By Bart Potter
If I ever wanted to exercise my right to be truly golf-deranged, I know the guy who can set up my five-day 18-36-36-36-18 road trip.
He’s in Bend, Ore., and he’s got 22 golf courses and the Central Oregon high desert at his fingertips. This means he knows where to hang when we’re done playing golf, and where to tuck ourselves in early before the next long day.
His proper title might be operations manager, but Tommy Berg answers most often to “concierge.” His domain is the Central Oregon Golf Trail (www.centraloregongolftrail.com), and he’s the man to see to design a golf-and-lodging package to your specs, no charge, thanks for coming.
Your concierge can make the tee times for your single round at, say, Crooked River Ranch on your way to town and your getaway round at Juniper, if you like, on your way home.
He’ll book you for 36 holes at Tetherow, because he knows it’s especially rewarding the second time around.
He’ll get you on one course in the morning and another in the afternoon, if that’s what you want, and he’ll make sure you know where to grab a bite in between. He’ll recommend the courses a scratch player should not miss; he’ll steer average golfers to the courses that won’t beat ’em up.
“We have 22 golf courses, and there’s not a course that somebody would play and not enjoy it,” Berg said. “I can fill any itinerary with our golf courses.”
Berg, 32, is a Kelso, Wash., kid who learned to play at Three Rivers Golf Course in his hometown. He’s a credentialed PGA professional, and he’s worked as a pro at Widgi Creek and Awbrey Glen (both Golf Trail courses) and at Seattle Golf Club when his wife was in physical therapy school at the University of Washington.
He came back to Bend to start his own golf concierge business. Now, he does that work for the Central Oregon Golf Trail, which was created in February 2010.
Berg is fluent in Central Oregon. He knows which locally crafted beers to seek out among the seven brewpubs in the region. He’ll book your lift ticket when you skip the morning round and ski instead. He’ll point you to family-friendly bicycle loops or hardcore mountain bike trails.
More than anything else, Berg knows the golf disease. He understands there are some symptoms that can only be soothed by an 18-36-36-36-18.