Widgi Creek Golf Club

Widgi Creek Golf Club, in Bend, OR, has a classic high desert feel, and is a pristine track to move the golf ball on. Tucked into a forest of Ponderosas, Widgi Creek counters a lack of vistas with a nice course design and superb maintenance. Included is well-groomed layouts of thick, plush grass, as well as immaculate greens with the truest of rolls. The grass is kept tight in the fairways, and at a favorable length in the rough, while the putting surfaces can appear untraveled at times. With proper shot selection and execution, you will enjoy the cohesive interaction between the ball and course. Navigate safely through the tall pines, and the honest putting surfaces will open up scoring opportunities. But easier said than done, as there are plenty of challenges among these wooded, high desert grounds. Widgi Creek, named after a Native American term for this winding, Deschutes river region, flows straight in line with the reputable, high quality golf of Central Oregon.

Widgi Creek Golf Club is built on flat to slightly rolling terrain, with a nice mix of straightforward layouts and doglegs. The straight holes often require long tee shots, but accuracy is a premium among their tight designs through the Ponderosas. Many of the bending holes are shorter and require less club for optimal 2nd shot positioning. Without a doubt, tight layouts and tall pines are the biggest obstacle at Widgi Creek. Below the trees, lies tall grasses and desert brush, making the discovery and recovery of ones ball very difficult. Additionally, Widgi Creek houses many large ponds, which must be either carried or bypassed from the tee, or avoided on approach shots. Sand traps exist both directionally and green side. They tend to be quite large, but aren’t terribly tough to exit with generally modest steepness. The greens, as mentioned, are second to none. They’re large surfaces are in spectacular condition, and offer the smoothest of rolls and soft-touch speeds. The contour of the greens offer a fair mix of mild to heavy undulation.

Tetherow Golf Club

Tetherow Golf Club, in Bend, OR, is a conceptually unique and spectacular golf experience in no danger of replication. Designed by David McLay Kidd, Tetherow is a new venue and an unprecedented union between authentic Scottish-style links and the natural beauty of Oregon’s high desert. Seemingly implanted from the rain-filled, low-lying ‘birthplace’ of golf, to the arid and mountainous backyard of the Northwest, opposites attract as the contrast between the course and its setting combine in awesome fashion. Instead of rolling green hills or coastline, like one might see in Scotland or Bandon, Tetherow offers sights of neighboring foothills and snow-capped Cascadian peaks, as well as tall pines, dead trees and colors of varying desert rock and plant life. Surrounding scenery is only half of it, as the course provides amusing features uncommon to most courses, including other links-style layouts. Despite the coined “cover girl” of Tetherow, the sand-laden canyon of the Par 3 17th, nearly every hole makes a case for signature status. For non-members, a forecaddie must assist in course navigation, and the services are useful for this deceiving and challenging test of golf. Coupled with understandably premium green fees, this course is geared toward the experienced and/or privileged to afford. And a privilege it is, as there is truly no other golf experience like Tetherow.

Tetherow’s desert highland setting and extreme links features provides a collective sense of mystique. It is accurately self-described with terms such as knobs, knolls and ragged bunkers. And perhaps, it’s most known for its severely undulated putting surfaces of fescue grass. The course is generously spread out and provides a new spectacle at every tee. Many holes require sizable carries to reach fairways that are often illusory from the tee or are centrally plotted with earth mounds. These obstacles, known as hillocks, are overgrown with wild grass and plants. Out of bounds and lateral drop zones exist in the form of desert wetlands and brush. The elements of the course notably blend together, with fewer lines of distinction than normal. For example, fairways gradually transition to greens with an absence of a fringe cut. And bunker sand often spills out into the rough, unlike traditional traps with a clean, edged entry. The greens at Tetherow are heavily guarded by sand and sometimes water, and are difficult to hit due to deceiving approach angles and intense sloping. Their contour will have the final say on shot results. Furthermore, fescue grass is a very rare feature, and can be especially tricky to putt on. Factor in firm surfaces, and working the greens is clearly the biggest challenge. But from tee to green, Tetherow will demand your attention and frequent inquiries to your forecaddie. Regardless of your score or quality of play, Tetherow is to be enjoyed as a world class golf course, and an exceptional experience.

Sunriver Resort (Meadows)

Meadows Golf Course at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, OR, is a conventional and well kept resort course serving all skill levels of golf. Meadows Golf Course is a conveniently prime course for Sunriver community vacationers, owners and nearby residents seeking a straightforward, but quality course. It’s properly named as it’s situated on low-lying land surrounded by Deschutes-fed waterways and ponds, and bordering fields of tall grasses and plant life. Views of Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top and the accompanying foothills and buttes are present at several perimeter clearings. Other parts of the course navigate through the backyard pines of resort homes. Meadows is a great locale for the recreational golfer with intentions of walking the course, as its flat topography, manageable layout and wetland setting provide a peaceful and relaxing outing. Factor in proper maintenance, and Meadows is a solid place to enjoy some green golf in the high desert climate.

