On the golf course, a shift in the wind can lead to a bogey, double-bogey, or worse.
In the golf course industry, a shift in the economy can lead to fewer rounds, slow days, or worse.
But like a good player, some Central Oregon golf courses are adjusting -- and thriving -- through the changing conditions.
"I think what we've been through the last three years has been a painful experience. But I think it's also an experience that's showed us that it's necessary to open your doors to everybody," said Tetherow Golf Club GM Christian Van Der Velde.
Tetherow on Bend's Westside opened with its sights set on an exclusive resort experience.
But as the economy continued to struggle, membership declined, and it became clear the housing and hotel components were falling behind schedule.
Tee times reserved for hotel guests have been open to the general public -- because the hotel hasn't been built.
And the course needed to generate revenue.
"Our members appreciate the fact that in this down economy, or in the whole golf sector going forward, that you're going to need outside play," van der Velde said, "whether it be in the form of resort guests or pure public play, to offset some of the losses you're seeing in the demographic with members."
Pronghorn Golf Club and Resort's plans have changed too.
It opened north of Bend in 2004, hoping to become a more upscale and exclusive version of Sunriver -- and the recent purchase by a five-star lodging management firm bear that out.
But like Tetherow, the resort side has yet to meet expectations, forcing a new strategy.
"Part of our marketing and PR efforts over the last two years has been to showcase the resort component of Pronghorn," said GM Spencer Schaub.
The transformation hasn't gone unnoticed.
Golf Magazine this month named Pronghorn the No. 1 "Private Course You Can Play" -- putting it with six other exclusive clubs that have opened their doors as the economy has squeezed people's wallets shut.
"When you have a property like this, you know, we want to showcase it," Schaub said. "When you have more activity at your club, that breeds more activities."
Officials at both courses acknowledge the unfulfilled real estate development goals outlined in their initial master plans -- plans county leaders still plan to hold them to.
In the meantime, the housing and lodging bust has created new opportunities for golfers.
"The one line I like to use is, 'The gates are open,' Schaub said. "We highly encourage daily fee and resort business to come to Pronghorn. And you never know -- I mean, some of those individuals may find that they want Pronghorn to be their home for the future."
Both clubs are among the top 100 courses in the country, and offer pretty unique private club experiences. But it does come with a price.
A round at Tetherow, for example, costs $175 during the summer, $100 for locals
Pronghorn's Tom Fazio-designed course remains private, but the public can play the Jack Nicklaus Signature course for $199, plus a tip for your caddy.