We’ve always believed Central Oregon has some of the best golf courses in the country, and this year the editors of Golf Digest agreed with us whole heartedly.
The venerable publication placed three Central Oregon courses on its Top 100 Greatest Public Courses list for 2017/2018. Pronghorn led the way at No. 36, followed by Sunriver’s Crosswater Club at 50 and Tetherow in Bend at 63. (All three courses were ranked in the magazine’s Top 100 for 2015/2016 as well.)
Here’s what the magazine had to say about each course:
33. PRONGHORN CLUB (NICKLAUS)
Bend, Ore. / 866-372-1003 / pronghornclub.com
Jack Nicklaus (2003)
7,379 yards, Par 72 | Points: 58.7830
When it first opened, Pronghorn was strictly private and its Nicklaus Course was ranked second by Golf Digest among America’s Best New Private Courses of 2004. Four years ago, the club (which also has a Fazio-designed 18) began allowing public play on its Nicklaus track. Its back nine may be the most delightful Jack has ever designed, with gambling holes and gorgeous scenery at every turn.
100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 23, 2011-12
51. CROSSWATER – SUNRIVER RESORT
Sunriver, Ore. / 800-801-8765 / sunriver-resort.com
Bob Cupp (1995)
7,683 yards, Par 72 | Points: 57.5239
Part of Crosswater was reportedly built in the meadow where John Wayne, as Rooster Cogburn, filmed his climactic charge with guns blazing in the 1969 film, True Grit. The Bob Cupp design is far more subtle than a Wayne western, with low-profile greens edged by graceful chipping areas and fairways intersected repeatedly by the Big and Little Deschutes rivers. Crosswater was Golf Digest’s Best New Resort Course of 1995.
100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 32, 2007-08
54. TETHEROW G.C.
Bend, Ore. / 541-388-2582 / tetherow.com
David McLay Kidd (2008)
7,298 yards, Par 72 | Points: 56.9440
A decade after David McLay Kidd established his architectural reputation with the original Bandon Dunes course, he returned to Oregon, settled in Bend and built another dazzling course, Tetherow. Far different than Bandon, with a manufactured landscape of lumps and bumps, far more bunkers, plus a couple of lakes, it nonetheless has the same fescue as at Bandon, so tee shots get plenty of roll and some approach shots can be bounced into flagsticks.
100 Greatest Public History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: No. 54 in 2015-16
Black Butte Ranch’s Glaze Meadow Course didn’t make the Top 100 this year but was nominated by the magazine as one of the best new courses of 2012 after the completion of a $4 million redesign. Coupled with the Big Meadow Course, Black Butte Ranch is hard to beat when it comes to truly spectacular golf destination resorts.
These four courses are just part of the Central Oregon Golf Trail – which includes nearly 30 courses all within an hour drive of each other. Few places in the country can boast such a diverse selection of championship golf in such close proximity. What’s more? The Golf Concierge at the Central Oregon Visitors Association is ready to help you plan the perfect golf trip.
We’ll start with tee times and lodging, but we’ll make sure your trip includes a true taste of the outdoor paradise that is Central Oregon. Whether you want to take a lazy float down the river or a white knuckle guided raft ride down some rapids; relax your stress away at a local spa, hit up a great brewpub (which isn’t hard considering we have nearly 30 of those too) or find a hike deep into the Central Oregon backcountry – you’ll leave with just one thing in mind: A return trip.