“Did anyone famous ever play Eastmoreland?” I ask Rob Cumpston, who along with his older brother Clark, managed the Pro Shop some 40+ years.
“Well, Michael Jordan once played here in 1986.” he replies nonchalantly.
I nearly spit out my drink. “What!!? His Airness?”
This seems absolutely bonkers knowing he’s the most famous amatuer golfers of present day, playing with Tiger, President Obama. He's a top competing amatuer in Pro Am events much like the great boxing champion Joe Louis in the 1950’s and 60's (who also played Eastmoreland).
It’s all true, and here’s the story:
In 1986 on cold March weekday morning in Portland, Oregon in walks the NBA's Rookie of the Year, future captain and MVP of the Chicago Bulls 6-Championships, by all modern accounts the greatest basketball player of all time.
“Wait … March... isn’t this during the NBA season?”
Yes, it was a turn of fate, or at least a turn of the ankle, that lead Jordan to Eastmoreland in March. He's 23 years old, same as his jersey number, and was healing from a broken a bone in his foot in late November 1985. The injury resulted in him missing the next 64 games and almost the entire season. See “Broken Dreams: 85-86 Bulls derailed by Jordan’s injury.”
Jordan was in town for a trip to see a leading Orthopedic surgeon from Eugene. The appointment set up by Phil Knight and Nike team who were equally adamant as Jordan getting approved to play for the remainder of the season. This was necessary because the Chicago Bulls front office publically decided to be cautions with the injury and bench their star for the remainder of the season. The visit had been mentioned in the news, as Jordan publically aid he was ready to play, and sought a second opinion. Jordan would win this battle, like so many on the court, and return to help the Bulls make a historic last minute run for the Playoffs. Then in the first series he leads the Bulls and lights up theBoston Celtics for 63 points in Game 2, an NBA record for most points scored in a single postseason game. Just a taste of the post-season domination ensuing a few years later as 6 title championship run of the Chicago Bulls.
What kind of day was it?
“The weather was just god awful, dumping rain. Nobody, and I mean nobody, was playing golf that day. Well, except for a few of the oldtimers that play everyday, the place was empty”
So in walks one of the most famous athletes of all time Michael Jordan. The first person to recognize Michael was the Byron Kelly, who was working in the restaurant. He looked wide eyed at Michael coming in and moved in the direction to follow him towards the pro shop.
Rob Cumpston recognized Michael right away as well. “I knew him from watching college basketball. Michael was already a huge star, and then since his deal with Nike everyone thought he could be drafted by the Trailblazers. Rip City fans still gnash teeth about picking the tall center Sam Bowie as the number 2 pick just before Jordan was drafted by the Bulls.
Rob continues, "So just like any other guy walking on, he asks if can get out and play 18.... which wasn’t a problem at all. Nobody was on the course in the downpour. He would practically have the course all to himself."
Jordan played by himself in the rain?
Yup, this was 1986. The prior season the Air Jordon 1's had been banned for violating the color requirements. Before the iconic Air Jordon 3 were a twinkle in Tinker Hatfield's creative eye and launch Air Jordan to the stars. Apparently before Michael would have specially assigned guides and handlers to accompany him. Well, he did have one that day, no other than Peter Moore was the driver who dropped him off at the club. Yeah, that Peter Moore, the top executive at Nike who directed the Jumpman photoshoot and designed the Air Jordan 1. A few years later we would leave Nike to start Adidas America, also headquartered in Portland. Tinker Hatfield and Michael Jordan's collaboration on the Air Jordan 3 would begin as a result of this rift and the rest... as they say, is history.
It's really cool to imagine the conversation that morning or the nght before. (Note: I am imagining this ; )
"Welcome back to Portland" says Phil picking up Jordan from the airport. "Tonight let's get you settled downtown at the Heathman. We'd love to have you come by the office you can meet some of the designers and marketers, we will have a series of meeting with Weiden Kennedy our advertising firm. Then we will make a trip down to Eugene, we have a great house you can stay the night before we go by the doctor's office. He really is the best, worked with track stars at Eugene and closely with our show designers.. Bill Bowerman swears by this doctor, says he truly understand the biomechanics of the foot."
