Ryan Sparks
Curry Coastal Pilot

Cedar Bend Golf Course president Gil Davis has been working hard the past few years to improve all aspects of the now 44-year-old course; and the fruits of his labor are beginning to show.

Davis and clubhouse general manager Shawna Webster have overseen several renovations and projects aimed at improving both the way the course plays, the infrastructure and clubhouse experience in the hopes to get people excited about golf.

"It's been an interesting two years," said Davis, who was voted president in 2012. "It's a friendly little outfit and the price is very good for the value that you get."

The nine hole, 60 acre course plays like an 18-hole course due to its double tees and several par-4 and par-5 holes that, unlike most other nine hole courses, require a golfer to carry their full compliment of clubs in their bag.

The improvements to the course are varied and notable. Fairways have been extended and cut shorter, meaning more drives will be in play and golfers could gain an extra 20-30 yards off the tee, especially under a warm summer sun that will stiffen the turf. Greens have also been cut shorter to increase a ball's run to the cup, or the fringe. A new sand trap has been added near the 6/15 green, making approach shots all the more difficult. Additional trees have been planted in certain spots along fairways to extend treelines, meaning golfers have more to consider if they mishit a tee shot and end up in the forest.

Other improvements to the course include changes and renovations to the infrastructure. Damaged pipes have been fixed and/or replaced. A pump house has been relocated to better service course needs for natural irrigation. Woodchips now line outlying areas and act as a weed repellent. Root balls from cut down trees have been placed in waterways so fish swimming in the creeks have natural habitat and protection. All of these improvements have been done in accordance with OFDW, which inspected the course after a winter storm caused floodinga few years ago.

Another area in which the course has seen improvements in is the clubhouse. A new barbecue pit has been installed and new, all-natural wood picnic benches provide seating on the outdoor deck.

The improvements are the result of a long process of renovation that is due largely to the work of volunteers. Bud Guinn, a volunteer who has designed course changes, added the sand bunker to hole 6/15 and is the mastermind behind course changes.

"Bud does a lot of research and encourages feedback and suggestions," said Webster regarding Guinn's techniques.

Gold Beach businessman Bill McNair volunteered back in 2010 and has worked to overhaul the club's operations.

"Basically, for lack of a better word, he gutted it," exclaimed Webster. "He got the course back to where it should be. He got it back to solvent because we were heading under real quick."

The changes are being noticed by local golfers, as the club has added eight new members in the past month alone.

""The fairways are rolling much faster now," said Shane Roberts, who played on Gold Beach High School's golf team that went to the state finals this past season. "I'm getting up to and extra 20-yards on some shots. The greens also play faster now and have more run to them."

The improvements couldn't be more timely, as the United States Golf Association will be re-handicapping the course in late June.

Cedar Bend is also offering incentives to bring in more local golfers. Until August 2, they are waiving the $250 initiation fee for new members. They are also hosting more events, such a couple's league dubbed, "Friday Night Fights" that will be starting soon, both women's and men's leagues and tournaments such as, "The Tin Cup," beginning today at 9:30 a.m.

For more information contact the Cedar Bend Golf Course at 541-247-6911 or visit their website at http://www.cedarbendgolf.com/. Also view them on Facebook at Cedar Bend Golf Course.