Bandon Dunes (Bandon Dunes) - Oregon - USA

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort,
57744 Round Lake Drive,
Bandon,
Oregon 97411,
USA


  • +1 541 347 4380


Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is a bit special and in many ways it’s a rather romantic place too. The little seaside town of Bandon is located on the remote southwest Oregon coastline at the mouth of the Coquille River. It’s a charming small town where the warm and friendly people live and breathe golf, just as they do at many seaside golfing towns up and down the Irish and British coastlines.

“From the moment I stepped out on these wild, wind-shaped sand dunes, I knew this would be the opportunity of a lifetime,” said David McLay Kidd a young Scottish architect. Bandon Dunes is his first notable design assignment and he made a pretty good job of it. With one third of the course set alongside the Pacific shoreline, it’s quite rightly a BIG hit.

OK, for those of you who have yet make the trip to Oregon, let’s put the Bandon Dunes Resort into perspective: 121 golf holes, idyllic accommodation, several restaurants and a Scottish-style pub. It’s quite an amazing place. Furthermore, the inaugural course at Bandon Dunes is possibly routed across the finest linksland outside Europe. Thank goodness it’s a walking only course where the absence of buggy paths allows its pure beauty to shine through.

Bandon Dunes opened for play in 1999 and it has never looked back. It’s a rugged layout with huge slick greens and immaculate all-round conditioning. Despite its windswept location, the holes are routed in all compass points and this helps Bandon Dunes to remain playable in most wind conditions. The 4th hole is one of our favorites, a 410-yard par four, which takes you out to a gorgeous green, sited on the edge of the Pacific. The tee shot at the short par four 16th is similar to the fantastic 17th at Castletown on the Isle of Man. An intimidating tee shot over a deep ravine, which is easier than it looks.

With four differing and beguiling 18-hole golf courses, Bandon Dunes quite rightly sits high up on many “must-play” lists and we thoroughly agree. Schedule a visit to the glorious remote venue immediately, you won’t be disappointed.

Over the winter of 2018/19 David McLay-Kidd returned to Bandon Dunes to renovate every bunker on every hole, some changes were cosmetic and others dramatic. The course hosted the final matches of the U.S. Amateur in August 2020 when 22-year-old Tyler Strafaci hoisted the Havemeyer Trophy eighty-five years after his granddad won the U.S. Amateur Public Links title.

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Reviews for Bandon Dunes (Bandon Dunes)

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Description: The Bandon Dunes course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort opened for play in 1999 and it has never looked back. It’s a rugged layout with huge slick greens and immaculate all-round conditioning. Rating: 9 out of 10 Reviews: 22
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Connor Gallentine

Bandon dunes is a must visit if you are a fan of what golf should be. The ability to play this course in the USA and have it be similar to Ireland/Scottlad courses is a true blessing. Bandon Dunes is the best course on property and really tests your game from every aspect. Can't wait to go back and play it again!

July 14, 2022
10 / 10
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Michael Simson

Bandon Dunes was the first of the four courses on the resort I played last week. DMK's routing is exceptional with no more than two sequential holes playing in the same direction. I played it off the black tees which were shifted a little forward due to the very back tees being preserved for the US Junior Open being played there next week. I also played it in a 5mph wind which clearly makes scoring a little easier.

The opening hole is benign (as it should be) which I parred. I then had a disaster of a 6 on the par 3 2nd, missing the raised green and then pitching up and rolling back down the apron with my first two chips. After another 6 on the par 5 third I settled down and parred the next 3 holes (which is an absolutely stunning part of the course) and then birdied 7. On the par 3 15th tee my caddy told me in the 2020 US Amateur the first semi-final was halved in 5's and the second was won with a 5. Clearly he was trying to tell me this was a very tough hole (but that day the wind was pretty strong and into the face of the players). I selected a 4 iron from 185 yards and listening to my caddy's instructions hit to the left hand side of the green with a little fade. It looked close. When we got up to the green there was no sign of the ball. The pin was at the back of the green and I feared it had run down the slope until my caddy shouted "It's in the hole!". You get given a great framed memento of the hole by the pro-shop which is already hanging in my study.

