Silvies Craddock Course

[Portions of this post are repeated in the other courses making up the Silvies Valley Ranch complex: Hankins, Chief Egan, and McVeigh’s.]

General Course DescriptionSilvies Craddock golf

The Craddock Course is the clockwise 18-hole public course that is part of the reversible courses at the Silvies Valley Ranch. Located in the high-desert plateau between John Day and Burns in Eastern Oregon, these beautiful and very-well-maintained courses rove around in the pine-covered hills and then in the desert. The Craddock Course is played every other day (exchanging with Hankins), where the fairway for the 18th hole at Hankins serves as the fairway for the 1st hole of Craddock (there are 36 holes, 27 greens, and 16 fairways for the two courses). The reversible nature of the courses provide for wide, undulating-fescue fairways that are uniform, in excellent shape, and roll out well. The good-sized, undulating-fescue greens are also in excellent shape, are difficult to hold, but are true and roll nicely. The theme of the Ranch is to not only provide you with a challenging golf experience, but to also let you enjoy nature and to have fun (note the black tees are the forward tees). There are no buildings to interrupt your views of the course and the scenic high desert mountains. The last few holes of Craddock challenge you to have one-putts, and if you do, you are awarded horseshoe nails.  Forward tees provide shorter distances and better angles. It is rolling and is at a high altitude — take a cart.

Course History

Opened in 2017, Craddock was the second course completed at Silvies and is named for a local family who homesteaded on the property. The area became a homesteaded ranch in 1883 and was basically a ranch after that except for a period in the 1960s when Harry Pon made the ranches into a safari park, with buffalo, zebra, and yaks.  The ranches were purchased by Dr. Scott Campbell, a fourth generation Oregonian, who grew up in Burns and was the owner and CEO of Banfield Pet Hospitals.  Construction started in 2010.  In 2018, Golf Digest named both Craddock and Hankins in the top four new golf courses in the United States (the first time that any property has had two courses in the top five at the same time)

Why It Is There

Dr. Campbell wanted to restore jobs to an area that has seen many companies leave. So he built a resort with some golf courses, among other distractions.

I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Played

Because of the reversible nature of the courses, there is no yardage information on the fairways (you would have to cram twice as much information on a sprinkler).  Take a range finder (you can rent them at the pro shop). On the long downhill par-3 7th hole, I did not get much roll off the hill on the left side; best to try to try to hit short left of the green (and avoid the trap early front). On the par-5 14th hole (which is back in the desert)  check the pin placement as there is a trap in the center front of the green (there is room to the left of the trap early on the left). Also, if you are playing the Hankins course the following day, look backward off and on to see how those holes run.

Did You Know

The courses comprise the second full-length reversible courses in America, following The Loop in Michigan (although construction on the Ranch’s courses was first). The sand rakes, as with all the decorative metal work at the Ranch, are made by the owner’s son, Tygh, and have sayings on them. Some of the sayings are not so nice, like “Take A Lesson.” Another reason to smile on the course.

Good For Them

There is a deep respect for nature at Silvies. The reversible nature of the courses allows only a fraction of normal water use. The use of fescue provides for drought tolerance and they allow browning of the fairways (thereby conserving water and giving the ball a better roll). Formerly rutted water courses have been dammed (or filled with rocks) to allow water to percolate more at the surface, promoting natural grasses. Partnered with Oregon Natural Desert Association to bring back wetlands. Have installed over 5,000 bird boxes to encourage birdlife and naturally reduce insects. And the pro shop, The Hideout, which also has a cafe, is off the grid, relying on solar and propane. They also have discounted rates for the locals.

Why Play This Course

Standing alone, the Craddock course is a stunning course in a beautiful setting (without any manmade structures) that is very well maintained. With good practice facilities, a focus on having fun, and a warm and accommodating staff, that should be enough to bring you to this remote and scenic area of Oregon. But the unique reversible nature of the courses (that is carried out wonderfully) increases the mandate of why you should play here, and play both courses. It is a challenging, fun, and unique experience.


    • Type: 18-hole public course
    • Price: $$$$
    • Phone/webpage: (541)573-5150/
    • Address: 10000 Rendezvous Lane, Seneca, Oregon 97873
    • Owner: Silvies Valley Ranch, LLC
    • Designer: Dan Hixson
    • Pros: Dave Lewis (PGA)
    • Practice Facilities: Driving range on grass, pitching and sand practice area,  putting green
    • Pro Shop: A good amount of clothing
    • Food: A cafe in the pro shop (the building is called The Hideout) serves breakfast and lunch and has a full bar and a deck with a wonderful view of the course and valley below
    • Bathrooms: Improved in clubhouse and on course
    • Yardage Markers: None, study the yardage book or rent a range finder (if you don’t have one)
    • Clothing: Proper golf attire suggested (although I was told that you can wear denim if you also wear a cowboy hat)
    • Walkable: Hilly and high — take a cart
    • Spikes: Soft only
    • Shoe Cleaning:  None
    • Rentals: All
    • Closed in winter
Yards Par Rating Slope
White 7035 72 71.9 120
Grey 6340 72 68.6/74.4 118/131
Black 5560 72 70.2 132
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 1 reviews
 by Casey

What a beautiful place and what a great course. Greens were very difficult, and fairways were burned from a hot dry summer. Still, if you have not gone, you should.