The fourth annual Oregon Sand Green Open helps raise funds for Woodburn's oldest golf course

by: PHIL HAWKINS - The Oregon Sand Green Open attracts dozens of golfers, both local and throughout the Willamette Valley, to play on the Woodburn Golf Clubs unique, yet easy-to-play course in west Woodburn.Now in its fourth year of play, Woodburn Golf Club is once again getting set to host the Oregon Sand Green Open on June 29.

The purpose of the tournament, said Mick DeSantis, one of the event’s organizers and a board member for the golf club, is to raise funds and introduce new players to one of the more unique golf courses in the state.

“It’s a good course for somebody that is beginning,” said DeSantis. “A good portion of our people are younger people who are just starting, and older people who are on a fixed income.”

The 9-hole tournament will kick off with coffee and pastries at 8:30 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. Lunch and the awards presentation will proceed the golf. Champions for the tournament will be determined by gross scores, while all other prizes will be based on a Callaway System net score, where participants can be compared without the use of established handicaps.

“This is our big fundraiser in able to keep our green fees affordable, especially for children,” said DeSantis. “Where can you take a child and teach them to play for $3 for a round of golf?”

The Woodburn Golf Club is located on the outskirts of Woodburn, heading west on Highway 219 toward St. Paul and across the road from the Woodburn Dragstrip.

Built in 1925 on the grounds of a former orchard, the 9-hole course is a casual play. The annual tournament raises enough money each year to keep the course well-manicured and to keep green fees low for those who are just learning the game and want a relaxed atmosphere on the course.

“A lot of people take their grandkids out there, because they don’t have the pressure of people playing behind them,” DeSantis said.

The course’s clubhouse was built in the mid-1930s. Many of the local seniors and veteran golfers who play on the course now can trace their golf background back 60 years when they played the course as a kid, DeSantis said.

“A lot of the people in town learned to play golf when they were young,” DeSantis said. “They could ride their bikes out there and pack their clubs on their back for 50 cents back then and play all day.”

Entry fee is $40 (or $150 for a group of four registering together), which includes golf and lunch.

With regular greens fees at the course that are $7 for adults and $3 for children, Woodburn Golf Club is an affordable place to learn the game, said DeSantis.

by: PHIL HAWKINS - Temperatures at this years tournament are scheduled to be in the low 70s for a much milder round of play after thermometers hit the mid-90s at the 2013 Sand Green Open.“There’s no other course that offers such a thing,” he said. “We really feel we have a need, but we can’t support it on what we charge. It’s not a regular course, but the kids can learn how to drive (and hit) their second shots.”

The “Sand Green” moniker is no exaggeration. The course is unique in that it sports greens made of hard, packed sand. There are no water or sand hazards, making the course a fairly easy play but with a uncommon twist.

“Chipping is going to be a little different than when you’re on regular greens, but you still get the knowledge,” DeSantis said

Registration is open for the few remaining tournament spots, but Friday is the last chance to sign up. For more information on the tournament, contact DeSantis at 503-981-9098 or 880-4098, or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fourth Annual Oregon Sand Green Open

Where: Woodburn Golf Club, Highway 219 West

When: Sunday, 9:30 a.m.

Price: $40 per player. $150 for a group of four.

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