Golfing Central, Southern & Coastal Oregon
12 courses, 189 holes, 1003 miles in 8 days!

Story & Photos by: Ed & Fran Stone

Oregon's coastline is noted for beautiful sunsets and unique golfing properties.

The State of Oregon is recognized for its dramatic and captivating coastline with gigantic waves of the Pacific Ocean smashing against the shore. Golf is often included in this overall image of what is nicknamed, “the beaver state.” Recently, GoGolfandTravel.com took on the challenge of some of Oregon’s 125-plus courses (18 & 9 holes open to the public) beginning with two of the finest at the Black Butte Resort near Sisters, then on to Aspen Lakes, Brasada Canyons, Tetherow, Crosswater, Running Y, Centennial, Bandon Crossings, Old Bandon Golf Links, Bandon Dunes and ending with a real classic at Salishan Spa & Golf Resort in Gleneden Beach. Website links are provided within our story to each of these courses as we attempt to give you a brief overview and our impressions and assessments of each layout.  You may click on any of the following courses and it will take you to that course within our article.  A return link is found at the end of each golf course description.

BLACK BUTTE RANCH
Black Butte, OR
Big Meadow Golf Course
TETHEROW GOLF CLUB
Bend, OR
BANDON CROSSINGS GOLF CLUB
Bandon, OR
BLACK BUTTE RANCH
Black Butte, OR
Glaze Meadow Golf Course
SUNRIVER RESORT
Crosswater Golf Course
Sunriver, OR
OLD BANDON GOLF LINKS
(Now operating as Bandon Face
Rock Golf Course
)
Bandon, OR
ASPEN LAKES GOLF CLUB
Sisters, OR
RUNNING Y RANCH GOLF RESORT
Klamath Falls, OR
BANDON DUNES GOLF COURSE
Bandon, OR
BRASADA RANCH RESORT
Brasada Canyon Golf Course
CENNENTIAL GOLF CLUB
Medford, OR
SALISHAN GOLF CLUB
Gleneden Beach, OR


Black Butte Ranch: (www.blackbutteranch.com)
Flying into Portland, the largest of all cities in the state, we traveled some three hours to Black Butte for two nights lodging and two outstanding courses: Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow Golf Courses.

“There is a Place” is the slogan of Black Butte Ranch. This 1,800-acre resort community in Central Oregon has all you would ever need in the way of a great vacation spot. When you speak of “place,” you can tell your friends it is a great place for everybody; including golfers, tennis players, equestrians, hikers or outdoor enthusiasts who simply want to enjoy the sweeping beauty of the surrounding Cascade Mountains.

Angeline's Bakery & Cafe.. great place to grab a breakfast snack.

Black Butte is about 15 minutes from the western town of Sisters. You need to check it out as it is not your typical resort community. A great place to grab a breakfast snack or luncheon sandwich is Angeline’s Bakery & Café.

Guests have the option of choosing between Lodge Condominiums, cabins and multi-bedroom homes nestled in the Ponderosa Pines throughout the self-contained property with its own general store and recreation center featuring an indoor pool, hot tub and exercise rooms.

A perfect way to explore Black Butte Ranch is via the 18 miles of bike paths…bikes are available for rent. This is a great way to see the resort and view the mountain peaks of Mount Washington and Three Finger Jack as well as the Three Sisters (Faith, Hope and Charity).

Dining options include the Lodge Restaurant that is tagged as its “signature,” Robert’s Pub, Aspen Lounge and the Lakeside Bistro. Each of these eateries offer something indigenous to the area as well as taking advantage of the surrounding scenery. The staff at Robert’s Pub are most hospitable…especially, Trina Clark…what a customer oriented person.

ABOVE: The 14th hole of Black Butte's Big Meadow course is considered its signature.
BELOW: Glaze Meadow recent design is everything promised.

Black Butte Ranch’s Big Meadow Golf Course:
Robert Muir Graves was architect and created a most enjoyable straightforward playable course when he designed Big Meadow back in the early 1980’s. Scenic views are synonymous to most all the Oregon courses, but this one has some beauties. We were told about the fourteenth hole, which could be considered “the signature.” It was everything promised. There in the distance stood Three Fingered Jack, a jagged volcanic peak rising above the towering Ponderosa pines with a par four straight ahead fairway in between. We did not encounter any water on this course. Overall, this was one of our favorites and we would return again…for sure.