Meadows Golf Course at Sunriver Resort is plotted along flat grounds with a balance of straight and dogleg layouts. Target zones are generous in size with relatively ample fairway width and large greens. However, some of the cuts narrow at times, forcing hitters to layup or risk a close-in approach from thick rough or sand. Every hole is lined with pine trees and/or harbors water. At times, the water serves as pleasant scenery more so than a hazardous feature, but it can surely come into play, namely on the front 9 and Par 5 18th. White-sand bunkers are an abundant source of trouble as they’re plotted along every hole and green. The greens at the Meadows Course are true, offering a very smooth roll. They are modest in break and have normal to fast speeds that are dependent upon the season.

Sunriver Resort (Woodlands)

Woodlands Golf Course at Sunriver Resort, in Sunriver, OR, is a challenging resort course and the most complete test of golf among the two Sunriver tracks. Woodlands Golf Course is a great destination for Sunriver community vacationers, owners and connected nearby residents seeking a traditional high desert golf experience on a nicely maintained course. Despite their close locales, the two courses of Sunriver have notably different traits. The Woodlands Course has many of the classic features for golf in this arid region of the Northwest. Sitting on higher and dryer land that is heavily lined with pines and plotted with directional bunkers, Woodlands plays much more narrow and unforgiving. There aren’t a lot of panoramas on these grounds, amid the tall Ponderosas and Lodge Poles, but a few holes offer straight on views of Mt. Bachelor. While the scenery is just fine, it’s the Woodland’s difficult design and demanding course management, that will have your attention on this solid resort golf venue.

Woodlands Golf Course, built on a bit of a ridge within Sunriver proper, has a fair amount of mild elevation change. The majority of the holes involve gradual to sharp doglegs through tree-lined layouts. Beyond the well-groomed fairways lies thick rough, and beyond that are areas of dirt, rocks and wild desert brush within the pines. The holes often bend near ideal landing zones, and are further guarded by handfuls of fairway bunkers. Aggressive play comes at a high risk, and conservative play will leave a lot of ground to make up. Consider that the greens, too, are heavily defended with sand, and it’s easy to see why the Woodlands Course is so challenging. Furthermore, the sand traps tend to be deep and steep, and are plentiful throughout. One reprieve here is that water is fairly minimal, or at least does not come into play often. Aside from the Par 4 18th, which doglegs through two large ponds, staying dry is manageable thanks to peripheral placements of the water features. The greens are relatively flat with subtle to average contour, and a true roll. When they firm up in season, the greens can become very slippery in speed and break.

Quail Run Golf Course

Quail Run Golf Course is a solid value course in the resort laden region of Central Oregon, just south of Sunriver in La Pine, OR. This 18 hole championship course has some resemblances to its exclusive neighbors, while remaining an affordable place to play. The location of Quail Run offers some nice views, most notably Mt. Bachelor and Broken Top nearby to the west and the Blue Mountains in the distance to the east. The neighboring scenic views are not always visible due to the large Lodgepole Pines heavily present here. However, the holes open up at times, providing several beautiful vistas. Quail Run is a good course for all golfers. It has its challenges, yet won’t hurt the pride or pocketbook as much as some of the more upscale destinations of the high desert.

Quail Run Golf Course plays long from the back tees, but offers big distance advantages from the front tee boxes. The hole layouts are fairly generous in width, but the elements get stingy beyond the thick rough. Tall pines are the biggest obstacle as the entire course is lined with them. If you find yourself in the trees, you will have to contend with impeding branches, beds of needles and areas of overgrowth. Surrendering chip-outs and relief from wild, knotted-up grasses is not uncommon. Despite it’s proximity to the Deschutes River, there’s no riverfront golf at Quail Run. A few ponds, including the largest of them on the signature 18th hole, are the only water hazards present. White sand bunkers are set along the fairways and greens, but are favorably shallow. The greens are relatively painless to navigate as they’re mild contours provide a straightforward read and enjoyable putting for the common golfer. But true to the region, the ground can get very firm, making for fast speeds and an increase in break despite their unintimidating surfaces.

Quail Run Golf Course is also a good place to get in some practice for locals, or for vacationers who may or may not have access to the Sunriver facilities. They have a full driving range and a large practice green. The pro-shop is typical with a standard supply of merchandise. They also have a serviceable snack bar for food and drinks. In the arid summer heat, it’s not a bad idea to continue on to the 19th hole after your round concludes.

