Aspen Lakes Golf Course is a beautiful course in a stunning setting just outside Sisters, 20 miles west of Bend. The vistas of this 18-hole public course provide close-ups of the Cascades, in particular the Three Sisters and its neighbors. Aspen Lakes Golf Course has towering Ponderosa Pines and red sand traps, ground from the local soil. The overall effect (snow-capped peaks, towering pines, lush green fairways, and red sand) is stunning and unique. In addition to the trees and sand, elevation changes, bends, and water (in the form of many ponds and a few creeks) provide challenges. Long, but with generally open landing areas, the course provides a series of holes that will maintain your interest. The course is very well maintained with true and fast greens that hold. Forward tees provide shorter distances and better angles. The course is rolling and has distances between some holes; a cart is recommended.
First nine opened in 1996 and the second nine in 2000. By 2018, the course owner failed to timely pay creditors, who started collection actions. The owners then commenced a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The assets of the course were scheduled to be auctioned in June 2019, but that auction was cancelled when it did not appear that the sale proceeds would be sufficient to satisfy the secured creditors. By the end of February 2020, the bankruptcy case was being dismissed, and the course was continuing to operate (which generally means an agreement was reached with the creditors). The course hosted the 2005, 2011, and 2018 Oregon Opens.
Why It Is There
The Cyrus Family, who have deep roots in Central Oregon as farmers and excavators, bought the property, which was adjacent to their own, and built the course as part of a housing development. A significant amount of the construction work in building the course was done by the Cyrus Family.
Pick the right tees. That is always true, but more so here as the yardage and rating/slope for the Blues and Whites are a bit longer and higher than normal. Otherwise, the course is generally in front of you. On the par-4 9th hole, there is a trap to the left of the green you can’t see until you are close, and a mound in front right of the green will prevent you from rolling the ball on. On the par-5 10th hole, the green is tucked in to the right behind some trees and on the other side of a pond that wraps around the right and to the back of the green. Coming up the center left of the fairway will provide the best angle in.
Did You Know
The red sand in the green comes from local crushed cinder rock. Some of the ponds have trout (and the local homeowners are allowed catch and release). There is sturgeon in the pond on the 11th hole.
Good For Them
Lots. Hold multiple camps for juniors (boys and girls) from 6 to 17 based on skill levels. Hold Get Golf Ready camps. Advertise and work with Sisters Park and Recreation to encourage juniors to play. Home course of Sisters High School. They have an extensive recycling program, and have Tundra swans breeding on one of the ponds. Host the Outlaw Open, a benefit for Sisters High School Athletics.
A unique and beautiful course with stunning views. The course is challenging, but fair. It is well maintained and has a friendly staff. Although it may seem a tad pricey, given the perks and all of the foregoing, it is worth it.
- Type: 18-hole public course
- Price: $$$
- Phone/webpage: (541) 549-4653/www.aspenlakes.com
- Address: 16900 Aspen Lakes Drive, Sisters, Oregon 97759
- Owner: Wildhorse Meadows LLC
- Designer: William Overdorf
- Pros: Howie Pruitt (PGA)
- Practice Facilities: Driving range on grass, practice chipping and sand areas, practice green
- Pro Shop: Lots of clothing and some equipment
- Food: Brand 33 Restaurant is a full-service restaurant; hours vary, so call ahead
- Bathrooms: Improved in clubhouse and on course
- Yardage Markers: 200, 150, 100 in-ground markers; 150 rocks on sides of the fairway; yardage on sprinkler heads; pins color-coded for position
- Clothing: Proper golf attire
- Walkable: Hilly in places, with long walks between some holes; cart recommended
- Spikes: Soft
- Shoe Cleaning: Brushes
- Rentals: All
- Closed some weeks during winter
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