Fall a great time for gear at Aspen Lakes

20161015_105136.jpg Significant discounts offered for gear and apparel

Fall in love with golf and play the game long enough and your garage will eventually look like the inside of the golf shop at Aspen Lakes. For golfers, that eternal optimism is motivator enough to find the club that will help you hit the ball just a bit further, or at least the shirt that will at least help you look a bit cooler.

When to buy all that great stuff is another matter. The best time of year to load up on golf apparel and equipment is subjective.

  • Is it in spring when all the latest and greatest merchandise first hits the shelves? Certainly there is a lot to be said for getting in early.
  • Is it summer, when the golf season is in full swing? True, there is nothing quite like taking that brand new club out for a spin for the first time.

It all depends on what you are looking for in the end. But unequivocally, the best time to find a great deal from Aspen Lakes is now.

To shop for a favorite golfer, the close of the peak golf season often marks the beginning of some of the best deals of the year for both golf gear and equipment. That is certainly the case here at Aspen Lakes.

Aspen Lakes has discounted all of its apparel 20 percent, including golf shoes and logo polo shirts. That includes gear by many of the biggest names in golf, such as Nike and Adidas. More than that, golf equipment is marked down to at least 25 percent, and sometimes even more.

This is all in addition to Aspen Lakes’ clearance rack, which offers even steeper discounts for items such as logo shirts and shorts.

“There is no doubt that if you are a bargain shopper, now is an excellent time to buy,” said Rob Malone, director of golf at Aspen Lakes. “Whether shopping for a Christmas gift or just to stock up for the 2017 golf season, our fall clearance sale typically offers some of the best deals of the year.”

Speaking of the Christmas season, Aspen Lakes will soon offer a discount on golf, too. Beginning after Thanksgiving, Aspen Lakes will again offer its $55 gift card good for one round played anytime of the year ($68 with cart), including during the peak golf season.

In 2016, the peak summer rate at Aspen Lakes, a favorite among golfers in the state of Oregon, was $78.

“The annual gift card sale has really become a tradition onto itself,” Malone said. “It does make sense for gift-givers. The card locks in a low price for golf played literally any time of the year, and every golfer appreciates the gift of golf itself.”

The pro shop is open daily for much of November. After that it will be open Thursday through Sunday.

For more information: call 541-549-GOLF or visit www.aspenlakes.com.

 

Aspen Lakes’s canned food drive asks golfers to donate to area food banks in exchange for cheaper green fees

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Annual event has raised an average of 2,200 pounds of food per year to support Central Oregon food banks and charities

Aspen Lakes Golf Course will tee off its annual canned food drive on Wednesday, Oct. 19, and golfers will be in line for a significant discount of their green fees. The proceeds will support various Central Oregon charities and food banks.

Each year Aspen Lakes asks golfers to donate at least three cans of nonperishable, unexpired food in exchange for a discounted 18-hole green fee of $30 and nine-hole fee of $20 (cart rental is not included). The 18-hole rate represents an $18-per-round discount of Aspen Lakes’ regular rate. The food Aspen Lakes collects is then donated in time for the holiday season.

The program, which was started by Aspen Lakes nearly 10 years ago, has been a successful one. Since its inception, Aspen Lakes has been able to donate an average of 2,200 pounds of food each year.

“The canned food drive has been one of our favorite ways to help area families in need,” said Pam Mitchell, co-owner of the family-owned golf facility in Sisters. “We take great pride in being able to collect all that food and then donate it to worthy food banks and charities. And the added bonus is that we get to offer Aspen Lakes’ golfers a great deal to play.”

The canned food drive will last into November. The Bethlehem Inn in Bend, Sisters Food Bank, and food banks in both Bend and Redmond will be beneficiaries this year.

To book a tee time, call 541-549-GOLF or book online at www.aspenlakes.com.

Perfect storm of fantastic golf on the horizon at Aspen Lakes

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Already in excellent condition, fall rates are now on the horizon

Within each Aspen Lakes golf season comes a sweet spot. A time when peak golf conditions, smaller crowds, fantastically mild weather, and budget-friendly fall rates come together to create a perfect storm of great golf.

By the fall, Aspen Lakes’ peak conditions have been around for months. But now the summer tourist season is a memory. And sunny, pleasant weather is the norm. Beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 12, fall rates kick in, too, creating a narrow window that lasts until the weather turns.

