Black Butte Ranch Glaze Meadow Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.0

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Black Butte Ranch, OR
Website
· Stay & Play
Date Last Played: September 28, 2015

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Black Butte Ranch Glaze Meadow Review

Black Butte Ranch Glaze Meadow Golf Course in Sisters Oregon

Black Butte Ranch is home to some very good stay and play lodging, resort style amenities, and two very good 18 hole golf courses - each of which provides a very different golf experience.  Big Meadow Golf Course is one of Oregon golfers’ favorites, garnering numerous awards over its 30 plus years, including the 2013 honor by GolfWeek Magazine as one of the "Best Courses You can Play" in Oregon.  This straightforward Robert Muir Graves design takes golfers through a scenic journey of the Oregon Cascades. Recently updated in 2007, the course stretches over 7,000 yards from the championship tees and features expansive fairways, sweeping cape and bay bunkers and elevated green complexes to challenge golfers of all skill levels.

Glaze Meadow reopened in 2012 after an extensive $3.75 million renovation by architect John Fought.  The renovation included clearing trees (over a million board feet of lumber was removed) to improve sight lines and increase shot making, rebuilding all of the greens and tee boxes, and lengthening the course by over 430 yards. John redesigned the layout to be reminiscent of courses (like Pinehurst) designed in the golden age of golf (20's and 30's) by architects like Donald Ross.  As such, Glaze Meadows now features slightly elevated big greens, square tee boxes, and deep roll faced grass bunkers.  Plus you'll find some uphill and downhill holes as the course meanders through towering pines, water on 3 holes, 51 big bunkers, several dog legs, some risk reward and shot making opportunities, and some wild turkeys and deer and squirrels watching you play!  And the solitude amazed us - very peaceful and quiet except for the gobbling turkeys getting ready to hide for Thanksgiving and my golf balls ricocheting off the pine trees and scarring the squirrels.

The front nine plays downhill to the valley and ponds than on 7 climbs back up the hill to the clubhouse.  You'll find some great holes like:

  • #3 is a short but demanding 319 par 4 with a lake along the entire right side of the fairway and a green perched on the edge of the lake putting a premium on your approach shot
  • #4 is a 411 par 4 that dog legs right around a pond offering a great risk reward shot to carry more of the pond for a shorter approach shot to a green with a left side bunker and a 20 foot drop off the right side
  • #9 is a 380 yard uphill climb from tee to green with a big bunker where it makes a dogleg right turn leading to a partially hidden green with a deep bunker guarding the right entrance

The back nine at Glaze Meadow is a little more challenging, 200 or so yards longer from each tee box, and it's got 3 par 3's and 3 par 5's. Some of what you'll encounter during your round includes:

  • the par 3s include raised greens, a distinctively elevated green, a long narrow green guarded by four menacing bunkers, and a 191 yard downhill shot that appears shorter than it is
  • the par 5s include one of the longest holes in the Pacific Northwest (612 yards), a dog leg right with a significantly sloping fairway, and a good risk reward shot on one of the dog leg right par 5s

The rye and Kentucky Bluegrass fairways at Glaze Meadow were in very good condition and a joy to hit from.  The fairways are all lined by towering pines and a thick but playable rough.  Most are ample but if you miss them you're most likely lost in the native area and covered by pine needles.

The greens are mostly oval shaped and good sized averaging around 31 yards deep and have some minor contour but nothing significant.  They were firm because they were still maturing from the renovation but they ran true and were in near perfect condition.

The bunkers are strategically placing in your landing zone or guarding the greens.  The faces are fair, the sand is soft, and they were well maintained.

This course is one of the courses on the Central Oregon Golf Trail, which is loaded with some excellent courses and it’s one of the best golf trails we have played.  You can read our reviews of some of the other courses we played on the Central Oregon Golf Trail during our visit to Bend on Texas Outside’s Central Oregon Golf Trail Reviews Page.  And if you’re planning to visit Bend, be sure to check out the Visit Central Oregon Website with is loaded with information on golf and lots of other fun things to see and do in Central Oregon.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,007 72.7 133
Gold 6,506 70.5 128
Blue 5,931 68.3 120
White 5,367 70.2 126
Red 4,909 68.9 118

Course Information

Course Architect:
John Fought
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
8.8
Fairway Condition
9.3
Bunker Condition
9.3
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hilly
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 51 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.0 out of 10
Beauty:
9.5
Difficulty:
8.5
Variety:
8.5
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
9.2
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
8.8
Back Nine Rating:
9.2
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$69.00 to $93.00

Service is very good and overly friendly and helpful. The pro shop is well stocked, the grill has dog, burgers, sandwiches, and more. The practice facilities are adequate.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking. 

 

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