The leaves on the aspens are beginning to show a hint of the autumn colors that are sure to come. The temperatures have moderated to give us the mild afternoons that make golfing at Black Butte Ranch in the fall such a perfectly welcoming prospect.

Most importantly, the smoke from wildfires around Oregon has mostly dissipated into the history books, leaving us clear, blue skies and fresh air. Now golfers will get exactly what they should expect in what is easily the best time of year to play the game here in Central Oregon: prime conditions and near-perfect weather.

“We are really in the best six weeks of the golf season,” said Jeff Fought, Black Butte Ranch’s director of golf. “Now it is absolutely spectacular.”

Not long ago it wasn’t clear at all that we were going to get the opportunity to enjoy the closing months of the golf season. But in recent days, the skies have finally cleared, leaving plenty of prime golfing season.

That has everybody in Central Oregon breathing a sigh of relief, so to speak.

“I’ve been here a long time and I have never seen smoke sit on the ground like that before,” Fought said. “But most of it has all been blown out of the area. For the first time it doesn’t smell like a campfire.”

Golfers who return to the fairways and greens of Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow will find two golf courses in peak condition.

Fall is always when the golf courses are at their best. The detailed care of the summer maintenance program, which keeps each course in pristine condition during the hot summer months, is met with ideal growing conditions of the cooler fall temperatures. That springs the turf into its emerald-green best.

Black Butte Ranch is also on one of the latest aerification schedules in Central Oregon. The greens at Big Meadow aren’t scheduled to be aerified beginning on Oct. 16, which will close Big Meadow for one week. Then Big Meadow will reopen on Oct. 23, the same day the aerification program will begin at Glaze Meadow. On that day, Glaze Meadow will close for the season.

That leaves more than a month left of perfectly smooth, true putting surfaces.

“The courses are in really incredible shape right now,” Fought said. “That helps wait until later in October to aerify, which allows us to offer peak conditions later in the season than most. It really is a great time to play Black Butte Ranch.”

There is still plenty of time to take advantage of our late-season golf rates, too. Play as much golf as you want on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for just $99 at either Glaze Meadow or Big Meadow. And in October, we drop to the lowest rates of the golfers season: $54 during primetime and $49 after 1 p.m.

Our unlimited stay-and-play packages begin at $139 per person, per night. Guests stay in a Black Butte Ranch lodge room, receive one day of unlimited golf at both Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow for each night stayed, a Black Butte Ranch logo cap, a 20 percent merchandise voucher at the Black Butte Ranch golf shops, and an accommodation microbrew amenity. In October, the fall unlimited golf package begins at just $99 per night.

What better way to close out the golf season?

Book a tee time online, call 855-210-5305, or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1545. Call 866-901-2961 to take advantage of Black Butte Ranch’s golf packages. For more information on how to create the perfect golf vacation at Black Butte Ranch call Ryan at 541-595-1292 or email him at rdunning(at)blackbutteranch.com.