Sports | June 26, 2022 3:44 pm

How a Small Oregon City Reacted to the LIV Golf Tour

North Plains is hosting an event next week

North Plains library
North Plains, Oregon.
M.O. Stevens, Public Domain

Drive half an hour northwest from Portland, Oregon and you’ll find yourself in North Plains a small city, home to a few thousand residents. This month, however, it’s going to be on the map for another reason. It’s where Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club is located; that, in turn, is a forthcoming stop on the controversial LIV Golf tour.

What does it mean to be the site of a sporting event that, by its very existence, is both high-profile and the subject of much debate? Writing at The Washington Post, Molly Hensley-Clancy looked at the upcoming event’s impact on the city.

The article quotes several members of Pumpkin Ridge’s board of directors who were upset at the club’s owner — Escalante Golf — for deciding to work with the tournament. One anonymous board member addressed one of the most egregious aspects of the Saudi Arabian government’s human rights record.

“To me, the [Jamal] Khashoggi thing is extremely troubling,” the board member told the Post. “On principle, I could never support it for that reason.”

Hensley-Clancy noted that over a dozen members of the club have resigned their memberships as a result of the event. The article describes a region divided over the event — some are intrigued by the prospect of being at the center of the golfing world for a time, while others are unnerved by the cost. It’s a debate that’s unlikely to subside any time soon.