LYONS, Ore. -- When someone first coined the phrase "off the beaten path," they must have been talking about Elkhorn Valley Golf Club.
"A lot of people," said Tim Kirsch with Elkhorn Valley Golf Club, "one of the first reactions is, 'My goodness, I didn't think we were ever gonna find the place.' "
Another 11 miles off Highway 22 near Lyons, Elkhorn first opened as a 9-hole course in 1976 and debuted as an 18-hole layout in the year 2000.
A round here definitely gets you closer to nature.
"It's not that far from Salem but it feels like you are 150 miles from civilization. It's nice," said Kelly Beckley, a regular visitor to Elkhorn.
The signature hole at Elkhorn is the par 3 sixth, which plays at 136 yards from the white tees and features a brush-filled ravine with an appetite for golf balls.
"One of the sayings here is, 'You're on or you're gone,' " Kirsch said.
The par 71 layout does have its share of lush fairways that are at least somewhat forgiving and when your ball is on the short grass, you can relax a little and breathe in the mountain air.
"It's a nice getaway because it's just up here, secluded all by itself," said Steve Gremmel, an Elkhorn regular. "You don't see any houses. It's not like being in a residential area. It's just absolutely beautiful and the scenery's fantastic."
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