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Your essential guide to the ultimate Bandon Dunes golf trip

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Bandon Dunes sits on the remote Pacific coast in Southern Oregon, USA. Credit: Ben Peters

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is one of our game’s great destinations.

This three-mile stretch of golf heaven occupies a grassy bluff 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean and stands as a celebration of natural wonder, wilderness, and the finest traditions of our game. You won’t find cart paths here, or millionaire mansions lining the fairways. Every possible diversion has been stripped away to allow the golf to take centre stage and your focus to remain firmly fixed on it.

The six links style courses at Bandon Dunes, which are strewn out along the rugged, windswept South Oregon coastline are nothing short of spectacular. Each has its own distinct personality and purpose and yet all share a connection with the natural wonder which exists all around them.

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort Oregon
The six links style courses at Bandon are strewn out along the rugged Oregon coastline

The views will stop you in your tracks: on a clear day you can see for at least 11 miles in each direction, from the sand dunes and rolling hills on one side and the Pacific on the other, straight across to Japan. The colours are quite something too, from the vivid yellow of the Scotch broom to the deep green of the pines and golden-brown grass along the fairways. This may not be where golf originated, but – at times – it sure feels like it.

But if you’re planning a trip to Brandon where do you start? Well, we have created the ultimate guide to this incredible part of the world, so that you can equip yourself with all the knowledge and insider tips to have the kind of golf trip that will you never, ever forget. Bandon Dunes isn’t the kind of place you get to visit every week, so when you do go, you want to ensure you get it right – we’ve got your back.

Welcome to Oregon sign
Oregon is bordered by Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California. Credit: Everett Mcintire

BANDON DUNES: THE COURSES

1. Bandon Dunes

It all began just before the turn of the 21st century, with one golf course – Bandon Dunes. Fittingly, it was designed by a Scotsman – David McLay Kidd – who set out not to build a golf course but to discover one within the land he’d been given by Mother Nature.

The ripples and undulations of the land are all natural and are very much in the spirit of a true Scottish links, while the fairways are generous. Expect the wind to be a constant companion on your way around Bandon Dunes golf course – the elements are very much part of the experience. This is not a golf course which delivers instant gratification – you need to work to earn that.

The routing gradually builds the drama, in the same way that Ballybunion in Ireland does, taking you gradually out to the bluffs and then back in again, out, and back in again, before returning your back to the centre of the resort come the 18th green. It’s a real thinker’s golf course and one deserves its reputation as one of golf’s most iconic courses.

BANDON DUNES SCORECARD

Bandon Dunes Scorecard

2. Pacific Dunes

The second course built at Bandon Dunes was Pacific Dunes, which many now believe is also the best. Designed by Tom Doak and opened for play in 2001, Pacific Dunes is wonderfully unorthodox and brilliantly original. In order to make the most of the ocean views, Doak chose a routing which includes a slew of par-4s on the front nine and no fewer than four par-3s on the back.

The result is a wonderful, almost rhythmic round of golf where you take one step towards the ocean and one back, as you get lost in among the natural sand dunes and shore pines and emerge again to something new and wonderful. Many believe this was Doak’s first masterpiece and what can’t be disputed is that it propelled him into the top tier of golf architects globally. Pacific Dunes is a golf course with personality and panoramas. What’s not to like?

PACIFIC DUNES SCORECARD

Pacific Dunes Scorecard

3. Bandon Trails

Set away from the clifftops, Bandon Trails is the golf course with the fewest sea views of any at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort but don’t let that put you off . Why? Well, this Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design will take you on a thrilling journey over heaving sand dunes, across stunning meadows and towards beautiful Oregon forests. There is a brilliant stretch of holes early in your round, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th are all wonderfully memorable, and variety throughout.

The third course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort offers a contrast to many of the other courses and that change of pace is welcome.

BANDON TRAILS SCORECARD
Bandon Trails Scorecard

4. Old MacDonald

The fourth course at Bandon Dunes stands in tribute to the great Charles Blair MacDonald, a pioneering architect of the golden age and the man who designed the first 18-hole course in America at Chicago Golf Club. McDonald also designed the National Golf Links of America.

When Tom Doak and Jim Urbina were tasked with designing Old MacDonald, they were asked to produce the golf course MacDonald himself would have created had this land been his to play with. Doak and Urbina responded with 18 holes peppered with fierce bunkers and sprawling greens which mean the golfer almost always has an angle in. There are nods to what became known as MacDonald’s template holes – borrowed from St Andrews – The Redan, Short, Long, Eden and even Road. This is a links experience that – as the name suggests – is a glorious step back in time.

