Review and Rating of Pronghorn's Nicklaus Golf Course in Bend Oregon
From the minute you arrive at Pronghorn you sense that you're in for a special treat and you won't be disappointed. Pronghorn sits on 640 acres and is home to an upscale residential community with Villas and beautiful Estate homes, a rental pool of luxury multi-bedroom homes available for a golf stay & play, three restaurants and some resort style amenities, and two of the most sought after golf courses in a jaw dropping high mountain desert setting with ancient juniper trees, reddish brown lava outcroppings, and stunning scenic vistas of the snow capped Cascade Mountains.
The private Tom Fazio designed course offers a world class golf experience that is worthy of Golf Digest's "Top 200 Greatest Courses" rating. The Fazio 18 has stunning water features, ancient lava rocks and dramatic juniper trees. A design that embraces the landscape—with rolling fairways, sculpted greens, distinctive bunkers and highly dramatic settings—results in a truly one-of-a-kind Bend, Oregon golf course for players of all levels. Pronghorn's Fazio course is also home to one of the most unique holes in the world: a par three that includes a 45-foot canyon and exposed lava tube.
The Nicklaus Course at Pronghorn plays firm and fast and accommodates golfers of every skill level. This 7,379 yard, par 72, 18 hole course provides a minimalist experience with an emphasis on the golf game itself—combining strategy with playability, beautiful transitions and true putting surfaces. Ancient lava rock ridges and outcroppings intertwine with natural landscaping accenting magnificent views of the Cascade Mountain range.
Both courses have been a fixture on Top 100 Lists form Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine since opening in 2004. And the Nicklaus course was #38 on Golf Digests list of the "Top 100 Courses."
The Nicklaus Course is very challenging (a slope and rating of 75.2 and 151) thanks to it's length, the premium it puts on the tee shot, 66 challenging bunkers, lava outcroppings, elevation changes, some tight fairways, and greens with preferred entry points. But the course is fair and if you pick the right tee box for your skill level (maybe even move up one - there are 5 to choose from), don't try to crush the ball, and play strategically you'll have a very enjoyable and memorable round.
There are a number of fantastic holes that are a combination of demanding, fun, and scenic - for example:
The course is meticulously maintained, visually stunning and the conditions are near perfect - it's hard to find a blade of grass, a rock, or a pine needle out of place. The fairways are lush and thick (like velvet) and range from tight to let it rip. Most of the fairways have some contour and many have some ups and downs, mounds, and lava outcroppings. The rough was a little thick but playable - miss it and you're in the native grass, under the juniper trees, and most likely lost.
The greens are a variety of sizes and shapes and several seem a little smaller than normal. They were also in near perfect condition, fast, and heavily contoured. They seemed easy to read with some surprises and they ran very true.
The bunkers at Pronghorn range from average to some huge multi-fingered steep and deep monsters that you need to avoid. The sand is soft and thick and fluffy.
Forecaddies or a member are required when you play the course and after a fun round, why not try a round of Foot Golf on the driving range.
Add Pronghorn to your bucket list!
The facilities are first class, the pro shop is well stocked, the practice facilites are excellent, and the service is good. There is a full service restaurant and a bar.
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!
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.