Rankings put Aspen Lakes in elite company; choosing the right tee

Aspen Lakes has been enjoying some lofty rankings of late.

Already this year, Golf Digest named Aspen Lakes to the magazine’s list of the top golf venues in Oregon. That puts Aspen Lakes proudly in the company of some of the country’s most famous golf courses, many of which call Oregon home.

And last year Aspen Lakes was featured on The Morning Drive show on The Golf Channel as one of travel guru Matt Ginella’s top 10 hidden gem golf courses.

Just recently, the Portland Business Journal named Aspen Lakes as among the toughest courses in Oregon for men, joining a who’s who list of regional courses that includes Bandon Dunes, Crosswater and Pronghorn.

So what does that really mean?

Well, it is really an acknowledgement of some of the toughest BACK tees in the state. With a course rating of 75.4 from the 7,304-yard black tees, William Overdorf designed Aspen Lakes to be a stern test for great golfers. It is what makes the course such a wonderful tournament venue.

But that is only part of the story.

One of the aspects that make Aspen Lakes such a well-liked golf course is how playable it can be for golfers of all skill levels. Yes, it will test a championship-caliber golfer. But with five sets of tees, plus myriad combination tees, Aspen Lakes can play to each individual golfer’s ability. For instance, from our 6,064-yard gold tees, the course rating drops to 69.7 for men.

What is the best way for a golfer to go about choosing the correct tee? Unless you have a run at the PGA Tour in your future, you probably shouldn’t automatically march to the back tees.

Instead, there are some basic rules of thumb. Start with the PGA of America and USGA’s Tee it Forward chart to selecting the right tees. Tee it Forward suggests choosing a length that aligns with average driving distance. In other words:

  • Drive 275 yards, play from tees set between 6,700 and 6,900 yards.
  • Drive 250 yards, play from 6,200 to 6,400 yards.
  • Drive 225 yards, play from 5,800 to 6,000 yards.
  • Drive 200 yards, play from 5,200 to 5,400 yards.

A simpler rule of thumb comes from Bill Pennington of the New York Times: Golfers should simply keep moving forward until he or she can consistently break 90.

Ultimately, choosing the correct tee for your skill level is among the most important contributors to having fun on the golf course. And frustration aside, that is the reason why most of us play golf, correct?

Once a golfer has picked the correct tee then it becomes clearer why Aspen Lakes is considered by many to be “one of the best all-around golf experiences” in Central Oregon.

Choose the right tee and take advantage of early season rates that last through June 9 at Aspen Lakes. A golfer can play 18 holes at Aspen Lakes for as low as $30. To book a tee time, call 541-549-GOLF or book online at www.aspenlakes.com.

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