Bandon Dunes: Know Before You Go
If you love links style golf and you don’t have the time or inclination to travel to the British Isles, Bandon Dunes Resort on Oregon’s southern coast was seemingly created with you in mind.
A wonderland of miles of undisturbed shoreline, massive sand dunes, coastal forest and open meadows, Bandon Dunes has four great 18-hole golf courses (soon to be five). Enhancing the experience is Bandon Preserve, a 13-hole, par-3 layout with awesome Pacific Ocean panoramas designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw; Shorty’s, a complimentary 9-hole, par-3 course designed by David McLay Kidd; and the Punchbowl, a 100,000-square-foot, 18-hole putting course patterned after the Himalayas in St. Andrews.
For those a bit rusty from winter inactivity or the hiatus during the Covid-19 crisis, Bandon Dunes (reopening Monday, May 11, 2020) is the perfect prescription to get your game back. It has a phenomenal practice area as well with an expansive 50-acre complex with two full practice ranges, a one-acre practice green and two short game practice areas for chip, pitch, bunker and bump and run shots.
To brief you before your visit to Bandon Dunes Resort, here are some things you should to know:
A fantastic visual introduction to Bandon Dunes is possible through its remarkable real time course cameras. There are three different sites (Bandon Dunes, Bandon Trails and Pacific Dunes & The Punchbowl) with optional viewpoint positions.
Bandon Dunes is a walking-only golf resort and its caddies are an integral component of the overall experience. They’re not just bag toters, either. Extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, many are professional caddies from professional tours, other resorts and private clubs. Bandon also has an extensive training program for new caddies. For those who don’t want a personal caddie, a group caddie works with all players in your group without carrying a bag. Unlike a forecaddies, the group caddie stays with your group and does not walk ahead.
Offering a refreshing sense of seclusion, the lodging options are diverse to accommodate a wide variety of needs. The lodging menu features five different possibilities offering guests flexibility. Selections include single accommodations and suites in The Lodge, single and double occupancy rooms in the Inn and spacious, four-bedroom Grove Cottages, where you can really stretch out after a long day of golf, and Chrome Lake, with 21 building with two units downstairs and a two-bedroom loft upstairs.
The diverse dining options include the Gallery Restaurant, which specializes in Pacific Northwest Cuisine with a world-class wine list; McKee’s Pub, a Scottish-style setting with pub style fare, microbrews and classic single malt scotches; Tufted Puffin Lounge, which serves a full menu and drinks; and Trails End at the Bandon Trails Clubhouse, where casual dining with a spectacular view of the 18th green is the draw.
Much like Ireland and Scotland, Bandon Dunes has some of the best pub and comfort food on the planet. A few of the don’t miss favorites are the onion rings (with extra crispy beer batter), Grandma’s Meatloaf (topped with gravy and crispy onions), chicken noodle soup (loaded with fresh vegetables, tender chicken and wide noodles) and the soft doughnuts with caramel dipping sauce.
Think “the ultimate luxury man cave” and you’ll have a pretty good image of this popular post-round gathering place. It’s a comfortable and fun place to watch sports, shoot pool, play cards, sip single malt scotch, drink beer and smoke cigars (it has a uniquely designed ventilation system for cigar smoking).
Each golf course has its own logo and the styles are sponsored by top brands like Peter Miller, Seamus Golf, Imperial, Oakley, Travis Mathew and Adidas. Popular logo items include hats, polo style shirts, t-shirts, headcovers and course flags.
While golf dominates everything at Bandon Dunes, there a few interesting and fun ways to enjoy your time away from the fairways. A fitness center has a sauna and whirlpool as well as free weights, universal weight machines, cardio machines and mats for stretching. There are more than six miles of hiking trails that wind through rolling terrain, native foliage and gorse with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and scenic golf holes. For anglers, The Sixes and Elk Rivers have healthy steelhead and salmon populations. For deep sea fishing enthusiasts, charters are available at Bandon or Coos Bay.
New 18-hole Golf Course
The anticipation for Sheep Ranch, the Coore & Crenshaw design, is through the roof. And for good reason. The fifth course at Bandon Dunes has more than one mile of ocean frontage and there will be 9 coastline greens and ocean panoramas on all 18 holes. Slated to open soon, the course will measure 7,000 yards and play to par-71,
(Select Photos courtesy of Bandon Dunes Resort)