Stay & Play: Central Oregon

By Elizabeth Kang

Go north for the ultimate (kid-friendly!) golf retreat

What if you could incorporate more golf into your family getaways without having to drag them to the usual adult-oriented spots? How about a place that offers both world-class golfing and kid-friendly activities? That would be a win-win. If you’re looking for the best of both golf and family time, head north. 

Sure, California boasts its fair share of gorgeous, notable courses, but many of these golf resorts can be stuffy, somewhat pretentious and decidedly not kid friendly.

Central Oregon offers a more accessible, laid-back golf scene: an area where everyone feels welcome, even the smallest of travelers. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as playing a round in the cool, crisp central Oregon air, surrounded by tall Aspens and towering Cascade Peaks.

With magnificent, lush scenery, affordable green fees, and a staggering lineup of outdoor activities, these two Central Oregon resorts are a family golfer’s dream.

Black Butte Ranch

Celebrating 50 years, the 1,800-acre Black Butte Ranch has been helping families create lasting memories for decades. There’s a reason golf enthusiasts return to the ranch with their loved ones, again and again. This gorgeous haven offers an unbelievable selection of recreation and activities, including two award-winning golf courses, a full-service spa, delicious onsite restaurant and luxurious lodging accommodations.

There’s also a serene lake accessible by bike on the property, as well as fishing, biking and boating rentals, and miles of paved paths winding through lush forests and picturesque meadows. A children’s day camp is available (hurray!) while grownups golf or visit the onsite spa. The day camp, available to children ages 4-12, offers crafts, games, swimming and play.

Budding golfers will also have fun practicing their game on the newly installed “Little Meadow Putting Course,” which offers a shorter game of twelve holes between 45 and 105 feet.  Black Butte Ranch offers private and group lessons for those wanting to learn the basics or perfect their game.

Pronghorn Resort

Pronghorn Resort, located just a short drive from downtown Bend, is both rugged and luxurious, offering peace and quiet along with plenty of diversions. With sweeping mountain views, stellar service and amenities galore, this golf getaway is an easy win.

Kids will love the two heated pools, waterslide, bike rentals, daily arts & crafts, lawn games, and unique lava formations, while adults will appreciate the serene spa, varied onsite dining with craft beer and cocktails, live music, fitness center, and of course, the golf.

To that end, Pronghorn Resort offers two nationally acclaimed courses designed for all level players. Both the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course and the Tom Fazio Championship Course offer Instagram-worthy scenery and jaw-dropping views on meticulously maintained, emerald-green fairways. At the Pronghorn Golf Academy, players can take lessons by the best, in either group or individual lessons.