Florence Links on the Oregon Coast

Updated: June 3, 2019

It all started back in 1993, when Rees Jones was hired to create an Oregon Coastal golf course in Florence, Ore. This was long before the Bandon Boom. Jones came in and crafted a course through the trees and dunes and when it opened as Sandpines in 1993 it was called the “Best New Public Golf Course in America.”

And now, more than 25 years later, Jones’ Oregon Coastal masterpiece is still a gem, however a few things have changed along the way.

The name was changed to Florence Golf Links, after the ownership group American Pacific International Corporation took over in January of 2017. The new name was unveiled in May of 2018 and fits the area and the golf course just perfectly.

“The new owners wanted to tie a new name in with the town of Florence,” said General Manager Rick Reed. “They wanted name familiarity with the town. And we got that with the new name.”

The course has always been ranked among the best in the Pacific Northwest. In fact it has a 4 1/2 star rated jewel from Golf Digest and is always a home for PNGA championships. Last year, the Boys and Girls Junior Championships were held at Florence Golf Links and this month the PNGA Senior Men’s Amateur was held.

The new ownership group has created an air of freshness at Florence Golf Links. Along with the new name, new equipment was bought to improve a course that already was in terrific shape. The 9,000 square foot clubhouse was given some inside upgrades and the outside was given a new coat of paint.

The course has survived just fine through the years, though the nearby Oregon Dunes has created a little havoc with the par-5 seventh hole. Sand encroached on the fairway and green, making approach shots and putting difficult. The hole was shortened with a new green but still plays as a par-5. Shorter doesn’t mean easier in this case. A recent tournament with 60 low handicappers went through the hole with a 5.1 scoring average.

The location has always been a plus. Florence Golf Links sits in a tourist hotbed town. And with Bandon Dunes Resort an hour down the 101, Florence Golf Links has always attracted a crowd. The course is 60 miles west of Eugene and about three hours from Portland. Reed said the base of their play comes from the town stretching out to about 60 miles.

The course itself always draws raves. The front nine is played through a forest of pines and lakes with the back nine become a links-style layout. The 18th hole is a dramatic par-5 finishing hole with water left and the clubhouse on a bluff making for a terrific backdrop.

The course has been around for over 25 years, but there is still plenty new at Florence Golf Links to check out.