The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 2
0 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 2
No. 2 on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 1
1 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 1
The first green on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - rakes
2 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - rakes
Creative sayings decorate the rakes at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 17
3 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 17
No. 17 on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 15
4 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 15
The short 15th hole on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 14
5 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 14
View from the elevated 14th tee of the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisr
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 13
6 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 13
No. 13 on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 12
7 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 12
The par-3 12th on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 11
8 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 11
No. 11 on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 10
9 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 10
The 205-yard 10th hole on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 8
10 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 8
No. 8 on the Craddock course at Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 7
11 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 7
The 260-yard seventh hole on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch is a monster par 3. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 5
12 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 5
No. 5 on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Otter Lake
13 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Otter Lake
Relax around Otter Lake at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - view from the Hideout
14 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - view from the Hideout
The clubhouse named the Hideout at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - accommodations
15 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - accommodations
Luxury cabins house guests at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Hankins course - hole 13
16 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Hankins course - hole 13
Architect Dan Hixson on the 13th green of the Hankins course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 4
17 of 18
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch - Craddock course - hole 4
The 125-yard fourth hole on the Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Tour the Craddock course and The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch in eastern Oregon

BURNS, Ore. - The Craddock course at The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch comes from the mad-scientist mind of Dan Hixson, the Oregon-based architect best known for his work at Bandon Crossings Golf Course near the coast.

In 2010, while designing a course for Dr. Scott Campbell on his 140,000-acre working cattle/goat ranch in remote eastern Oregon, Hixson tossed out the idea of making a section of the course 'reversible'. Hearing how the Old course at St. Andrews can be played forward and backward, Campbell suggested making the whole thing reversible. The second routing, the 7,035-yard, par-72 Craddock course, was born in tandem with the original routing, the 7,075-yard, par-72 Hankins course.

It took seven years, but with July's soft opening, the duo now anchor golf's newest resort, located three hours from Roberts Field, the Redmond Municipal Airport near Bend. Silvies Valley Ranch has piqued the curiosity of golfers everywhere, much like another new reversible routing, Tom Doak's Red and Black courses of The Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club in northern Michigan. While Doak's site was dead flat, Hixson used 27 greens, nine shared and nine new ones on each course, to complete the feat on rolling land with elevation changes upwards of 100-plus feet.

Hixson preferred to keep a rugged feel, so the bunker sand is what was found on the property. It's got more of a dirty look and heavier texture, details that might bother some country club stiffs. To lighten the mood, every hand-made bunker rake is adorned with whimsical messages such as "Yeehaw", "Need a Drink?" and "Sand sucks". There's even one with a four-letter word out there somewhere.

The Craddock course plays more difficult than the Hankins. It's got more bunkers in play near the greens, one more wetland hazard (to the left of the 18th fairway), fewer downhill tee shots and two more 420-yard-plus par 4s (grey tees) than the Hankins, all of which thwart scoring opportunities. But it also might have the most fun hole on property, the 260-yard seventh, a downhill hole I'm designating a "drivable" par 3.

More grow-in time will help certain fairways, although the greens already putt nice. The long-range views of the Oregon frontier covered in sagebrush and ponderosa pines last for miles, both from the courses and the "Hideout at the Links", a clubhouse sitting atop a hill overlooking the nine-hole Chief Egan par-3 course. Guests receive their own golf carts to make the short drive from the main hub of the resort to the courses, the range and another seven-hole short course, McVeigh's Gauntlet, that will open next year.

The resort's epicenter surrounds Otter Lake. Its new log cabin are anything but rustic, plush with bedroom sky lights, copper bathroom sinks, spacious rain showers and more. The main Lodge, home to a Saloon adjacent to a grand dining hall, is decorated with antler chandeliers, Old West paintings and a chuck wagon. More cabins will open soon with the spa and fitness center scheduled to debut in 2018. A fire pit near the lake beckons guests to gather after feasts of premier cuts of beef and Chevon goat meat for incredible stargazing and after-dinner drinks served from another wagon.

Cue the catchy tune, because golf's new "Home on the Range" is unlike anything most players have ever seen, a place where cowboy boots are just as welcome as Footjoys.

Staff rating of the Craddock Course: Review by Jason Scott Deegan

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Related Links
Articles
The Loop, a reversible golf course at Forest Dunes, is the latest and most innovative design by Tom Doak. Here's how it came out.
Galleries
Just minutes away from the famous Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is another pretty cool 6,855-yard course providing an entirely different experience, Bandon Crossings.
Articles
Jason Deegan visited Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in the off-season and endured wet weather and travel fiascos to play a collection of the best golf courses in America.
Articles
The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch ranks among the most remote golf resorts in the continental United States. It's a 3-hour drive to eastern Oregon from Bend, but the reward is a reversible course and a luxurious Old West escape.
Latest galleries
Photo Galleries
The 21st century has seen an influx of municipal golf investment across the country
Photo Galleries
Northern Ireland's Royal Portrush in County Antrim returns to Open rota for first time since 1951. Here's a sneak peek.
Photo Galleries
New owners return Mike Strantz gem to glory, must-play status
Photo Galleries
From Amelia Island to Scottsdale, we looked at golfer ratings and reviews during the month of April to find the best pictures submitted by golfers all over the world.

Popular Videos

Video golfpass
Quail Hollow's infamous 'Green Mile' is one of the toughest stretches on the PGA Tour schedule. Bailey Mosier takes on the par-3 17th hole, a long shot that is all carry over water in this edition of Toughest Tracks.
Video
Golf Advisor Round Trip: Turning Stone
Video
Product demo: Bay Boy Nitron
Video
Living: Trends report for May 13th
Video
GCSAA CEO on the Rounds 4 Research auction
Now Reading
Tour the Craddock course and The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch in eastern Oregon
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE