Bend vs. beach: Why you should spring break in Bend, Oregon
February 16, 20246 minute read
Bend, Oregon, is a premier destination for golf enthusiasts from all over the country. Central Oregon is home to an array of the Pacific Northwest’s most scenic golf courses. With expansive panoramic vistas of the high desert and Cascade Mountain landscapes, coupled with a tranquil ambiance and an abundance of sunny days, Bend offers an unparalleled golfing experience that invites players of all skill levels.
You can take a swing at over 20 golf courses, five within Bend city limits and several more just a short drive out of town, offering a mix of public and private courses. Whether you’re taking your first swing at the sport or a seasoned golfer who has experienced some of the world’s most renowned courses, Bend won’t disappoint. Its diverse golf courses offer a variety of tees and challenges, from intricate sand traps to rolling greens to strategic water hazards.
So, book a tee time, grab your clubs, and let’s check out Bend’s golf courses.
If you’re planning a golf trip to Bend, consider the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to October. These months typically offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds, providing a more serene golfing experience. During the summer, morning tee times can be advantageous, as you’ll beat the heat of midday while enjoying the crisp, fresh air of the high desert. Most courses will close during the snowy winter months. Always check ahead for conditions, potential seasonal discounts, and weather, including smoky skies during the late summer months.
River’s Edge is a must-play for golfers visiting Bend. This 18-hole, par-72 public course is located right in town and offers stunning views of the Cascade Mountains, the Deschutes River, and the diverse wildlife that calls the area home. Designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones II, River’s Edge offers a challenging and enjoyable round for golfers of all skill levels. The course features a variety of tees, sand traps, greens, and water hazards.
Awbrey Glen is a private course in Bend with a magnificent par-72, 18-hole championship course designed by Bunny Mason. It’s considered one of Bend’s best golf courses, with good reason. It offers a challenging but fair round of golf for players of all skill levels, with stunning views of the Cascade Mountains, several lakes, and volcanic rock outcroppings. In addition to the main course, Awbrey Glen has a year-round practice center, the Golf Learning Centre, with a driving range and a 5-hole par-3 course, perfect for all ages, especially families and young golfers.
Broken Top Club’s 18-hole private golf course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, seamlessly blends classic design with modern features. Spanning 7,161 yards, this par-72 course utilizes natural contours, pine trees, lakes, and rocky formations to create a visually stunning and challenging layout. Notable holes include a dramatic cliff-edge par-four and a Weiskopf signature driveable par-four. With well-spaced trees and captivating views of the Cascade Mountains, including Broken Top, South Sister, and Mt. Bachelor, this upper-tier club offers a picturesque golfing experience. PGA Golf Professionals provide lessons, and a lavish clubhouse with breathtaking vistas completes the package.
Bend Golf and Country Club, Central Oregon’s oldest private club, has been a golfing gem since 1925. Its 7,000-yard, 18-hole course offers a timeless golf experience with well-groomed fairways, challenging design, and stunning views of the Cascade Mountains and picturesque Ponderosa Pine trees. The course is designed to be walkable and playable for golfers of all skill levels, yet it also hosts prestigious events such as the Oregon Open and Oregon Amateur. With its impeccable greens, captivating challenges, and welcoming staff, Bend Golf Club beckons avid golfers to explore its historic course.
Lost Tracks Golf Club is a must-play for golfers of all skill levels. Designed by renowned architect Brian Whitcomb, the 18-hole course offers 7,000 yards of breathtaking views and challenging shots, all set in a secluded location bordered by national forest land. With its meticulously groomed fairways, old-style design, and proximity to the city of Bend, Lost Tracks is a golfing experience that you won’t soon forget.
Widgi Creek Golf Club offers a classic high desert golf experience. Amidst towering Ponderosa pines, it’s a meticulously maintained and thoughtfully designed public 18-hole, par-72 course. Its immaculate fairways and undulating greens offer a pristine golfing experience. The course layout features an array of straightaway holes demanding precision amid the tall pines and shorter, strategic doglegs that reward accurate positioning. Challenging elements include dense woods, desert brush, and expansive ponds, offering a stern test for golfers of all levels. The generously sized greens showcase exceptional contours, providing a fair yet thrilling putting challenge.
