Adjust your thinking for peak conditions

Black Butte Ranch firm and fast

Firm and fast conditions. The combination of the two is considered optimal, reinforced by golfers everywhere, from everyday hackers to professionals.

Well, after a long winter and spring, Black Butte Ranch has both Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow in that near-optimal firm-and-fast condition. This is great news, of course, especially if you have been toiling in the muddy spring conditions found in many parts of Oregon.

“The golf courses are in the best condition I have seen in my 17 years here,” Fought said. “They tees and greens are immaculate. The ball is bouncing, the greens are rolling. We’re in really good shape.”

But with peak conditions comes a new way of thinking through a shot, or at least a chance to broaden your thinking.

One of the reasons why firm and fast is so desired is the conditions open the door to shots you cannot hit in wetter conditions. On approach at Big Meadow or Glaze Meadow, a golfer can aggressively fly it to the hole and the greens will still hold. But a good choice is to play the ball below the hole (a good tip in any condition, really). In other words, if you are between an 8-iron and 9-iron, hit the 9-iron and let the course do the rest of the work.

Drivers also become more effective, adding yardage with fairways that hold firm with each well-struck drive. And bump-and-run shots around the green often become an easier option than a high-arcing flop shot.

“If you’re coming to Black Butte Ranch from west of the Cascades, the firm, fast conditions will be a refreshing change than what you have probably experienced from the last couple of months,” Fought said. “It’s great now because you can now bounce the ball up on to the green, even while our greens will still hold more direct shots. The conditions simply give you more options to play a shot.”

Of course, the real coup is on the greens. Both Glaze Meadow and Big Meadow are up to speed, with shorter mowing heights at about what one might expect to find in the middle of the summer.

Smooth, straight sailing for the rest of the summer. And the weather awfully nice, too.

Finally, the summer golf season is here, even if shoulder season rates still apply. On Sundays through Thursdays through June 15 (excluding May 28-29), Black Butte Ranch is offering a very special deal. For $49 golfers can play 18, $59 includes both 18 holes and the use of a cart, and $69 includes unlimited golf and the use of a cart. Black Butte Ranch’s weekend spring rates are affordable, too: Through June 15, green fees are $69 at either Big Meadow or Glaze Meadow. After 1 p.m. that rate drops to $59. Golfers with a bit less time on their hands can play nine holes after 3 p.m. for $39.

Book a tee time online, or call 855-210-5305 or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1545.