Roseburg, Ore. -- When you drive up to Bar Run Golf Course, nothing about it screams "destination course". At least not yet. But give golf course designer Dan Hixson some time.
"Holes kind of moved on paper back and forth trying to fit them in there," says Hixson, who has designed courses like Wine Valley and Bandon Crossings. "There's a golf course in here but I didn't think it would be so beautiful."
The course, set to fully open in the summer of 2022, has 10 holes available to play right now. With construction still ongoing, Bar Run decided they'd be different and try something somewhat unique to golf courses: essentially a soft launch. Golfers and recreation enthusiasts can reserve a limited space to play the first 10 holes and be treated to some food and drink for an afternoon as a means of previewing what Bar Run will offer.
So yes, while the drive up may not scream Augusta National just yet, golfers realize the vision when they actually step up to the first tee box. And the reviews have matched their hope for the course.
"We're delighted, the owners are very excited about that and even it's been a surprise. You kinda wait for someone to say some bad stuff and it hasn't happened."
Built on a sand and gravel mine near the South Umpqua River, the golf course is part of a land reclamation project that will now become a public resource.
"It's really fun to work with the owners and the other people working on the course to sort of have the confidence in ourself that we can figure it out," says Hixson. "That's always rewarding and the best part of what we do."
The full course is expected to be open in the summer of 2022 but in the meantime Bar Run serves as another opportunity for golfers all over the area to have another course to play and a chance for new folks to get into the game too.
"This is unique in that it would appeal to people in the Valley, it would appeal to people south of here, it appeals to I-5 and travelers and when the RV park comes in that will hold a whole new element. I hope the regular golfers are experiencing that it doesn't have to be a 200 dollar green fee golf course to still have interesting design."