[Portions of this post are repeated in the other courses making up the Bandon complex: Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, Old Macdonald, Sheep Ranch, Bandon Preserve, and Shorty’s]
Bandon Dunes is the original 18-hole public course that is part of the Bandon Dunes complex on the Southern Oregon Coast. Stunningly beautiful, very well-maintained, internationally recognized course with amazing ocean views. As true a links experience as one can get without being in Scotland. Bandon Dunes has very open, undulating fairways dotted with traps (and one gaping chasm). Generally open fairways and well-positioned multiple tee boxes allow comfortable play for all skill levels. When it is not pouring rain and/or blowing 30 plus miles an hour (which would make it an even greater links experience), it would be difficult to overstate the beauty and quality of the course. It is a wonderful walk.
Built in 1999. Lots of awards since then as one of the best places to play in the country, if not the world (in 2019 it was 7th on Golf Digest’s Greatest Public Courses in the country and the 2nd best course in Oregon; in 2021 it was 37th on Golf Digest’s list of America’s Greatest Golf Courses). Also a host for many state and national events including the 2002 and 209 Oregon Amateur, the 2009 and 2012 Pacific Coast Amateur, the 2000 Hudson Cup, the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur, and the 2020 U.S. Amateur. And, of course, the 2012 Speedgolf World Championship.
Mike Keiser wanted to build a world class golf course and resort. A great resource for the history of the Bandon complex is Dream Golf, The Making of Bandon Dunes, by Stephen Goodwin.
I Wish I would Have Known Before I played
If you have not played before, favor using your putter (or fairway wood as a putter) from as far as 100 yards out. On No. 10, a short par 4, the advantage of going way left is so you can use the mound to the right of the green to gather the ball to the green.
Did You Know
As you approach the 10th green, there is a shore pine to the right of the fairway. Back in the day, there was a box with a distilled alcoholic beverage to be used only if your shot was that bad or if it was your birthday (or if the weather was really bad). This box may or may not exist anymore. Also, the par 4 4th Hole was named in 2017 by the OGA as one of the most interesting golf holes in the state.
Good For Them
Lots. Received an award as one of the Best Green Workplaces 2016 by Oregon Business. The resort won the 2012 Golf Digest’s Green Star Award for its efforts in conservation and environmental protection. The Director of Agronomy, Ken Nice, received an award in 2017 from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America as an environmental leader in the Resort Course Category for overall course management practices in the areas of water conservation, water quality management, energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, and wildlife and habitat conservation. The complex is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Teaching host course for Southwestern Oregon Community College and Bandon High School. Evans Scholarship participant course. Historically, complementary junior clinics have been conducted by Scott Millhouse, head pro at Bandon Trails.
Links magazine recently described the Bandon Dunes complex as one of the “no-brainer” golf resorts in the world that you have to travel to and play regardless of the cost (along with Pinehurst, Pebble, Kiawah, and St. Andrews). I agree. It can be very expensive (try winter), and the weather can seriously alter your approach (but not necessarily ruin your day), but the amazing location, the design and upkeep of the wonderful courses, and the positive outlook and attitude of everyone who works there makes the course and the resort something you have to experience at least once.
- Type: 18 hole public course
- Price: $$$$$
- Phone/webpage: (541)347-4380/www.bandondunesgolf.com
- Address: 57744 Round Lake Road, Bandon, Oregon 97471
- Owner: Bandon Dunes, LP
- Designer: David McLay Kidd
- Pros: Jake Sestro (PGA)
- Practice Facilities: There is a putting green off the first tee, but the complex has a very impressive practice facility: 2 driving ranges, sand and chipping areaS, and large putting green
- Pro Shop: Good sized with some equipment and lots of clothing (and rain gear)
- Food: Full service restaurant, full service bar (both looking out to the 18th hole), and a snack bar close to the first tee
- Bathrooms: Improved in clubhouse and on course
- Yardage Markers: All over in ground; pin placement on a rotating zone system
- Clothing: Proper golf attire
- Walkable: Very
- Spikes: Soft
- Shoe Cleaning: Brushes
- Rentals: Clubs and pull carts; motorized carts are discouraged but can be arranged
- Open year round
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