Hold on - why would Michael Jordan choose to play Eastmoreland (and not a private club)?
The answer likely very simple - Eastmoreland the best golf course nearby. Nike offices were scattered around SW Portland, I believe, as the construction and opening of the worldwide Beaverton Nike campus would not be open until 1990. Same for Pumpkin Ridge the famous track built by Gay Davis, the Eastmoreland and Cleveland High Alum, and the staging ground for the Phil Knight's love affair and courting of Tiger Woods the "Michael Jordan" of golf.
It may also come from a recommendation by Phil Knight himself, who like Gay Davis, also grew up in the neighborhood named after the golf course. Phil is a golfer himself, purchasing a home at the La Quinta Golf Course close to Palm Springs. It's unlikely he played much golf because he was an avid cross country racer and track star in high school. I've met Phil's cousin Doug Houser, who played golf at Eastmoreland growing up and he doesn't recall playing with Phil as a kid on their neighborhood course. There are a few passages in Shoe Dog where Phil is golfing with his Japanese bankers at very critical points in Nike history. Phil does not specify which golf course they played together, so Eastmoreland is a possibility... maybe one day we will know for sure.
The other truth is getting on a private club is a difficult without a member's invitation, even for pro athletes. Only 30 years ago Joe Lewis was not able to get a round on the private clubs at all, even with his superstar fame. This was the underlying reason the municipal golf course was built - to provide a place for out of town businessmen to play a round of golf.
Eastmoreland served it's true purpose. It's a golf course for the people open to anyone, all you need to be is crazy golf nut to go out there and walk 6 miles in the pouring rain.
“What was he wearing?” Was my next question, and Rob doesn’t recall exactly what Michael was wearing, some type of rain jumpsuit, probably a predecessor to the rain gear we all wear today. It was likely from Nike running or athletic side, since this Nike had barely entered the golf apparel market. Rob does recall that he may have worn pair of shoes called “Air Turnberry” which was like a football upper designed for rain. Though he wasn't positive about that either, but the Turnberry was a hot seller, though I'm not sure the guy with the coolest kicks on the planet would be going for the doily looking lace cover. (Note: the pictured Air Turnberry is the women's version - though I owned a similar pair in the 1980's with lace guards)
Rob’s biggest regret is that he didn’t ask Michael to sign a pair of the Air Turnberry in the shop. He knew that would have been cool to show off to the other patrons. The NBA Rookie of the Year plays Eastmoreland just like you! If he comes back he should sign a pair of the Nike Lunar Vaporstorm - perfect for golf outing in Portland in March.
"How did he play?" Eastmoreland is in about the worst shape of the year. If he comes back he should sign a pair of the Nike Lunar Vaporstorm - perfect for golf outing in Portland in March. Even if the sun peeks out from the clouds for the day, the course itself is more like a scottish bog that the sandy links. Plenty of emerald green grass for sure, however the fairways with squish and puddle with every step.
Every shot will plug meaning it impacts into the mud like an asteroid crater. Even a low punch shot will “plop” into the earth. Toss a wedge onto the green and it will stick like glue, so best to shoot right for the exact distance.
Green reading becomes an art the turf will actually will shift as players walk on the green. Depending on the amount of rain the last day or two, you can see your footprints for a few moments, the green seems to ripple like a waterbed on a bog. It’s for this reason, Justin Ball one of the better putters in the club has said, there isn’t a single straight 10 foot putt anywhere on Emo. All the myriad of footprints and waterlogged days makes the entire green complex ripple with character like an Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s literally never the same week to week and year to year.