Black Butte Ranch’s Glaze Meadow Golf Course:
The Glaze Meadow Golf Course was redesigned by PGA member, John Fought (brother of Black Butte Ranch Director of Golf Jeff Fought) and opened in May 2012. This second 18-hole championship course is one not to be missed…especially for its natural and scenic beauty. The $3.5 million redesign included renovation of greens, tees, bunkers and lengthened the course from 6,574 to 7,007yards. This definitely places this course in a championship caliber for any golfer. Fast greens are something to be aware of on this course. The large stands of dense evergreen and deciduous forests with changing elevations make it most challenging. Lush growths of ferns had turned their autumn colors along with other grasses. The scenery of snow capped mountains along the rugged and glaciated Cascade Mountain Range makes for “wow factors” throughout this area.  (Return to table of courses.)

A unique golf course...nowhere have we seen crushed red cinders made into soft sand for use in traps and bunkers.

Aspen Lakes Golf Course: (www.aspenlakes.com)
In 1997, the first 9-holes were opened of Aspen Lakes, Sisters, Oregon followed by the second nine in 2001. This is a privately owned course by the Cyrus family, but open to the public. Truly a family affair, the golf course was laid out, cleared, graded and seeded by Matt, Keith and Pam Cyrus. The architect is William Overdorf who has designed several courses in the State of Washington. In addition to the overwhelming views of the Cascade Mountains, Black Butte and others, this is a unique golf course. Being privileged to play golf around the World, nowhere have we ever seen crushed red cinders made into soft sand for use in traps and bunkers. All of this material came from the local Cyrus Family Farm. This natural element provides for a contrasting beauty against the green grass, blue skies and white, snow covered, mountains…giving a unique signature to Aspen Lakes. Aspen Lakes was the first course in Oregon to be enrolled in the Audubon Signature Sanctuary Program. (View Short Video Of Course)  (Return to table of courses.)

 

Brasada Canyons Golf Course: (www.brasada.com)
With an impressive entrance to the resort and more than 3,200 feet above sea level and rising to over 4,000 feet, this is a wonderful course to play. You really don’t expect to see this kind of course in Bend/Powell Butte, Oregon…but it really puts all skill levels to the test. The desert plants and flowers create a beautiful backdrop to roughs. Native Oregonian Peter Jacobsen, a member of the PGA Tour since 1976 with seven official PGA Tour Victories, designed Brasada Canyons. His partner, Jim Hardy was very much involved with the design, too. Brasada Canyons Golf Course is the centerpiece of the Brasada Ranch Resort offering upscale accommodations, dining and other resort amenities you will want to enjoy in addition to playing the 18 distinctive and challenging holes that provide dramatic, unmatched views of the snowcapped Cascade Mountains from nearly every hole. Zack Swoffer, is the director of golf operations at Brasada Canyons Golf Course. (View Short Video Of Brasada Ranch & Course)  (Return to table of courses.)

Oxford Hotel, Bend, OR: (www.oxfordhotelbend.com)
About an hour from Brasada Canyons and 35 minutes from Black Butte, we spent our third night at this “ Eco-Chic Boutique Hotel in Bend,” The Oxford Hotel…the only luxurious, four-diamond boutique hotel in this charming town. This hotel is fabulous and lives up to everything you’ll read in its brochure or website. It is located right where you’ll want to stay in downtown Bend. The staff is exceptionally accommodating and friendly. The spacious, well appointed rooms are very comfortable and inviting. Historic downtown Bend is just out the front door and restaurants are just down the street. Or, stay in the Oxford and enjoy the chic décor of fine dining at the 10 Below Restaurant.  The Oxford Hotel offers state-of-the-art corporate meeting space with more than 3,000 square foot. The Oxford Hotel Bend is the discerning, eco-conscious traveler's ultimate hotel destination. We believe it!

The Bend and Central Oregon area is a vacationer’s paradise. We encourage you to checkout their website to learn more about this outstanding and beautiful area. (www.visitcentraloregon.com)

Tetherow is simply an amazing golf course!

Tetherow Golf Club: (www.tetherow.com)
The Bend area offers some 20-plus courses the public can play, including the aforementioned. However, when you play a course with the famous designer of a course (Tetherow and Bandon Dunes), it makes it all-the-better. We met David McLay Kidd, at the Tetherow Clubhouse on a Saturday morning with his darling daughter, Ailsa. After exchanging pleasantries and enjoying a cup of coffee, we ventured to the first tee box to enjoy a few holes with this acclaimed individual from Scotland.