OLD MACDONALD SCORECARD

Old MacDonald Scorecard

5. Bandon Preserve

Having opened in 2012, Bandon Preserve is the place on Bandon Dunes Golf Resort where fun is always to the fore. In the spirit of the incredible Cradle at Pinehurst, Bandon Preserve is a 13-hole par-3 course with spectacular ocean views, and an ethos of fun, enjoyment, and creativity.

Also like The Cradle, you can play up to eight golfers in a group. The Pacific Ocean provides the backdrop on every hole and all profits from this golf course go directly to help the Bandon Dunes Charitable Foundation in its work supporting conservation and community in the area.

BANDON PRESERVE SCORECARD

Bandon Preserve Scorecard

6. Sheep Ranch

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort’s fifth 18-hole layout, Sheep Ranch occupies a truly breathtaking piece of land to the north of the site. With no fewer than nine greens in cliffside locations, it is wonderfully exposed to the elements with no dunes to protect you from the wind, which is why there are no traditional sand bunker – the fear was Sheep Ranch was too windy for then.

The combination of incredible drama with those ocean holes, incredible extravagant contours in the ground and the exposure to the elements, makes Sheep Ranch a fierce test of golf and a very worthy addition to the incredible portfolio at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

SHEEP RANCH SCORECARD

Sheep Ranch Scorecard

7. Shorty’s

The man behind Bandon Dunes Golf Resort – the great Mike Keiser – is not done just yet. Shorty’s will be the 7th course at Bandon Dunes on a site close to the 1st at Bandon Trails. The site is scattered with sand dunes, a shore pines and the architects have been tasked with creating a course unlike any other at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. We know there will be 19 holes, yes 19, and we know the course has been named after Shorty Dow, the first caretaker of Bandon Dunes. We also know that all profits will once again go to the Bandon Dunes Charitable Foundation when it opens in 2024.

Bandon Trails

BANDON DUNES: HOW TO GET THERE

It will not be news to you that Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is not the easiest place to get to. But good things come to those who wait and those who are prepared to. The resort is located 10 minutes from the seaside town of Bandon, just to the west of Highway 101.

But what is the best way to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

BANDON DUNES TRAVEL FLIGHT MAP
Bandon Dunes Travel Map

CLOSEST AIRPORT TO BANDON DUNES GOLF RESORT

The closest airport to Bandon Dunes is Southwest Oregon Regional Airport (OTH) in North Bend. North Bend is about a 35-minute drive to Bandon.

How easy it is to fly into North Bend will be dependent on the time of year. United Airlines, for instance, fly in and out of North Bend from Denver twice-per-week between the beginning of May and the end of September. You can also fly into North Bend from San Francisco, but you’ll need to check your flight schedule to confirm when. You can also fly into Eugene, Oregon – which is around 2.5hr drive from Bandon. While flights also arrive in Medford (MFR), which has daily nonstop flights from Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle and is a 3hr drive to Bandon Dunes. And finally, you can also fly into Portland, Oregon, which is a major international airport but is located a 4.5-hour drive from Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. If you do fly into Portland, you will have the best rental car options, which can be advantageous if you have a bunch of gear to transport.

BANDON DUNES GOLF RESORT: WHERE TO STAY

There is no shortage of places to stay if you’re playing Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

For instance, you can stay off the resort and in the town – 10 miles or so away. The town is relatively quiet but there are loads of places to stay. Or you can stay on the resort itself, which we think is always going to be first prize.

On Bandon Dunes Golf Resort itself, there are no fewer than six different accommodation options, ranging from Grove Cottages to the Chrome Lake Lofts, which are certainly one of the best places to stay at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Each loft features two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with huge beds, high ceilings, plenty of common space and all the home comforts you could possibly wish for. The setting is lovely too, tucked away in a forest close to the main entrance of Bandon Dunes – it’s peaceful, serene, just what you need after a busy day on the golf courses.

So, what’s the catch? The Bandon Dunes Chrome Lake Lofts are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. Bear in mind that you could also spread that cost by putting two adults in each bedroom/bathroom for a total of four adults per unit.

If you’re looking for the best value accommodation on Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, then the Lily Pond is a really good option, with each room featuring two queen beds. If you are on a big golf trip with friends, it is worth considering The Grove Cottages, which are 4-bedroom units and great for big groups. The Lodge also offer 4-bedroom suites, but the standalone nature of the cottages will give you that little bit more independence from the next group. The Grove Cottages also have their own fire pits.

