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Strategy: Big Meadow’s mounding opens door to be aggressive

When Black Butte Ranch renovated Big Meadow a decade ago, a project completed with the help of Big Meadow original architect Robert Muir Graves, there was a concerted effort to adapt the venerable golf course to the modern game.

The course became more playable, with bunkering and hole design that better stood up to the advances in golf equipment. The bunkering, 65 in all throughout the course, required a level of precision off the tee.

But the renovation of Big Meadow also put driver back in the hands of golfers. But that was not the only important change at Big Meadow.

As important, mounding around the greens presented an opportunity for golfers to be more aggressive on approach.

“They’re a little bit more mounded, and they’re shaped into the hole,” says Jeff Fought, Black Butte Ranch’s director of golf. “You can go after the hole a little bit more.”

Looks like fun, which was precisely the point.

In fact, the mounding present around nearly every green at Big Meadow could be considered the defining characteristic of the golf course. And it should be considered when plotting out a strategy.

“Those mounds are pretty generous to give you a nice kick into the green,” Fought said.

Even more, Big Meadow was built in the early 1970s on what was once a marshy area. As such, the greens are softer and a bit more receptive than Glaze Meadow.

“It’s still firm, but the ball tends to bounce a little bit less than at Glaze Meadow,” Fought said.

It’s not as if Big Meadow is easy. Quite the contrary. The ever-present bunkering around the greens is meant to punish poor approaches.

There is a margin for error at Big Meadow, and aggressive play can yield better scores not matter the pin placements.

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

For more information on how to take a lesson from Jeff or any of our Black Butte Ranch instructors, visit Lessons & Instructions. The link also includes a calendar of Black Butte Ranch’s golf schools, clinics and camps.


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