When all was said and done, it took 2,390 suggestions and contest entries to bring Dan Hixson’s latest Oregon golf project full circle — giving it a name and identity that had been suggested long before the Name Our Course Sweepstakes was launched. Here is the story behind Bar Run Golf, and why the Guido family chose the name (literally, it was one of the sons, Wes, who first pitched the idea) for their new golf course in Roseburg, Oregon, just minutes off busy Interstate 5:
“Once upon a time, this little pocket of the American West was covered by the South Umpqua River, which now serves as the northern border of the golf course along the 8th, 10th and 11th holes. Back when Umpqua Sand & Gravel opened for business in the 1960s, our objective was to mine the leftover land’s “river bar” layer for round rock, sand and gravel.
And we’ve been digging ever since.
The “Bar Run” is our pay dirt. It gets excavated, washed and sifted into various materials used in construction, agriculture, landscaping and numerous other industries, including golf course development. Simply put, the “Bar Run” built this golf course, both literally and financially. That’s why we chose it as our namesake — a tip of the hard hat to our geological history and a business truly built from the ground up.
It’s the foundation for everything we do at Umpqua Sand & Gravel — and everything we’re building for the future. In fact, golfers will often get a glimpse into the daily mining operations still chugging away beyond the fairways and greens.
Of course, if you want to interpret “Bar Run” as your own personal “run to the bar” after a round or two (or three) … we’re cool with that, too. We’ll have a tasty beverage waiting for you. Welcome to the Bar Run.”
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More Preview Play Winners
But what about the contest winner, you ask? Well, even though there was no winner of the Grand Prize, Bar Run doesn’t want everyone to go away empty-handed. In addition to the Two-Day Preview Play Foursome that was originally planned as a giveaway for one lucky winner who participated in the Sweepstakes or followed the @NameOurCourse (now @BarRunGolf) accounts on Twitter and Instagram, they are now giving away five more One-Day Preview Play Foursomes this summer.
Here’s how they determined the winners. The Two-Day Preview Play was chosen from everyone who participated or followed during the Sweepstakes period. And then two of the One-Day Preview Plays were chosen from social media and two more were chosen at random from the Sweepstakes Entries list. And one final One-Day Preview Play was chosen from among the participants who made “the short list” final cut before Bar Run was chosen — and from those, a winner was randomly chosen.
All of which resulted in a list of winners who will be contacted individually over the next week with details about how to redeem their Preview Play Foursomes this summer once the 10 holes open in July. Scroll down to the list at the bottom of this story to see if you’re a winner.
The Bad, Funny and Not-So-Funny
With nearly 2,400 suggestions, there were bound to be studs and duds. If you wonder why your name wasn’t chosen, here are a few reasons:
Any name with Callahan Ridge in it was immediately tossed out since finding a better name than that was the purpose of the contest in the first place — and really any “Ridge” suggestion didn’t make the cut because the mine is located in a lower elevation, not timber-lined terrain. In fact, that’s why no names with “Timber” were considered either.
Suggestions with Umpqua in them — while appropriate because of the river that runs alongside the property — were discarded because another “Umpqua Golf Resort” already exists. Cow Creek was a popular suggestion because of the Tribal Nation in the area, but that comes with legal repercussions. Same for the possibilities of using “Roseburg” itself or any form of “Rose” in the name – plus, neither of those seemed to set the project apart enough.
Many went with mining themes but didn’t pay attention to the type of mine described. There’s no gold mining, so those names failed to hit paydirt. And the variety of rock “crushing” and “cutting” and other forms of positive destruction, while very cool-sounding, didn’t exactly capture what Umpqua Sand & Gravel actually does. Same for Powder Keg, which was an explosive suggestion.
And then, of course, there were the plain silly and slightly suggestive entries — Sausage Links, Glory Hole, Mounds of Glory, Caddyshaft, Terminus (not sure if that was a Walking Dead reference) and lots of Beavers. A few embraced a Flintstones motif with names like Bedrock or Yabba Dabba Dunes. There was the political contingent with Jefferson State and Make Golf Fun Again (and, surprisingly, only one anti-Trump name we can’t print here). And then a handful of participants went to dark places with suggestions such as Hemlock Sands (named after trees, we were told), Heaven’s Gate, Gravestone and Perdition. And some just wanted to name the course after other entertainment they apparently enjoy, like the movie The Prestige, the restaurant Sizzler and existing golf courses such as Pebble Beach and even the St. Andrews New Course.
And for the many who offered up examples of naming the course after the architect himself, Dan Hixson thanks you for your allegiance but respectfully declined. Meanwhile, a few truly creative crazy names really caught the eye of the judges — Green Gopher, Bumpy Magee, Paul Bunyan’s Sandbox and Captain Pegleg. And, of course, there were more than a few variations of Coursey McCourse as is to be expected with a crowdsourcing endeavor such as this.
But it wasn’t all bad, funny and silly. Steelhead Quarry received strong consideration but slipped off the hook because the mine isn’t actually a quarry. Miners Maze was one of the more original names that nearly got the nod (and we at Golf Trip Experts believe a golf course somehow, somewhere should use “Maze” in its name). Gravel Soul Golf Club was one of the more, well, soulful suggestions. And there were numerous usages of “Rock” and “Stone” and “Run” — sometimes used together. Stonecraft, Stonecrusher and Cut Rock were high on the list, as were Old Rock, Smugglers Run, Broken Stone, Stones Throw and Steamshovel. And other top “Mine” entries included The Mine Field, Minewaters, Minebender, Miners Crossing, Miners Camp and the Old Mine Club. Reclamation Golf Club was another popular suggestion that resulted in victory for one of the Preview Play winners.
“It was a fun process asking the public — golfers all across the country — to help us name the course,” Hixson says. “And we’re thankful to every person who took the time to participate and get what is now Bar Run off to a fun start. And even though we didn’t use one of these suggestions to name the actual course, you never know, we might revisit the list when we start naming individual golf holes.”
What’s Next for Bar Run?
The team is currently working to launch a website (BarRunGolf.com) as well as a few logo options (one with a nod to the mining operation and another more playful version for those who love a good pint after the round). Preview Play on the completed 10 holes is expected to begin in July (opening date to be announced soon). For at least the first three months, a maximum of 10 foursomes will be allowed on property each day for all-day golf (and limited food and beverage) for an all-inclusive price. Bar Run will begin building an online interest list as soon as the website is launched, and pre-paid Preview Play reservations will be taken in June (in the order of interest inquiries received). If you have more questions about Preview Play or the Bar Run Experience, DM their social-media accounts @BarRunGolf on Twitter and Instagram.
2-Day Preview Play Foursome: Laura Chen of Springfield, Oregon
1-Day Preview Play Foursome (Twitter): Bogey Crew @stagg206 of Seattle, Washington
1-Day Preview Play Foursome (Instagram): Derick Smith of Oregon
1-Day Preview Play Foursome: Brian Keller of Richmond, Virginia
1-Day Preview Play Foursome: Steven Culver of Madison, Maryland
1-Day Preview Play Foursome: (Short List): David Radcliffe of Eagle, Idaho
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Darin Bunch is Managing Editor of GolfTripX but also serves as Marketing and Operations consultant for Bar Run and other golf projects, including Rams Hill Golf Club in Southern California and the upcoming Pacific Gales in Port Orford, Oregon. You can also hear him on the “Talking GolfGetaways” podcast, which he co-hosts with Mitch Laurance on iTunes, Audioboom and at GolfTripX.com.