Crosswater Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.6

Golf - Resort Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Sunriver, OR
· Stay & Play

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Crosswater Review

Review of Crosswater in Sunriver Oregon

Crosswater is a privately owned and operated 18 hole course that you can play as a guest staying at Sunriver Resort.   In 1995, Robert E. Cupp created a 7683 yard heartland style masterpiece on 600 magnificently scenic acres of woodlands and carefully preserved wetlands that brings the gently flowing Deschutes and Little Deschutes Rivers into play as often as seven times during your round.  This is a course that will test your courage, risk taking and shot making talent, as well as your putting skills.  

To score well on Crosswater you need to make sure that you pick the right set of tee boxes of which there are 6 with yardages ranges from 5723 to 7683 and a slope ranging from 120 to 146.  From the tips Crosswater can be a bear thanks to long forced carries and strategically placed bunkers, in fact, when John Daley and Fred Couples played the course for Shell's Wonderful World of Golf on several holes they didn't play from the tips!  So make sure you don't be too macho and bite off more than you can handle - and make sure you spend some time on the putting green. 

Crosswater is characterized by wide sweeping fairways, demanding greens, over 86 bunkers, the meandering rivers, and beautiful scenery.   From the back tee boxes you'll need to carry the wetlands (several forced carries are over 200 yards to the fairway) on 16 different holes  and avoid the strategically placed fairway bunkers.  Survive the tee shot and then you'll encounter dog legs both left and right, several carries over the wetlands or rivers, well guarded greens one of which has 6 big bunkers surrounding it, and challenging putting surfaces.  Study the yardage card, play strategically, and forget about the risky "go for it" shots and you'll have an enjoyable round and walk into the clubhouse with your head held high.  Crosswater scores high on all of our rating criteria (scenic beauty, fun scale, conditions, challenge, variety, and value) and as such it's not surprising that Crosswater has won a number of awards and accolades, some of which include:

  • Golf Magazine's list of the "Top 10 Most Adventurous Golf Courses in America" and "Top 100 Courses You Can Play"
  • Golf Digest's list of the "Best 100 Public Courses," "Top 75 Golf Resorts in America," "Golf's 50 Greatest Destinations," and "America's Top 75 Upscale Courses Everyone Can Play"
  • Several other "Best of Lists" from Travel & Leisure, Golf for Women, Links, and more

With the stunning scenery of the two rivers, the wetlands and lush fairways, the white sand bunkers, and the snow-capped mountains as a backdrop the front nine is your warm up round and it's a couple hundred yards shorter from every tee box and a little easier than the back nine.  But you'll still find 46 bunkers, forced carries off the tee and on the approach shots, dog legs, greens tucked off to the side of the fairway,  wetlands to carry, plus water that can come into play on 4 holes.  Crosswater's front nine puts a premium on the approach shots and it is home to some fantastic holes, some of our favorites included:

  • #2 is a beautiful 582 yard par 5 that horseshoes left around a lake and past 6 bunkers to an oblong green with a ridge, berms, and a bunker in back
  • # 4 has a forced carry off the tee, a cluster of 6 bunkers on the left side of the landing zone and then depending on your tee shot, you'll most likely have a carry over the wetlands to a skinny boomerang shaped green tucked into the left side of the fairway
  • #6 is outstanding and very challenging - the #1 handicap 635 yard par 5 has a long carry over the Little Deschutes River and wetlands to a huge sweeping fairway, a wetlands natural area that cuts into the middle of the fairway at 100 out and creates a landing zone on the left side with two bunkers or a tighter landing zone on the right side but with a better approach over the wetlands to a 20 yard deep green with a huge bunker guarding the left side

As good as the front is, from my perspective the back is even better - more interesting holes, a little longer, 42 treacherous bunkers, the beautiful Deschutes River, and several forced carries off the tee and on the approach to the greens. The holes we really liked included:

  • #12 is a beautiful 687 yard par 5 that heads left along a relatively tight fairway with trees along the right side, the lake from tee to green on the left, berms and 6 huge bunkers, and a very small odd shaped well guarded green - plus magnificent views from the tee box to the green of Mt Bachelor and several other snow-capped mountain peaks
  • #15 is a 414 yard dog leg right with a cluster of three huge nasty bunkers on the right that will force you to stay left for a longer approach shot to a small (19 yard deep) green with two long skinny bunkers projecting out into the fairway in the front and a U shaped bunker in back of the green
  • #16 is fun - a 598 yard par 5 with wetlands crossing the fairway at 285 yards out and then a string of 4 bunkers on the right and a huge bunker on the left about 120 yards in front of the green

Speaking of the greens - they were in perfect condition when we played and they ran at a good speed and held the ball well.  That's the good news - the bad news is that they had an interesting variety of shapes and sizes (19 yards to 52), are well guarded, and have lots of contour and subtle breaks. 

The Crosswater fairways are flat, most are huge and very forgiving off the tee, and they are all tree lined or lined by water or wetlands - miss the fairway and the rough (which was cut very playable) and you'll need to reload.  Several fairways have some beautiful mountain homes on one side but they shouldn't come into play unless you really spray the ball.  The mountains form a beautiful backdrop and can be seen from most holes. 

The bunkers were perfect with soft, deep, fluffy sand and they range from small pot bunkers to some huge multi-fingered monsters.  The faces range from 1 to 2 feet to very steep and deep. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,683 76.6 146
Blue 6,138 69.8 131
White 5,723 68.0 120
Gold 6,811 72.7 139
Red 5,213 70.9 135

Course Information

Course Architect:
Robert E. Cupp
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 6 holes and the 86 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.6 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:

Service is top notch. The pro shop has some of everything that you need to look good and play well. The facilites from the bar to the restaurant to the deck with stunning views are first class. The practice facilities are excellent and include several target greens.



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.