Some courses have natural tie-ins with some college football teams

Updated: August 30, 2010

By Dan Johnson
Special to Inside Golf Newspaper
With fall fast approaching and with college football season at the doorstep, many people are dropping their golf clubs and heading for the roaring stadiums. Some golf courses in the Northwest, who are already associated with Pac-10 schools, want to make sure golf stays relevant during the cold and often rainy doldrums of the Northwest fall and winter months.

One way courses, like Palouse Ridge and Emerald Valley Golf Club, have been able to do that is by combining the fans’ frenzy for football with their love of golf with game day rates and specials. Palouse Ridge, in Pullman, Washington is a young golf course. It’s in only its second full season, but has already had success in the past using its game day rates and has even better deals for golfers this year.

“We’ve lowered our rates for game days even more this year. Those days are always in high demand,” said Tyler Jones, General Manager at Palouse Ridge.

At Palouse Ridge there is an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start to make sure players get their round in before kickoff for Washington State University home games. The rates are $89 for residents and $99 for non-residents and include the green fee, a cart, practice balls and lunch.

The rates not only keep golfers coming back during the fall and winter, but also celebrate the relationship between the course and the University. Since WSU owns the golf course, the relationship between the two is as obvious as it is important.

As the home course of the University of Oregon, Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Oregon is another Northwest golf destination taking advantage of the popularity of college football games. Emerald Valley keeps their game day rates going all day one day before the football game until one day after. During that time, golfers can play a round of 18 holes for only $50 with a cart.

“With the Ducks playing mostly at night this year, it’s easy for people to come out and play and still have time to make it to their tailgate and then the game,” said Brad Leiken, the Head Professional at Emerald Valley.

This is the first year that the game day special has been available at Emerald Valley and the decision to institute the deal was an easy one according to Leiken.

“The Ducks program has really taken hold over the last 10 years. We realized how dead the course was on game day and wanted to do something about it. This way, it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Leiken.

The Washington Huskies don’t have a course on campus but do have a campus driving range and Oregon State in Corvallis has Trysting Tree near the campus. UW plays home matches at Gold Mountain, Broadmoor and Washington National.