Where else should you stay at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort? The best views probably come at The Inn, which sits just across from the 18th green of Bandon Dunes, allowing golfers to sit on their balconies, beer in hand, enjoying the suffering of their fellow golfers. The most highly prized rooms at The Inn tend to be on the ground floor, with each room having its own patio.

The most recently built accommodation at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is at Round Lake, which are modern and feature the kind of amenities that you would expect from a high end hotel.

BANDON DUNES GOLF RESORT: WHERE TO EAT

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort has no shortage of dining options after you have spent the day working up a serious appetite. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or something more refined, we have you covered. Here’s our where to eat guide for Bandon Dunes Golf Resort:

Ghost Tree Grill

-Cuisine: This is a Pacific Northwest inspired steakhouse, named after the iconic Ghost Tree on Old Macdonald’s 3rd hole.
-Atmosphere: Ghost Tree Grill features a huge bar, an open kitchen, large TVs to show sport events, as well as an outdoor eating area complete with fire pit. Relaxed, fun, memorable.
-Location: You’ll find the Ghost Tree Grill at the north end of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, close to Sheep Ranch and Old MacDonald, of which it features sweeping views.

Pacific Grill

Cuisine: Pacific Grill is known for its Pacific Northwest-inspired menu, featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The menu includes a variety of seafood, steaks, and other contemporary American dishes.
Atmosphere: The restaurant provides a casual yet sophisticated atmosphere, making it a great choice for a relaxed meal after a day on the golf course.
Location: Pacific Grill is conveniently located within the Bandon Dunes Lodge, offering beautiful views of the golf course and surrounding landscape.

McKee’s Pub

Cuisine: This cosy pub-style eatery serves up classic comfort food, including burgers, sandwiches, and hearty appetizers. It’s a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a casual meal with friends or fellow golf enthusiasts.
Atmosphere: McKee’s Pub has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, making it a popular gathering place for golfers looking to share stories and experiences from their rounds.
Location: Situated at the Bandon Dunes Golf Course, McKee’s Pub is really conveniently located.

Tufted Puffin Lounge

-Cuisine: The Tufted Puffin Lounge offers a diverse menu with a range of appetizers, salads, and sandwiches. It’s an excellent choice for a more laid-back dining experience.
Atmosphere: With its casual ambiance and large windows providing panoramic views of the golf course, the Tufted Puffin Lounge is a great spot to relax and enjoy a leisurely meal.
Location: Located within the Bandon Dunes Golf Course, this lounge is a convenient option for golfers looking for a casual dining experience.

Trail’s End Bar & Grill

Cuisine: Trail’s End Bar & Grill offers a menu with a focus on comfort food, featuring items like pizza, burgers, and sandwiches. It’s a family-friendly option for guests of all ages.
Atmosphere: The laid-back and welcoming atmosphere of Trail’s End makes it a popular choice for those seeking a relaxed dining experience with a view of the course.
Location: Situated at the Bandon Trails Golf Course, this grill is a great place to unwind and enjoy a casual meal with family and friends.

The Forge

Cuisine: For those seeking a more upscale dining experience, The Gallery Restaurant offers a fine-dining menu with a focus on premium cuts of meat and seafood, expertly prepared and presented
Atmosphere: With its elegant decor and attentive service, The Gallery provides a refined setting for a special dining occasion.
Location: Located just off the lobby in The Lodge at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Sheep Ranch Clubhouse

Cuisine: serves breakfast 30 minutes before the 1st tee time of the morning and closes after lunch time, once the last golfer has finished up. The menu features lots of Irish favourites such as Lamb Stew, alongside American classics like Hot Pastrami Hoagies, Coore’s Clam Chowder, and a Corned Beef Breakfast Burrito.
Atmosphere: Panoramic views, an outdoor patio, a fire pit surrounded by Adirondacks. It’s the perfect place to hang out after a round.
Location: It’s called Sheep Ranch Clubhouse, so we think you can figure this one out for yourselves.

The Bunker Bar

-Cuisine: Pizzas, grilled chicken sandwiches and burgers. This is a relaxed place to eat and pass the time. You’ll love it.
Atmosphere: The bunker vibe is the go-to late-night place at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, perfect for a game of pool, a hand of cards or to watch the game. You get the picture.
-Location: Downstairs in The Lodge.

