The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch
About The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley RanchThe Retreat, Links and Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch is among the most unique golf vacations in the world. It's certainly the largest, set on a 140,000-acre ranch in eastern Oregon. Why make the trek? It's home to a unique, reversible golf course design by Dan Hixson and a plethora of ranch amenities and activities to enjoy. There are only 34 guest rooms total, with some real estate planned as well. Amenities include a spa, fitness center and pool. The main lodge is the gathering place with a saloon bar and meals in the dining room. Chevon goat meat is raised and served onsite. Goats can also be enlisted in caddie service around the golf course. In addition to the championship, reversible course, the Chief Egan is a 9-hole course and McVeigh's Gauntlet is an intimidating short course.
Golf courses at The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch
Images from The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch
Videos about The Retreat, Links & Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch
Let me start by saying I drove two hours and fifty three minutes to get to this course . I arrived at 10:00 AM at a gate. There was a pad that you had to punch in a code... I had no code so I pressed the guest call button.... no response... I did this at least 6 times and got no response.... There was a number to call in an emergency but well I took out my phone and had no cell service. I drove back the way I came trying to get service but no success. I flagged down a passerby who informed me the nearest place to get cell service was 10 miles beyond the gate to the resort. I turned around and drove to the town of Seneca Or. where I got service and was able to call the resort. The person who answered put me on hold and vowed to find out why the gate wasn’t working.... after about 5 minutes he came back and told the gste was now working. So I drive back and 55 minutes after I arrived at the gate I am finally in.
The course.... dirt bunkers strewn with rocks.... brown fairways.... and the course was not scenic.... I took no pictures.So I report to the settle up office where they informed me that the cost of the round was $160.00 plus a $32.00 resort fee. This course is only worth $60.00 and in my opinion it is doomed and in 5 years will be fallow.... do not repeat my horrendous mistake.
Dear Mr, Mele,
Our goal at Silvies Valley Ranch is to present the most sustainable and environmentally responsible products possible. We planted the most drought tolerant fine fescue turfgrass mix that still provides an excellent golfing surface. Today, golfers are asking for “firm and fast” conditions. Yes, this time of year our fairways are brown in color but most of our guests love the extra ball roll they get without sacrificing a great surface from which to hit. In fact many of our guests tell us that its refreshing to golf in the tradition of the original links courses in Scotland.
Our Golf Course Superintendent Sean A. Hoolehan, CGCS is helping us to saving between 400,000-600,000 gallons of water a day. This is exactly what the Campbell family, owners of Silvies Valley Ranch have directed. Our bunker sand is also part of our sustainability story. It came from our 150,000 acre ranch only a few miles from the golf course. In fact all the materials we used to construct all of our golf courses came from our property. Our bunker sand is not perfect but they are a hazard after-all and the rules of golf do allow you to remove the occasional rock you may find inhibiting your bunker play.
Our golf course designer Dan Hixson used this wild and natural bunkering to match the surrounding environment. It is a big and wild environment here in Eastern Oregon and our Craddock and Hankins Courses are the highest elevation of any courses in Oregon providing large impressive vistas of our frontier.
We regret the experiences you encountered during your first visit here, and we would like to welcome you back one day as our guest. Please let me know if I may help you with the arrangements.
The Retreat, Links and Spa at Silvies Valley Ranch
10,000 Rendezvous Lane
7 hole course!
I had the chance to play McVeigh 7 hole course. It may be the only 7 hole course in the world!?
Lets get the cost out of the way. NO way is it worth what they are asking for a greens fee, but it is so unique I had to try it. I did not use the goats, but certainly a good gimick.
Holes 1 and 2 are borderline unfair, they are similar to those crazy fake golf calander pictures. Either you hit the green from the tee, or you keep trying until you do (no where to drop). The course is on a massive ridge and exposed to heavy winds, but endless views!
Time will tell if this is a hit, but it is a good solid 7 hole exec course. Golfers like the punishment, and this course gives you pleanty.
Hankins layout was just as good.
Margaret & I played this course the morning after we played the Craddock layout in the afternoon. Great links style golf course. I scored better on this layout, but I think both of us slightly preferred the Craddock layout. The course is as walkable as Chambers Bay according to Margaret who does walk most of the time.
Great links style golf course in the middle of nowhere!
My wife and I knew about Silvies Valley Ranch from the time it opened, but this was our first time playing it as it is rather remote and a bit of a drive. The course was in excellent condition. We both enjoy links style golf and that's what you get here. The greens roll very nicely, but because of the elevation changes and contours are difficult for a first timer to read. There is plenty of room off the tee and the large greens aren't that hard to hit. This is a very scenic course and the staff at the resort was wonderful. It IS a little pricey, but other than that we loved it.
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!
Stress-free golf at the Chief Egan course
The Chief Egan course is short and simple and a beginner-friendly way to enjoy the game. None of the holes are longer than 120 yards, so grab a couple wedges, a putter and a beverage for the easy walk.
The greens are small, requiring accuracy, especially since they are firm and still maturing.
The best way to attack is to land the ball short and bounce it on. It's a great way for families to play together or for buddies to kill some time and settle a bet.