History


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The history of Oakway Golf Course is deeply rooted in the history of Eugene, Oregon. Oakway’s heritage is a simple story of local folks who wanted to share their love of golf with their neighbors. Since the beginning, Oakway GC hasn’t tried to be anything other than a local course where people can play a fun round with friends and family.
Development of Oakway GC began in 1929, when Cal Young, a local city leader and pioneer, wanted to create a place where anyone could play his favorite sport. Having already sold some land to develop the Eugene Country Club in 1923, Cal Young began to develop his own farm land into a full 9 hole golf course.

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Eventually, Ralph Hope Sr., a fellow Eugene Country Club member, saw the potential of adapting the course into an 18 hole executive course. In 1947, Hope purchased the 58 acre parcel of property from Cal Young, and enlisted the help of John Zoller, Eugene Country Club’s Golf Course Superintendent.

Zoller, having already made a name in the Pacific Northwest for designing several courses in Oregon and Washington, managed the redesign of Oakway GC from a regulation to an 18 hole executive course. After designing Oakway GC, Zoller went on to become Director of Golf for Pebble Beach Golf Course. Ralph’s son, Robert Hope continued the family’s ownership of Oakway GC, as well as its tradition of being a local favorite.

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Finally, after nearly 50 years of family ownership, John Hammer purchased the course in 1992, recognizing its strong niche of being an approachable golfing experience for a wide range of local enthusiasts. Oakway’s history isn’t one of accolades, awards, and titles. Its charm lies in the simplicity of its story – a genuine, friendly place for people who love golf.

 

Top left: Ralph A. Hope, Sr. hits the first ball off the 10th tee to open the new nine, July 30, 1949.

Top right: Opening day for the new nine, July 30, 1949. From left, Robert Hope, Grace young (holding her granddaughter), Ralph Hope, Sr., Cal Young (holding the Ford Young trophy), unidentified, Frances “Mom” Hope, Brandon Young, “Mama” Backcock, “Bim” Hope, and Ralph Hope, Jr.

Bottom left: The first foursome to play the new nine holes tallies their score after finishing the round.

Bottom Right: From left to right, Mary Wright and Mary Ellen Sandburg share a laugh as they compare trophies for Champion Flight and 2nd Flight after the Oakway Womens’ Handicap Tournament, August 20, 1950.