Welcome! Login | Register

Chanel Fashion Designer Lagerfeld Passes Away at 85—Chanel Fashion Designer Lagerfeld Passes Away at 85

5 Questions On The Trail Blazers In The 2nd Half Of The Season Answered—5 Questions On The Trail Blazers In The…

Winterhawks Win Weekend With 3 & 3 Plus A Pair of Hat Tricks For Blichfeld—Winterhawks Win Weekend With 3 & 3 Plus…

Working Out With Kids—Working Out With Kids

Not All Emergencies Need a 911 Call – “Sunday Political Brunch” - February 17, 2019—Not All Emergencies Need a 911 Call –…

Seahawks’ Draft Prospects – Wide Receivers—Seahawks’ Draft Prospects – Wide Receivers

Anatomy Of A GOAT: Championships, Context, And David Foster Wallace’s ‘String Theory’—Anatomy Of A GOAT: Championships, Context, And David…

Fit for Life: Til Death do us Part—Fit for Life: Til Death do us Part

Can The Alliance Of American Football Find More Success Than The XFL?—Can The Alliance Of American Football Find More…

5 Questions On NBA All-Star Weekend Answered!—5 Questions On NBA All-Star Weekend Answered!


Dreams of My Grandfather: The Gearhart Golf Course

Friday, August 07, 2015


Just a few miles north of Gladstone, Michigan, nestled within acres of state forest, lies what my grandpa would describe as the most beautiful place on earth: the Gladstone Golf Club. The golf course is surrounded on all sides by tall, green trees as the Days River cleaves through the middle of the course. The very slopes of the course were used as skiing hills in the past when snow blanketed upper Michigan during the long, cold winters. The clubhouse is nice, clean, with good food and even decent beer, something a little harder to find around there. You would not be disappointed to pay a visit or play a round of golf here.

To understand my grandpa’s love of this place is to understand two things he loved in life: golf and Gladstone, Michigan. A Korean War veteran, Richard “Dick” Louis Stade grew up, fell in love, married, lived and eventually passed away in Gladstone. He moved to Oregon for a short period of time in the early 90s, but the call of the Yoopers eventually drove him back to the Upper Peninsula where he would live for the remainder of his years.

I thought about my grandpa and his love of golf while visiting the Gearhart Hotel and Golf Links this past Father’s Day weekend. My grandpa never got to visit this serene golfer’s getaway, but I think he would have loved it. The Gearhart Hotel and its accompanying golf course has everything he would have been smitten by; picturesque views, 18 holes of golf, and a beer cart to make sure your cup is always full.

The Gearhart Hotel is just a few short miles north of Seaside, Oregon. Originally built in 1890 as a summer retreat on the beach, it was destroyed twice by fire, rebuilt at least three times before becoming a McMenamins property in 2012. The golf course may have originated as early as 1891, making it one of the oldest golf courses west of the Mississippi. The golf course eventually became the Gearhart Golf Links we see today.

With the beach to its west and the golf course to its east, the Gearhart Hotel is a small little piece of paradise for golf and beer enthusiasts. The entire hotel has a feel of stepping back in time. Old pictures line the walls of every hallway of what the hotel used to be during all its incarnations as well as black and white photos of people riding on horseback across the beach and golfers captured in the past enjoying a day on the course. The guest rooms of the hotel all have unique names, most taken from a book called “The Mystery of Golf” by 19th-century author Arnold Haultain. The artwork surrounding the hotel is classic McMenamins, a sort of dream-like Alice in Wonderland meets the real world, in this case: the golfing world. My grandpa would have found a small little piece of paradise right here in Oregon as you literally fall asleep and wake up to the golf course surrounding you.

The earliest memories I have of my grandpa involve the world of golf. It flowed through his veins like little Scottish midi-chlorians. As a little boy, I helped caddy with him around the golf course with his cronies. Though I have never witnessed one in person, it is said he achieved six hole-in-ones throughout his golfing career. For a time, he owned his own business making custom golf clubs, both when he was here in Oregon and when he moved back to Michigan. Perhaps more importantly, he introduced me to the movie Caddyshack at a young age. I remember him telling me we were going to watch a movie one night, a golfing movie. I was horrified. How boring is this thing going to be? Could this possibly be the worst two hours of my life? It wasn’t, of course.

