Eugene Country Club

General Course DescriptionEugene Country Club

Eugene Country Club is an 18-hole course on the edge of downtown Eugene and is the second oldest, private golf club in the state. Hard to imagine a more attractive, classic course, with towering fir trees on every hole (which make the fairways seem narrower), very-well-manicured fairways and greens, and attractive (but challenging) use of traps and water.  Interesting hole design, with twists and turns and fairway undulations. Eugene Country Club has very good practice facilities and an attractive and comfortable, newly remodeled clubhouse. This historic course has forward tees that provide better angles and shorter distances. The course is basically flat and surprisingly compact (for the feel); it’s a nice walk.

Course History

Several local businessmen formed the Eugene Golf Club in 1899 and opened a 9-hole course on a hilly stretch of land overlooking the Willamette River. The course had sand greens and was reportedly initially referred to as the South Willamette Golf Club.  Membership quickly expanded and it became the host course for the University of Oregon. By 1921, the members found the course “overtaxed,” and started looking for options to expand. In 1923, the Club bought land for the present course from the Young, Ford, and McAlister families, and brought in H. Chandler Egan to design the course. The first 9 opened in 1924 (with the Ford farmhouse as the original clubhouse), and the second 9 opened in 1925.  When the second 9 opened, The Oregonian described the course as follows: “Without a doubt, one of the finest 18-hole courses in the west.”

By the 1960s, the membership found that the course, with its small greens and tees, had become overused.  The membership hired Robert Trent Jones to remodel the course and he essentially flipped each hole (trading the tee and green positions), which brought the existing water and sand features more into play. Mr. Jones also increased the size of the greens and the tee boxes. Interestingly, members were able to play at least a portion of the course throughout the remodel. In 2019, Golf Digest ranked the course as the 5th best course in the state. In 2021 the course was 171st on Golf Digest’s list of America’s Greatest Golf Courses.

The course has hosted many a national and regional tournament including: the 2018 USGA Senior Amateur, the 2008 USGA Women’s Amateur, 1964 USGA Junior Boys (won by Johnny Miller), the 1962 to 1968 Pacific Ladies Classic (the then LPGA stop), the Oregon Amateur (1930, 1950, 1962, 1972, 1983, 1999, and 2013), the 1956 Northwest Open, and the 2008 Oregon Classic (the Nationwide Tour stop). The course has also hosted many collegiate events including the 1959, 1978, and 2016 NCAA Men’s Championship (the last being won by the University of Oregon), the 2016 NCAA Women’s Championship, and several Pac-8, Pac-10, and Pac-12 Championships (including the one scheduled for 2019).

Why It Is There

Many local businessmen and golfers, including CD Rorer, DA Paine, RS Hamilton, ES Smith, HW Renshaw, and David Auld, wanted to play golf.  They formed a club, and built a course.  Membership grew quickly. It became and continues to be to be one of the best private courses in the Northwest.

I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Played

If you hit into the trees, take your medicine and just punch out — their beauty belies their density.  By and large, the course does not hide its dangers, but I want to note three things. On the par-3 5th hole, over a lake, it looks like it is downhill, but even on a calm day, play the yardage flat. On the par-5 13th hole, on the drive there is a trap left, but if you go too far to the right there are two deep ditches you cannot see from the tee (right below the oak trees). If you can’t clear the trap, be short or just right of the trap. And on the par-4 15th hole, it is a sharp dogleg left, with the turn coming in a break in the tree line, which can be difficult to see (if you look under the trees to the left, you will see the traps in front of the elevated green that provide a hint of where the tree break is located).

Did You Know

As with many great historic courses, Eugene Country Club has a rich history, both in operations (the original course doubled as a trapshooting range) and play (the 1929 Walter Hagen v Don Moe match). But two things were brought to my attention while I was playing the course. If you happen to hit your second shot on the par-5 6th hole too far right, you may come across a gravestone for “Indian Liza.”  She is purported to be the nanny for the children of Cal Young, one of the farmers who sold a portion of his farm to build the course. On the par-4 14th hole as the hole starts to turn right, there is a funny looking tree that the locals call “Marge Simpson” (because it looks like her). This is one of (perhaps last) of the 150-yard tree markers for the original design (don’t use it now as the holes have been flipped).

Good For Them

The water from the surrounding storm drains collect in the ponds on the course and are then used for irrigation. The course has riparian buffer zones around sensitive wildlife areas.  For over 43 years, the course has been hosting the Oregon Trail Council golf tournament for the benefit of the local Boy Scouts of America.  The course is an Evans Scholarship participant course.

Why Play This Course

One of the best courses in the state, it is a stunning, classic course that is expertly maintained.  Historic, with great practice facilities, a very nice clubhouse, a warm and accommodating staff, and a nice group of members. If you are ever invited, play it (and even if you are not invited, find a charity event hosted by the course and make a donation so you can play it).


    • Type: 18-hole private course
    • Price: Private
    • Phone/webpage: (541)345-0181/
    • Address: 255 Country Club Road, Eugene, Oregon 97401
    • Owner: Eugene Country Club
    • Designer: Chandler Egan, Robert Trent Jones (1966 remodel), John Harbottle (2010 remodel)
    • Pros: Bill Morach (PGA), Christopher Smith (PGA, Speedgolf record-holder, named one of the best golf teachers in the state by Golf Digest)
    • Practice Facilities: Driving range on grass, two putting greens, pitching and sand practice area
    • Pro Shop: Medium, with a good amount of clothing and equipment
    • Food: Full-service restaurant and bar in the clubhouse open to members and guests
    • Bathrooms: Improved in clubhouse and on course
    • Yardage Markers: Multiple in-ground yardage markers; take a pin sheet for pin position
    • Clothing: Proper golf attire
    • Walkable: A nice walk
    • Spikes: Soft only
    • Shoe Cleaning: Air hose, brushes, and wash
    • Rentals: All
    • Open all year
Yards Par Rating Slope
Championship 7015 72 74 135
Blue 6849 72 73.2 134
White 6403 72 71.2/77.1 129/142
Green 5666 72 67.9/73 122/132
Red 4664 72 67.1 117
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