Running Y Ranch

The Running Y Ranch, located in Klamath Falls, OR is a must-visit resort course, and the only golf course designed by Arnold Palmer in the state of Oregon. The golf course is the crown jewel of a 3600 acre ranch just East of the Cascades. Running Y Ranch provides full lodging services as a full service resort, with shops and restaurants on site. Running Y Ranch alternates between sweeping meadows and wetlands, and forested hills, combining some of the greatest features Oregon golf has to offer. Running Y Ranch is as dramatic as it is well designed, particularly at its bookends. While the golf course is located within 20 minutes of downtown Klamath Falls, the majority of its play comes from resort guests, allowing for pristine course conditions even during the peak summer season. Running Y Ranch offers five tee boxes including the Palmer tee, marked by Arnie’s classic umbrella logo. The remaining for boxes are marked with his trademark colors, further cementing Running Y Ranch’s connection to one of the game’s all time greats.

The Running Y Ranch Golf Resort offers a combination of wide-open meadow golf with character, alternating with traditional Northwest golf. Stunning views of the Cascade Range and Klamath Lake features prominently throughout the course. The course is generally well maintained with well groomed fairways. In fact, it is not uncommon for your ball to land in an area without a divot within a 10 foot radius of your golf ball. Wayward shots can be penalized in a variety of ways, including water, tall grass, forested catch areas and well placed sand. The greens at Running Y Ranch provide a true roll and run fast in the summer months.

Playing Running Y Ranch

The first three holes at Running Y Ranch are similar in style, while each still providing unique challenges. The first hole is a challenging Par 4 that doglegs slightly to the left. The primary challenge on this hole is a green surrounded by sand traps. Next up is a Par 5 reachable in two, followed by another Par 4, which introduces water to the course for the first time. Each of the initial three holes runs along a large meadow to the left, with the ideal play to the right. Holes #4 and #5 share a water feature and are among the most visually appealing holes on the golf course. Rugged rock lined hazards and sand traps line these holes making them short yet challenging holes. The 5th hole is considered the signature hole at Running Y Ranch and the first Par 3 on the golf course. From there you head into the forest for the next 4 holes. The most unique of these 4 holes is #9, a Par 4 a downhill hole so severe many will want to attempt to drive the green, even from the back box.

The first hole on the back nine is a long and wide open Par 5. This a very scorable hole, but only reachable in two to the longest hitters. A difficult Par 4 awaits with water along the left side before heading back to the forest for a downhill Par 3. The next four holes are extremely tight featuring tree lined Par 4’s and a Par 3. #16 is considered Arnold Palmer’s favorite hole on the course. Target golf is a must through this stretch of holes. #17 features a split fairway with two completely different ways to play the hole. From the tee box, playing to the right looks like a shortcut but beware. Playing your tee shot left of the tall tree is shorter and the smart play. The finishing hole at Running Y Ranch is an exceptional hole, a Par 4 that rivals any in the area.

Eagle Point Golf Club

Eagle Point Golf Club lies in the heart of the Rogue Valley in Eagle Point, OR, just North of Medford. At just under a 5 hour drive from Portland, be sure and have this course on your list when putting together your next visit to Southern Oregon. Although Eagle Point Golf Club may not have the name recognition compared to other courses in the area, it has already gained plenty of respect from the golf community since its opening in 1996. A Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, Eagle Point Golf Club opened to very high praise from the experts. Today it finds itself in the top 15 Oregon Golf Courses, as recommended by Golf Digest.

Eagle Point Golf Club appears to have been built in a valley within a valley. There are many large rolling hills and the popular Table Rocks surrounding the course. Pristine maintenance, attractive water features and tremendous views of Mt. McLoughlin give you plenty to look at during your round. There is no question that a number of housing developments that surround the course take away from the overall appearance and feel of the design. It’s unfortunate that there are so many houses visible throughout the course, they in no way come into play and if you could not see them this course would rank much higher on any golfers list. If you are able to appreciate the high quality of both the condition and design of the golf holes on their own, then you will be impressed with Eagle Point Golf Club. The lower than usual greens fees for a golf course of this quality also turns it into a great value.

Eagle Point Golf Club may be most well-known for the superb sand veneering that was done during its construction. This process gives the course incredible drainage and creates outstanding conditions year round. They also have a unique practice facility that provides golfers with all they need, to work on their game even if they do not have time for a full 18. They have a full size natural grass driving range, large short game area and putting green. Identical to the golf course, the practice areas are in fantastic shape. Golf instruction is offered by multiple teaching professionals, including single day lessons.

Centennial Golf Club

Centennial Golf Club in Medford, OR, is a prized possession of Southern Oregon golf boasting a pristine and open layout of farmland links-style holes . It’s meandering green fairways contrast the golden fields of fescue at this vacation worthy venue that compliments the surrounding beauty of its Rogue Valley setting. With a central location in the heart of the small city of Medford, and in the shadows of wine country, Centennial is a top notch course for area residents and a doubtful-to-disappoint destination for visitors. Transformed from its original state as a century old pear orchard, Centennial was designed by acclaimed architect John Fought and built to the likes of pre-depression, Golden Age golf courses. Defined by wonderfully plotted holes and immaculately maintained grounds amid natural hazards of sprawling fescue, this young gem represents the inspiring new age of golf course design. The entire course offers an open vista of the Rogue Valley, but the unforgiving, native grasses and intricate contours demand a narrowed focus. Yet little concentration is required to observe the oblivious beauty of Centennial Golf Course, which properly represents the Southern region of Northwest golf.

Centennial Golf Club is generously sprawled out among mildly rolling terrain, and incorporates the pre-existing land characteristics. Proper directional lines are apparent from the tee boxes which, combined with roomy fairways, provide a level of confidence for any golfer. Miss the fairways and you will have to contend with thick, grabby rough. Miss the rough, and you will be taking a customary lateral drop out of the relentless fescue. This nearly treeless landscape may look harmless, but errant shots will have you wishing you had a recovery opportunity to advance your lie. There is no OB on the course, but a shot into the native grasses is virtually irretrievable, if not unplayable. Centennial also has a notable amount of water hazards, mainly in the form of greenside ponds that come into play on nearly half of the holes. And like any “links-style” golf course, bunkers are well used throughout in both the directional and greenside form to help tighten things up. While hitting greens in regulation is manageable here, perhaps the biggest challenge of Centennial lies in rolling the subtle, as well as obvious breaks, of the greens. The putting surfaces are large, fast and true, but the multitude of contours throughout any given green will test even the best of putters.