Tetherow Golf Club is a semi-private, links-style course crafted by acclaimed architect David McLay Kidd, showcasing a distinct Scottish Heathlands design. A decade after his acclaimed Bandon Dunes course, Kidd returned to Oregon to create this visually striking par 72 layout. Surrounded by sweeping vistas of the Cascade Mountain Range, including the iconic Three Sisters and Mt. Hood on clear days, Tetherow offers a breathtaking golfing experience. Fescue grasses, native volcanic rock, and undulating terrain define the course, while large greens allow varied approaches. With a reputation for its challenging nature, Tetherow remains a rewarding challenge, emphasizing skill and strategy.
Brasada Canyons offers a breathtaking high desert golfing experience, with panoramic mountain views and an exclusive 18-hole par-72 course reserved for guests and members. Stretching over 7,295 yards, it ranks as Central Oregon’s longest course. The elevation changes offer golfers stunning views of the snowcapped Cascade Mountains, but the course’s length makes using a golf cart convenient. Each hole at Brasada Canyons is a visual delight, with no two running parallel. The drivable par-4 15th is a signature hole, offering stunning views. The course also features a two-tiered grass driving range and two short-game practice areas.
Juniper Golf Course is a highly acclaimed 18-hole public course in Redmond, Oregon. Designed by John Harbottle III, Juniper offers 7,186 yards of stunning views of the Cascade Mountains and challenges golfers of all skill levels with its rolling terrain, well-maintained fairways, and challenging greens. Juniper is known for its immaculate greens, which are some of the best in the Northwest. The course has hosted the Oregon Open four times and has been named the best municipal course in Oregon by Golf Digest.
Pronghorn Golf Club offers an extraordinary golfing experience with not one, but two championship courses. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, once exclusive, now welcomes the public and has earned accolades for its captivating back nine, featuring thrilling holes carved through volcanic rock. The Tom Fazio Championship Course is equally impressive, offering challenging yet friendly play for golfers of all skill levels. The club, surrounded by the Cascade Mountains, embodies Bend’s outdoor paradise, making it a sought-after destination. With relentlessly sunny weather and world-class course design, Pronghorn Golf Club ensures every round becomes a memorable experience.
For those seeking a more budget-friendly day teeing off in Central Oregon, several fantastic courses offer great value and the chance to experience the region’s natural beauty. Crooked River Ranch Golf Course, located north of Bend near Terrebonne, you can enjoy an affordable round while taking in the stunning high desert landscape. Another option is Meadow Lakes Golf Course in Prineville, offering a welcoming atmosphere and a challenging layout for golfers of all skill levels. Near the town of Redmond, take a swing at The Old Back Nine, The Greens at Redmond, and Eagle Crest Resort which includes the challenging Ridge Course and the scenic Resort Course for an affordable day of golfing.
Throughout the winter season, golf enthusiasts have the opportunity to continue playing at courses like Eagle Crest Resort, Meadow Lakes Golf Course, and River’s Edge Golf Course, as they aim to stay open year-round, weather permitting. These courses offer a unique chance to embrace the challenges and beauty of winter golf in Central Oregon, providing a different yet rewarding golfing experience for those willing to brave the elements.
No matter where you spend your day putting around, a visit to the clubhouse is a perfect way to end a round. Enjoy a warm and welcoming atmosphere to savor delicious food and local brews, relax in stunning scenery, and socialize with fellow golfers. With panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and pristine fairways stretching before you, clubhouses provide the perfect backdrop for rehashing the day’s successful putts and drives with your fellow golfers.
Most golf courses in Central Oregon feature well-equipped pro shops where you can shop for new clubs, a fresh set of gloves, or even a golf club fitting session. These pro shops provide access to expert advice and guidance to enhance your golfing experience. You can also find equipment, custom fitting, and everything golf-related at Parscription Golf, located in northeast Bend.
Now that you’re ready for a round in Bend, here are a few helpful tips to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience: