One of the main sporting attractions at Sunriver Resort is the Crosswater golf course which lies 15 miles south of Bend in central Oregon (just outside the resort actually) on former homestead land. Wonderful Cascade vistas to the peaks of nearby Broken Top, Three Sisters and Mount Bachelor can be enjoyed at Crosswater.
Sunriver Resort commissioned Bob Cupp and John Fought to design Crosswater in the mid 1990s and, in the words of Bob Cupp, “it is a difficult course, designed such because Sunriver already had two courses (Woodlands and Meadows) and they wanted one that would put them on the map.”
It’s a long course – 7,700 yards from the back markers with the four par fives measuring an average of just over 620 yards – and, as its name suggests, it forces golfers to navigate around water and wetlands a number of times as the Little Deschutes River runs through the property, with the Big Deschutes River to the west side.
The 17th is a beast, 243 yards from the championship tees, with little room for forgiveness as the wetland grasses push into and envelop the left side of the green. The putting surface may be enormous but golfers must stay clear of sand in front and behind.
An indication of how tough the penultimate hole can be? In 315 rounds played during the 2007 Champions Tour event here, there were only 17 birdies made by the top Senior players.
Sunriver Resort is located near Bend in Oregon, and has four distinctively different courses designed by well known architects- all in the one location. The Resort caters for a number of different sporting activities other than golf, and includes extensive walking and bike riding trails
The Crosswater course opened in 1995 and was designed by Bob Cupp and John Fought whose brief it was to produce a course of some note, capable of hosting tournaments and becoming a major attraction for the resort.
Surrounded by vistas of snow capped mountains Crosswater is set in a high desert meadow environment. The course negotiates wetlands and a number of crossings of the Deschutes River, and winds through a forest of Ponderosa and Lodgepine trees. The course is also a wildlife habitat, and a member of the Audubon Sanctuary Program.
Off the back markers the course measures 7700 yards, and with river carries on many holes it can be a beast. But from the regular tees the water is not directly in play as much and the length is not a problem. However it can still punish the wayward ball, and balls will be lost!
Notable holes include:
- the short par 4 fifth hole around the river- pick your line and commit!
- the longish par 4 ninth hole. The river is in play all the way down the right hand side of the hole and must be carried off the tee
- the signature hole at Crosswater is the par 5 twelfth hole, an imposing semi circle of a hole which arcs around the river to a green tucked out of sight. With snow capped mountains as a focal point in the background, river in play on the left, and forest and bunkers on the right- it is both challenging and picturesque
- the par 3 thirteenth hole with tee shot over the wetlands
- the final hole is a par 4 with a diagonal river crossing in front of the green. It's a nice finish
Crosswater can be unforgiving, and a bad day here could mean many lost balls. But it can also be exhilarating golf in a majestic setting. I loved it!
No golf trip to Oregon should miss Crosswater- just remember to bring your A game (or lots of balls)
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
Played this one in June 2018 during IAGTO NAC on a 4 players scramble competition and it was so fun! A great course for this format which you will really enjoy. We had a strong team with 2 long hitters and it was a close call to winning, but we were just short.
The course could be compared at some point with Chapelco in Argentina, Maisson Blanche in France and many other mountain courses.
The views you enjoy all over the place are just stunning, manicured maintenance and snowed mountains on every end make it awesome.
Many great holes, some forced carries, a lot of well placed water and pure bent grass greens.
Located in the way from Chambers Bay to Bandon Dunes, a good stop for a couple of nights to play and enjoy a fantastic resort, really worth!
Crosswater was one of 7 courses I played on a trip to Bend and the only one I played twice. It is target golf which can be OK but the problem is that a number of targets are blind making it difficult to judge what to hit. In a couple of cases the target in the fairway was not only blind but the landing area angled such that a safe shot to the blind left side of the fairway was safe but the same shot to the right might be lost. There are quite a few forced carries and ample opportunities to lose balls. I played one of the rounds with two women who didn’t think the forced carries to be much fun. Conditioning was very good and the golf personnel all very nice. I would play it if I were in the area but I question how it is ranked by some as a top 100 public access course.
Crosswater plays up to 7,683 yards (the longest course I’ve ever seen) with par 5s of 582, 635, 687, and 598. I did not play those tees, but even from my tees, these were cripplingly long par 5s. There was hardly anyone around, so I played alone, which was a nice break from the past two days when I was with large groups of people. I had been playing poorly, and I faced some of those demons on this round. When I hit bad shots, I just dropped another ball and hit until I got it right. Leisurely soaking in the beauty of this course was a wonderful solitary experience. I shot 91, which wasn’t bad, and I had a chip in, a couple sand saves, and most impressive to me, an up and down from a bunker 125 yards away. Larry Berle.