Sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing keep members busy
By Yoko Minoura
The dramatic topography of Tetherow’s golf course is part of the reason it’s known nationwide among golfers looking for a true links-style experience.
But for a certain number of locals, those features are their best under a layer fresh powder.
Although 10-year-old Harper Allen said he’s gone sledding on the golf course “a ton,” he and his friend Kellen Rather, also 10, hit the golf course on a sunny December morning shortly before Christmas to hone their skills on freestyle skis.
“It’s fun skiing on the golf course, ’cause there’s all these rolling hills,” Harper said. “(There are) small jumps, so you can’t get hurt as easy.” Both he and Kellen sported helmets that day.
Kellen added that he liked being able to ski without needing a pass or having to wait in line, even if they did have to hike back up after each run.
“Sometimes it’s fun not to ski at the mountain,” he said.
While it has never been advertised as a snow play area, Harper and Kellen are far from the only ones to hit the “slopes” at Tetherow. Enough sledders use the course in the winter that signs with maps are posted on the course, showing the areas where sledding is allowed and advising riders to proceed at their own risk.
Sledding from the practice range, directly behind the clubhouse, is no longer allowed, according to Assistant Operations and Membership Manager Meghann Griffiths. Instead, people should use areas to the east, past the Golf Academy building, or west, toward Skyline Ranch Road.
“We renovated the whole range, and it created a lot steeper of a hill, and there’s also a lot of exposed rocks now,” she explained. “We did allow sledding in that area before, but since the renovation the terrain is completely different.”
Griffiths was quick to add that Tetherow encourages people to enjoy the course in winter, as long as they remain safe.
“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “It’s another activity we can offer, especially in the winter when we don’t have the course open.”
On another December morning, David Eddleston – who works summers as a Tetherow ambassador – donned snowshoes and hiked roughly five holes with his wife and a couple friends.
He called it a “reconnaissance tour,” to check out the condition of the snow and its suitability for snowshoeing.
“We just wanted to see what it was like, to see if we want to encourage members or outside guests” to hike the course, he said. “It’s just a great place to go skiing and snowshoeing.”
Course maintenance staff have requested that, to preserve the turfgrass under the snow, skiers and snowshoers should try to stick to the cart paths as best they can. Eddleston pointed out that you can hardly get lost on the golf course. At the same time, you can also enjoy solitude that can be hard to find at Mt. Bachelor or other popular winter recreation spots.
Both he and Griffiths added that it’s also hard to beat apres ski at Tetherow.
“One of the good things about snowshoeing here is when you finish up, you can get into The Row,” Eddleston said.
Griffiths noted that sometimes parents will take a cocktail to the windows in the Fireside lounge area, where they can relax and keep an eye on their children outside at the same time. Staff in both restaurants take notice, too.
“When we have sledders out there, we make a big pot of hot chocolate, because we know it’s coming, the rush,” she said.
“I just think it’s really cool, especially during the holidays,” she said. “You come to a packed (clubhouse) with kids in their snow clothes, drinking hot chocolate.”