I was delightfully wrong about my expectations of Caddyshack, which remains a favorite comedy of mine. I don’t think I ever would have bothered to view it without the insistence of my grandpa. While he reveled in telling anyone and everyone how he threw four touchdown passes in one game during his high school football career, essentially making him the Al Bundy of the Upper Peninsula, golf was his one true passion.

More than any other sport, golf is the most beautifully frustrating game. No other sport can have you brimming with confidence one moment only to have you using the foulest string of words ever put to one sentence the next. Very few times in life will you find yourself playing amongst fields of scenic greens topped with blue skies surrounded by sand and water that will have you cursing the very layout like it was something out of Dante’s Inferno.

Personally, I like the comradery you find in team sports, which may be one reason I never really picked it up. In golf, there are no teammates to help you. There are no coaches on the sideline to cheer you on and no halftime speeches to motivate you through another nine holes when the first nine don’t go your way. There is just you, the course ahead, and your own thoughts. I haven’t played golf in years and quite frankly haven’t given much thought about playing again.

Which bring us back to Gearhart. If ever there was a place I would pick up a club again, it would be a place like this, where the ocean is just a quick stroll away and a beer is never far. Golf is a sport steeped in tradition just as Gearhart is steeped in Oregon history. It is a place that willingly tries to slow down time just as golf requires all the patience of it. Where every other sport is trying to find new, inventive ways to speed up the game, golf just keeps going at its own pace, set by those who play it and are in no hurry to rush a swing. Up and down Highway 101 you’ll find many places to play a round of golf, but none may be as inviting.

Maybe one day, I’ll pick up a club and experience the euphoric feeling of a great tee-off and the stomach-churning nausea of a short, missed putt for birdie. But whatever happens and however I play, at the end of 18 holes I shall have a beer, raise a glass and toast Richard Stade, knowing that while he might have loved a place like Gearhart, he will most certainly be swinging away at his own paradise -- someplace way up north in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Here, he is surrounded by tall trees, rolling hills, and a river that runs through the Gladstone Golf Club. 


Related Slideshow: Oregon’s Most Devastating Sports Injuries

Here is GoLocalPDX's list of Oregon's most devastating injuries that have occured within the past 10 years.

Prev Next

Greg Oden

Sept. 2007 — Micro fracture surgery on right knee

Dec. 2009 — Fractured left patella 

Nov. 2010 — Micro fracture surgery on left knee

Dec. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on right knee

Unfortunately, Trail Blazer fans everywhere already know how drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant worked out for their team. After being be the #1 selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden was never able to play a full season due to ongoing knee injuries. The team eventually waived him in March of 2012.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Dennis Dixon

Nov. 2007 — Torn left ACL

During the 2007 season Dixon had the Oregon Ducks as the #2 team in the country. That was until he suffered a torn ACL against Arizona State and attempted to play on it the following week against Arizona. After Dixon went down for the season the Ducks lost their remaining two regular season games. Fortunately, they were able to end their season on a high note with a victory over South Florida in the 2007 Sun Bowl.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Brandon Roy

Sept. 2008 — Cartilage removed from left knee

April 2010 — Meniscus tear in right knee

Jan. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on both knees

Brandon Roy is perhaps one of the most beloved Trail Blazers in the history of the franchise. After being drafted in 2006, and leading the team out of the "Jail-Blazer" era, he had to make the tough decision to retire at the young age of 28. His degenerative knees prevented Rip City from seeing their superstar ever play to his full potential.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Jacquizz Rodgers

Nov. 2008 — Grade II separation of the acromioclavicular joint

During the second to last game in 2008 Jacquizz Rodgers suffered a separated shoulder that ended his season. Unfortunately, this meant that he wasn't able to play in the Civil War, which was perhaps the biggest game of the year for the Beavers. If the Beavers had been able to defeat the Ducks they would've been able to book their tickets to play in the Rose Bowl. Instead, they went to the Sun Bowl where they defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

James Rodgers

Oct. 2009 — Torn left ACL

After participating in only 4 games during the 2009 season Rodgers went down with a torn ACL while playing against #9 Arizona. This couldn't have come at a worse time for Rodgers considering he was expected to have a breakout season. Rodgers, who was a senior at the time, was able to end his career at Oregon State as the career leader in all-purpose yards.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Joel Pryzbilla

