Heron Lakes: Two of the region’s top golf courses

Updated: August 30, 2012

Heron Lakes is a place where twice is nice. As in two golf courses on one piece of property. It’s little wonder why Heron Lakes and its original Greenback Course and the newer Great Blue Course are among the most popular in the Pacific Northwest for public golfers.

Heron Lakes first opened back in 1971 with its West Delta Park Golf Course. But in 1988, things started to change for Heron Lakes, which is located just off Interstate-5 and just south of the Interstate Bridge. The West Delta Park name became Greenback and the first nine of the Great Blue Course designed by Robert Trent Jones opened for play. The second nine opened in 1992 and Heron Lakes had one of the best 36-hole operations in the Pacific Northwest operated by the Portland Parks and Recreation Department. KemperSports manages the facility.

The original Greenback Course might seem a bit more user-friendly with its 6,616 yards from the tips and not as many hazards as its sister course. But the Greenback Course does have some teeth, from the opening 536-yard dogleg right par-5 to its closing stretch of holes which feature some watery hazards, including a short par-4 with water all the way down the left side of the fairway.

The Great Blue Course is considered a bit tougher, playing 6,902 yards from the back tees. There is no shortage of water and sand traps to get your attention, including a series of fairway bunkers on the left side of the fairway on the 413-yard par-4 18th hole.

The facility always seems to have something going on for golfers, from tournaments to fun-filled events. In fact on Oct. 20 the Great Blue Oktoberfest is set for Heron Lakes. It is called a Par for Life Series Event and features an 18-hole, two-person Shamble along with beer and sausage tasting. This is a perfect fit for the beer loving golfers as Cascade Lakes, Widmer, Bridgeport, McTarnahan’s and Full Sail are all scheduled to have beer tastings as part of the event. There will be eight local micro-brew tastings and four sausage tastings. For more check out heronlakesgolf.com/Oktoberfest.

Heron Lakes and the other City of Portland courses are involved in a high school caddy program called EAGLE – Early Adventures in Golf for a Lifetime of Enjoyment. Seven high school kids have been selected to work as caddies this summer and next summer. They must caddy at least 80- rounds during that time. Two of the seven will win a college scholarship.

For more information call 503.292.8570 or see heronlakesgolf.com

Heron Lakes Golf Club at a glance
• Where: Portland, Oregon.
• Golf: Heron Lakes is made up of two courses, the Greenback Course and the Great Blue Course. The Greenback was the first course, having opened as West Delta Park in 1971. The course was later changed to Greenback in 1988 to reflect the type of birds that nest in the area.
• Phone: 503.292.8570.