By Ted Taylor
Considering Central Oregon is home to 30 golf courses including three of Golf Digest’s Top 100– Pronghorn, Crosswater and Tetherow – and half of Golfweek’s Top 10 courses in Oregon, there’s really no bad time of year to tee it up in the Bend-Sunriver area.
But for my money, fall is by far the best time to hit up the Central Oregon Golf Trail.
September and October are usually pretty mild and a welcome reprieve from the summer heat. Sure, the daylight might not extend as far into the evening, but there’s still plenty of time to get in 18 holes. (And if you tee off early enough, you can even get in 36 – made easier by the fact courses are so close together. Tetherow and Widgi Creek, for example, are on essentially the same road less than 3 miles apart. While resorts like Black Butte and Sunriver feature multiple courses near each other.)
CHEAPER GREEN FEES
Beyond the weather, fall golf in Central Oregon means discounted green fees. As a tourist destination, some of the resort green fees during the summer are a little steep for some folks. Come fall though, those rates go down dramatically making some of the country’s best courses more affordable. Sunriver Resort, for example, is offering an amazing unlimited fall golf package that includes 3-nights of lodging for less than $260/person. Black Butte Ranch near Sisters also has some great packages that include unlimited golf starting at just $99!
The crowds have thinned and the tee sheets are WIDE open, making it the perfect time for that group outing you’ve been wanting to throw for your clients or office. Pronghorn Resort has a sweet deal through September for groups of eight or more. Starting at just $549 per person, you and your buddies can enjoy:
* 2 nights in a luxurious 4 bedroom Villa
* Unlimited golf on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course
* One box lunch
* Free round-trip airport transportation
* Unlimited range balls
OFF THE COURSE LIFE
The “shoulder season” as we call it in the tourism biz, also means fewer crowds at some of the region’s most popular off-the-course spots. Brewpubs like Deschutes, Crux and Bend Brewing Co. can get packed during the summer, but you’re better off quickly finding a table for you and your 7 bros come fall. (Speaking of Deschutes, a brewery tour is a fun group activity after a round of golf and before dinner. Looking for a great golf-n-grub combo? After a round at Tetherow, head upstairs to The Row for one of the best 19th Holes in Central Oregon.