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.
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.