Oregon has become one of the hottest places in America for fantastic golf, and you can find four incredibly delightful courses in Northern Oregon at the Silvies Valley Ranch resort. The 140,000-acre resort is an ecologically sustainable retreat. It functions not only as a working ranch with cattle, horses, and goats among the wildlife but as a five-star resort that offers golf, a spa, and fine dining. Keep reading for a review of each of Silvies Valley Ranch golf courses.
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4 Golf Courses
The resort features four courses but with a wrinkle. There are two 18-hole championship courses, the Craddock and the Hankins. One is played on even days, the other on odd days. But what if I told you that they were just one course? That’s right, The Retreat’s championship course can be played one way on the first of the month and then reverses the next day for an altogether different experience.
Chief Egan’s and McVeigh’s Gauntlet
The real reason that The Retreat has caught the eye of several high-profile golf magazines is because of the two par-3 courses.
The first, Chief Egan, is a nine-hole course that is entirely sustainable. Solar panels power the course, and the water is gravity-fed from a nearby spring.
The second, McVeigh’s Gauntlet Course, is a seven-hole layout that has five par 3 holes and two short par 4s. The latter course is carved from the prairie and meant to be played with a smile.
As wildly inventive as all three courses are at The Retreat, what grabs everyone’s attention is that at Chief Egan’s and McVeigh’s you can hire caddies. But these aren’t your typical old, grizzled caddies that have played the course for 40 years. Instead, The Retreat has enlisted goats to help you make your way through each course.
You may be wondering if that little perk is safe and worthwhile. I can assure you that after you get over the fact that you are responsible for a goat that has your clubs strapped to their side, you will howl with delightful laughter at how much fun you’ll have on the short courses being led to your next shot by a goat caddie. Bring quality golf pants with you as goats sometimes tend to mistake clothing for grass.
Reversible Golf Course
As for the reversible 18-hole courses, they share 16 fairways and 27 greens between them to create two distinct golfing experiences. They are both enchanting and wildly appealing as you put together how each hole is designed and the undoubtedly large amount of ingenuity that course designer Dan Hixson had to use to build this gorgeous golf duo.
And wait until you play the par 5, 590-yard 18th hole on the Hankins course. Off the tee, you’ll notice a 50-foot drop and gradual downhill roll to the green. Perched next to the box is a sign that gives the golfer “12 Legal Advantages” of playing the hole. Not only will you get a laugh out of some of the advantages listed, but you can also pick up a card and mark your drive for an accurate distance of how far you blasted it down to the waiting fairway below.
Beyond Silvies’ Golf Courses
Once you get done with your round, there are 34 rooms at Silvies Ranch that can give you a quick rest before you’re on to another engaging activity at The Retreat. If you have a chance, try to book one of their eight luxury cabins. Featuring king-sized beds, a hot tub, stone floors, and incredible views of the property, the cabins provide indulgence while maintaining the rustic appeal of The Resort.
After you hit the course, you may be in the mood for some pampering. The Rocking Heart Spa, located in the heart of the facility, is marvelous as it features a half-size Olympic lap pool, a climbing wall, saunas, hot tubs and all kinds of treatments that will work away any sore muscles and provide first-rate relaxation after a day out on the ranch. They even welcome your favorite pets in the waiting room while you enjoy some relaxation time.
When it comes time to grub up, you’ll hit the dining room, which is quite intimate and offers a straight-to-table menu that features homemade loaves of bread, locally sourced meat from the ranch, and tons of fresh vegetables. Each meal I had during my stay was well made and offered plenty of fresh ingredients to enjoy in every dish.
When you are ready to get dirty, The Retreat has several experiences available that will get you back into nature to hobnob with the local wildlife and provide you an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone.
Whether it be fishing at the local pond, saddling up for a cattle roundup, hitting the trails for a bike ride, or herding some goats, The Retreat will connect you to this beautiful property by engaging all of your senses.
Even though my passion is golf, I’d recommend coming to The Retreat even if you didn’t want to play one of the most enjoyable courses in all of Northern Oregon. You cannot have a bad experience at the resort. With their attentive staff, they’ll take care of your every need.
For a vacation that checks all the boxes and entertains you in ways that you wouldn’t expect, The Retreat at the Silvies Valley Ranch is a five-star vacation locale.
Guest Author: Jordan Fuller is a golf enthusiast with over 25 years of experience. In his free time, he coaches new golfers on how to best improve their swing. He’s also been passionate about travel, specifically when it takes him new golf courses. His ultimate goal is to visit all Top 100 Golf Courses in the USA.