Back to all posts

Black Butte Ranch continues its tradition of creating community

Black Butte Ranch was born in 1970 with a handshake deal in a Portland Airport bar, securing 577 acres of pristine land in Central Oregon and at the foot of the Cascades for the developers to accomplish a unique vision.

More than half a century later, Black Butte Ranch thrives by being true to that original vision — a place for families, friends, and more, to come together and enjoy wide-open spaces, natural beauty, and easy access to the outdoors.

Black Butte Ranch celebrated its 50th anniversary last year by continuing its original mission to be a place to share memories with those we love. And never has that purpose seemed more important than now.

As the destination resort has done since its beginning, it is accomplishing its original mission by constantly improving amenities. Last year, the resort opened a new 12-hole putting course – which can be configured to 18 shorter holes – designed by award-winning architect John Fought.

“The putting course appeals to all kinds of golfers, both expert and novice, both young and old,” Fought said. “I am confident that everyone will be able to enjoy this.”

Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow – the resort’s two championship courses – enter the golf season in ideal shape, offering something else to celebrate.  

Fought had already left a mark on Black Butte Ranch in 2012 when he completed a $3.75 million renovation of Glaze Meadow. Originally designed in 1980 by the resort’s legendary pro Gene “Bunny” Mason, the renovation transformed the course into a 7007-yard homage to classical design that is beloved by golfers of all levels.

Black Butte Ranch’s 7,002-yard, par-72 Big Meadow – which opened in 1972 – remains faithful to architect Robert Muir Graves’ initial design that emphasized playability and fun. Big Meadow was always special for Graves, who has been hugely influential in Pacific Northwest golf design, and he returned before his death to renovate the course in 2003.

“This was Robert’s favorite place,” recalled Mimi Graves, the widow of Robert Muir Graves and who still lives nearby. “Robert always wanted to design courses that were fun for golfers of every level while having enough teeth to challenge better players.”

The resort continues to take necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of its residents, guests, and employees. And set at the gateway to Central Oregon, closer to Eugene and Portland than any other destination in the region, the resort offers a convenient getaway.

“This is what we are – we are a family place,” said Jeff Fought, Black Butte Ranch’s longtime PGA director of golf and the brother of John. “And we did it right from the beginning. Ultimately it will bring families together. And that is what we have always hoped to do.”