course
- Price: $$
- Phone/webpage: (541)562-5527/www.buffalopeakgolf.com
- Address: 1224 E. Fulton Street, Union, Oregon 97883
- Owner: Union County
- Designer: William Phillips
- Pros: Scott Marcum (PGA)
- Practice Facilities: Driving range off grass, chipping area, sand area, and practice green
- Pro Shop: Some clothing and equipment
- Food: Hot dogs and heated sandwiches, beer and soda, available when the course is open; there is a deck that overlooks the course
- Bathrooms: Improved in clubhouse and porta potties on course
- Yardage Markers: 150 poles; 250, 200, 175, 125, 100, and 75 in-ground markers; yardage on sprinklers; pins color-coded for position
- Clothing: No tank tops or cut-offs
- Walkable: Hilly, with some distance between holes; best to take a cart
- Spikes: Soft
- Shoe Cleaning: Brush
- Rental: All
- Can be closed in winter
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