“There really is no better time of the year to come out and play than right now,” said Rob Malone, director of golf for Aspen Lakes. “This is the time of year when we see a lot of local players, because they know well just how good this part of the season can be for golf.”

One of the values of fall golf comes with the adjustment of what constitutes prime time. In the summer, the mornings are the most desirable tee times, obviously as a way to beat the summer heat.

The fall is different though. With cooler overnight temperatures, the afternoons become more prized with highs that average in the high 60s this time of year.

That syncs well with our rates, which drop by $10 at 1 p.m. and another $16 after 3 p.m.

“I love playing in the afternoons in fall,” Malone said. “The weather is typically great, and the course is at its most beautiful as evening begins to approach. It is a really peaceful time to be out here.”

Aerification, a process that is critical to the long-term health of the turf, of Aspen Lakes greens begins on Oct. 17. Despite its importance to the golf course, the term “aerification” can send chills up the spine of a fall golfer.

But golfers can rest assured that the aerification process at Aspen Lakes is far less obtrusive than it once was.

The Aspen Lakes maintenance staff punches much smaller holes, making the holes less noticeable and more playable when the greens reopen. Plus, the staff now uses a drag brush, which allows the maintenance crew to use less sand to top dress the greens and apply it more evenly than a more conventional metal drag.

Finally, the staff will roll the greens and irrigate well to get the sand into the punched holes and smooth the surfaces.

“Our aerification process is about as nonintrusive as you can get,” said Josh Knapp, superintendent at Aspen Lakes Golf Course. “We always try hard to balance the needs of the turf with the playability of the golf course.”

Aspen Lakes will remain on summer rates through Oct. 11. Beginning Oct. 12, primetime green fees will drop to $48 per round, which is a $30 discount off of Aspen Lakes’ prime summer rates. Nine holes can be played for $28. (Prices do not include cart or GolfBoard rentals.)

To book a tee time, call 541-549-GOLF or book online at www.aspenlakes.com.

 

Conditions report: Aspen Lakes expected to be in peak golf shape at least through September

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Greens at Aspen Lakes won’t be aerified until Oct. 17,
leaving smooth surfaces for weeks to come

With less than two weeks before summer officially ends, the march to fall is upon us here in Central Oregon. But you might not notice it by gazing at Aspen Lakes Golf Course.

At Aspen Lakes, the turf is emerald green and the firm and fast conditions are optimal for golf. And the best news is that the course will be that way for the foreseeable future.

“It is in pretty great condition,” said Josh Knapp, the superintendent for Aspen Lakes Golf Course. “We are at the point that we can safely say that we will make it through the season really well. We are in the last month of play and I expect us to be in peak condition through September and beyond.”

The conditions are so good that the Aspen Lakes maintenance crew has decided to hold off on aerating the greens until Oct. 17, allowing the bulk of the season play out with smooth putting surfaces.

“Right now we are not going to think of putting anything to bed,” Knapp said. “After the Pacific Amateur Golf Classic next week we will start thinking about winterizing more. But until then, overall, we will be in really good condition.”

That is not to say that the seasonably mild weather has not changed the maintenance practices.  Chief among those changes is that the staff has cut back water usage by a significant amount. In fact, Thursday marked the first course watering in nine days.

That made a noticeable impact on the playability of the golf course.

“It really firmed up the golf course and gave it those firm and fast conditions that every golfer seems to want,” Knapp said. “It made the course more playable.”

Of course, firm and fast applies to the greens, too. In fact, at one point last week the greens were so quick that they were nearly rolling at a speedy 13 on the Stimpmeter. Since, the greens have been throttled down a touch, Knapp said.

The pace of the greens are a sign of health and an inevitable result of the maintenance staff’s ongoing program to improve turf condition, especially on the putting surfaces. That program include tighter mowing, rolling the greens every day during the summer months, and the regular use of a drag brush.

“The greens certainly create a lasting impression,” Knapp said. “Really, we have been getting a lot of compliments.”

The uninformed may think the golf season ends after Labor Day, but the savviest among us know that September really is the best month of the year to play Aspen Lakes. And we have the peak conditioning to prove it.

Don’t let the finale of the golf season pass by without a trip to Aspen Lakes. To book a tee time, call 541-549-GOLF or book online at www.aspenlakes.com.

