Golf Blog

Central Oregon

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 16th at Lost Tracks Golf Club

The 16th at Lost Tracks Golf Club

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.  

Before the golfers got after this cake, it was a perfectly sculpted sight of deliciousness. 

Before the golfers got after this cake, it was a perfectly sculpted sight of deliciousness. 

The Festival of Golf gets underway at the Sunriver Resort.

The Festival of Golf gets underway at the Sunriver Resort.

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.

The 15th hole at Nicklaus' Pronghorn course

The 15th hole at Nicklaus' Pronghorn course

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.

We quickly doubled up our raffle tickets with some cornhole.

We quickly doubled up our raffle tickets with some cornhole.

Bag piping scene is strong at the PacAm

Bag piping scene is strong at the PacAm

The always interesting 12th hole at Pronghorn

The always interesting 12th hole at Pronghorn

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.

The signature 17th hole at  Tetherow  from behind the green.

The signature 17th hole at Tetherow from behind the green.

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.

 

 

I didn't make it out to  Brasada Ranch  this trip, but it is another Central Oregon gem.

I didn't make it out to Brasada Ranch this trip, but it is another Central Oregon gem.

The 8th hole at  Crosswate r is a short par 4, that does indeed, cross over the water.

The 8th hole at Crosswater is a short par 4, that does indeed, cross over the water.

Golfing up a Storm

Recently I took a trip to visit my parents new home in Paradise, CA.  Naturally, this provided the perfect excuse for me to take a trip from Seattle down to CA and golf my little heart out along the way.  I booked a ton of tee times, packed a bag, and threw my clubs in the car.  This was going to be a monster of a trip covering 13 golf courses, with multiple 36 hole days, and walking every one of the courses.  Feel free to click on the link of the courses to check out the full galleries and write-ups.

The Oregon Courses:  On my way down to CA I took on 3 courses in the Bend area.

  • Aspen Lakes Golf Club - I started the trip off with a bang visiting the #15 Best in State on Golf Digest's rankings.  The cinder red bunkers gave this course a unique look and feel.
  • Black Butte Ranch Golf Club - An early morning tee time for a day of 36 started off at this classic Oregon staple.
  • Tetherow - Teeing it up with the club champion was a definite advantage in helping to navigate this challenging Kidd design.  I managed only 4 pars, but rolled in 5 birdies.
The view from the 10th tee at Black Butte Ranch 

The view from the 10th tee at Black Butte Ranch 

The 15th hole at Aspen Lakes Golf Club

The 15th hole at Aspen Lakes Golf Club

California Courses:  During my stay in CA, I hit up some local gems with my Dad and friends.

  • Table Mountain Golf Course - A local Paradise municipal track.  The Dad and I had fun whacking it around the local layout.
  • Sevillano Links -  This John Daly signature course plays just under 8000 yards from the back tees.  Like an idiot, I played the tips and had a blast grinding it out.
  • Bidwell Park Golf Course - We teed it up with the local city champion who showed us how to properly strike a golf ball.  The course features many friendly deer that you can walk right up to.  They don't cheer for birdies though and seemed relatively uninterested in that 6 footer you missed for par.
  • Bailey Creek Golf Course - One of the local favorites.  This course came highly recommended and did not disappoint.
The 8th hole at Sevillano Links

The 8th hole at Sevillano Links

The 18th hole at Bidwell Park

The 18th hole at Bidwell Park

Complimentary Scoring Pie Chart

The 600 yard par 5 12th hole at Crosswater

The 600 yard par 5 12th hole at Crosswater

The Home Stretch:  With the end in sight I crossed the finish line in style

  • Pronghorn Fazio Course - My favorite course of the trip.  For a guy who likes to take pictures, Fazio makes it fun.  Also there is a lava tube hole!!
  • Bend Golf & Country Club -  A classic country club experience and a fun course to play.  I managed to make 16 pars for the second 18 on a day of 36.
  • Pumpkin Ridge Witch Hollow - For the final round of the trip I teed it up with Sean Ogle of breakingeighty.com.  Sean was a fantastic host and helped me to conclude the trip with finesse.
The 6th hole at Fazio's course at Pronghorn

The 6th hole at Fazio's course at Pronghorn

Awards & Accolades:

  • Best Par 3 - The 8th hole at Pronghorn's Fazio Course.  Nicknamed the "Lava tube" hole, this was an easy victory for #8.  Honorable mention goes to #5 at Running Y.
  • Best Par 4 - With 130 contenders this one was tough but #6 at Tetherow takes home the honors.  Honorable mentions to #6 at Pronghorn, #18 at Crosswater, and #6 at Pumpkin Ridge. The 6th hole cleaning up in this category.
  • Best Par 5 - #12 at Crosswater wins the award here.  I also enjoyed #2 at Running Y, #17 at Widgi Creek and #14 at Pumpkin Ridge.
  • Best Photo:  #18 at Pronghorn.
  • Best Course:  Pronghorn with a close runner up in Crosswater.

A big thanks to everyone that I played with and who invited me onto their courses.  Until next time!!

The 18th hole at Tetherow

The 18th hole at Tetherow

Bidwell Park has more deer per hole than I had strokes. 

Bidwell Park has more deer per hole than I had strokes. 

 

By the Numbers:

  • 13 rounds of golf played
  • 234 holes of golf played
  • Average score: 75.1
  • Pars: 137
  • Birdies: 34
  • Bogies: 54
  • Double Bogies: 9
  • Eagle putts missed: 5
The 3rd hole at Table Mountain 

The 3rd hole at Table Mountain 

Oregon Courses:  The trip back to Seattle.  This would be the meat of the golf trip with 2 back to back 36 hole days.

  • Running Y Ranch - Definitely the best value on the trip.  The Arnold Palmer design was definitely the best surprise on the trip.
  • Crosswater Club -  Considered by every golfer that I played with as one of their favorite courses in Oregon.  Cross water is one of the state's best coming in at #9 in the state on Golf Digest's list.
  • Widgi Creek Golf Club -  One of the higher end public courses in the Bend area.  I finished up the day of 36 with a nice twilight round.
The par 4, 4th hole at Running Y Ranch

The par 4, 4th hole at Running Y Ranch

The tough par 5 17th at Widgi Creek

The tough par 5 17th at Widgi Creek

The par 3, 3rd hole at Bend Golf & Country Club

The par 3, 3rd hole at Bend Golf & Country Club

The par 4, 6th hole at Pumpkin Ridge.

The par 4, 6th hole at Pumpkin Ridge.

#18 at Crosswater.  A runner up in the par 4 contest

#18 at Crosswater.  A runner up in the par 4 contest

The 8th hole at Pronghorn takes the cake in Best Par 3.

The 8th hole at Pronghorn takes the cake in Best Par 3.

#6 at Tetherow takes home the victory in the par 4 competition

#6 at Tetherow takes home the victory in the par 4 competition

My favorite photo from the trip comes from #18 at Pronghorn.  This photo pretty much took itself.

My favorite photo from the trip comes from #18 at Pronghorn.  This photo pretty much took itself.