Only the courses, like Waverley and Colombia Edgewater that have layer upon layer of sand as a soil base for drainage manage stay playable all year. If only we at Eastmoreland had the budget for the such luxuries like…. sand.
Ultimately - Michael Jordan coming to play 18 holes at Eastmoreland in cold downpour by himself shows he's a true golfer.
Here's a great interview I found that was filmed only a few weeks after the 1986 playoffs... at the end 6 minutes in Michael describes his intention to play golf through the off season and retire from basketball at age 32 to play on the PGA tour!!
Golf is often seen as a sport for old men... though what is often unnoticed is that it really a sport for old athletes who crave the thrill of competition based on mental and physical skills. Michael, like Joe Lewis before him happened upon the game by chance without having much exposure and within a few days became golf obsessed and spent every hour that he was not perfecting his basketball skills, on the golf course and practice range working on his golf game.
True fact - he was introduced to golf just after his final college game by Davis Love III who was on the UNC golf team. Michael only drove the cart for the first 18 holes then asked to play the next time and finished the round with a par on 17th hole and was hooked for life. He would return to North Carolina every summer to work with a golf teacher and managed to get his handicap from a 10 down closer to scratch. As described in the video above, Michael was very serious about his desire to play for the PGA Tour one day. You have to wonder is there is a twinge of jealousy watching Steph Curry nearly make the cut in his first Web.com Tour Event. Though I'm sure Michael would make Step's hands shake over money match, as his intensity on the course matches his intensity on the court.
From PGA Tour Magazine: "How Michael Jordan became a golfer"
My one wish - would be to ask him if he remembered the course and how he played. I'd be really curious to know what was going on for him those weeks and how going out in the rain to play golf was obviously important to him.
I'm sure the Eastmoreland Wolves ot the 1980'a would have wished they had been there that day or recognized him in the pro show, because Michael would have taken the action. If he reads this, he's welcome to come back anytime and we'll set up a Wolves match 8 ) He'd be right at home.
Rabbi Jonah B Wise often referred to as Dr. Jonah B Wise in the local papers, was a key early supporter and member of the leadership team that raised private funds and assisted in the building of Eastmoreland Municipal Links. Rabbi Wise was specially suited for this role as prominent leader of the local Jewish Community. Born in Cincinnati in 1881 the son of Rabbi Isaac Wise, an early leader of the Jewish Reform Movement (liberal) and founder of Hebrew Union College. Rabbi Wise followed in his father's footsteps and was ordained in 1903 before moving to Portland to lead Congregation Beth Israel, Portland’s oldest and most prestigious synagogue, from 1907 to 1926. Rabbi Jonah Wise adhered to the Reform movement's emphasis on the compatibility of Judaism with modern life, including many traditional practices like strict observance of the sabbath. See Oregon Encyclopedia Jonah B Wise (1885-1959)
In my research I found just the most perfect example of his devotion to his congregation and to.... golf:
Bernice Feldman (1896-1985)
Yup, he's a golfer alright. If I had a moment with Bernice, I would suggest that his golf game is evidence of religious devotion. After all what greater test of faith then lining up a 20 foot putt to save par, with four foot of break. It's only by the divine providence that such a putt should ever find the cup. When they did, I'm sure the playing partners of Rabbi wise chalked up those putts to his close relationship with God.
He would wear his golf clothes under his robe because [after service] he was going to leave for a golf game
Rabbi Jonah Wise was an original founding member of Tualatin Country Club. As often described in the Oregon Jewish Museum oral histories, the golf club along with other downtown social clubs, like the Concordia Club, were created out of the necessity that Jewish people in the community were often excluded from the other golf clubs. At the time, there was only one golf club in Portland across the river, so their loss was the city's gain as motivated prominent Jewish members built a new golf course with open membership. Interestingly the Tualatin founders almost purchased the land at the future site of Portland Golf Club. They chose Tualatin, even though it was further out, because there was a rail line from downtown to Tualatin. Remember this is in 1912, so no one really owned automobiles for everyday transportation. See Oregon Jewish History - David Finkelstein (1895-1979)
Rabbi Jonah Wise would have certainly been open to the early efforts by T. Morris Dunne, who lead the efforts to install playgrounds and promoted the benefits of recreation. By joining the Eastmoreland leadership team gave the three private clubs an opportunity to do community work together, despite their past differences. After all all the members were very active members of the business community and certainly were involved in many levels of the city affairs.