Following my ace I had to calm down as the last 3 holes are a good test of golf. The review above says the 16 reminds him of the 17th at Castletown (and I agree). My playing partner tried to drive this short par 4 signature hole and got himself into real trouble on the cliffs and wasteland down the right. 17th is another good hole and 18 is a good birdieable par 5 if the wind is blowing in the right direction.

After finishing my round I was truly looking forward to to playing the other three. Now having played all four (except Sheep Ranch) I came to the conclusion (and not just because of my hole in one) that Bandon Dunes was my favourite. On top of the courses the accommodation is excellent. We had a truly magnificent view of the 18th green and clubhouse from our room at The Inn. Without question Bandon Dunes is the best golf resort I have ever visited.

July 14, 2022
9 / 10
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Robert Nyenhuis

The original at the resort. It was probably my third favorite (behind Sheep and Pacific) for a few reasons. Some spectacular holes -- 6, 16 and 17. A few holes that weren't as remarkable as the others, but that is to be expected. It has clearly stood the test of time

July 10, 2022
9 / 10
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Monte McDougal

DMK likes to say that Doak got the better end of the bargain going second. I disagree–Bandon Dunes got the benefit of the doubt by being the first course at the resort. Don't get me wrong–it is clearly a top 50 course, but it is not as nuanced or impressive as Pac Dunes. The par threes 2 and 15 are very mediocre, but 16 is the most breathtaking hole on property. Overall, Bandon Dunes is a fantastic course, though I would rank it third of the resort courses.

June 08, 2022
9 / 10
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Ryan Book

Bandon Dunes, as you have been told seven-million times, is a marvelous success because it’s built upon the sandy linksland soil of southern Oregon. You are perhaps less likely to have heard that Bandon Dunes (the resort itself, versus just the course) is built on wealth Mike Keiser accumulated by selling greeting cards and, for a short while, children’s books. The game-changer for Bandon Dunes may have been the hiring of the unheralded David McLay-Kidd, but the game-changer for Recycled Paper Greetings was the hiring of unheralded artist Sandra Boynton, whose plump, hapless characters caught the eyes and hearts of Americans, blowing the companies earnings through its then relatively-low Chicago roof.

The Boynton book best-suited, in your correspondent’s opinion, for describing the original course at Bandon is ‘Blue Hat, Green Hat (The Oops Books).’ Seemingly simple concepts, such as shirts and pants, prove tricky for an adorable turkey. For myself, the seemingly simple short-game shenanigans that I had been practicing for weeks in good ol’ parkland-turf Ohio were suddenly baffling. I had become the turkey.

“Oops” (or crasser verbiage) will be repeated throughout the round, because the misses are smaller and more frequent.

The term “true links” gets thrown around quite a bit and, as with any adjective used when describing golf courses, the question is eventually begged: Which course is “more true”? Which of course hinges on how you envision the links “experience,” versus simply the requirements of being links? I myself appreciate Tom Watson’s reported enthusiasm at finding a strange lie, and the problem solving required to get out of it. In this regard, Bandon Dunes provides, again in your correspondent’s opinion, the links experience he has always envisioned.

“Oops” is a mistake but, as the reading demographic of Boynton’s books should be taught, we all “oops” and salvation is always a possibility, especially in a links arena.

Consider the fairway at the par five No. 13, the fairway a veritable hippopotamus graveyard (Boynton’s signature animal). It’s not enough to hit the ball from tee to target, or from landing area to the next target…it’s the understanding that the similar shot will create a different result based on minute variance, the results of which are exaggerated by the scope of the sandy terrain. Every shot could be an “oops,” but you won’t know until you get there.

In another example, a playing partner suggested I may have a tap-in for birdie at No. 6, a par three. I did not. At some point, the trajectory of the shot caught the wrong groove and poured down the hill on the right into a waste area. It would be my worst hole of the day, relative to par (I share neither Watson’s optimism nor his short game, although I recognize the value in both).