Opening in 1999 as a private club, the course eventually became semi-private in 2007.  Tetherow is simply an amazing golf course! It is about as close as you will get to a true Scottish links course in the U.S. To us, it is better than the links courses you will find in the country that created this game. Scotland can be very proud…or, maybe envious of this course. The arid conditions and terrain of Bend make for a perfect setting. Hole #17 is a par 3, approx. 160 yards and built in a pumas quarry. David calls this his “cover girl” or “center fold” hole. He says that he is not too keen on “signature.” (View Short Video Of Kidd's Description of Course)  (View Short Video Of Hole #17)  (Return to table of courses.)

Bend and Central Oregon is where David calls home in the United States. David and DMK Golf Design have earned enviable accolades around the globe in the world of golf. You can check him out at: www.dmkgolfdesign.com.

Crosswater Club Course: (www.crosswater.com)
About a half hour’s drive from Bend is the outstanding Sunriver Resort’s Crosswater Club Course recognized by Golf Digest as one of “Golf’s 50 Great Destinations.”  Crosswater is a long golf course stretching some 7,683-yards and crossing the Little Deschutes River seven times. The amount of water and numerous willows not only create scenic views, but the course is enhanced by the snow-capped Cascade Mountains surrounding the development. As most golfers know and somewhat demand, great putting surfaces are a must.  In 2011, Crosswater invested some $500,000 to renovate their greens. I must say that it was a good investment and their greens are some of the best in the country. Most fairways are open and allow for some forgiveness. However, hole #12 measures 687 yards from the tips and from the whites, it is 572 yards. If that is not enough, hole #16 is 598 from the tips. This is a most enjoyable but tough golf course.

Crosswater golf course is enhanced by the snow-capped Cascade Mountains surrounding the Sunriver Resort. Sunriver Lodge is part of a 3,300 acre development was built in 1968. Crosswater Grille is a perfect place to celebrate after a round of golf.


Dinner at the Crosswater Grille just off the lobby from the Pro Shop, is a perfect place to celebrate after a round of golf and enjoy some of the finest casual dining in the area. We were most impressed with the menu and gracious service.  The Meadows Restaurant at the Main Lodge is the perfect way to begin the day overlooking the golf courses and enjoying a bountiful breakfast.

The Sunriver Resort has the enviable location of being at the base of the Cascade Mountains providing some of Oregon’s most beautiful scenery. The 3,300 acre development was built in 1968 and highlights the Deschutes River winding through its property and by the Sunriver Lodge. Today, it provides some 35 miles of pathways for pedestrians and bicycle riders, two swimming pools, 26 tennis courts, two parks and other amenities. (Return to table of courses.)

 

"The Running Y Ranch Golf Course showcases the spectacular natural landscape of Oregon's beautiful unspoiled outback." Arnold Palmer

Running Y Ranch Golf Resort: (www.Runningy.com)
Running Y Ranch Golf Resort is not only home to the only Arnold Palmer designed course in Oregon, but is also one of Golf Digest’s "America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses." When Arnold Palmer was asked to pick a favorite golf course from his many designs, he did not choose one, but 16. The list became known as Arnold's "Sweet 16." Running Y Ranch Golf Course is deservingly a proud member.

"The Running Y Ranch Golf Course showcases the spectacular natural landscape of Oregon's beautiful unspoiled outback. Ambling along meadows and through restored wetlands on the front nine; you will play besides lakes, woodlands and into Payne Canyon on the back. The vision of "leave the land as it lies" played out well in the course design, and I consider it one of my best tracks. If you're in the area, it's well worth the visit." – Arnold Palmer

The course is challenging and beautiful from start to finish. The front nine contrasts from the back nine. The front is more open with broad fairways while the back meanders through large stands of forests, boulder formations and higher elevations. Both the ninth and eighteenth holes offer scenic views that challenge you to keep your mind on the game.

Recently, the Running Y Lodge became a Holiday Inn Resort property and has been newly renovated as a full-service resort community. The location offers breathtaking views of Southern Oregon's Cascade Mountain range, just across the California border near Klamath Falls, Oregon. The resort offers, in addition to the golf, some eight miles of paved trails, indoor pool, hot tub/sauna, exercise facilities, horseback riding, basketball, tennis or volleyball, Resort Spa, seasonal ice-skating arena, and shopping center. Crater Lake is only 60 miles from Running Y Ranch. This is a caldera lake and a National Park created from the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. Unique to this attraction, is no rivers flow in or out of it and it is some 2,148 feet deep. Between evaporation and snow/rainfall, it replaces the water every 250 years.  (Return to table of courses.)