BANDON DUNES: GETTING AROUND

During your stay at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, you will not require a car. Like Pinehurst, there is a brilliant shuttle service available to all guests and the drivers will be delighted to take you and your clubs wherever you need to go on the resort 24 hours a day. You should not have to wait more than 5 minutes to get picked up wherever you are on the resort. Now that’s service.

BANDON DUNES GOLF RESORT MAP

Bandon Dunes golf resort map

BANDON DUNES GOLF RESORT: KEY FACTS

Address:
57744 Round Lake Road,
Bandon,
Oregon 97411,
USA.
Bandon Dunes golf resort phone number: +1 888-345-6008
Website: BandonDunesGolf.com

BANDON DUNES GOLF RESORT: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Can I take a golf cart at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

Bandon Dunes is walk only golf destination. Exceptions are made for guests who have a permanent disability which would stop them from being able to walk the course. If you do want to make that request, then you must inform Bandon Dunes with documents before your arrival.

Can I take a pull cart or trolley at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

Yes, there are no restrictions on push or pull carts at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. They are actually available on a complimentary basis. Battery powered golf trollies can also be used.

Should I take caddie to play golf at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

Taking a caddie is not only a really good idea at Bandon but it’s actively encouraged. All caddies at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort are independent contractors and must be paid and tipped directly by the guest.

How much do caddies cost at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

The fee for caddies at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in 2024 is $100 per bag, per round, plus tip.

What is the dress code at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

The guidance at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is that all ‘appropriate casual golf attire’ can be worn. Denim is discouraged on the golf courses but acceptable in the restaurants and hotels.

Is there cell phone or mobile phone signal at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

The short answer is – sometimes. Or even, maybe. You are, after all, visiting a remote part of the Oregon coastline so you can’t expect 5G at all times. So, manage your expectations and remember you are there to soak it all in – not check emails every 60 seconds.

How do I book a tee time at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

Carefully and well in advance. Bandon Dunes tee times can often disappear more than a year in advance, so know when you want to go, get organised and get booking. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is now accepting bookings 18 months in advance. The best place to book tee times at Bandon Dunes and, in fact, your whole trip is to click here.

How is the weather in Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

Bandon Dunes exists in a changeable coastal climate, influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Summers are generally cool with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to mid-60s Fahrenheit, while winters are mild with temperatures in the 40s. The weather can be variable, and golfers should be prepared for a mix of sunshine, wind, and occasional rain, especially during the fall and winter months. Expect wind. Lots of it.

How much attention should I pay to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort weather?

It’s important to pay attention to the weather at Bandon Dunes but not to obsess over it. As we have said, be prepared, pack properly but then go with expectations that you might be sun burned, you might be soaked, you might get cold, you might be too hot. Being adaptable and not allowing changing conditions to bother you too much will enhance your overall experience on the golf courses at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

How much does it cost to play at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

The cost to play at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort varies based on factors such as the time of year, where you stay, which courses you play and how often. There is a brilliant trip planner on the Bandon website that will help you work out the cost of a Bandon Dunes golf trip. Click here for more information.

Are there discounts or packages available at Bandon Dunes for multiple rounds or group bookings?

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort offers various packages and discounts, especially for multiple rounds and group bookings. Specials may be available during certain times of the year, so it’s recommended to explore package options and inquire about any ongoing promotions when making reservations.

What is the best time of year to visit Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

Bandon Dunes is a year-round destination, but the peak golf season is typically from May to late September, when the weather is most favorable. However, the resort’s coastal location means weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for varying conditions.

Can I rent golf clubs at Bandon Dunes resort?

Yes, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort offers a really impressive set of rental sets which are renewed regularly with new sets. Brands available are Taylormade, Titleist, Callaway, Cobra, and Miura. Rental sets are available for right-handed and left-handed golfers, there are also women’s sets available to rent.

What is the cancellation policy at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?

Generally reservations are cancellable up to 30 days before you stay at Bandon Dunes but golf only reservations cannot be cancelled within 90 days of your tee times.

BANDON DUNES COURSE MAP

Bandon Dunes Course Map

PACIFIC DUNES COURSE MAP

Pacific Dunes Course Map

BANDON TRAILS COURSE MAP

Bandon Trails Course Map

OLD MACDONALD COURSE MAP

Old MacDonald Course Map

Claire's career as a journalist has seen her regularly write about some of the best restaurants, hotels and destinations in the world. She has also interviewed the past three Prime Ministers and has been a Digital Editor overseeing a number of newspaper titles. She is the founder of the content marketing company Smiths & Sons.

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