Rabbi Jonah Wise was prominent figure at the official grand opening of Eastmoreland Golf Course on June 16, 1918. The above photo shows him along side (Left to Right) T. Morris Dunne (committee member), Paul J. Keyser (Parks Superintendent), Dr. Jonah Weiss, Rudolph Wilhelm, Northwest Champion and W. G. Pringle, who coaxed the grass and leveled the greens.
By the way that photo in the bottom right - that's the fourth hole, guarded by trees bridge and water. As some long time readers may recall, the author hoped to find a photo of this long forgotten bridge on the fourth hole in the article about the Golf Ball Eating Salmon Roaming the Municipal Links.
Here's where everybody with a golf stick may play the game to his heart's content.
I really appreciate Rabbi Jonah Wise involvement in Eastmoreland Municipal Links as part of the Jewish community that shaped so much of what we know and love about Oregon. Research shows the Eastmoreland committee meetings were held at the downtown cafe in the Meier & Frank building, owned by the prominent families who belonged to the same congregation and golf club as Rabbi Wise. Take some time when you have an hour to learn all about "The Jewish Frontier" and how Oregon proved a land of opportunity especially for Jews immigrating from Germany where their professions were often limited. These early pioneers were later met with other waves of Jewish immigrants from all over Europe melting together in a diverse community tapestry we have today.
I do want to take a moment to also highlight some other achievements of Rabbi Jonah Wise, before we delve deeper into his golf game check scores on his matches he played, contemplate is swing and whether he'd have been a good partner for a small wager.
Rabbi Jonah Wise life is a story of community and fighting for equality, fairness and I like to think that he may have prompted the headline in the quote above about having a golf course for all to play, though any member of that committee may have been the source as they were united in their devotion to the common good.
Where Rabbi Wise's life takes on larger than life turn, was his involvement in national policy with regards to the plight of immigrant and refugee Jews. Per the Oregon Encyclopedia he fervently promoted progressive causes of education and social equality while condemning prejudice and intolerance. He was a staunch supporter of Women's rights and the Council of Jewish Women. Rabbi Wise was known as a defender of labor, advocating collective bargaining, an eight-hour day, and other workplace reforms
America in the 1920's along with Portland faced a backlash following the war, of nativism and the rise of prejudice against immigrants. Rabbi Jonah Wise collaborated with Catholic leaders who were both the targets of Tiki-Torch wielding members of the Ku Klux Klan. As Oregon Jewish History - David Finkelstein (1895-1979) member recounts the anti-semitism got very bad into the late 1920's and 1930's and Rabbi Wise was instrumental in bringing together the targeted groups, primarily Jews and Catholics, though certainly African Americans, Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans as well.
His most prominent involvement in social political affairs came from a trip back to his ancestors home in Germany:
After traveling to Germany in 1933 and returning with dire warnings and eyewitness accounts of Nazi rallies and persecution of Jews, he led a campaign to raise money to assist Jews in leaving Germany. In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt selected him as a delegate to the Evian Conference, an international meeting in France that attempted—unsuccessfully—to address the Jewish refugee problem. Although he remained an anti-Zionist until the early 1940s and was a founding member of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism in 1942, the scope of the Jewish crisis during World War II soon led him to abandon this position.
As this point I'd like to tip my cap and give thanks to the Oregon Jewish Museum volunteers for the foresight to collect the stories of the Jewish community members. The website is a treasure of personal stories as immigrants, as citizens and as Jews who witnessed, even from afar, the tragedy and terrible crimes of the Holocaust.