En-route to Medford, we passed by two gorgeous golf courses:
Stoneridge Golf Course and Eagle Point Golf Course (Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.) . Both are certainly worth playing, but time did not allow us to experience these top ranked courses.

Centennial was designed by native Oregonian, John Fought is a delight to play.

Centennial Golf Club : (www.centennialgolfclub.com)
Centennial is centrally located in Medford at the heart of the bountiful Rogue Valley region. This course was designed by native Oregonian, John Fought a golf professional on the PGA Tour from the late 1970’s to the mid-1980’s. The 18-hole layout opened to the public in May 2006. From the tips, the par 72 course is 7,300 yards and is an absolute to play. We found no forced carries and enjoyed the generous fairways of this beautiful course. Young growths of pines will provide additional character to this course in the future. Centennial Golf Club has a very nice and accommodating clubhouse with golf shop, restaurant and practice facility. The golf professional is Vince Domenzain.
(Return to table of courses.)

Homewood Suites by Hilton ® of Medford:
After our enjoyable round of golf at Centennial Golf Course we retreated to the Homewood all-suites hotel, just minutes from the Rogue Valley/Medford International Airport. The property is the perfect location to the golf course and to Interstate 5 that would take us towards our next golfing experience.  The comfortable, spacious suites offer room to relax and the hotel provides breakfast, a light evening dinner and drinks. (Return to table of courses.)

Bandon Crossing became an impressive golf course and we thoroughly enjoyed our round.

Bandon Crossings: (www.bandoncrossings.com)
From Medford, we traveled some 3 hours to Bandon where we are greeted by golf professional Jim Wakeman at Bandon Crossings, located just south of the city. As we progressed from the first tee to the fourth hole, the course really took on its own personality and became a golf course we all began to appreciate more and more. The forests became thicker, water came into play and the layout became most intriguing. By the time we reached the back nine, an impressive golf course lay before us and we thoroughly enjoyed our round at Bandon Crossings. As in most of this area of Oregon, the natural contours of ancient sand dunes provide an ideal setting for golf. Rex & Carla Smith of Eugene, Oregon is an avid golfing couple who enjoys a vacation home in the Bandon area got the idea of creating a course that would be a bit more reasonable in cost for this area that has become know as one of America’s Golfing Mecca. The creative/design/construction group they assembled was well known to Bandon. They are: designer - Dan Hixson, Golf Course Contractor - Tony Russell (of Tetherow, Bandon Dunes and Old Bandon Golf Links) and Superintendent - Brant Hathorn. This is a course you can walk, use a pull cart or take an electric golf car. This is a beautiful course and offers golfers visiting the area a more economical choice.  (Return to table of courses.)

Sunset Oceanfront Lodging: (www.sunsetmotel.com)
Staying at the Sunset Motel in Bandon allowed us to experience a diversity of lodging in Oregon. Location is almost everything when it comes to visiting the Oregon Coast.  The Sunset Motel has that, plus character, history and service. What began as a couple of duplexes back in 1936 by Herbert and Clara Brown with their son and daughter-in-law, Vern and Mabel Brown, has grown and remains an independent, family-run business for four generations. Today, this is a thriving family operation with 70-units overlooking the magical, rock laden view of the Oregon coast. You’ll find the history quite interesting and the sunsets spectacular! Today, Bryan and Jeffrey Longland, the fourth generation, operate first-class lodging with a personal touch that make all visitors feel welcome.(View Short Video of Sunset Motel)

Old Bandon Golf Links is one of those unique golfing experiences.

Old Bandon Golf Links:
(Now called Bandon Face Rock Golf Course)
GoGolfandTravel.com cannot confirm if this course is still in operation.
In all our rounds of golf, this is near the top as most memorable. Driving into the parking lot behind the Best Western Inn and looking for a spiffy clubhouse, I found a basic building with the sign indicating I had arrived at the Old Bandon Golf Links. I have to admit that I did not know what I was about to experience. Troy and Kim Russell leased and operated this facility from 2009 through 2012.  (The club is now operating under new management and now called the Bandon Face Rock Golf Course.  It continues to offer hickory shaft golfing.) The original course was built in 1927, then called the Westmost Golf Club. It was and still is the western most golf course in the lower 48 states. Troy told us we did not need to take my clubs from the SUV we were driving. He had the set of clubs we would be using on the Old Bandon Golf Links. This is where the fun began. He presented Chuck and me with a set of hickory shaft clubs and authentic gutta golf balls…of which neither of us had ever played. We were instructed which club would accomplish our various shots and needs on the course…off we went. The best drive might have been close to 150 to 175 yards. Of course, from tee to green, the longest holes are from 320 to 350 yards. The par 3’s are between 144 to 198 yards. The greens are smaller and the fairways are narrow. There are very few sand traps.

