A Local’s Guide to Golfing in Bend

With more than 300 days of sunshine, mild weather, and a stunning landscape shaped by the Cascade Range and the High Desert, Central Oregon has a well-earned reputation for its outdoor recreation. That includes golf, of course. Golfing in and around Bend, Oregon, the most populous city in the region and its cultural heartbeat, has become nationally recognized. For good reason, too. The region’s High Desert setting—on the edge of the Deschutes National Forest and the base of the Cascade Range—has made Central Oregon a fertile ground for some of the world’s most renowned golf architects and bred a diversity of golf courses not found anywhere else. And with nearly 30 golf courses within 30 miles of Bend, tailored to all skill levels, Central Oregon golf offers something for everyone. 

The following are the top courses in or nearest to Bend:

Tetherow Golf Resort

A mainstay on Golf Digest’s list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” Tetherow is unique in Central Oregon or anywhere else. David McLay Kidd, the award-winning architect of Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast and Castle Course in Scotland, was inspired by traditional Scottish heathland courses when he designed Tetherow. Firm, fast conditions on fescue turf, varied terrain, and deep bunkering are all hallmarks of Kidd’s design. (Kidd liked Bend so much that he moved here!) Open to members and resort guests, with daily times reserved for public play.

Tetherow Golf Resort PC: Steve Heinrichs
Golfing at Pronghorn Resort PC: Steve Heinrichs

Pronghorn Club at Juniper Preserve

Since the beginning, Pronghorn has wowed golfers with its beauty and pristine conditioning. Pronghorn is home to two nationally acclaimed championship golf courses designed by two of the best-known architects in the world. Each course bears the names of its architect—the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course Course and the Tom Fazio Championship Golf Course. The Nicklaus Course has been a fixture on Golf Digest’s list of America’s Greatest Public Courses since it opened in 2004. Located about 20 minutes northeast of Bend, both Pronghorn golf courses are framed by an ancient juniper forest and lava rock outcroppings. The panoramic views of the Cascade Range are spectacular. Nicklaus is open to members, resort guests, and the public. Fazio is limited to members and their guests.

Widgi Creek Golf Club

Widgi Creek Golf Club has a hard-earned reputation for being among the most player-friendly designs and best-conditioned public courses in Central Oregon. Designed by architect Robert Muir Graves, Widgi Creek features ponderosa pine-framed fairways and thrilling green complexes. Yet, Widgi Creek is playable for golfers of all skill levels. Open to the public, the course is just 10 minutes from downtown Bend along the Cascade Lakes Highway, the same road that leads to Mt. Bachelor.

Lost Tracks Golf Club

Lost Tracks is a local favorite nestled in a quiet section of southeast Bend. The 18-hole, par-72 course offers generous fairways and well-kept greens that are accessible for golfers of all skills. Lost Tracks’ doglegs require distance control rather than length off the tee for your best score. The views of the Cascade Range accentuate the golf experience, and the par-3 16th hole is one of the most memorable holes in Central Oregon. Tee times are available to the public daily.

Lost Tracks Golf Club

Old Back Nine Golf Course

The Old Back Nine Golf Course is a nine-hole, par-36 public course that is located off China Hat Road in southeast Bend. Designed to accommodate all skill levels and to be conducive to the active Bend lifestyle, the Old Back Nine is easily walkable and forces most golfers to hit every club in their bag. The course is framed by ponderosa pine trees and the Mountain High neighborhood. The Old Back Nine is perfect for golfers who want to play a quick round in town at an affordable price.

River’s Edge Golf Course

Perched above the city of Bend, River’s Edge is an 18-hole public championship course with spectacular views of Bend and the Cascade Range. Located on Awbrey Butte, River’s Edge was designed by Robert Muir Graves and features frequent elevation changes with tree-lined fairways. The undulating playing surfaces can challenge golfers of all skill levels, and the panoramic views are amazing. Open daily to the public.

Awbrey Glen Golf Club

Set on Awbrey Butte, Awbrey Glen is an 18-hole private course that will challenge all skill levels. Designed by legendary golf pro Gene “Bunny” Mason, Awbrey Glen offers a relaxed pace. But the course has enough teeth to challenge serious players. From its perched setting on Awbrey Butte, the course winds through the High Desert landscape, dotted with ponderosa pines, and rock outcroppings. Play is limited to members and their guests.

Bend Golf Club

Founded in 1925, Bend Golf Club is Central Oregon’s oldest golf club and its most timeless, classic design. Legendary architect H. Chandler Egan designed the first nine holes—which is today the private club’s back nine—incorporating many attributes from the golden age of golf architecture. The second nine was designed by Bob Baldock in 1973, yet it all feels seamless. Nearly a century old, the course plays nearly 7,000 yards from the back tees and demands a wide variety of shots. Its bentgrass fairways and poa annua greens are perfectly manicured, with each fairway framed by ponderosa pines.

 Golf at Brasada Ranch PC: Steve Heinrichs

Golf at Brasada Ranch

Just 30 minutes northeast of Bend, Brasada Ranch offers a spectacularly designed private resort course reserved for members, member guests, and resort guests. Designed by Peter Jacobsen, a former PGA Tour pro and Oregon favorite son, and his partner Jim Hardy, Brasada takes golfers on a journey through the hills of Powell Butte. The course’s forgiving fairways make it enjoyable for players of all skill levels. Brasada’s High Desert setting is spectacular and its high perch offers stunning panoramic views of the Cascade Range. Members shouldn’t miss out on Brasada’s personalized golf instruction courses, given by resident golf pros.

Outside Bend

Black Butte Ranch near Sisters and Sunriver Resort both offer world-class golf just a short drive from Bend. Enjoy these and other Central Oregon resorts for golf and other amenities like fine dining, spa treatments, fitness centers, and more.

Black Butte Ranch golf PC: Steve Heinrichs

Can’t decide where to start? Check out the Central Oregon Golf Trail for a DIY tour of the best courses around. Don’t forget to enjoy Bend, Oregon! Bend is home to an amazing culinary scene, with some of the best restaurants earning praise from around the country.

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