Nestled on the western slope of the Cascade Mountains, along the McKenzie River, lies Tokatee Golf Club. This course is truly a slice of heaven. So much so that, our writer from Oregon wants his ashes spread on the property when he dies.
Tokatee is an hour’s drive from the nearest real city but that hasn’t stopped golfers from making the trek since 1966.
The first thing you’ll see when you get to Tokatee is a sign along side the highway with the course’s name and the insignia “Everyone Welcome.” The driveway is framed by a thick fir forest that opens up to a breathtaking expanse of holes one through four.
There are no houses along the course and traffic noise is nonexistent. Splendid views of the Cascade Mountains can be seen from nearly every hole.
Though Tokatee isn’t the most difficult course in the world, it’s always in outstanding shape and features some more than memorable holes.
The par four fifth hole only measures 388 yards from the back tees, but you’d better pay attention. After a placed tee shot, you’re faced with an approach to a small green that’s guarded left and right by three towering fir trees. While the trees look like they come into play more than they do, they’ll definitely have your pucker factor in full effect.
The 17th hole is arguably the most fun par three in the entire state. At only 151 yards from all the way back, the tee shot plays significantly downhill to a green protected by water and bunkers. When you hit your tee shot, the ball seems to stay in the air forever causing moments of anxiousness and relief when it finally hits the green (so you hope).
There’s no pretention at Tokatee and that’s just the way they like it. To that end, it’s not uncommon to see folks playing in T-shirts and even barefoot. No one cares. They’re simply there to have a good time and enjoy the natural serenity.
Indeed, there’s no such thing as a bad day at Tokatee.