 

Sunset Serenades coming to Aspen Lakes

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First free concert is Sunday with swing band The Notables

Everybody loves an exceptional after-round experience. Whether it’s grabbing an exquisite bite to eat at our Brand 33 restaurant or simply sharing a drink with friends, Aspen Lakes certainly has the 19th hole covered.

Every once in awhile during the summer we try do something a little more special with our Sunset Serenades. The first of the season is set for Sunday, July 17, when area swing band The Notables perform from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the deck of the Aspen Lakes clubhouse.

Also scheduled is David Cooley from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21

The Sunset Serenades are free to all. And each is always a show to remember.

For more information, call 541-549-GOLF or visit www.aspenlakes.com.

 

Aspen Lakes committed to making golf fun for all

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Community Fun League, Sip and Chip are just two examples of ways Aspen Lakes is trying to make golf even more enjoyable

After a four-putt or shanked tee shot, it can be so easy to forget that golf is supposed to be fun.

This game can be a frustrating one, no doubt. But we should never lose sight of the fact that golf is meant to be enjoyed by all who venture to play this ancient game.

Still, a simple Google search will reveal an almost endless effort to make golf more fun. Heck, the Golf Channel launched an ongoing Relaxed Rules series aimed at helping golfers to take it easy and have a better time while on the golf course.

Aspen Lakes wants to do its part, too.

“Without question, we want to broaden the appeal of golf,” says Rob Malone, director of golf at Aspen Lakes. “We want folks to not think of an old stodgy golfer when they think of the game. We want them to think of golf as it should be thought of: a fun game for nearly all to enjoy.”

Up first is Aspen Lakes’ Community Fun League, which will be back for its second year after an incredibly successful inaugural run.

What is it? Well, every Wednesday at 5 p.m. from June 8 through Aug. 24, everyone is invited to share nine holes of golf in a pressure-free, four-person scramble. (Nobody will be turned away, even if they have a smaller or larger team!)

What makes the league special is in its rather loose interpretation of the rules.

“It’s OK to do whatever you want,” said Howie Pruitt, Aspen Lakes’ director of player development. “If you don’t want to hit out of the woods, kick it out. If you hit in the bunker and don’t want to hit it out of the bunker, throw it out. For people who come out, particularly beginners, I want them to enjoy the game and not be intimidated by the rules.”

The success of the first year is hard to ignore. Every Wednesday evening last summer the course would fill with fun-loving golfers who would just as soon not worry about the formalities of the game. It was golf for golf’s sake, and it was undeniably fun.

This is precisely why Aspen Lakes wants to do it again.

“We were really encouraged by it last year, and I think this year will be even better,” Pruitt said. “There is no doubt that this a fun way to play golf.”

Best of all, the tournaments are inexpensive. The cost is just $20 per player to join a team, and each player pays a reduced green fee of $25 (including cart!). Sign up at Sisters Park and Recreation District.

Chip and Sip, Better Golf/Better Beer

Aspen Lakes has other ideas, too. New this year will be two regular events combining two of Central Oregon favorites: golf and an adult beverage.

The first is an instructional event with Howie named Better Golf/Better Beer. On five Mondays this summer (June 13 and 27, July 11 and 25, and Aug. 15) from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Howie will offer a 45-minute instructional clinic. The clinic will then be followed by a beer tasting.

What better way to learn the game?

On June 30, July 28, and Aug. 25, Aspen Lakes will host a nine-hole scramble for couples named the Chip and Sip. Couples will tee off on each hole from tees placed 40 to 50 yards from the green. That’s the chip. The sip comes after in the grill with libations and prizes.

Each event tees off at 4:30 p.m. and costs $30 per couple, including cart.

Sign up for the Chip and Sip and Better Golf/Better Beer at Sisters Park and Recreation District.

A fun hole at a great tournament for an even better cause

The annual Golfing for the Guard Tournament is set to tee off on Friday, May 27. And this is no ordinary golf tournament.

One hole will be a bit special. Golfers can play a hole using anything they want — hockey stick, football or foot wedge — so long as they don’t use a golf club. More than that, there will be complimentary tastes of North Rim Brewing, breakfast from Brewed Awakenings and lunch from newly opened Our Place.

The cost is just $89. Register as a team or individual at www.GolfingfortheGuard.us.

It’s all in great fun.

Call the Aspen Lakes pro shop at 541-549-4653 for more information. To book a tee time call the golf shop or book online.