General Course Description
This course is the newer, private 18-hole championship course northeast of Bend at the upscale resort of Pronghorn. Like its younger sister, the Nicklaus Course, the course sits in a beautiful place surrounded by Juniper trees and sage, with vistas of the Cascades. The course itself is immaculately maintained (maybe slightly better than the Nicklaus Course because of the lower number of rounds). Fairways are uniform and run out well (even in the rain), and the greens are quick and true, but seem to have more curves than the Nicklaus Course. Juniper, lava rock, and sage come in and out of play, and there is some water and an abundance of sand. Add length, rolling terrain, and doglegs and you have a very good test. The course is a bit more forgiving than the Nicklaus Course because of wider driving areas and several places where an errant shot will be brought back into play (or end up on the green). There are some houses on the course, but that does not take away from its beauty. Service is impeccable and the practice facilities (including a portion unique to the private side) extensive. It is flatter than the Nicklaus Course, but there are distances between some holes (note the frequent shortcut trails), making it, overall, a good walk. Forward tees provide ample benefit of shorter yardage and improved angles. [Much of the following information is contained in the post for the Nicklaus Course.]
Opened in 2006 as the newer and private course in the Pronghorn complex. Originally built by High Desert Development Partners, the development fell into financial trouble in the recession and was taken over by a lender. In 2012, the development (including the course) was purchased by The Resort Group through Pronghorn Golf, LLC. Like the Nicklaus Course, the Fazio Course has regularly won awards as one of the best places to play in the country, including, but not limited to: 2015, # 144 on Golf Digest’s Greatest Courses in America; 2019, #7 on Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play in Oregon; and 2018, #57 on Golfweek’s Best Modern Courses in America.
Why It Is There
Built as one of two courses (the other is a public course) at the Pronghorn Resort.
I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Played
There are several places on the course where banks or ridges will provide you with a favorable roll: if you hit your approach shot to the left on the par-4 3rd hole, a drop in the fairway and a bank will slide you on to the green (as will a shot over the left side of the trap on the right, but you have to clear the trap); on the par-3 11th hole, shots to the left will run back and right; on the approach shot on the par-5 12th, shots to the center right of the trap in the center of the fairway will filter to the green (shots to the left will move away from it); and on the short par-4 14th hole, shots short or just on the green will run down and to the right (meaning if the pin is in front, leave it short or have good spin).
Did You Know
A lot has been written about the 8th hole, a par 3 named in 2017 by the OGA as one of the most interesting holes in the state. When the property was being blasted to create a chasm between tee and green, two lava tubes were revealed and several basalt cliffs exposed. This resulted in a hole where you hit from an elevated tee over a 50-foot deep chasm with basalt edges and lava tubes going to the left and right, to a green perched in front of and to the side of another set of basalt cliffs. (Yeah, it’s pretty stunning.) The club does host an occasional party in the lava tubes (which would be good on a hot day). In addition the Huntington Wagon Road went through the course between holes 5 and 6 and 12 and 13. The Road was used in the 1860s and 1870s to haul supplies from The Dalles to Fort Klamath. (There is an interpretive trail with more information about the Road on BLM property northeast of Bend.)
Good For Them
Low water use is achieved through wetting agents and daily review of moisture content in the soil. The course has an integrated pest management plan. The course works with the local homeowners association to put up bat and bird boxes to encourage breeding. The course works with the Trumpeter Swan Society and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to re-introduce Trumpeter Swans to the area. Coyotes are not discouraged, as they help with rodent control. The course annually holds the Ghost Tree Invitational, supporting local children’s charities and athletic programs, and The Duck, a golf tournament supporting athletic scholarships for the University of Oregon.
Why Play This Course
Like the Nicklaus Course, playing this course is a treat. The staff is friendly and accommodating. The practice facilities are extensive. The course is surrounded by the natural beauty of the high desert with views of the Cascades. The course has many interesting holes and is immaculately maintained. When you take this all in, you feel fortunate to be playing this course. If you ever get the chance to play this course, play it.
- Type: 18-hole public course
- Price: Private
- Phone/webpage: (866)320-5024/www.pronghornresort.com
- Address: 65600 Pronghorn Club Drive, Bend, Oregon 97701
- Owner: Pronghorn Golf LLC
- Designer: Jack Nicklaus
- Pros: Jerrel Grow (PGA), Josiah Neuhaus (PGA), Andrew Silvestri (PGA), Christopher Rosenquist (PGA)
- Practice Facilities: It shares the practice facilities with the Nicklaus Course: driving range off grass, two sand and pitching areas, and a very attractive putting green (around a juniper). But it also has a private, short game area of about 100 square yards with multiple greens and traps
- Pro Shop: Full of clothes and some equipment
- Food: Lots of options. Grill on The Green (the grill at the turn), a full-service cafe with outdoor seating next to the putting green, is open during play; Trail Head Grill (across the parking lot) is a full-service restaurant open for breakfast and lunch; Cascada (next to the pro shop) is a full-service restaurant open for dinner; and Chanterelle Restaurant (a bit further west) is a full-service restaurant open for dinner
- Bathrooms: Improved in clubhouse and on course (the ones on the course may be the nicest in the state)
- Yardage Markers: On sprinkler heads, but take a yardage book; and take a pin sheet for position
- Clothing: Proper golf attire
- Walkable: A bit of an effort on the long and rolling course
- Spikes: Soft
- Shoe Cleaning: Brushes
- Rentals: All (carts are included with green fees)
- Open all seasons, but will close when it snows
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