Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Central Oregon Offers Great Golf Beyond Bandon Dunes


Thanks to abundant sunshine and a long season that allows you to golf, ski, bike, and fly fish – often on the same day – there’s no shortage of fun to be had

(SUNRIVER, Ore.) — It’s widely known that Oregon is home to some of the greatest public golf courses in the country, if not the world. The acclaim and fanfare of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort are a big reason for this reputation, but long before its existence golfers were making their way to another popular Oregon golf destination – Central Oregon. 

With nearly 30 golf courses, including three in Golf Digest’s Top 100 (#40 – Pronghorn, #61 – Crosswater, #82 – Tetherow), and a diversity in course design that is rare, Central Oregon has long been considered among the top destinations in the country for a golf trip.

“In terms of variety, playability, accessibility, weather, and course conditions, Central Oregon has to be at or near the top of any golfer’s bucket list of destinations,” says Julia Theisen, president & CEO of Visit Central Oregon. “I often tell people that the fact that David McLay Kidd, who has designed some of the world’s top courses including the original Bandon Dunes course and Central Oregon favorite Tetherow, lives here is testament enough to the quality of play and supporting cast of activities.”

Central Oregon is blessed with a consistent abundance of sunshine given its location on the drier and higher eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. During Central Oregon’s famously mild summer, when average high temperatures settle in the low-80s, it’s common to golf, bike, and fly fish in the same day. Early season visitors even have an opportunity to accomplish the rare double feat of skiing and golfing in the same day, as the ski season at nearby Mt. Bachelor typically runs through Memorial Day.

Anchored by the outdoor lover’s paradise of Bend, Central Oregon is home to Championship designs spread throughout the region. That includes the PGA Tour pedigree of Sunriver Resort's three courses, including Crosswater - a Top 100 mainstay, plus the Jack Nicklaus course at Pronghorn Resort and the David McLay-Kidd (who calls Bend home) gem of Tetherow. Other notable offerings include the player-friendly design of Brasada Ranch, the municipal masterpiece of Juniper Golf Course, the volcanic crushed red cinder bunkers at Aspen Lakes, and the mountain golf designs of Robert Muir Graves and John Fought (redesign) at Black Butte Ranch.

Of course, golf is not all that makes for a great golf trip in Central Oregon, home to nearly 40 breweries, many wineries and tasting rooms, distilleries, and cideries, as well as a creative culinary scene that includes everything from fine dining to an eclectic food truck culture. 

“Despite the many challenges brought about by the pandemic, it was surprisingly good for the game of golf as record numbers of people either returned to the game or took it up for the first time,” says Theisen. “As these and other golfers return to traveling this year, we’re confident they’ll find the variety of courses, surrounding natural beauty, and abundance of outdoor recreation give Central Oregon all the makings of the perfect golf trip.”

For more information on Central Oregon golf, activities, lodging, and experiences, visit www.VisitCentralOregon.com.

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