Pronghorn (Nicklaus)

The Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn in Bend, OR is one of the finest courses in the entire state. Pronghorn’s public side offers a championship course design, while still featuring resort style playability for all skill levels. The Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn utilizes the central Oregon terrain to its fullest potential, with an off the chart slope and rating from every set of tee boxes proves a great test for all golfers. Mr. Nicklaus put course management at a premium as you would expect from an 18 time major champion. Central Oregon has become a hotbed of must play golf courses in the Pacific Northwest, and the Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn is certainly among its crown jewels.

The Jack Nicklaus designed public eighteen at Pronghorn Resort is a masterwork that blends the natural terrain with a playable links style layout. With tee boxes cut with distinct edges, perfect fairways and pristine greens, The Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn is meticulously crafted out of the arid desert of Central Oregon. The fairways are wide enough for most, but players will be punished for missing in the wrong spots off the tee. The immaculate greens can be extremely challenging if approach shots are not hit to the correct sides of the pins. Each hole at Pronghorn is calendar worthy with the 12th through 16th holes in particular being some of the prettiest golf holes you will ever see. The signature 13th is a beautiful as it is challenging, with few equals in the area. Ranked as the 33rd best public course in America by Golf Digest, this gem is one for the bucket list of all golfers and another shining example of how good we have it in the Pacific Northwest.

About Pronghorn Resort

Pronghorn Resort, located just outside of Bend features two world class courses, each rated among the finest courses nationally. The Nicklaus Course is open to the public year round, while the Fazio Course is a Private Club, with each course presenting a unique personality. Set nearly five miles off the highway on a private road, Pronghorn is secluded yet still within easy reach of the breweries and outdoor activities that make Bend famous. Everything about Pronghorn Resort is top notch, from the vacation homes to the restaurant on site and of course – the golf courses – you will not be disappointed.

Meadow Lakes Golf Course

Meadow Lakes Golf Course, in Prineville, OR is a popular municipal course meandering along the Crooked River. These plush grounds neighboring the rushing waters of the river are well contrasted with the sun-baked surroundings of towering rocky ridges. While the Crooked River intersects numerous holes and runs parallel to a couple more holes, the namesake ponds of Meadow Lakes create the common theme of the course. An abundance of impeding water hazards are the main source of trouble on this high desert layout. Overall, Meadow Lakes is a user-friendly course due to wide, roomy fairways. Affordable rates and a central location in the community further cement it as “home course” for many Prineville area golfers. For area visitors, Meadow Lakes is a recommended value-adding venue of 18 diverse holes to work into the mix of tee times.

While the nearby scenery at Meadow Lakes Golf Course is hilly and rugged, the terrain on the golf course is naturally flat, with small knolls and mounds throughout. Many of the longer holes have generous fairways from tee to green. The shorter hole designs offer sizable landing zones, but tighten up at longer distances. For longer hitters, intrigue resides in numerous risk-reward opportunities in which bunkers or water hazards defend ideal 2nd shot locations. Meadow Lakes has your typical share of sand traps, but a noteworthy wealth of water in the form of ponds. Factor in some river traversing holes, and water is a standard sight and a steady factor on shot planning. Aside from the water, the course is very open with minimal trees, and only a few that significantly come into play. Most of the trees are either small landscaped trees, or willow trees near the banks of the ponds. The greens are large and contain a nice range of manageable to challenging contours. They roll slow to average in the shoulder seasons, but speed up nicely during the hot summers of the high desert.

Lost Tracks Golf Club

Lost Tracks Golf Club, in Bend, OR is a shotmakers golf course, where target golf and staying in the fairway are the key to a solid round. Lost Tracks is the kind of course where accuracy is at far more of a premium than distance off the tee. In fact, on most holes a long iron is preferred over a driver off the box, particularly for longer hitters. Some players have been known to leave the driver at home and add an extra wedge when playing Lost Tracks. There are a ton of doglegs on the course, some fairly severe. Throughout the front nine, most of the doglegs turn right, while on the back nine most of the doglegs turn left. That being said, a fade is generally preferred over a draw. While course knowledge is key at Lost Tracks. the GPS system in all cart rentals are very helpful to navigate the course. Play Lost Tracks once and you may want another go at it immediately if you are new to the course, although it may take a few rounds to get the hang of Lost Tracks.

The first hole at Lost Tracks Golf Club is a great beginning hole to set up pace of play for the rest of the round and gives you a feel for what is in store the rest of the day. Blind corners and landing areas are prevalent, and many fairways feature enough of a swale that you cannot see the landing area. Balls hit in to the wooded areas are almost guaranteed to be lost and while cutting corners can set you up well for your approach, it does bring these hazards in to play. Lost Tracks has plenty of bunkering, but they are well placed and you can use a bunker as a target line on most holes. The greens at Lost Tracks often have multiple tiers, but each tier has light undulation. Get it on the right tier on your approach and you have a good chance to make a putt. There is a lot of similarity from hole to hole at Lost Tracks, but the 16th is one of the most notable in the state with an island green and a train car as your bridge to the green. Past players leave bag tags and memorabilia behind for future golfers to enjoy. Since Lost Tracks tends to take distance out of play, it levels the playing field between handicaps, making it an enjoyable course for all skill levels.

