The history: A championship legacy.
The Witch Hollow and Ghost Creek courses at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club carry storied pasts, and they have fully captured the essence of championship golf in their 21-year history. Envisioning a beautiful golf haven reminiscent of Scotland & Great Britain’s great traditional golf courses, Pumpkin Ridge’s founding owners Marvin French, Gaylord Davis, and Barney Hyde sought the financial support of Japanese businessman Shigeru Ito & his daughter Kumiko Rodewald. Together, these private club pioneers overcame significant obstacles to build what are considered two of the best golf course layouts in the country—each a masterpiece in its own right.
Just one month after opening in 1992, Pumpkin Ridge received the unprecedented honor of being named the host site for the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship. “We created Pumpkin Ridge for the game, and the USGA epitomizes the game,” said Marvin French. A slew of accolades and golf championships have followed. In its inaugural year, Golf Digest named Ghost Creek the “Best New Public Course in the U.S.” and Witch Hollow the “#2 Best New Private Course in the U.S.”
The first marquee event at Pumpkin Ridge was David Duval’s victory at the 1993 Nike Tour Championship at Ghost Creek. Three years later, Jeff Sanders Promotions, Inc., who is also managing the WinCo Foods Portland Open, managed the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship at Pumpkin Ridge where Tiger Woods brought notoriety to Witch Hollow by winning his unprecedented third consecutive U.S. Amateur title. Many golf observers consider the 36-hole final, between Tiger Woods and Steve Scott, to be the greatest match-play showdown in the last half of the 20th century. Another spectacular record-book finish came during the 1997 U.S. Women’s Open Championship, also managed by Jeff Sanders Promotions, Inc., where crowds of more than 110,000 packed the gallery as Alison Nicholas defeated the favored Nancy Lopez.
In 2000, Pumpkin Ridge made history once again by hosting the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, marking the first time in 22 years that these two events had been held simultaneously at the same location. Numerous other prestigious amateur and professional events have been held on the two courses since then, including the 2003 U.S. Women’s Open Championship and the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
Pumpkin Ridge has crowned many champions over the years, and the tradition will continue in August 2014 with the debut of the WinCo Foods Portland Open at Witch Hollow. The final full-field event of the Web.com Tour season will not only crown a champion on Sunday, but it will also issue twenty-five 2014-2015 PGA TOUR cards to the Top 25 players on the Web.com Tour money list.