As one of the most iconic golf courses America has to offer, it’s the dream of many golfers to pay a visit to the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. However, if you are planning to go to this top-rated resort, there are some things you’ll need to know before you hit their multiple courses. We take a look at what makes this place such a haven for golfers and why it’s so hard to get into.
Any golfer worth his salt knows about Bandon Dunes. With a name that sounds part challenging and part mysterious, it’s on the bucket list of many golfers around the world. As well as being one of the most Instagrammed golf resorts on earth, there’s plenty more about it that makes it special.
The complex consists of six different courses spread out over the complex, and it’s located in Bandon, Oregon. The resort was established in 1999 and since its first development, it’s seen many additions to the once solo golf course that lived there.
Bandon Dunes is a place that most golfers dream about visiting, and it can be notoriously hard to get into. So, what makes it such a dream for golfers and if you’re lucky enough to be planning a visit, what are some things you need to know first? We’ll answer all of those questions and more in our guide to Bandon Dunes.
Where Is Bandon Dunes?
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is located in Coos County, which is just near Bandon, Oregon. This is one of America’s leading golf courses and although it started out with just one, there are now six courses that can be found in the resort for people to enjoy.
When the course was first opened on May 19, 1999, it featured just the Bandon Dunes links. Designed by a Scotsman named David McLay Kidd, it was an instant hit and received high praise from golfers and reviewers around the world.
In addition to offering a range of different courses to suit all types of golfers, there is also luxury accommodation at the resort. Guests will be treated to additional services like massages, a meditation space, bar and brewery, and an on-site golf teacher who can train you in all aspects of your swing.
The Different Courses of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Although it received plenty of praise just after its first course was unveiled, what makes Bandon Dunes so special is the sheer variety of courses that are available for players. Here is a little more about the six courses and what makes each of them unique.
1. Bandon Dunes
This was the very first course opened in 1999 and since its opening, it’s had some significant alterations. As this one of Kidd’s first attempts at making a golf course, he still had a way to go, but this is the perfect course for those looking for lower scores. It has forgiving landing areas, undulated green complexes, and more.
2. The Punchbowl
As the newest addition to Bandon Dunes, this one is getting the most play currently. This is a massive 100,000 square foot putting course with natural hollows throughout. With 18 holes, this one takes after the 18th hole at Old Macdonald which was also named ‘Punchbowl’. Designer Tom Doak and Jim Urbina wanted to expand on the design and give players something truly unique.
3. Bandon Preserve
Designed and built in 2012, this is another course that was the brainchild of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Bandon Preserver is a shorter course with just 3 par and 13 holes that suit those looking for a quick game in a picturesque setting.
4. Old Macdonald
Named after Jim Blair McDonald, this course was designed by Tim Doak and Jim Urbina. Opening in 2010, this course hasn’t been as popular as some of the newer additions but is still a regular favorite.
5. Bandon Trails
Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, this course opened in 2005. In a standalone design, this course doesn’t route along the Pacific Ocean like the others but rather moves through meadows, forests, and dunes. When it opened, it was named ‘The Best Place on the Planet for Golf’ by Golf Odyssey.
6. Pacific Dunes
This course opened on July 1, 2001, and was rated the number one course in America in 2005, by Golfweek magazine. Architect Tom Doak designed this course and became the highest rated on the property as soon as it opened.
What Makes This Place So Iconic?
- 1When scheduling your game at the Bandon Dunes course, experts suggest playing an afternoon round so that you can witness the sunset. It’s been regarded as one of the best sights ever seen while playing golf.
- 2Upon check-in, book your caddie and you’ll get to use them for your entire stay. However, some might want to go without, and that’s fine, but you will need one if you’re going to play at Old Macdonald.
- 3The most common game plan for visitors is a 36 hole day. This combines a mixture of 12 holes at Preserve and 18 elsewhere, or 18 and the Punchbowl.
- 4When playing at Old Macdonald, stick to a morning time tee off. The wind can get quite brutal and if you’re someone who avoids adverse conditions you’ll want to steer clear.
- 5Book your tee times well in advance of your planned trip. Many people need at least one year in advance to book their trip to ensure they get to play on each course.
- 6When you arrive, it’s worth your while to book a Links Lesson before you begin playing on any course. For just $50 you’ll be taught by Grant Rogers are the different course and how best to play in windy conditions.
- 7Pack for all kinds of weather including sunblock, hats, sunglasses, wind vests, rain jackets, and at least two pairs of golf shoes.
- 8There’s no need to wait around at Bandon Dunes as they have shuttles running every five minutes all through the resort. You simply park your car when you arrive and you won’t need it again until it’s time to head back home.
Planning to Play At Bandon Dunes
It used to be quite hard to get to Bandon Dunes, but luckily airlines have started offering a stop in Southwest Oregon Regional Airport. From there, it’s around 35 minutes drive and there are flights landing daily from San Francisco and Denver.
As there’s not much else in the town of Bandon, people only generally travel here for the golf. If you’re someone who takes the game seriously, this won’t be an issue for you. Bandon Dunes want their guests to play as much as possible, and they offer a replay rate for each extra round you. If you managed to play four rounds in a day, Bandon Dunes Resort will actually give you $100 for it.
Accommodation is offered at the resort and there’s a range of options from very basic to four-bedroom cottages. You can expect to find all of the regular amenities that a resort would have including a sauna, gift shop, and massage therapist, for when you’re not busy hitting some balls.
A Must Have Visit for Any Serious Golfer
Few names are as iconic as Bandon Dunes when it comes to golf courses in America and around the world. For those who have a serious passion for golf and want to know what it’s like to play on the best courses ever designed, this is the place to plan your next vacation.
Due to its popularity, it’s no surprise that the accommodation books up fast and as do the course bookings. For a real treat and to enjoy some of the most expertly designed courses that have been immersed in nature, Bandon Dunes is one to see.