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Golf Course Review Pronghorn NICKLAUS COURSE Bend Oregon

Pronghorn (Nicklaus Course)

Golf Course Review Pronghorn NICKLAUS COURSE Bend Oregon

Reviewed by: sdscratchorbust, Scottsdale
Played here Tuesday as the second leg of 36. I had tried to play here before a few years but was deterred due to fires. With the amazing quality of courses in Bend my expectations were high coming into this round. We go out at 4:00 twilight and had the course to ourselves.

As a Troon managed course. The service here could not be better. You are greeted upon arrival with a cart. Everything is loaded for you and the practice range, greens and amenities are amazing.

The Review

Golf Playing Conditions 10.00 IMMACULATE
Golf Playing Conditions 10.00 IMMACULATE

The course is a masterpiece. You can tell it is a Nicklaus but it is unlike any course of his I have ever played. While the fairways are massive, the unique aspect of this course are the rock, brush, dead tree outcropping. What these do is essentially cut the fairway into quadrants. A drive in the wrong side of the fairway will leave a blocked shot requiring a punch out. Every tee shot you have to decide whether to carry or lay up behind particular outcroppings. Being a Nicklaus the greens are all elevated and tiny. The challenge here are the firm lightning fast greens, with subtle breaks. Most greens are tortoise shelled so laying up short and leaving a chip in the right area is key here.

The other unique thing about this course are the optical illusions on the par 3s and par 4 13th especially. Somehow with the way the water or edge of the greens have an angle to them it greatly affects your depth perception. On several holes you actually want to drive away from the hole on the outside of bunkers (versus cutting the corner) and somehow those areas are closer to the hole then going at it. There is another fun tight short uphill par 4. That appears tight but above the pinch is a massive landing zone. Course knowledge is a must here. Me and my partner went from 92s with one birdie the first round. To an 81 with 2 birdies and an eagle. Playing conservative here is the key. The par 5s are the most difficult and should all be played as 3 shotters unless you catch the speed slope on the last one.

I’m rating this course. It isn’t the type of course that will have verti-cut fairways like you see on your TV. But the turf here is immaculate. It is cut so thin and perfect the fairways here are juicer than most greens. As we learned the second round you are better off hitting off the green to avoid roll-offs into bunkers.

The tee boxes were the nicest I have ever seen. Immaculate, perfectly flat, and cut thin like a green.

Sand bunkers were a perfect soft natural sand. Great consistency.

My Final Thoughts

It doesn’t get any better than Pronghorn. It was so good we came back and played it twice. There was no point going elsewhere.

The size of the ballpark. No holes backing along each other. The sheer magnitude of this course is breathtaking. It has by far two of the most epic par 5s you will ever play.