I may the only person in the history of the Oregon Jewish Museum to ever search the term "Golf" and found delightful tidbits and references by all sorts of people they interviewed. Yet I spent more time reading the full accounts and learned as much or more from these stories as I had from "The Jewish Frontier." Bernice Feldman who so graciously shared the little memory of Rabbi Wise wearing golf clothes (knickers and argyle socks, most likely) also shared this poignant memory from the WWII era
Rosenfeld: And then as we got into the 30s, what was the attitude of people you knew toward the plight of Jews in Western Europe, in terms of Hitler and all that was happening?
There before the Grace of God go I - Rabbi Jonah B Wise
Rabbi Wise is now joined my "dream foursome" of playing a 18 hole round with anyone, and I'm sure that I would have million questions and could glean so much wisdom from man such as him.
Going forward, we will dig more deeply into the the connections of Eastmoreland golfers and World War II. A time of great crisis where the bell of liberty was a call to action for God and country. Many of the Eastmoreland Wolves and the Leisure Hour Club the Nisei Golf Club and the Chinese American Golf Club would find themselves caught up in the throes of war. Some serving on distant shores, others building Freedom Ships in Kaiser Docks to supply the troops and some others rounded up into internment camps.
Golf as a popular sport began in the wide eyes of those young boys who would practice putting and chipping from behind the caddy-shack waiting for the next loop. Why on earth, would a bunch of children yearn to play the game of these urban capitalists???
For very same reason the game was invented in the first place! Swinging a club or stick to hit a ball or rock, is a uniquely human skill that was probably done since the very early days of humankind. Now to hit that ball with precision and send it into a hole requires the skill of a practiced champion... or just dumb luck, as the case may be. Unlike baseball, golf is game you play by yourself, often against yourself, unencumbered by any need for a team.. Of course, having a partner to take on a small wager would certainly make the game a bit more interesting, wouldn't you agree?. It’s like a game of marbles on a grand scale.
So it's fitting that the first great American Golf Hero was a caddy who gained entry to the 1913 U.S.Open held in Boston Massachusetts. As documented in the historical fiction book “The Greatest Game Ever Played” the 1913 Open was a big deal because of the entry of great English golf professional Harry Vardon. Vardon won the 1900 US Open on his first trip to America and spent most of the decade dominating all the tournaments and revolutionized the game with the "Vardon Grip" and the first sponsored ball the "Vardon Flyer" from Spaulding. Little did the champ know, he would soon meet his match in for the form of the unknown 19 year old underdog and former caddy Francis Ouimet.
I highly recommend reading the full story as told by Mark Frost in The greatest Game Ever Played. He sets the stage for this epic match that was like the shot heard round the world and set the fire of imagination for Americans. Francis embodied the American dream with a foundation that anyone with the determination and practice can make it to the very top. though while the papers and fans loved the story, the truth is Francis' journey was not easy, his ability to play golf regularly was often thwarted by the fact he was not born privileged and his entry in the US Open was uncertain even a few weeks before the tournament began.
Above is a great old movie clip of Francis Ouimet swing and to the right we see the closely following gallery on the final 18 hole playoff match. With the US Open and golf still fairly new phenomenon the crowds can be seen walking side-bu-side with Francis and his pint sized caddy - Eddie Lowry. The photos of Eddie really point to the actual caddies of the day, who for the most part were young boys, who looped on the weekends and everyday during the summer.
Harry Vardon was household name in his home country of England and loathed in Scotland. In America he found a the people more embracing of his professional lifestyle, which in England was considered uncouth for gentleman to play sports for money.
Harry himself was once a caddie, who grew up alongside the golf links, his family home displaced by new Royal & Ancient Links being established in his home island of Jersey along the Britain coast.
