Glaze Meadow is set to open the season on Friday. Certainly welcome news to any golfer who has fallen in love with the John Fought redesign —and there are plenty of us — now in its third full season.
On the same day, Big Meadow will be closing until around the end of April. Call it good news, bad news if you must. But in reality, it is all positive for the long-term health of Black Butte Ranch’s two championship golf courses.
Big Meadow is closing for two very specific reasons. One, the Black Butte Ranch maintenance staff is completing work to resurface the 13th green at Big Meadow. More laboring, however, will be the revamp of Big Meadow’s bunkers.
Part of the natural maintenance cycle of a well-conditioned golf course like Big Meadow, the beachy hazards need varying degrees of work. But every bunker will be improved. The crew will pack down the sand and soil of each bunker, while the drainage on some bunkers will be repaired. Then the crew will freshen the hazards with new sand. As a finishing touch, the crew will clean up the turf edges of each bunker.
That might not sound like much until you realize just how many bunkers are at Big Meadow. Sixty-five to be exact. Or nearly four per hole, on average. And you thought it was just poor play that leads to spend more time on the beach than a California surfer.
“It’s going to be a pretty big project,” says Phil Lagao, superintendent at Black Butte Ranch.
Maintenance crews will spend each morning prepping Glaze Meadow for the day, then they will head to Big Meadow each afternoon.
Black Butte Ranch does not take the decision to close Big Meadow lightly. But ultimately getting the bunker and 13th green projects completed well before the summer months sets the venerable course up for a fantastic golf season.
“It’s a lot easier to do an all-in one project rather than trying to piecemeal it throughout the season,” Lagao says. “Just get in and get it done. It is a more efficient use of our crew and time that we have available.”
Thankfully, Black Butte Ranch has a pretty spectacular alternative to offer in Glaze Meadow.
Through the month of April, play Glaze Meadow for $42 and receive a free Black Butte Ranch golf cap with a paid green fee. Golfers can also also play nine holes for $27 after 2 p.m., but a cap is not included.
Book a tee time online or call 855-210-5305 or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1545.