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|Reader Rob Rigg is raving about brand new Tetherow Golf Club in Oregon. (Courtesy of Tetherow G.C.)|
(Golf course architect) David Kidd has created a stunning Heathland course just outside of Bend. The panoramic views of the Cascades are spectacular and the golf course blends well with the high desert. Tetherow Golf Club will only get better with time as the course matures.
Playing on the fescue adds a flavor of the British Isles to be found in very few places in the U.S., never mind at an inland course. Tetherow is juxtaposed against Broken Top on several back nine holes and the coloring could not be different. Broken Top looks like the standard American layout (i.e. dark green with houses on top of each other lining the holes) while Kidd has done an amazing job of creating sharp color contrasts between some of the natural dark vegetation of the high desert, selective use of water, the yellow and browns of bunkers and waste areas, the lighter shades of the fairways and the golden hues of the longer fescue. Hopefully the course will retain this element as houses go up (it looks like they will be set well back from the course).
There are certainly some quirky elements to Tetherow which meant the fore-caddies were very helpful in guiding us during our adventure through the high desert. The members, who I am very jealous of, will have a big advantage over their guests as they get to know the nuances of Tetherow.
The green complexes were top notch in that they are very well designed, challenging, beautiful to behold, and fun to play. The greens seamlessly integrate with fairways in the true links style and many bunkers look like the natural blowouts you would see at Bandon Dunes Resort.
My only issue would be with the 16th green which is near impossible to hold and a ball rolling, make that trickling, over the back left puts you beyond the cart path into an almost unplayable lie. The 17th green, which has been well photographed already, is awesome. In terms of getting around the course, I enjoyed walking but had to hitch a ride on a cart for several of the transfers from green to tee and back to the clubhouse after the 18th. This is a little frustrating because, in an ideal world, a course of this nature and character would be comfortably walkable and an eight mile loop with a lot of elevation change, especially while carrying clubs during the summer, will not be easy for most golfers.
Overall, Tetherow is an absolute gem and a unique edition to Central Oregon's growing portfolio of top golf courses. If you bring your "A" game and keep it on the fairways it is possible to score well, but, like many links course, if you hit an errant shot you should expect the worst.
Although expensive at $175 a round, this is one treat worth allowing yourself any time you visit Bend. Big thanks to Kidd for bringing a taste of the Old Country to Central Oregon.
- Rob Rigg
August 18, 2008
Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Channel Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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