What makes this inventive 18-hole putting course unlike any other

silvies valley ranch putting course

There are many ways to go about your golf at Silvies Valley Ranch, a 140,000-acre ranch and eco-resort in eastern Oregon.

The property’s centerpiece is an 18-hole course designed by Dan Hixson that swoops up, down and around one edge of the valley. Its routing is reversible, which means just that. You can play it once, and then play it again in the other direction.

Silvies also has a 9-hole par-3 course that can challenge seasoned sticks without beating up beginners; and a 7-hole course, all par-3s and short par-4s, that rollicks over billy-goat terrain. We mean that literally. The course has a caddie program, and those caddies are goats.

Now, there’s more.

Last month, Silvies added to its portfolio of flexible options with another convention-busting venue: an 18-hole reversible putting course, believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

The course is named for Claire Owens, who is said to have been the first woman to play golf in Silvies Valley, more than 100 years ago.

Silvies Valley Ranch

Also designed by Hixson, the course winds around a lake and has water hazards on every hole. Its name is Claire’s Course, in honor of Claire Owens, a pioneering figure in the region who is said to have been the first woman to play golf in Silvies Valley, more than 100 years ago.

The course, which is free to resort guests, runs east to west, and west to east. The eastward-running routing is called Claire’s Course Black, and the westward routing is known as Claire’s Course west. Play them both in one outing, and the resort will anoint you as one of “Claire’s Champions,” an honor that comes with a Claire’s Course ball marker and the opportunity to sign an official ledger called “Book of Champions.”

If you can play both courses in a total of level par 72, you also get a hat and a horseshoe nail, a souvenir that looks a bit like a metal golf tee.

The course runs east to west, and west to east.

Silvies Valley Ranch

At the ribbon cutting for Claire’s Course, in early June, Silvies also announced the inaugural Claire Owens invitational, an on-property tournament aimed at celebrating female golfers. The second installation will be held next summer.

That gives you plenty of time to plan for a trip to Silvies — and to work on your putting stroke.

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