BEND, Ore. - If the high desert boomtown of Bend, Oregon isn't on your golf radar yet, it's sure to get your attention this year thanks to the addition July 26 of yet another new stunning golf course: Tetherow Golf Club.
The main hub in central Oregon, Bend has exploded in population over the last decade, bringing some high profile golf and real estate developments with it. Scottish golf course architect David Mclay Kidd, who built Bandon Dunes' flagship links course five hours west, even moved his U.S. offices here.
That's not all Kidd has brought to Bend. On July 26th, Tetherow Golf Club will open. It has the potential to become the northwest's most talked about new golf course outside of the Seattle area's Chamber's Bay.
Don't expect a U.S. Open nod here anytime soon, but Tetherow has similarities to its high profile northern neighbor. It was built by Kidd to be a throwback to the traditional heathland courses of his native Scotland. The 500-plus acres were also an unlikely place for a golf course at one point. Fires scorched much of the land 15 years ago, taking down most of the trees with it.
The good news is that the clearing revealed more views of the Cascades and Broken Top Mountain. While some potential design firms scoffed at the property, Kidd also saw benefits.
"Being used to links courses, the open nature of the land wasn't a threat," said Kidd. "It was a positive opportunity to allow the wind to blow."
A Scotsman who grew up near the five-star, future Ryder Cup host Gleneagles Resort, Kidd has built his courses with a great deal of old world feel. His designs include the Castle Course at St. Andrews, Machrihanish Dunes, which opens in May 2009, and of course nearby Bandon.
The golf course will also feature fescue grasses from tee to green, fitting the dry desert climate much better than more maintenance-intensive bent.
For golfers to the Bend area, Tetherow will be a standout.
"I think we've got a golf course unlike any other in the region," said Director of Golf Martin Chuck, who admits some golfers may be taken aback by what they see. "Kidd builds some very interesting layouts. There will be some controversy here and he welcomes that."
Tetherow isn't going to be your straightforward, resort course. Instead, a round out here comes with a good amount of trickery, with different routes to play many holes.
Local knowledge will certainly be in your favor on many occasions. Take the par-4 sixth hole. From an elevated tee, two separate fairways will tease the eye. Golfers who stand here for the first time and try to reason with where to go will be "dumbfounded," according to Kidd.
With the addition of Tetherow, Bend will add to its status as a top golf destination. While Pronghorn is a private club, the nearby Sunriver Resort is home to several golf courses, most notably Bob Cupp's Crosswater Course, home to the Champions Tour JELD-WEN Tradition.
Nearby courses like Aspen Lakes and the new Brasada Golf Course, along with over two dozen other area courses make central Oregon a destination worth knowing about in the Pacific Northwest.
Tetherow will be part of a large real estate development and resort, all of which is following the golf course. While membership builds and the resort is built, the general public will have access to the course. When the resort eventually opens (no date set yet), Tetherow will be exclusive to resort members and guests.
Green fees are $170, including forecaddie. Walking is encouraged, though golf carts are available.
The grand opening ceremony is July 26th, 2008.
July 22, 2008