Pronghorn Golf Club (Nicklaus Course)

General Course DescriptionPronghorn Golf Nicklaus

The Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn Golf Club is a  beautiful, 18-hole public championship course northeast of Bend. Course vistas have the Cascades in the background (well framed on some holes). The Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn Golf Club is immaculately maintained. Juniper, lava rock, and sage come in and out of play, and there is some water and an abundance of traps. Add length, rolling terrain, and doglegs and you have a very good test. There are some houses on the course, but that does not take away from its beauty. Service is impeccable and the extras bountiful. It does have some elevation change and there are distances between some holes, making it, overall, a long walk. Forward tees provide amble benefit of shorter yardage and improved angles.  [Much of the following information is contained in the post for the Pronghorn Golf Club (Fazio Course).]

Course History

Opened in 2004. 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 throuh Pronghorn Golf, LLC.  The course has regularly won awards as one of the best places to play in the country, including: 2021, #190 on Golf Digest’s list of America’s Greatest Golf Courses; 2023 #42 on Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public Courses;  and 2016, #1 on Troon’s Best Conditions within Troon managed courses (over 250 worldwide).  The course has hosted U.S. Open qualifiers.

Why It Is There

Built as one of two courses (the other is a private course) at the Pronghorn Resort.

I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Played

The greens are very true (and immaculate), but hard to hold. Most folks will need to leave room for land and release. On Hole 6, a par 4, there is a large landing area up to a crest with traps on either side. After the traps, the fairway goes downhill for about 20 yards to the green that runs away from the fairway. Hole 16 is a par 5 with a double dogleg. From the tee, the fairway goes down and then up to a crest with a trap left. The crest is almost through the fairway as it turns left, so either (try to) fly the trap or leave it a little short of the top of the crest.

Did You Know

Several junipers on the course are over 1,000 years old.

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.  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

Playing the course is a treat — one where you are still feeling lucky to be there after carding a snowman — and should be considered a destination course. The issue is the expense. But when you combine the views, design, condition, service, and extras you are basically (and properly) paying for an upscale, private-course experience.


    • Type: 18-hole public course
    • Price: $$$$$
    • Phone/webpage: (866)320-5024/
    • 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), James Billings (PGA)
    • Practice Facilities: Driving range off grass (balls included), two sand and pitching areas, very attractive putting green (around a juniper)
    • 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
    • Yardage Markers: On sprinkler heads, but take a free 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
Yards Par Rating Slope
Tips 7379 72 75 148
Black 7049 72 73.5 145
Rust 6533 72 70.8/77.4 138/150
Gold 6000 72 68.5/74.3 128/144
Silver 5256 72 70.4 129
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Pronghorn Golf Club (Nicklaus Course)
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