PENDLETON — After purchasing the Pendleton Country Club and completing a number of renovations around its course at Wildhorse Resort & Casino earlier this year, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is aiming to provide a premiere and complimentary golfing experience to the area.

“The golf course and facilities are the perfect supplement to the services Wildhorse Resort & Casino currently provides,” Wildhorse Public Relations Manager Mary Liberty-Traughber said via email of the newly acquired PCC. “The golf course provides options for players when the Wildhorse golf course is fully booked or closed for tournament play.”

Following the purchase, CTUIR delegated PCC operations to Wildhorse, which has operated its current 18-hole golf course on its resort property for the last 25 years.

Owned by its membership since opening in 1928, PCC was sold to CTUIR in March after recent struggles to retain and bring in new members. As costs of maintaining the club exceeded PCC’s income, CTUIR approached the club with its interest and the two parties finally struck a deal after months of deliberations.

The PCC property totals 248.5 acres in the Birch Creek Valley and is located seven miles south of Interstate 84. The course sits on the southwest edge of the original land reserved for the Walla Walla, Cayuse and Umatilla tribes in the Treaty of 1855.

Along with combining PCC with its previously owned course at Wildhorse, the acquisition was significant to CTUIR in taking control of the conservation efforts and water rights associated with the land.

Amenities at PCC include a pro shop, dining room, bar, 120-seat banquet room, an outdoor pool, a fitness center and RV parking.

While Liberty-Traughber said long-term development plans are still in the works, so far Wildhorse has made changes to PCC’s kitchen and bar areas to reflect their own facilities for the sake of consistency.

Ultimately, the goal is to maintain PCC as an attraction in the area.

“(Wildhorse) is helping bring PCC back into top condition while adding a personal touch,” Liberty-Traughber said. “PCC has been well cared for historically and has provided excellent services to its members. (Wildhorse) wants to continue managing the facility in a way that makes guests want to return again and again.”

To meet that goal, Wildhorse and CTUIR will have to address the membership problems that plagued PCC up to its sale. Liberty-Traughber said previous PCC memberships are being honored by Wildhorse, though the course has been opened to the public.

With that change and other improvements to come, Liberty-Traughber said Wildhorse is planning on an increase in players at the course.

The purchase and investment into improving the experience at PCC compliments the efforts at Wildhorse to upgrade facilities at its on-site golf course. While a number of other renovations are underway throughout the resort, the golf course was headlined by a brand new clubhouse that’s already been finished.

“Renovations are necessary as facilities age and businesses grow,” Liberty-Traughber said. “A new, larger clubhouse was needed to accommodate growing numbers of guests and the services they expect and deserve.”

The new building stands in the same spot as before and now holds a large banquet room, bar and a covered patio to go along with its more spacious pro shop. There’s also a new work room for tournament scoring and rules evaluations, along with additional monitors placed around the building to update players of their scores in real time during tournaments.

Another new feature is a simulator room, which uses Doppler radar to help golfers analyze their swing and improve their games.

Between the added space in its clubhouse and the PCC now under its purview, Wildhorse has invested in an improved Pendleton golf experience.

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