Portland ‘public golfing’ centenary celebrated

Learn why Portland Parks & Recreation held a golfing party in outer East Portland, not long ago …

The driving range is closed for the day at the Colwood Golf Center, to make way for a variety of games during Portland Parks’ 100th year celebration of its public golf facilities.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A light drizzle didn’t stop folks from coming to the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) “Golf’s Centennial Celebration: The Next 100”, on Tuesday, August 28.

At this free family-friendly celebration at the Colwood Golf Center on NE Columbia Boulevard, the day included games, golf cart excursions, and community information.

Portland Parks & Recreation Assistant Director of Golf Vincent Johnson welcomes those new to the game to come try golf at one of their facilities.

The Parks Bureau’s public golfing program actually began at what is now its Eastmoreland Golf Course, explained PP&R Assistant Director of Golf Vincent Johnson.

“And, we’re celebrating 100 years of public golf today here, at our newest property, designed to bring more people into playing the game they haven’t played before,” Johnson told East Portland News.

Kids have fun driving their balls at “GolfZilla”.

Golf definitely fits in with the mission of the Parks Bureau, Johnson stated. “It involves recreation – family recreation – all done in an open and beautiful green space; that’s why the golf program was started, and we believe strongly in it now more than ever.

“And, PP&R continues to make golf more affordable, more accessible, and more inclusive – and as we continue to do this, the more relevant it’ll become,” Johnson pointed out. “I don’t see golf as a sport diminishing at all, but instead getting better.”

Nola gets putting tips from her golf instructor – and dad – Steven Bouffard.

He pointed out that with golf, the old and young play and enjoy the game together, making it a unique recreational activity.

Johnson said his own introduction to golf was tagging along when his dad and older brother went to play. “The game looked interesting – but, when I got to go for rides on the golf carts, that hooked me!”

As he picked up golf, he and his links mentors realized he “had a knack for the game”, and he kept at it.

Outside the clubhouse, community organizations meet people attending the celebration.

“Portland Parks has five golf properties – and Colwood is a great starting point, in that we see a wide cross-section of Portlanders here, in terms of age, gender, and race,” Johnson observed.

There is no “season” for golf, Johnson added: “Anytime is a good time to start, for everyone of all skill levels – come find out!”

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© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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