Ted Ray was another fascinating character. Born on the same Isle of Jersey as Harry, an English island just north of the coast of France, was previously famous for the origin of the Jersey dairy cow. It was a farming and working mans island which only became a golf haven after the industrial revolution decimated the boat building culture. He followed in Harry's footsteps as a caddie and learned the game for the intention of escaping the island as a professional golfer.
Ted Ray was known as a basher with a long ball. He liked playing very fast, and golfers that spent too much time over the ball annoyed him greatly. When asked for advice on, for example, the drive, his main contribution consisted in the words "'it 'em 'ard, mate, like I do." If the pupil complained that he did hit hard but still did not obtain the desired result, Ted's comment was, "Well, then, 'it 'em 'arder." See original article
Francis performance is both miracle and something as natural pure golf shot. Harry Vardon and Ted Ray were true professionals, and the young up and coming hot shot Water Hagen would finish a distant fourth before he would go on to win a series of US Open Championships and become the "Harry Vardon of America" by winning a British Open leading new breed of golfers to what was known as the American invasion. The advantage of Harry and Ted was the ability to play under tournament pressure, which any golfer knows can snakebite the best of us with jerky swings and big numbers.
Francis had two advantages himself. First and most importantly, the US Open was played on the club he grew next to, so he had caddied and learned the game on the very course he would compete. Second, as he was a very late entry, and a total unknown, there wasn't the type of pressure many of the the other players like Walter Hagen. Yet, soon as the tournament approached the final day, everyone knew who Francis Ouimet was and his gallery grew and grew. Harry would later remark, “he played like a seasoned professional.”
Francis became the America’s hero for retaining the U.S. Open cup and Harry and Ted for their demonstration of good sportsmanship in congratulating the winner.
Golf as an organized sport, was barely 25 years old before it was first played on Oregon coast in 1888 in Gearhart a small vacation village just a few miles from the Astoria seaport. The first British Open to crown a Champion was played in 1860 organized and eventually won by the Ol' Tom Morris. The US Open would not begin for another 7 years in 1895. Oregon's first golf links was set up by Scotsman who owned a few clubs and directed his children to bury some tomato cans out in the fields and mark with a stick and rag. To say that many thought him a fool or worse is an understatement. Yet, the grandkids complied with grandfather's request and together they created a 3-hole course along the seaside meadows and dunes of Gearhart Resort, a short train ride from downtown Portland near the towns of Astoria and Seaside. We can only imagine the sound of that first crack of the hickory sticks, undoubtedly imported directly from Scotland brushing the sandy grass of the Oregon dunes.
His inspiration? Why the nature of the rugged seaside meadows of grassy dunes that “links” the land to the sea. The sandy underfoot of the dunes proved not suitable for building or farming, and in ancient Scotland to the present was reserved for recreation and enjoyment of the people. With all the land essentially owned by the King, or otherwise leased by fee to certain families through the generations, the “links” represented the few public open spaces where anyone could enjoy. The links were characterized as ill-suited for economic exploitation, no crops could grow in the sandy salt, save for the natural dune grasses. Constructing building were ill advised as the footing would shift. The very most it would benefit was the occasional shepherds allowing sheep to graze on the grasses and gatherings of townsfolk and lovers enjoying romantic walks along the ocean, and secluded places to place a blanket and lounge together.
To put these 3-hole pioneers into perspective the oldest continual Golf Club in the United States was John Reid and his “Apple Tree Gang” who in 1888, broke ground for the St. Andrews GC (New York) the first 18-hole golf course continuously operated in the U.S.
A few years later, the “The Founder’s Club” went ahead with the construction of a original 9-hole tract at Gearheart in 1892, in the traditional loop - where the 1st tee start at the sea facing inland and loop back around with 9th green by the sea. Like the dunes on which they are build continually shifted in location and management, so the “The Founder’s Club” never fully established a USGA club to complete and maintain the full 18-holes layout. Gerhart remained a tourist amenity and summer destination for many years, continuing to this day.
