No need to putt around waiting to tee off in Dayton

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DAYTON -- Tee times are impossible to get at the Touchet Valley Golf Course.

That's because they're not offered. Just show up at the Dayton area nine-holer and play.

On one recent sunny weekday afternoon there was one threesome on the beautiful course. But even on busier weekends, the wait to tee off on the first hole is never long.

The par-36 course includes two par-3 holes and two par-5s. It runs just under 3,000 yards, using the longest tees.

The course is open year-round, weather permitting.

Most of it lies adjacent to the Columbia County Fairgrounds. However, the seventh and eighth holes are within the fairgrounds, taking up the infield of the horse race track.

The course was developed in 1926 by members of the newly formed Dayton golf club.

That year, the club received permission from the County Fair association to convert a portion of the fairgrounds, including an alfalfa field, into a small six-hole course.

The course has been expanded and reconfigured a number of times over the years.

Golfers sign in at the Sand Trap Restaurant, where proprietor Linda Harting offers breakfast and lunch six days a week. The restaurant is open April through mid-October.

When the restaurant is closed, an "honor system" sign-in and pay box is located next to the first tee.

The course is owned and operated by the Touchet Valley Country Club, a non-profit organization. Club members are allowed unlimited play and use of the club house.

The course hosts both men's and women's leagues each summer, along with several weekend tournaments throughout the year.

Ken Graham can be reached at 509-540-2752 or kengraham@wwub.com

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