This is crunch time for the maintenance staff at Black Butte Ranch. The 107th Oregon Amateur Championship — which will be played June 20-25 at Glaze Meadow — is just days away. And the Oregon Am will bring together the finest golfers in the state for a single-elimination match-play tournament that is the state’s oldest.
That means superintendent Phil Lagao and his crew are awfully busy pouring over Glaze Meadow to make sure that every detail of the course is just right. The crew always welcomes the challenge.
“I like tournament prep,” Lagao said. “It gives focus to the crew. And a prestigious tournament like the Oregon Amateur fuels everybody to rally and get everything ready in time.”
Currently, Lagao’s crew is less focused on course conditioning and more on the finer points of the golf course.
Details such as placing the out-of-bounds markers in a way that make sense for the high-octane golf games of the Oregon Amateur participants and edging the bunkers for aesthetic purposes take precedent down the homestretch before the tournament.
“We want the course to be fair and consistent,” Lagao said. “We took a ride around with Brent Whitaker (the Oregon Golf Association’s director of tournament operations) recently and went through the entire golf course, hole by hole. We were making sure our mowing patterns are right and our course is consistent. Players have enough to worry about without worrying if the golf course will take a shot away from them.”
At least one thing is certain: There will be no last-minute scramble to whip Glaze Meadow into shape.
The staff has had a little help from Mother Nature, which has been particularly kind this spring to foster optimal course conditioning at both Glaze and Big Meadow.
“We’ve been really fortunate in that is has been a really good spring for us,” Lagao said. “Both of our golf courses are exceeding expectations for this time of year.
“At Glaze, the green speeds are really tracking well. All of our greens, fairways and tee boxes are already in great shape. And we are extending that into the rough areas.”
About the biggest change in conditioning will be that the maintenance staff will make a push to firm up the course before the tournament.
Such conditions won’t be just for elite amateur golfers either.
Tee times at Glaze Meadow will be available for much of the week of the Oregon Amateur, even as the tournament is being played. And because it is single-elimination match play, more and more times will become available as field of golfers whittles down.
That will give Black Butte Ranch golfers an opportunity to play a tournament-conditioned course without the fuss of having to compete against the best golfers in the state.
As for Lagao, he is just excited to see what the region’s most skilled golfers can do at Glaze Meadow.
“There is a big difference between tournament golf and daily play,” Lagao said. “Resort play is about fun. But it will be interesting to see how the competitive golfers use different strategies and how they play the course. I like to see how the course is performing. It is a great way for me to judge how well we are prepping.”
There is still time to take advantage of our June special. Sunday through Thursday, golfers play 18 holes with a cart at either Big Meadow or Glaze Meadow for $69. Those who want to play a bit more can play unlimited golf for $79, including cart. Black Butte Ranch’s primetime rate is $69 before June 19, and $79 after. The twilight rate drops to $59.
Book a tee time online, call 855-210-5305, or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1545.