Passport Profiles - Darlene and Birdie
With 73 participating golf courses, each offering 18 holes plus a cart for $30 or less, the 2017 ExploreOregonGolf Passport provides the best value for golfers across Oregon and Southwest Washington. Throughout 2017, the OGA will profile Passport holders from across the region so they can share their experiences.
In this edition of Passport Profiles, a golfing duo from Southern Oregon – Darlene Satterla and Birdie Milano – talk about their golfing community and why the Passport is valuable to them.
OGA: How were you introduced to the Passport program?
Birdie: I bought it last year for the first time. My friends Laura and Herb (Nash) had the Passport and just raved about the benefits – that is what talked me into buying it.
OGA: Who do you golf with? Where do you play?
Darlene: I meet up with Birdie (Milano), and Herb and Laura (Nash), where we mainly play golf in Sutherlin. Wednesdays are ladies league, at Sutherlin's Oak Hills Golf Club and it is always fun to see who you get paired up with for our play day.
OGA: Why is the Passport valuable to you?
Birdie: It is a huge money saver. The highest price for any of the golf courses (in the Passport) is $30. So for me, I can play some of those courses that might have been a little out of my price range. It’s a bargain. It only took me two or three times of using it to see the savings. Not to mention, it encourages me and my friends to try new golf courses that we would normally not consider.
And for your friends who don’t have a Passport, there are often other bonus offers for them to have $10 off a round to play with us. So even non-Passport holders save some on their round in certain cases.
Darlene: We do some celebration golfing trips for birthdays. For Laura’s birthday, in August, we planned a trip to Sandpines where we all went over and played golf. Laura, Birdie and Herb all pulled out their passport but I didn’t have mine!
We have planned overnight trips to Meadow Lakes in Prineville, Juniper in Redmond, and Eagle Point Golf Club in Eagle Point to name a few. What is really fun are the trips we plan to play in other cities and areas of the state like Medford, Cottage Grove, Junction City, (Fiddler's) and over in Central Oregon. We like to explore.
OGA: Take us through how you use it. Do you map out a sequence of trips weeks in advance or do you simply decide several days before?
Birdie: With our group, we pretty much planned for the entire summer. When we go up to Klamath Falls (Running Y Ranch, Reames G&CC, Harbor Links GC) and Medford (Centennial GC, Quail Point GC) we will stay for a few days and play a couple of rounds. It’s the same thing when we go over to the Oregon Coast – last year we played three different courses on the coast (Bandon Crossings, Ocean Dunes, Sandpines). As a matter of fact, we did several trips last year. We played in Redmond (Eagle Crest) and Sisters (Black Butte Ranch), and have already made plans for 2017 to go back and play those courses again.
OGA: Have you become a frequent visitor to a course (that you wouldn’t have before) because of the Passport?
Birdie: I have gone back to Eagle Crest and Bandon Crossings, even after I had used up my redemption on the Passport. After you play those wonderful courses, you definitely want to go back and play them again.
OGA: Have you developed any new friendships through golf?
Darlene: We have a really close-nit batch of women down in Sutherlin. It is a great golfing community down here. We have wonderful friends that we’ve developed from the love of golf. I didn’t know Birdie, Laura and Herb before we started playing golf together. Their friendship has become an integral part of my life which brings me a lot of enjoyment. We are always looking for reasons to play golf on our home course. But now we plan to play new courses in different parts of the state. It’s been a great way to bond and come together. We will be lifetime friends because of golf and the time we spend together.
OGA: What are some of the added benefits of being an avid golfer and Passport holder?
Birdie: I know people who stop playing because they aren’t as good at golf as they once were. For me, I was an 11 handicap several years ago. But now I’m up over a 20. But that shouldn’t matter. To spend time out on the courses that are beautiful and to spend time with wonderful people. Your golf score is secondary to those benefits. It isn’t just about playing well - it is as much about enjoying time with friends and spending a nice day outside on a golf course.
The health benefits are also huge for me. I had a pretty big weight loss over the last couple of years. It is mostly because of the walking I do on the course. With the Passport, part of the deal is to take advantage of the 18 holes + golf cart for $30. So we take carts a lot of the time we use the Passport. But we still are able to get fresh air and walk some of the course throughout our round.
Darlene: For me, it is really beneficial exercise, the enjoyment of being outside, pleasure in seeing the beautiful golf courses Oregon has to offer, and the opportunity to go to parts of Oregon that I may not visit otherwise. The Passport encourages me to play more. My goal is to walk more and more each time I play. Even if you or your group decide to walk or ride, there are still numerous other health benefits to playing golf in addition to being out on the golf course.
Click here to learn more about the 2017 ExploreOregonGolf Passport and how its impacting on golf in the region