Developing a golf course punctuated by 18 greens takes patience. It's a bit like playing the game itself: Stay on the fairway and sink your putts, chances are you'll break par.
Eagle Point Golf Course has been on the leader board for much of its 21-year existence, crowned by its signature 16th hole.
It's taken a while for the surrounding ambiance envisioned by designer Robert Trent Jones Jr., to come to fruition. But owners Bob and Chana Hyer have meticulously moved forward since acquiring the 7,099-yard course four years ago.
The most recent addition to the golf course are three four-unit chalets off the ninth green. The project, which broke ground last November, saw its first overnight visitors in August. While the rooms are filled with art and touches of luxury, the exterior remains a work in progress. In anticipation of Friday's 5 to 7 p.m. open house, crews were hydroseeding the front lawn Tuesday.
"For the first time in 100 years, we have lodging in Eagle Point and people are coming from all over," Bob Hyer said. "It's panning out that people want a place to stay here, and we've kind of created a destination and made it a bit more like a resort than just a golf course."
Two more chalets of the same nature were approved, but the Hyers have elected to keep open space between the lodges and entryway. Another site, to the west of the entry drive, will likely take on a different character and be limited to a single story.
"We wanted to create a little bit of the Bend feel, so we designed rooms to accommodate families and groups of golfers," Hyer said. "As a businessman I'm watching to see how these book out, and they're doing pretty well. But I won't be able to make that decision until we get through the winter months."
Still a ways into the future is a lodge, right where the course designer thought it should sit years ago. The two-story, 24-unit building will stand between the parking lot and 10th green with views overlooking the 16th green.
"The way the land slopes, we're going to be able to create a ballroom/event center down on the lower level," Hyer said.
Hyer desired to attract golfers in from Bend, Eugene and points north.
"All the places that when it gets so wet up there that they close their course," he said. "Our course is probably the best-draining course in the Northwest. When those courses are shut down, I plan on having people come down here.
Now they have a place to play and a base to explore the Rogue Valley. He anticipated neighbors would find the chalets convenient on holidays, but was pleasantly surprised to see who else booked rooms.
"All these people around the neighborhood have family they want to come here, but they don't want them sleeping on the living-room floor," Hyer said. "We've already got several rooms booked out for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That was a little more of a surprise.
"We're having couples coming in that aren't even golfers," he said. "They're going to Expedia.com and see the sights and pictures, and booking rooms. We've had two couples separately from Wales, another from Scotland and one from Israel."
More expected are Californians using the chalet as a base camp while they look for a house.
"Baby boomers retiring out of California are looking for a better lifestyle with a lower cost of living," Hyer said. "They're coming up and staying here and going to look at homes during the day.
Out back, a garden area features a large propane fire pit where guests can gather. The area is separated from the cart path by a metal fence, but errant approach shots can land behind the lodge. Hyer said only two shots have skipped past the green so far.
The nightly rates begin at $149 for a king-size bed and $199 for two beds.
"I've probably got it priced lower than it should be, based on the kind of rooms and the resort feel we have," he said. "But I wanted it to be competitive with other places in town."
— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.