Dec. 2009 — Ruptured right patella tendon and dislocated patella

In December of 2009 the Trail Blazers' backup center, Joel Pryzbilla, was lost for the season with a ruptured and dislocated patella. This was a huge blow to the Trailblazers' frontcourt because they had already lost Oden for the season a few weeks before. Pryzbilla was also the team's defensive anchor who provided an inside presence. "The Vanilla Gorilla" was sorely missed for the rest of the year.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropepd)
Prev Next

LaMichael James

Oct. 2011 — Dislocated right elbow

The 2011 season couldn't have started any better for LaMichael James. After the first game James became Oregon's career rushing leader, surpassing Derek Loville. During the second game he rushed for over 200 yards against Missouri State. Unfortunately, James' year was slowed by a dislocated elbow suffered against Cal. Luckily for Duck fans he was able to return to end the season.

Photo via Facebook (image cropped)
Prev Next

Nate Costa

Nov. 2010 —Torn Right ACL

After suffering a multitude of knee injuries throughout his career at Oregon Costa was forced to officially retire from football after tearing his ACL for the third time in agame against Washington. Although Costa's career was hobbled by injuries many of his teammates looked to him as their leader. Oregon's coaching staff referred to Costa as the "heart and soul" of the 2010 team that won the Rose Bowl.

Photo via Addictedtoquack (image cropped)
Prev Next

Sean Mannion

Oct. 2012 — Torn Left Meniscus

During the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, Sean Mannion was enjoying one of his best as a Beaver. Unfortunately, he tore his left meniscus against Washington State that resulted in him missing around half the season. With Mannion leading the way the Beavers had the Pac-12's fourth rated offense, averaging 459.5 yeards per game. With Mannion sidelined Cody Vaz became the starting quarterback

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Marcus Mariota

Oct. 2013 — Partial MCL Tear

Marcus Mariota is widely regarded as one of the greatest Oregon Duck quarterbacks to ever play at Autzen. Unfortunately a knee injury hobbled his sophomore season. After Mariota suffered a partial MCL tear against UCLA he conintued to play the remainder of the season. With Mariota's knee not allowing him to be as mobile as he was accustomed to teams were able to take advantage. In the weeks following the injury the Ducks suffered losses to Stanford and Arizona. Duck fans everywhere would like to know what that season woud've loked like if Mariota had stayed healthy.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

CJ McCollum

Oct. 2013 — Broken fifth Metatarsal In Left Foot

After being taken 10th overall during the 2013 NBA Draft the shooting guard out of Lehigh wasn't able to start his career the way many had hoped. After breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot the rookie wasn't able to take the court until January of 2014. Before the injury McCollum was in consideration for playing time behind Lillard. 

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Alex Morgan

Oct. 2013 — Stress reaction in talus bone

During the 2013 season Morgan suffered an injury that doctors misdiagnosed as a mildly sprained ankle. After a few additional tests were performed it turned out that Morgan had suffered a far more serious injury. She actually suffered a stress reaction in the talus bone that put her immediate future with Team USA in question. After rehabbing for 7 months Morgan was able to make a full recovery.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Bralon Addison

April 2014 — Torn left ACL

After exceeding expectations as a freshman and sophomore at the University of Oregon Addison was expecting big things from his junior year. Unfortunately, Addison suffered a torn ACL during last year's spring practice that kept him sidelined the entire year. Without Addison in the lineup the receiving core never lived up to their full potential. If he had been able to play this season the National Championship may have wielded a different outcome.

Photo via Facebook (image cropped)
Prev Next

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Dec. 2014 — Torn ACL

In preparation for the first ever college football playoffs Ekpre-Olomu ended up tearing his ACL during a routine practice. This was a huge blow to the Ducks considering Ekpre-Olomu was one of the team's better defenders. He was also one of the best corners in the country who many analysists expected to be selected as high as the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Wesley Matthews

March 2015 — Torn left achilles

Just 2 months before Matthews suffered a torn achilles he had become the Trailblazers' all-time leader in 3-point field goals made. It looked as though the Trailblazers were poised to make a deep playoff run. Things took a drastic turn when Matthews was lost for the season. With the team in a 0-2 hole against the Memphis Grizzlies it doesn't look as though they will be making it to the second round of the playoffs this year.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)

Related Articles


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.



Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email