When heading to the beach, the first thing that comes to mind may not be golfing, which is exactly what’s made the Ocean Shores Golf Course intradiscally unique for over 60 years. Whether you’re a visitor to the area or a local with a membership, Ocean Shores’ only golf course is sure to provide both challenge and excitement for all ages.
First opened in 1964 as a 6-hole course, the Ocean Shores Golf Course rapidly expanded to 18-holes in 1967. The course is a par 71 and a total distance of 6,252 yards that weaves near the ocean and along man-made canals. The front nine holes are nestled within the iconic forests the Pacific Northwest is best known for. These tall trees offer a refuge from the wind blowing off the sea but still pose a challenge as a swing right to a trunk can quickly send your ball flying off course.
The back nine of the Ocean Shores Golf Course is a fascinating contrast to the front as the trees quickly disappear to expose sand dunes and low-lying brush. Once out of the open fairway, the elevated greens make for fast holes making for a rapid game requiring precision and attention. The course then rounds out with a par three over the flowing canal. If you’re not looking to play the full 18 holes, head to the driving range and putting greens for an ideal for practice session before hitting the links. Although the coastal city of Ocean Shores receives plenty of rain and wind, golfers of all abilities will quickly fall in love with one of the most unique courses in the state.
With the Ocean Shores Golf Course being a fond memory for many throughout generations, current owner and operator, Curt Zander was eager to purchase the lease in 1993. After first coming to Ocean Shores in 1980, Curt worked both at the course and at other jobs before making the purchase. “Golf is my passion,” states Curt. “I have been a golf pro since the age of 18 and was excited to take over the lease for visitors and locals to continue playing on for many years to come.”
Being the owner and operator of the golf course, Curt works to keep the day-to-day operations running smooth while thoroughly appreciating being outside rather than stuck behind a desk. “I truly enjoy the people who come to play here and of course,” expresses Curt, “the sport of golf.”
Throughout the years numerous tournaments have been played at the Ocean Shores Golf Course that quickly helped the course make a name for itself. One of the first was started in 1966 by Pat Boone who hosted his Celebrity Golf Classic. For four years, celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Joe Namath and Fred MacMurray came to play. In 1970 the course became a regular stop on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour where many arising stars began their careers. Additionally, the course has also hosted prestigious events including the 1971 Northwest Open, the 1990 Pacific Northwest Pro?Am, N.F.L. Celebrity Classics and, in 2007, the PNGA Junior Girls’ Championship.
As the years have progressed, the Ocean Shores Golf Course has become well known in the county for hosting fundraisers to benefit local charities, nonprofits and groups. Most recently in the early summer of 2021, Curt was excited to host roughly 100 players whose tournament benefits youth athletics in Grays Harbor.
“The town is getting busy,” explains Curt, “and membership is growing monthly. I’ve lived here off and on for 41 years and have never seen this kind of growth. This is really great for the golf course and also the community.” As the membership continues to grow, Curt is happy to see a nice blend of local members as well tourists who all interact and mingle with one another, creating a special place to play golf and meet people from around the world.
As the city continues to expand, the future of Ocean Shores Golf Course is as bright as the summer sun. Golf lessons are available by golf pro, Kris Runge for those looking to learn the game and take their turn on the famous Ocean Shores Golf Course.