Another golf season is coming to a close. For Black Butte Ranch, 2015 marked 45 years since first becoming a premier golf destination in Central Oregon.
Of course, with each year that goes by more memories are made. And every golf season is just a little bit different. The golf season of 2015 was no exception.
What most made this year stand out?
Start with an unfathomably mild winter that helped the season tee off at Big Meadow on Feb. 14, by far the earliest opening in recent memory.
“I think we have been open once in February since I have been here and never as early as February 14th,” says Jeff Fought, who has been the director of golf at Black Butte Ranch since 2000. “It really got our season off on the right foot.”
Indeed. It wasn’t just that Big Meadow was open in February. It was that the course opened in remarkably good shape.
Mild weather would continue to positively dictate the conditioning at both courses. Superintendent Phil Lagao and his staff were able to complete two important projects at Big Meadow early in the season, revitalizing the 13th green and revamping all 18 bunkers.
Glaze Meadow opened in early April in fine shape, too.
Such a spring put into motion the overriding theme of the 2015 golf season: course conditioning.
From Black Butte Ranch’s players to its veteran staff, everyone seemed to rave about the shape that both Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow were in throughout the golf season.
“This is probably the best start I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Lagao said in June.
Lagao would be far from alone in offering praise all season long.
“We get golfers from all over the world, and so many talked about how great a shape the golf courses were in,” Fought said recently.
John Fought, the famed architect who led the way on the $3.75 renovation of Glaze Meadow that was completed in 2012, returned over the summer and lauded how well Glaze Meadow was maturing.
Even a former Oregon Amateur champion, who visited Black Butte Ranch over the summer, praised the quality of both Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow.
Traveling from the west side of the Cascade Range, the Amateur champion said the conditioning in comparison with other top golf courses in the state.
“He said, ‘There isn’t a course in Oregon in better shape than this,’” Fought recalls. “That was pretty cool for us.”
High praise from a great golfer. That is never a bad thing.
The conditioning continued well into fall, which could set up another fantastic season in 2016. Only time will tell. But the signs so far are looking good.
Thanks to everyone — from Black Butte Ranch’s staff to the wonderful homeowners to Black Butte Ranch’s golfers and guests — for making 2015 a golf season to remember.
Of course, the season is not quite over yet. Book a tee time online, or call 855-210-5305 or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1545. For more information on how to create the perfect golf vacation next season at Black Butte Ranch call Ryan at 541-595-1292 or email him at