Images courtesy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, situated on Oregon’s coast, has long been considered one of the world’s greatest golf resorts. First opened with one course in 1999, the resort has grown to include 4 full courses, a short course and an engrossing putting course (really). To play all the courses would demand nearly a full week of golf, and many golfers find themselves returning to Bandon again and again to enjoy the experience. The following is a rundown of every course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
The original namesake course, Bandon Dunes is an example of great links play hugging the beautiful and rugged Pacific coast. Designed by David McLay Kidd and opening in 1999, the course turned an unknown corner of Southwest Oregon into a golfing destination. It’s hard to ignore the panoramic views, but the course provides excellent routing and strategic bunkering that ensures it is more than a sightseeing course. The course remains playable and open but the constantly changing winds ensure it’s never easy.
People associate Bandon with beautiful ocean vistas and unpredictable ocean breezes, 2 things lacking on the inland Bandon Trails course. Instead, you have a forested course that weaves through the rolling Oregonian countryside. But while initially overshadowed, Bandon Trails has developed a cult following with many calling the course their favorite at the resort. The course was designed by the team of Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw and is famous for its wild greens, elevation changes and demanding approach shots.
The Tom Doak masterpiece has largely eclipsed Bandon Dunes as the best coastal course at the facility. Pacific Dune uses the natural topography to create a course that feels like every inch of routing serves a purpose. Like Bandon Dunes, the wind is always a mitigating factor and golfers must use a variety of shots to keep their scores low. The layout is unique, with 4 par-3s on the back 9, but with amazing ocean views this quirk can be forgiven. The course is also noted for the variety that Doak has added within what may seem at first glance to be a traditional links course. The variety of long, short, open, and closed holes combined with elevation changes and the crashing Pacific in the background make this one the best courses in America. Period.
A giant of American golf, C. B. Macdonald was one of the founders of the Chicago Golf Club and later went on to help design the Old White Course at The Greenbrier, Shinnecock Hills Golf Course, National Golf Links of America and a variety of other courses. It is with a nod to Macdonald that Tom Doak and Jim Urbina used the Macdonald's “template holes” to design this course. The course isn’t a clone of old courses, however, and is more an homage to Macdonald's ideas. The result is a mesh of European and American designs on a course that feels massive. Bring your putting game when tackling this course, despite the largest greens at the resort these are some of the most difficult breaks in golf.
A 13 hole short course that is often considered the resort’s “fun course”, Bandon Preserve still manages to pack a serious punch. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, this course takes full advantage of the rugged terrain to create a miniature masterpiece. Every shot is a short one, with 150 yards the furthest approach shot, but that doesn’t mean this is an easy course. With ocean winds and deceiving elevation gains, you will have to be on your game to make it in 3. Every hole on here would fit in as a championship caliber par-3, and that’s part of what makes this such an enjoyable course.
The Punchbowl is Bandon Dunes’ homage to Pinehurst’s Thistle Dhu and St. Andrews’ Himalayas. It is a 2 acre, 36-hole putting course designed by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina. The course is perfect for winding down after a round at one of Bandon’s more famous courses. Each “tee box” features drink holders and servers will bring drinks to golfers at the Punchbowl. Imagine a mini golf course designed by some of the greatest living course architects and you can understand why a trip to the Punchbowl is necessary for any golfer staying at the resort.