It’s poor practice to follow up acknowledgements of weakness in one’s own game with critiques that seem to be suited to one’s own game, but here goes: Many holes at the original course feature significant drop-offs around the putting surfaces that make it — of the four courses at the resort I’ve played thus far — the trickiest for mid to high handicappers. To be fair, those who would rather play from deep shortgrass than bunkers of any depth will find Pacific to be more penal than its older sister. However it’s also my opinion that Pacific offers an easier bogey for those who choose to pursue it.

I only offer the Pacific comparison because eventually someone will notice that it’s the only course I’ve given a six-ball, and (spoiler alert) I’ve only given the original course a 5.5. Perhaps the biggest reason is that variety in design is pronounced more so across Pacific than Bandon, particularly in the placement and distances of the short holes.

Where McLay-Kidd deserves credit over Doak (don’t think it’s a competition between the pair? If Doak wanted to keep things strictly professional, he wouldn’t have given McLay-Kidd the only “zero” in Confidential Guide history) is the outright boldness, bordering on Strantz, across several of the holes here. Nos. 10, 16 and 17 are the showcases for this trait, which are both eye-catching and effective. It speaks to fans of Cruden Bay-style links more so than Muirfield-style (that Old Tom gets some credit for both is relevant).

Interestingly, I don’t know that anyone has ever professed to me that Bandon Dunes is their favorite of the five courses at the resort. It’s a bit of a ‘But Not The Hippopotamus’ situation, in keeping with the Boynton theme. This is somewhat surprising, as I truly believe that each of the five courses carries something that speaks to different tastes among different golfers, and if rough-and-tumble linksland of old speaks to you, then the original course and all its gorse (couldn’t help but inserting a rhyme after all this children’s book talk) may be the links for you.

Just remember that “oops” is inevitable…your challenge in recovering is finding the shot that rhymes with your opening line. Watson was better at it than most.

April 28, 2022
9 / 10
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BB
May 03, 2022

Very much enjoyed this review - especially the skillfully explored Book metaphor.

Also interesting to learn about sandra boynton & Recycled Paper Greetings. No surprise then that Mike Keiser has a penchant for building successes on all things sand - perhaps explains why the club sandwich was so good at Bandon.

If you had to rank the 4 you’ve played so far at the resort?

Jon Williams

Holes somewhat typical of other Bandon courses which include firm greens & great ocean views. Wind impact is minimized with several holes downwind & upwind holes are shorter. Confusing layout with poor signage to next hole (we didn't have caddy & had trouble twice finding the next tee box).

July 06, 2021
8 / 10
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Adam Tomasiello

One of the many distinguishing qualities of Bandon Dunes is that after experiencing the great courses there, golfers have a hard time choosing their favorite. This was easily apparent after a recent trip to Mike Keiser’s masterpiece resort. Bandon Dunes was a strong contender for my personal favorite.

Bandon Dunes’ most compelling feature is a routing that feels more like a theme park ride than a links style golf course. It is full of suspense at every turn. Reading “Dream Golf” prior to my arrival gave me even more appreciation for the painstaking efforts undertaken by David McLay Kidd to nail every single detail. After finally experiencing the course for myself, I was no longer surprised that so much of the book was dedicated to the formation of the resort’s maiden venture.

At Bandon Dunes, the player never knows what to expect around the bend. Every tee presents new challenges. Turning around the corner at the dogleg right 4th, one must regain focus on their shot after emerging into a breathtaking vista of the Pacific. Immediately after at the 5th, the player must navigate their way back into a splendid green site amidst the dunes, avoiding fascinating dragon teeth mounds which pepper the fairway. After playing a relatively flat corridor at the 9th, players must hold a crowned landing zone at the 10th. And, if the dangers of a cliffside falloff are not enough thrill, one must choose among multiple lines over diagonally bisected landing zones in the fairway at the all-world 16th. For a first timer, it is impossible to predict what might be coming next.

Of all five 18-hole courses at the resort, Bandon Dunes is the most traditional ‘Championship’ style layout. Even so, there is absolutely nothing cookie-cutter about this golf course. From tee-to-green, Bandon Dunes astonishes the player with a plethora of distinctive challenges and opportunities.