It begins... the seaside game is brought home so the game can continue
Just 6 years later in 1894, the very same year the USGA was founded, the Tacoma Golf & Country Club formed and started building a complete 18-hole course up the coast a few hundred miles in Washington. Just a few years later, the founding members of Waverley Country Club, the oldest club in Oregon, came together in 1896 to construct the 18-hole course in Oregon along the banks of the Willamette River. While these river banks both clubs chose are not exactly traditional “links” locations, and certainly struggled with issues like mud, drainage and fast growing natural grasses, these properties are the closest approximation to the links by the sea. Waverley original location was in close proximity to the where Powell Boulevard bridge was a close approximation for the residents of Portland.
It should be added however that both clubs were were equally, if not more, passionate about horsemanship and polo teams as they were about the new fledgeling game of golf.
The second oldest club Eugene Country Club started in 1899, was the first to create a course layout based on what was available, rather than on the more traditional links, using the unsold lots of housing developments to map out a series of holes right through the heart of the subdivisions of what would become downtown Eugene. The Eugene Country Club more than any other club a way for the members to have a rollicking good time on the weekends and toil away at hitting golf balls through the neighborhood. One can only imagine the flustered frustration of homeowners on the right side of the fairway with sliced golf balls careening into the wood siding and roofs. It's a fair bet to say at least a window or two may have come crashing down on a marionberry pie cooling in the windowsill with a dollop of golf ball on top.
Organized golf continued to grow and more and more people began to populate the Northwest. The Clubs which started out with people that had disposable income to use towards recreation and building social status. Golf as a game was, by default, limited to the club players and their caddies. However the caddies were not scions club members, rather the boys who lived in the adjacent neighborhoods and towns and knew that a decent wage could be made by tending to the clubs and ball of the club members. Caddies at Waverley, along with most clubs, were given special training and had to learn the game so as to provide solid advice to the member of guest, or at the very least not get in the way.
In 1912, Waverley acquired new land for the development of a new golf course on it's present location. By this time golf was becoming a greater part of the American sport consciousness. The American golfers, lead by Chandler Egan had won the 1904 Olympic Gold Medal in St. Louis, the first and only year golf was played in the Olympics, until 2016.
That same year of 1912, Chandler Egan was hired to help develop land for the new Tualatin Country Club first established in 1912. "Tualatin Country Club was established in 1912 in response to the exclusionary nature of other recreation retreats." see Tualatin Celebrates Centennial Specifically the club was formed by many prominent Jewish families who were an equal part in building key businesses, such as Meier & Frank, early cornerstones of fledgling city. As will be described later, the cafe in Meier & Frank downtown would be a center meeting place in the origin of Eastmoreland Golf Course!
As described in the post "The Greatest Game Ever Played..." 1913 was the turning point where golf captured the attention of all Americans. The young 19 year old Amartuer caddy had defeated the greatest professional golfer of his era (and arguably all time) Harry Vardon.
As we will detail in future post... Harry Vardon and Ted Ray had been touring the U.S. before and after the U.S. Open as ambassadors of golf. For the professional circuit was more a function of "celebrity matches" where the pros would come to match up against the best players in the area. In October 2013 after the U.s. Open Harry Vardon and Ted Ray come to play Chandler Egan at Waverley Country club and Portland officially caught golf fever.
Within a month the charter for the new Portland Golf Club was filed in 1913 and in 1914 construction began with the first 9 holes opening on May 13, 1914. According to the club's history
I'd love to have seen these early members out there working in overalls. It's likely there were a fair amount of actual laborers hired for the effort, yet I'm quite certain that part of the appeal for many members, and perhaps prospective members that would contribute additional labor (in lieu of cash?) to be out there moving stumps and preparing greens. Yard work is often a source of pride and solace for many professionals. Portland Golf Club would become leader of golf in the 1940's hosting the 1948 Ryder Cup as detailed in my blog post from last year.
1914 the city hosts golf courses for members only but no play available for the public citizens of Portland!!