Caldera Links Golf Review (Sunriver, Oregon)
First I have to make a confession, this review may be slightly biased.
You see, I’ve been going to Sunriver, Oregon for as long as I can remember. We used to have a house there growing up, so it has a special place in my heart.
That being said, this past weekend I got the opportunity to play the newest course in the Sunriver arsenal for the first time: Caldera Links.
Caldera Springs is a separate sub-division across the way from Sunriver that is more exclusive and more pricey. It’s also home to the par 3 Caldera Links and Golf Park that I can’t really say I had high expectations for.
Well after 32 holes of golf this weekend, I can say that Caldera links is one of the best short game practice courses I’ve had the pleasure of playing.
An Unconventional Setup
I had the good fortune of being able to stay in a beautiful house in Caldera Springs for the weekend that was right on the par 5 16th hole of the golf park.
I can already hear what you’re saying: “I thought you said this was a par 3?”
It is, however the unique Bob Cupp designed golf park is something special. The 16th, 17th and 18th holes (I guess you just have to end on 18?), were some of the most beautiful and well maintained golf holes I’ve ever experienced.
We walked out to the deserted practice course to tee off from the 203 yard tee box in the middle of the par 5 583 yard 16th, and I was in awe at how well maintained the course was. It blew away any of the courses I was used to playing in Portland (with Pumpkin Ridge being the exception) and you can tell that the maintenance crew was the same as the nearby Crosswater course, which has played host to numerous major tournaments.
With the added tee box, the 3 holes turned into 4 and we hadn’t even seen the actual par 3 course yet.
I’m still not entirely sure why the 3 practice holes exist, my guess is because they could then have more lots and property on the course itself, but either way for Sunriver Resort guests, this is a welcome surprise.
I played through the 3.5 practice holes a total of 4 times. Shooting remarkably well considering I didn’t have anything higher than a bogey during my 12 holes I played during the weekend.
The highlight being my birdie from the tips at the 16th. I dropped a 3 wood from 240 out about 10 feet from the pin and made my putt.
It’s holes like that which give you the false hope of a career in professional golf.
The Par 3 Course
The 9 hole, par 3 Caldera Links course itself, like the practice holes, were extremely well maintained. The holes ranged from about 110 to 172 from the back tees, and each offered challenges suitable for all skill levels.
There was a healthy assortment of pot bunkers and water to keep you on your toes, and the greens had a surprising amount of undulation, to make for a great short game practice course for those looking to improve their games.
The nicest part about playing Caldera however wasn’t the manicured greens or beautiful views of Mount Bachelor, rather it was the peacefulness of it all. Throughout the weekend the course wasn’t crowded, and if you played before noon the course was yours to do as you see fit.
While it’s a private course, it’s not to be overlooked if you’re a Sunriver Resort guest – especially those with families.
In all honesty, the price is a little steep at $39 per round, but hey, that’s resort golf for you.
Also be on the look out, because Sunriver often has some of the best fall and spring deals in Oregon for unlimited rounds and lodging on their Meadows, Woodlands, and for a little bit more, their Crosswater and Caldera Links courses.