Central Oregon Golf – Most Walkable Courses
Sure, zooming around in a golf cart while playing the world’s greatest game can be fun. But sometimes the Central Oregon Golf Trail is best enjoyed the old-fashioned way: on foot. Thankfully, with so many pristine golf courses in such an unfathomably beautiful natural setting, this region has a seemingly endless array of choices for golfers who would prefer to walk. Deciding which one of those gems to play can be overwhelming, but we are to help.
Here is a list of the region’s most walkable golf courses:
This local’s favorite features gently rolling terrain and very short green to tee box transfers. Be sure to check out Lost Tracks’ the pro shop and restaurant, which are home to some cool Ryder Cup and other PGA events – the course designer and owner is past president of the PGA of America and had a front row seat for some of golf’s biggest events.
Relatively short green-to-tee transfers and gentle elevation changes make Black Butte Ranch’s Big Meadow course very walkable. The jaw-dropping views of the Cascade Range make the walk oh so worth the effort.
Perched above the Crooked River Gorge, golfers will want to relish the dramatic setting and abundant wildlife at Crooked River Ranch. At less than 5,900 yards, the shortest championship course on the Central Oregon Golf Trail is also a breeze to walk.
This gently rolling masterpiece weaves through the lava outcroppings and juniper pines that characterize Juniper Golf Course’s high-desert setting. And with shortcuts from tee to fairway and green to tee, where necessary, Juniper was designed to be friendly to walkers.
Prineville’s lush municipal golf course is shaped by its 10 ponds and the Crooked River. But with an efficient use of the relatively flat terrain, Meadow Lakes Golf Club is a joy for walkers.
Think world-class resort golf is meant only to be played by golf cart? Think again. The Jack Nicklaus Signature layout at Pronghorn was designed by its legendary namesake to cater to walkers with short transfers and paths from tee box to fairway.
Among Central Oregon’s hidden gems, Quail Run Golf Course in La Pine is set deep in a ponderosa pine forest and offers subtle elevation changes and relatively shorts walks from green to tee.
The transfers are short and the shade under the canopy of ponderosas is plentiful at Widgi Creek, voted by locals as their favorite golf course more than 11 times. Plus, you’ll want to take a quick stroll behind the tee box before teeing off on the par-3 15th hole for a spectacular view of the Deschutes River down below.
At just 4,175 yards, the par-63 design is a breeze to walk despite the hilly terrain. And don’t confuse short with easy. With nine par 4s and nine par 3s, the Challenge Course is true to its name while testing any golfer’s mid-iron game.
Sunriver’s original course can feel like a scenic walk through an idyllic meadow. In the shadow of Mt. Bachelor, the flowing Sunriver and natural wetlands give the course its beauty. And short green-to-tee transfers and a relatively flat, 7,012-yard design make Meadows welcoming to walkers.