Central Oregon is one of my favorite places to play golf, so when Ted Taylor over at Visit Central Oregon gave me a call to tell me about the PacAm golf tournament in Bend OR, I knew that a trip would be in order. Below you will find a brief rundown of the PacAm and the courses to play in Central Oregon.
The PacAm is one of the larger amateur tournaments in Oregon and in 2016 it celebrated it's 20th year in existence. I was there to capture the action and most importantly the golf courses of Central Oregon. The PacAm hosts approximately 450 participants each year and the tournament is played over seven courses with the Championship round being played at Crosswater Club in Bend.
The PacAm starts off with the Festival of Golf, where around $8k was raised for the local Boys & Girls Club of Bend. Golfers have a chance to win a car with a hole in one, achieve glory with a long drive, or most importantly devour cake.
After the festival of golf had kicked off the tournament, the golfers would head out for 3 rounds over the next 3 days at the 7 area courses. The tournament is broken down into gross and net divisions and flighted by handicap. Pretty much anyone has the potential to win if they play well.
The top 4 contestants in each flight would win M2 Drivers, Nikon range finders, and Taylor Made golf bags and balls. This was easily the most swag I had seen at a tournament of this nature.
In the end, Rick Gehrke of Meridian, ID would take home the overall champion honors. Congratulations, Rick.
Next up on the agenda was Tetherow, The David McLay Kidd design offers plenty of challenge and excitement. Heading up the excitement category are the Golfboards that are available for rent. Tetherow was actually the pilot course for Golfboard and the company is headquartered in Bend.
If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. But don't just take my word for it. Check out this Golfboard review by Chicago's very own, Ferris Bueller.
While the tournament was underway, I took the time to visit some of the area's marquee courses. Among the top of that list is Pronghorn Resort. With 2 championship courses, one designed by Tom Fazio and the other by Jack Nicklaus, this is a must play for any Bend visit.
I played a pretty solid round and had a chance to break par with a birdie on 18. The pressure was tense as I faced a tough approach from the right rough. In the shot of the day, I hit a towering 6 iron that fell out of the sky and right onto the flag stick. I converted the 3 foot putt for 71 and walked off of 18 with a nice big smile.
After a tough day on the links at Tetherow, I would cap off my day gloriously with a fine eagle putt.
With an eagle this spectacular, an equally spectacular celebration is required. I deliver the putt, then deliver the kicks.
When considering your next golf trip, Central Oregon should definitely be on the list for discussion. With so many public options available, the avid golfer could play for a week without running out of exciting new holes to play.
Even If you can't make it to the PacAm tournament, the area is definitely worth visiting. In addition to the world class golf, there is hiking, fishing, skiing, rafting, and rock climbing. Central Oregon also gets more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
A big thanks to Ted Taylor and Visit Central Oregon for inviting me out for a fantastic couple of days.