Juniper Golf Course

Juniper Golf Course, in Redmond, OR, is a highly acclaimed high desert test that has been named by Golf Digest as the best municipal course in the state. Municipal or not, Juniper is a top-tier venue among all Northwest golf, and must visit in the golf-rich area of Central Oregon. For the price, you will not get more for your money than at Juniper where a demanding design, tour quality greens and stunning mountain scenery stimulate the senses. Winding through harsh, desert terrain and past craggy outcroppings, golfers face a thought-provoking layout en route to some of the finest putting surfaces you could ask for. Reaching them safely and/or attacking them precisely is no small task due to a combination of elevated greens, distorting contours and hole designs in which fairway lies do not always yield an ideal approach angle. Though it serves the public masses with favorably sized landing zones off the tee and a generous distance advantage from the front tees, Juniper will keep even the lowest of handicappers on their toes. Locals are spoiled with the nicest muni in the state, and visitors stand to spoil the potential greatness of their Central Oregon golf experience should they skip the trip to Juniper.

Juniper Golf Course is built along rolling terrain with a consistent serving of modest elevation changes. Arranged along acres of Juniper pines, desert plants and rock, wider fairways invite golfers to swing loose. With that said, there are several blind tee shots in which familiarity with the course has a drastic effect on the difficulty. Desert carries and other trouble areas in play from the tee keep golfers honest, but there is generally a fair amount of room to operate. Although water is not a notable factor at Juniper, a couple of ponds come into play on each side. Landing the correct portion of the fairways is at a premium here, where the greens are less receptive and less inviting from certain approach angles. A wealth of steep bunkers, challenging contours and blind looks help guard the otherwise spacious greens. While reaching these gems can prove difficult, reward is to be had here. The greens are as fast and true as they come. If you can find the line on these undulating greens, then trust it because what you see is what you get. For more skilled short gamers, standing over a putt offers a sight to salivate at. But for most golfers, these slippery quick speeds can stockpile strokes on a scorecard. Juniper’s immaculate greens headline a host of talking points for the City of Redmond’s country club quality course.

Crosswater Golf Club

Crosswater Golf Club, in Sunriver, OR, is a pristinely pure course and the class of Central Oregon golf. This standout stadium links, with a heathland style layout, is highly acclaimed and at one time played host to the annual Jeld-Wen Tradition, a Champions Tour major. True to its name, Crosswater traverses the slow, meandering rivers of the Deschutes and Little Deschutes at seemingly every turn. This waterwayed golf oasis provides a rich, green environment for its high desert locale. Aside from areas of dry woodlands, which are visible but seldom come into play, Crosswater has an open setting and bears many wetlands.

The course design is wonderfully incorporated with its extensive riverfront real estate and volcanic panoramas. In the near distance lies frequent views of Mt. Bachelor and Broken top, as well as forested hillsides and stand alone buttes. And just as easy on the eyes are sharp course features and immaculately maintained grounds. With overgrown wetland brush and wild grasses, alongside the finely manicured bent grass cuts of the hole layouts, there’s a steady balance between man’s and nature’s intentions. From tee to green, and from meadows to mountains, Crosswater is at the crossroads of countless beauties and directly in line with the Northwest’s elite.

Crosswater Golf Club is a special golf venue for anyone with resort access and a desire for a challenging, yet manageable, test of golf. With five sets of tees, generally large driving zones, and flat terrain, even less experienced or shorter-hitting golfers can put their ball in play. With that said, there are more than enough difficult features to threaten ones score. The back tees at Crosswater require frequent carries over rivers, wetland areas and overgrown grasses. In general, water sourced hazards are the most consistent form of trouble. Large ponds, rivers, and marked drop zones can consume errant shots throughout. Safe, if not ideal, landing zones are fairly sizable, but directional bunkers are abundant and must be minded.

As each hole at Crosswater progresses, it will typically get tighter and more obstacle-filled. Fairway cuts tend to narrow up at the greens, and groups of shapely sand traps are waiting to net miss-hits that carom off of neighboring knolls. The greens often have break away edges and are surrounded by short-cut collection areas. The putting surfaces provide a mix of subtle and noticeable contour. Factor in their flawlessly true rolls and lightning speeds, and reading the break demands a keen focus. Keep in mind that this region gets hit with harsher winters and, therefore, the greens can take longer to recover. For the premium fare of playing here, you will want to ensure the best. In peak season,  Crosswater is guaranteed to be just that as an unrivaled high desert golf destination.