In August 2015 my husband, my dad, my bro-in-law, and I played Brasada Ranch, located near Bend, Oregon. The course was co-designed by Oregon’s most well-known golfer, Peter Jacobsen, and it lends itself well to resort golf – beautiful scenery, excellent course conditions, and lots of scoring opportunities.
We made the day a little more interesting with a friendly skins game we dubbed the Battle at Brasada! We were all first timers and it was a great day!
There were some wildfires in the area, so the sweeping vistas I was hoping for were non-existent and blocked by hazy smoke. I swear every time I go to central Oregon it’s always camouflaged with wildfires and smoke! Does this ever happen to you? I need to stop going in August and September when everything is so dry and wildfires are more common. Next time perhaps…
Despite the haze, I loved my round at Brasada Ranch! Here are the 3 things I love about Brasada, making it worth the trip and worth a return:
Why I love Brasada Ranch #1 – Solitude
No two holes border each other so it feels like you’re the only group on the course. It’s eerily silent too. If you’re looking for solitude, it’s hard to beat what you’ll find here. We also saw plenty of wildlife scampering about – lizards and rabbits on steroids! There are houses on the course, but holes aren’t lined with them and most are set far enough off the course that it is not bothersome.
Why I love Brasada Ranch #2 – Just the right amount of challenge
The scorecard has recommendations for tees to play based on handicap. I don’t see this often and why more courses don’t do this is a head scratcher. I think the recommendations on the scorecard are appropriate and I recommend you take their advice. The card suggested I play the gold tees based on my handicap, but I wasn’t too excited about playing 6017 yards on my vacation, so I played the next tees forward. Big mistake…the course was too easy. So listen to their recommendations and don’t be a know-it-all like me. The course is pretty wide open and not many hazards to speak of. If you are a straight hitter, you’ll make lots of pars and birdies out here. Overall, for a resort course, it’s just right. Not too rinky-dink…not too challenging.
Why I love Brasada Ranch #3 – Greens
I love love love the greens at Brasada Ranch! They are fast and pure! The greens were rolling at 11.5 on the Stimpmeter the day we played and they often roll at 12. Reads are pretty straightforward and you won’t be fooled by the subtleties of the greens. Even though they’re quick they are consistent and will give you lots of scoring opportunities if you are a decent putter. The starter was a little gruff, but he gave us good advice on the practice green: putts less than 5 feet break very little. Noted, and thanks for the advice…we all made birdies that day!
Know before you go:
The name is confusing:
The golf course is actually called Brasada Canyons which is a bit confusing, but Brasada Ranch and Brasada Canyons are one in the same.
When to play:
Central Oregon weather varies dramatically from season to season. I recommend playing July-September when the weather will likely cooperate. June and October can often be quite cold and snow covers the ground out here for much of the winter.
The middle of nowhere. Located about 30 minutes Northeast of Bend, Oregon in Powell Butte, Oregon.
Varies based on time of year, but the peak season between May-September will set you back $164. You can find more info about greens fees here. If you have kids, Brasada is a must! Juniors 17 and under are FREE during twilight (after 2pm or 3pm depending on the time of year). They also have great replay rates if you’re up for 36 holes. Overall, this course is an excellent value. It’s absolutely gorgeous when not socked in with smoke, the course is in great shape, and it’s a lot of fun to play.
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P.S. In case you’re wondering, my husband and I lost the inaugural battle at Brasada. 🙁