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Played November 19 and 20, 2011.  10 Holes.

You can’t hang out in the Pacific Northwest for too long before you come across a drinking establishment that bears the name McMenamins.  The McMenamins brothers (Mike and Brian) started their first Café in Portland in 1974 and soon expanded to brewing.  They created the first post-prohibition brew pub in Portland in 1985, and hold the honor of being the first brewers in the United States to “legally use fruits in the brewing of ales.”  There is no information on those that may have been illegally brewing ales with fruit before that time, or what the penalty might be for slipping in a raspberry or two without permission.  The McMenamins have managed to parley their first café into a over sixty different restaurants, pubs, and inns, mostly by making each as unique as possible.  There is a restaurant and pub, for instance, in an old library, and another location featuring a theatre and hotel is in an old grade school.  You can even drink in an old church.

The Grand Lodge was originally  created as a “Masonic and Eastern Star Home for the State of Oregon ‘for the aged and infirm, and the poor and distressed worthy Master Masons, their widows and orphans….’"  Planning first began in 1917, but it wasn’t until ten years later that both the old folks home and orphanage were finally opened.  And then, within a year it was determined that having orphans and old folks housed together was “less than harmonious.”  So the orphans were farmed out to local families.  And that’s the way it stayed for the rest of the century, until a new old folks home was built just down the road, and the McMenamins took over custodianship of the old grounds, opening the Grand Lodge in 2000.

This is a hotel with a movie theatre, beer, spa, ballroom, beer, restaurants and bars, beer, and disc golf.  They even have a disc golf package.  For around $150 you get a room for the night, $50 toward supper, $20 toward breakfast, two largish bottles of their brew (I recommend the Terminator Stout), and a free disc (and it’s a decent disc, too).  What could be wrong with that?

Admittedly, the course is not that great.  It pretty much plays back and forth across the front lawn.  Some of the holes are rather longish (four over 300 feet), and they make the best of the trees and water that are there.  And don’t forget number ten, where the tee pad is on the second story balcony.  But let’s face it, this isn’t a championship course, and it wasn’t meant to be.

You don’t have to be a guest to play there, and there’s no charge for disc golf if that’s all you want to do, but they do ask that you check in with them at the front desk.

From Seattle, take I-5 south to Portland (about 180 miles), then take 405 South.  From there, go east on 26.  Then take 217 South toward Beaverton, and pick up 8 West to Forest Grove (about 23 miles total).  8 becomes Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove, and the Grand Lodge is on that same street:  3605 Pacific Avenue.



“A History of the McMenamins Grand Lodge.”  2011.  McMenamins.  20 Nov. 2011.  http://www.mcmenamins.com/62-grand-lodge-history

“McMenamins.”  6 Aug. 2011.  Wikipedia.  20 Nov. 2011.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMenamins