6 Dog-Friendly Golf Courses
From restaurants to hotels, dogs are increasingly becoming welcome at many public places. Another locale that’s gradually allowing furry friends? Golf courses. Golf courses have historically employed dogs to keep geese and other animals off the grounds, but recently, courses have begun to allow golfers to bring their pooches with them as they hit the links.
If you’re considering leashing up your pet next time you reach for your clubs, check out these six dog-friendly golf courses:
Agate Beach Golf Course in Newport, Oregon
Built in the 1930s, the Agate Beach Golf Course sits on the coast of Oregon approximately two hours from Portland. The lush, level course features a tree-studded environment coupled with a few rolling hills. Its staff says that dogs have been welcome for decades.
“Our course is family- and dog-friendly [and an] easy-to-walk nine holes. Dogs just need to be controlled and on leash so not to disturb other patrons,” says Terry Martin, head golf professional at the course.
Although you can’t see the ocean from the course, consider strolling on the dog-friendly Agate Beach after your round of golf to take in Newport’s natural surroundings.
Emerald Isle Golf Course in Oceanside, California
About one hour from San Diego, the 18-hole Emerald Isle Golf Course is known for being a challenging yet quick (most games last about three hours) option for golfers, according to the Oceanside of Chamber of Commerce. Built in 1965 and constructed around two natural lakes, the course is about six miles from the coast. Rates are affordable and the golf course’s owners welcome furry friends with open arms.
“Dogs are welcome on the patio, in the golf shop, on the driving range and on the course, and in two years of ownership we have not had one negative incident with dogs or their owners,” says Holly Kennedy, one of owners of the Emerald Isle Golf Course. “We are very proud to be a dog-friendly property, and you can always count on there being a bowl of water at the door and a biscuit at the counter when you visit us in the golf shop.”
San Geronimo Golf Course in San Geronimo, California
About a half hour from the Golden Gate Bridge, the picturesque 18-hole San Geronimo Golf Course features rolling hills dotted with green trees. And the dog-friendly course has noticed an uptick in golfers bringing their dogs to the course.
“We started to allow dogs on our course about six years ago, and it has really caught on. On any given day you will see about eight to ten dogs,” says Chris Bright, assistant general manager of San Geronimo Golf Course. “I always keep a box of Milk-Bones in the golf shop for the pups that check in with their owners. I feel that it is a great way to spend time with your dog. They love being outside, and they get to go for a long walk in the sunshine.”
Dogs here are required to stay on a leash, and they are not allowed on the greens or in the bunkers.
Skamania Lodge Golf Course in Stevenson, Washington
Located on a sprawling 175-acre resort in the scenic Columbia River Gorge area on the border of Oregon and Washington, the staff of the 18-hole Skamania Lodge Golf Course understands the value of allowing dogs on the course.
“We are fairly unique in this regard. There are not many courses that allow it, and we consequently get quite a few guests who come and play just for that reason,” says Guy Puddefoot, director of golf operations. “[Dogs] can ride in the cart with you or run alongside on a leash. Or, if you walk as I do, you can tie the leash to your cart or bag as you play your shot.
Chalet View Lodge, in Portola, California
The Chalet View Lodge touts itself as being the only four-star boutique resort in California’s High Sierras mountain range, but that’s not all the lodge is known for. The nine-hole Grizzly Ranch Golf Club course, which was designed by notable architect Bob Cupp, also welcomes dogs for no additional fee. Expect to see mountains, tall trees and puffy clouds as you play this lush green course.
“Pet- and kid-friendly, the whole family can have fun,” says Alex Hickman, a managing partner of the Chalet View Lodge.
Belgrade Lakes Golf Course in Belgrade Lakes, Maine
Located about 30 minutes from Augusta, Belgrade Lakes Golf Course is an ideal spot for dog owners to tee off. Golfers can look forward to idyllic Maine vistas, including sweeping views of the water, trees and rocky coastline. One of the most impressive parts of this 18-hole golf course? Its high rankings. In 2015, Golf Digest rated Belgrade the best course in the state. Just be sure to call ahead before you head out, as the course is only open seasonally.
Tim Glorioso, superintendent of Toledo Country Club in Toledo, Ohio, suggests bringing only well-behaved, restrained dogs along on golf outings. Although Glorioso’s course doesn’t allow dogs, owners will sometimes walk their dogs on the course after hours.
Because golf courses value a sense of serenity, it’s best to bring a quieter dog who tends to him or herself so as not to bother other patrons, Glorioso says. Be sure to carry plenty of waste bags and call ahead to go over the course’s pet policy before you head out to ensure that it will be a good fit.
Teresa K. Traverse is a Phoenix-based writer, editor, traveler and dog mom to Chihuahuas Autumn and Rocket.