Central Oregon Golf: Toughest Par 4s
Take a deep breath and think happy confident thoughts before jamming your tee into the ground on this beautiful but cruel par 4 at Sunriver Resort. Clocking in at more than 450 yards from the back tees, Crosswater’s 5th opens with a difficult tee shot with a forced carry over the little Deschutes River. If you do find the fairway, you’ll face a long second shot into a huge, but difficult green where par is more than a good score.
There is no shortage of challenging holes on David McKlay Kidd’s links style masterpiece. However, the 11th hole at Tetherow stands out as a particularly stern test. A sharp dogleg right means accuracy is more important that distance off the tee. Wherever you play from, you’ll face a difficult approach into a multilevel and heavily contoured green. It’s the kind of hole that illuminates why Tetherow recommends that new players bring a forecaddie to navigate the quirks of this amazing, but sometimes confounding design.
A local’s favorite, River’s Edge requires players to create all different kinds of shots around this eclectic layout in the heart of Bend. But on the challenging 15th hole it’s a matter of grip it and rip it. The tee shot plays dramatically uphill to a fairway that slopes right to left. Play a high fade and leave yourself a mid iron into the elevated green, but be aware: the uphill approach plays nearly a full club longer than the yardage.
Put the driver away. This is one hole at Widgi Creek that requires strategy off the tee rather than blind power. A mid to long iron drive can leave you anywhere from nine iron to a five iron approach, depending on where your tee ball is placed on this severe dog left left hole. The approach shot plays over a deep ravine to a green guarded by a well trafficked bunker on the front edge.
A recent renovation by Crosswater designer John Fought has revealed a dormant mountain golf masterpiece at Black Butte Ranch’s Glaze Meadow. This classic golf course isn’t short on scenery or shotmaking. Case in point, the difficult 16th hole where golfers must drill a precise tee shot on this long dogleg left hole. But even a well placed drive doesn’t guarantee anything. Golfers face a difficult approach shot to a crowned green guarded by a large bunker. Can you say blow-up hole?
If you made it out of No. 3 without a major catastrophe on your card, congratulations, but it’s not yet time to exhale. The Par 4 fourth at Lost Tracks requires two shots that are better than just good to escape with par. The dogleg right fairway requires that players flirt with a corner guarded by several large ponderosas. If you do find the fairway, a tough mid-iron shot awaits. Smart players will lay back on the tee shot and play from a conservative position.
With water lurking all down the left side, this difficult finishing hole has tanked many a round on Sunriver Resort’s showcase course. Get greedy with your tee shot and you may find yourself taking a drop from way way back in the fairway. On the flipside a shot played to conservatively will leave an impossibly long iron into a small well guarded green with water lurking on the left.
Trouble looms on the left side all the way down this long par 4. Bail out right and you’ll face a long second shot to a green that is tucked behind a large rock outcropping. At that point, you’re better of laying up than trying to pull of a blind approach over the ball eating escarpment. Long and straight is the play off the tee box on this hole at Juniper. So grip it and rip it. No problem, right?