An Expert Guide to Golf Courses Near Bend, Oregon

Golf, craft, and outdoors. Golf expert Rob H. shares his favorite places to tee up in and around the underrated destination of Bend, OR.

Photo by Rob H.
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When people talk about golf in Oregon, most people want to talk about the Bandon area. And with iconic courses like Pacific Dunes, Bandon Dunes, and Old Macdonald, it is easy to see why. But it often means that people overlook the golf in the Bend area in central Oregon. You definitely should not overlook this area. There are excellent courses anyone can play. Grab your craft beer or cider (a lot of micro breweries here) and let’s go hit the links.

River’s Edge Golf Course - Best Value

A young boy swings a golf club
Photo by Rob H.
  • Location: Bend, Oregon
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Rating: 72.0
  • Slope: 134
  • Yardage: 6,683

Nestled along the bank of the Deschutes River near the center of Bend, you will find River’s Edge Golf Course. This course is not overly long, but it will test your game. There is not a single hole that is straight in front of you. Most tee shots are blind and most green are elevated above the fairway.

The two sides are very different from each other. The front 9 has a lot of down hill tee shots. The back side is uphill especially on holes 10, 11, and 12.

This course is very affordable, $63 during peak time. Twilight rates are only $25 and you can get as many holes in as you can. They also have golf boards.

Expert Review

For the price you pay, this course is in great shape and an excellent deal. The 1st hole is a blast. It is a severe down hill par four. You definitely need just an iron off the tee and to get a ball in play. My favorite hole is number 6. You can mash a 3 wood off the tee and have a small wedge into the green.

The green is elevated and surrounded by ponds and waterfalls. I strongly encourage people to pay for a cart. This course is a tough walk with steep inclines and some distances between holes. Some routes to holes are not marked well and you do cross streets and there is no indication on the road that golf carts could be nearby. If you are playing in a group, the 8th tee box offers a great photo op with the Deschutes in the background.

Lost Tracks Golf Club - Best Course for Family Golf

trees and grass with a sign reading "Lost Tracks"
Photo by Rob H.
  • Location: Bend, Oregon
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Rating: 73.1
  • Slope: 135
  • Yardage: 7,003

Lost Tracks, located on the south side of Bend, is a great course for the whole family to play. It features generous fairways, forgiving rough areas, and elevation changes that are subtle and really benefit the player. The greens are deceptively fast. The driving range and practice facility make it a great spot to hone your short game. Peak season rates are pretty reasonable at $65 for walking and $85 for a cart.

Expert Review

I really liked this course. I was able to take my 7 year old with me and he was able to have a lot of fun. Unlike at River’s Edge, he was able to run his golf ball up on the green and not get frustrated. The greens here were super receptive and were very smooth. I found I could hit 3 wood off the tree and have a mid to long iron into most par 4 holes. The par 5s holes are definitely reachable in 2 if you hit 2 great shots. The Par 3 16th golf is really fun. It is a true island green with a bridge that looks like an old train car to get over to it. There was a little touch I liked: the tee boxes were numbered, not colored. I am color blind to certain colors and this helped me a lot since I was not trying to figure out if certain tee boxes were white or sun bleached gold.

Sunriver Resort: Woodland Course - Best All-Around Experience

The sun sets over a golf course with a golf cart in the distance
Photo by Rob H.
  • Location: Sunriver, Oregon
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Rating: 73.8
  • Slope: 143
  • Yardage: 6,947

Tucked away on the north end of the Sunriver, a short drive south of Bend, you will find the Woodlands course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. This course is very laid back, easy going and a fun place to play. With numerous tee box options, there is a tee for everyone. This course is very family friendly; in 2016 it was a top 10 course for family golf by Golf Digest. There are no blind shots and everything is out in front of you.

If you choose to be aggressive here, you can and the rewards are worth it. If you forget your clubs, no worries. The resort courses have PXG rental clubs for you to play with. All the golf carts are equipped with GPS and are included in your greens fee along with range balls. Green fees are a little high at $110 per round.

Expert Review

I have had a lot of fun on this course. Depending on how you are playing off the tee, there are many different routes you can take. Most holes are straight out in front of you, but usually there are a few trees, bunkers or corners you can try to cut. This is very prevalent in my favorite holes, the 15 and 16. 15 is a great par five which provides a huge landing area if you want to play safe, but if you fly the huge bunker you can have an easy shot at an eagle. The green has a great view of Mt. Bachelor and the forest in front of it. 16 is a downhill par 4 where long hitters can go for the green, but be careful here as the grass is cut really tight and it is easy to chunk your 2nd shot. Again, you have a stunning view of Mt. Bachelor as a backdrop on this hole.

Sunriver Resort: Meadows Course - Best for Competitive Golf

A man in a red shirt and black shorts tees up on a golf course
Photo by Rob H.
  • Location: Sunriver, Oregon
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Rating: 72.9
  • Slope: 137
  • Yardage: 7,012

This course, designed by John Fought, has a wide variety of holes, about half of which are next to the Sun River with minimal trees. The other holes are spread through the tall pine trees you find around the Sunriver Resort. This course has hosted multiple USGA and collegiate events, including the Division 1 Men’s Championship.

Expert Review

This course is a challenge. If you are not a super skilled golfer, I recommend playing from the forward tees. For most of the holes, you need to be on the correct part of the green or you will be tested to make a 2 putt. The holes that are laid between the tall ponderosa pines and lodgepole pines are very narrow and require accuracy. If you miss them, you are still hitting off pine needles below them.

The holes that are along the water are a little more generous on the landing are for your tee shots, but the water protects the best routes to the hole. This is evident by my favorite hole the 18th. Water surrounds most of the green so you either need to lay up in front of the green or drive it close to the water to have a wedge in. I love this hole because it demands 2 great shots to have a shot at birdie.

Closing Thoughts

There are a lot of other great public courses in the area. Widgi Creek Golf Club and Aspen Lake Golf Course are other great courses to consider. If you are more interested in resort golf with stay and play packages, Pronghorn Golf Club features two courses, the Fazio course and the Nicklaus course. There is also the Tetherow Golf Club at the Tetherow Resort, which offers a true links-style course.

A young boy squats next to an alpaca on the other side of a metal fence
Photo by Rob H.

If you need something else to do in the area besides golf, there are numerous outdoor activities. There are plenty of national parks to visit. There are many geologic formations you can hike like the Lava Tubes or Pilot Hill. There is horseback riding at Sunriver Stables or feeding the alpacas at Crestmoon Ranch. I personally love the High Desert Museum - the playful river otters are the best!!! And there is always downtown Bend where you can get great food, great craft beer and amazing walks along the river. This is truly a great golf destination and a place my family have vacationed for over 30 years.

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Written By
I have spent 15 years in the golf club industry, most with TaylorMade golf. I have vast knowledge of all brands, components and fittings techniques. ​ My grandmother started me when I was 10, but I didn't pick my sticks up again till my shoulder was blownout from colliegiate Water Polo. I became a g...

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