The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock Course
|White M: 71.9/120||490||355||475||125||520||405||260||445||425||3500||205||445||190||550||570||315||410||490||360||3535||7035|
|Grey M: 68.6/118 W: 74.4/131||455||345||425||120||470||380||225||420||350||3190||160||385||155||520||530||290||365||420||325||3150||6340|
|Black M: 64.8/109 W: 70.2/123||425||330||390||110||410||325||200||350||305||2845||120||320||135||475||445||275||290||365||290||2715||5560|
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Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Oregon
I took the 3 hour drive from Bend to play, and it was well worth the drive!
I played the Hankin course, and thoroughly enjoyed the layout. The reversible course is not as confusing as I thought it might be. It is well marked, and the course itself is stunning w/ elevation changes, views, and more forgiving than your average course. Very fun!!
It is such a calm/peaceful setting, and the entire staff there is amazing. Randall in the pro-shop is great! This golf complex needs to be on every avid golfers list. Also, play the 9 hole par 3 and 7 hole course if you can.
Lastly, give yourself extra time to get check in and get through the next gate and drive your cart the mile to the pro shop.
Fun Time at Silvies
Decided to take advantage of Silvies $350 Buddy Stay and Play Special and make a trip up. Played the Craddock on the first day and the Hankins on the second. So review is really of both. I was a little concerned that being this is a "reversible" course, I would feel like I was playing the same track over again. On the second morning, we teed off on the Hankins and hit to the 17th green for the Craddock from the day before. After this, never really had the feeling I was playing the same course. There are 9 holes that are exclusive to one or the other course. The course, on some parts, had a links feel to it, especially on the Craddock. Overall, playing conditions were good, although the fairways looked like they were getting a little stressed and brown from the long dry summer. Being this is the first full summer open, greens are still very thin and extremely fast and unreceptive. This is one reason I gave the course a "somewhat challenging" rating. This was especially true on the 16th (if I remember correctly) 160 yard downhill par 3 on the Hankins. I unintentionally hit slightly right of the green into the rabbit brush, which I think was a better play since I would have rolled off the back had I hit the green, and hitting short means being in the bunker or uphill pitch. As it was, I was able to hit a short pitch out of the brush and salvage par. Bunkers are also lined with tall grass. Unfortunately, if you don't hit clean into the bunker, you'll be landing in it and feel more like you're playing an Open Championship. Not a complaint, but adds to the challenge and ambiance of the course. We enjoyed the scenery and solitude of the course and pretty much had it to ourselves both days. No water hazards are on either course. Overall, like the layout and the course has a lot of nice holes. However, it lacked the one or 2 "wow" holes that set it apart from other premium courses. The Pro Shop, although somewhat small, is really nice and has a great view of the valley. This is where you'll eat breakfast if you choose to stay here. The staff at the resort are extremely friendly and really go out of their way to make you feel welcome and have a great time. The cabins are excellent. Spacious with big screen TV's and all amenities and nice views of the resort. The 7 course dinner experience was well worth the money. If you're thinking about driving to Burns or John Day for a cheaper dinner, don't! The $350 special did not include food or other amenities. So it will cost you a couple hundred more for meals, drinks, and other activities besides golf. All in all, for what I paid, a great experience and would absolutely visit again.
Fabulously remote, beautiful surrounds, solid golf course, some conditioning issues, but overall a joy on a vast ranch property that's fascinating in its own right w/o the golf.
Craddock the more challenging test on the ranch
The Craddock course essentially uses the same land as the Hankins course, so how can it harder?
Although the Craddock has one less par 5 than the Hankins, the main reason is the bunkering.
Bunkers are more prevalent in front of greens, forcing an aerial attack to new greens firmer than normal.
Perhaps the most interesting hole is no. 7, a 260-yarder that I'm calling a "driveable par 3". It plays all downhill, so you can reach with a 3-wood, but it still requires a heck of a shot to find a wild green.
Architect Dan Hixson did a nice job building a new stretch of holes, nos. 9-11, around a ridge to make the reversible routing work. Part of the fun of playing the courses is figuring out where they meet sharing greens, tees and fairways. It's one giant puzzle.
Hankins trumps Craddock with views/playability
I'm team Hankins all the way.
Time will tell whether I'm in the minority when it comes to which of the reversible routings golfers prefer - the Craddock or Hankins.
More elevated tees (for better views) and more blind shots (for more character) on the Hankins are the deciding factors for me. It's generally easier, too. With five par 5s, adding up to a par 73, there are more opportunities for birdies on Hankins, especially on the short par 5s at no. 3 and no. 16 (from the grey tees). The final par 5 at no. 18 challenges players to hit the longest drives of their lives. A sign at the tee explains why the dry air at altitude could unleash your inner John Daly. Go for it!