TROUTDALE, Ore. — It’s just a little bit of a golf course, a buck a hole, very Edgefield, very McMenamins.
If you live some place other than the Northwest portion of Grey Goatee Nation, you might not know of the McMenamins’ business model for eating, drinking and lodging establishments. That is, to rehab old and interesting properties, like, buildings and grounds with some history to them, and put a bar in every crook and corner.
Edgefield, 20 minutes east of Portlandia, is kind of the apex of the McMenamins art. It used to be the Multnomah Poor Farm, an honest to god poor farm, then later it was a sanitorium, and when the enlightened in the local government decided it had to be torn down the hippies, I think, said it had historicalistic value and had to be preserved, about which time the McMenamins stepped in and said, hey, we’ll buy the fucking place.
One day sometime after that, a couple guys got stoned, I have to imagine, and said, well, yeah, we do need a golf course, so they laid out the Pub Course, the East with 12 holes totaling 673 yards, the longest stretching to 77 yards; and the West with 20 holes, the longest 84 yards. For the record, the East (the only side that got played last weekend) is pretty and a good walk. The greens are decent and well-tended, and sobriety is hardly necessary nor encouraged.
I wouldn’t call the Pub Course a golf “destination,” because there’s a lot more to do at Edgefield, such as drinking, which is a recurring theme ridiculously easy to buy into. After you’re done playing, take a stroll down the hallway of the Distillery Bar that doubles as the clubhouse and check out the pot stills for the disparate spirits in the Edgefield portfolio. If you don’t try the Monkey Puzzle whiskey, I really can’t explain you.
When the young people happen into Jerry’s Ice House, one of like 13 bars at Edgefield, and they see the tie-dye on the barkeep and hear the rockin’ blues on the sound system from the video of an obscure musical road movie in continuous loop on the only television sets on the property, they just have to be thinking, “Geez, our parents were cool.”
Your spouse-like partner won’t begrudge you the 45 minutes or so it takes to play 12 little tiny holes, and you, unless you’re way too serious about golf, won’t see much point in stressing about the bad shots because the next good shot is only moments away, and the next whiskey hit sooner than that, if you’re holding. And why wouldn’t you be?
McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 S.W. Halsey St., Troutdale, Ore., (503) 669-8610.
Golf tee times: (503) 492-5442.