May 06, 2021
10 / 10
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Colin Braithwaite

Bandon Dunes was the original and they are usually hard to beat. This is a fantastic golf course as the other reviewers have rightfully proclaimed. Having said that, I do believe there is a bit of a halo effect in the ratings. How many perfect courses are there?

Bandon Dunes is excellent and if the three finishing holes do not get your blood pumping, then you need to be on life support. I found it the most playable of the courses, you will be hard pressed to lose a golf ball. The greens are large, yet I still managed to miss quite a few. As in Scotland, if you miss the green putting is still an option as most areas are closely mowed.

I would pay to play it again.

December 07, 2020
8 / 10
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Peter Wood

It all started with Bandon Dunes. Mike Keiser wanted an authentic links course true to the Scottish traditions. That meant no real estate, no golf carts, no clubhouse on the beach!

David Maclay Kidd was an inspired choice as architect. His father was the head greenkeeper at Gleneagles, and David had grown up with Scottish golf in his blood. While Americans had become accustomed to target golf, Kidd provided a true links where players must adapt to the running ball, and the ever present sea breeze.

And when the wind is up players become acquainted with the dense gorse framing the fairways- something they do not see so often on the parkland courses they are used to. It looks good in flower, but it's nasty business extracting a golf ball from it..

Kidd's routing took full advantage of the site with a number of spectacular holes right on the clifftops. Holes 4 through 6, 12, and 15 through 17 have the sea views and are all memorable

Notable holes include:

- hole 4, a strong par that doglegs gently right to a green with ocean backdrop
- hole 5, is the hardest hole on the course with a tee on the cliffs. It heads along the coast but with gorse both sides of the fairway the sea is the least of your concerns. The fairway is split by mounds of rough and requires accuracy rather than length to get home in regulation. It's a unique hole
- hole 6, is a longish par 3 right on the cliff. It often plays into the wind, and you just cannot go left and stay dry. Can be a brute when the wind is up..
- hole 9, is a long par 5 with a collection of pot bunkers in danger off the tee. Stay above ground or it becomes a long haul
- hole 12 is stunning par 3 with an elevated green protected by one nasty pot bunker front and centre
- hole 15 is another pretty par 3 with ocean backdrop
- hole 16 is perhaps 'the signature hole' at Bandon Dunes. The hole plays along the clifftops and over a gorge to a dramatic skyline green. It is a short hole and driveable by longer hitters, but accuracy is key as trouble abounds!

Bandon Dunes Resort is the best golf resort in the world, in my opinion. And it all started with this course- Bandon Dunes. All true Travelling Golfers should visit Bandon Dunes Resort at least once in their lifetimes

Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.

November 11, 2020
9 / 10
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Fergal O'Leary

The original course at the resort changed the world, especially in America, in 1999. The evolution of the course and its Scottish architect has been substantially documented over the years. Each time I play it, I still smile that there are so many buildings on the inside of the opening dog-leg. I hope they have double glazing windows! Even to this day with modern courses like Gamble Sands and Mammoth Dunes, McLay-Kidd’s philosophy continues to be focused on how much fun can he create for golfers to experience. Specifically, I see the architect focusing on making the Bandon Dunes as natural as possible, as seamless as possible, and certain as sustainable as possible at a public resort. This course has its own identity, especially as it’s the only course built by David at the resort.

The green surfaces were in magnificent condition, as is expected given that Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails will be used for the 2020 US Amateur Championship. Maintenance of the course was impeccable and has stood the test of time, especially the volume of play. McLay Kidd’s layout at Bandon is clearly focused on helping golfers of all levels play well, score well, and want to come back. Scratch golfers will be challenged with deep bunkers, higher handicaps will enjoy the fun of the humps, bumps and slopes. This might be the only Links golf that American golfers get exposed to, and it’s a top-notch presentation of variety. The architect’s roots in Scotland clearly helped him create a masterpiece that the world has fallen in love with.

July 19, 2020
9 / 10
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