The fun and uniqueness of this course is you know there are only a few public golf facilities in the U.S. offering hickory rentals for play with authentic gutta and other period-appropriate balls. You are not here to best your partner’s score or to see how far you can drive the ball. You are here for the pure pleasure and experience of how golf was played in the 1920’s. It was worth the time and great memories we took home with us, not to mention the stories we’ll tell our other golfing friends. (View Short Video Of Course) (Return to table of courses.)

Bandon Dunes: (www.bandondunesgolf.com)
Having played the Tetherow Golf Course in Bend with golf architect designer David McLay Kidd, we had been dreaming of this day when we would play his famous Brandon Dunes Course. This was the Holy Grail, the Super Bowl, the Masters, the one that made David really famous in the world of golf. Bandon Dunes is everything it is touted to be in all the golfing publications, websites and promotional materials. Caddies are suggested, but not required. It is walking only and no motorized carts are allowed. Pull carts are provided for those not wanting to use a caddy. This is true Scottish links golf…at its best.

Bandon Dunes is everything it is touted to be in all the golfing publications, websites and promotional materials.


Golf Magazine once wrote about Bandon Dunes: "Probably the finest land made available for a golf course in America since Alistair Mackenzie was shown the site for Cypress Point Club on Monterey Peninsula..."

David came to Bandon in the late 1990’s and began his drawing and dreams. The course opened in 1999. He used all the natural landscape, pristine native dunes, expansive ocean views and strong winds from the Pacific to make this course the premier it is today. Of course, I must admit the management deserves accolades for providing some of the best service and assistance one could ever want at this four course facility. (The other three courses are: Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, Old Macdonald and Bandon Preserve.) This customer service begins from the time you arrive until the time you depart…including on-course assistance and directions. You are never pushed or made to feel rushed. They want you to enjoy your round of golf with your friends. We did! (Return to table of courses.)

Salishan Spa & Golf Resort: (www.salishan.com)
Gleneden Beach is one of those small Oregon coastal resorts offering upscale service, accommodations, golf, spa and amenities for couples, families and corporate. Dining is certainly a special part of the Salishan experience. Built in 1965, Salishan offers 205 guest rooms with views of the ocean, bay and golf course on the 250-acre property. The rooms are spacious and comfortable…just perfect for relaxing and enjoying the ambiance of in-room fireplaces and absorbing the natural surroundings from your private balcony.

Salishan comes very close to being our favorite…of course, we already had 11 other favorites.

Salishan Golf Club: (www.salishan.com)
After playing 11 outstanding and very different golf courses for the past seven days, we were anxious to see what our l2th and last course would be like. Salishan comes very close to being our favorite…of course, we already had 11 other favorites.

We knew that Peter Jacobsen had been involved with redesigning this course that was built back in 1964 and 1965. Fred Federspiel who had also designed the Meadows at Sunriver Resort originally designed Salishan. Greeted by starter, Dan Doerflinger, a native of Indiana, we were warmly welcomed. The first hole has a forced but attainable water carry of some 150 yards putting one in the mood for a great round. Playing the front nine through tall spruces, cedars, pines and beautiful surroundings, we wondered how the back nine could be better. It was. Here we captured views of the Pacific and endured ocean winds left over from the previous course south of here. This par 71, 6,470 golf course is simply a delight, but beware of the fast greens. It offers challenge, scenery and rewards for playing good golf…just what we needed for our finale…drum roll, please.

Walking off the 18th green of the Salishan golf course completed the 189th hole for our friends Chuck & Judy McBrayer and us over an eight-day period. Reaching the elevated green in regulation of this par four, 365-yard hole and making par made the trip worth it. We shook hands and gave each other manly hugs along with bigger hugs to the wives. We had survived an awesome golfing trek and walked away with treasured memories most golfers can only dream.  That’s what golf is all about. (View Short Video Of Course)  (Return to table of courses.)

Reflecting over the past week or so, we all came to the same conclusion that not only does Oregon offer the best of the best in golf courses, accommodations, dining and attractions, but this state also is possessed with some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  Oregon hospitality makes golfing even better.  We thank you.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

View A Short Video Of The Oregon Golf Tour