Golf along the Southern Oregon Coast

Updated: May 2, 2011

The game of golf was born on rugged, wind-swept land like this. Where every hole, every hazard, and every shot is defined by nature’s infinite presence. True links courses are rare, with only about 160 on the entire planet.

At Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, you’ll find four distinctly different courses built on a beautiful stretch of sand dunes perched 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes feature a dozen holes that run along the bluff overlooking 23 miles of sweeping, undisturbed shoreline. Bandon Trails begins on a massive dune, works its way through open meadows and upland forest, and then finishes in the dunes. Old Macdonald moves through dunes to ocean revealing breathtaking views throughout. The courses here weren’t built as much as discovered. Among the coastal forest, dunes and gorse, lie golf holes that yield fresh rewards each time they’re played.

Accommodations provide a refuge of relative seclusion. Chrome Lake Rooms offer double king and two-room lofts. Lily Pond Rooms offer two queen beds, while the Lodge offers single rooms and three suites, many with dramatic golf course views. Our Grove Cottages are designed specifically for a foursome of golfers, with four private rooms and a shared parlor and patio. The Inn at Bandon Dunes provides single king and double queen beds just a short walk from the Lodge.

Located on the property are full service restaurants, lounges, golf shops, hot tub, sauna, exercise room and locker rooms. A 32-acre practice center allows you to hone every shot required at Bandon Dunes and features a one-acre practice putting green and bunker practice area.

Bandon Dunes is 5 minutes from the seaside town of Bandon, just off Highway 101, and just 25 minutes from the Southwest Regional Airport in North Bend, served daily by flights from Portland and San Francisco.

Sandpines: Named Best New Course in U.S. in 1993
Nestled amidst wind swept sand dunes and towering pines, Sandpines Golf Links is a breathtaking location for coastal golf. The Rees Jones designed course was honored as the “Best New Public Course in America” in 1993. As one of the premier courses in the Northwest, Sandpines received a 4½ star rating from Golf Digest’s list of “Places to Play in the USA.”

The par 72, 7,190-yard course is a true test of the game to golfers of all levels. Both nines incorporate the beautifully rugged canvas that is the Central Oregon Coast. The outward nine is sculpted out of a forest of towering pines and majestic crystal blue lakes reminiscent of those found on the Monterey Peninsula. The inward nine, with its traditional links style brings you back to the soul of the game, with the rolling dunes at the forefront from tee to green.

Our 9,000 square foot clubhouse is now open with the Tavolo Restaurant & Lounge as the centerpiece featuring breathtaking views of the golf course and fresh, local cuisine. The golf shop offers the latest in golf equipment, apparel, and accessories for both men and women. A second phase will include a boutique hotel with spa and banquet facilities.

Bandon Crossings: A change of pace on the Oregon Coast
From an Inside Golf reader who recently played Bandon Crossings: I love Bandon Golf! I love the quaint town and the ocean views. My golf budget however struggles so I looked for a solution. I found one: Bandon Crossings is an answer to budgetary woes and what a course this budget affords.

I knew I had not stepped away from quality golf when I saw the first-rate practice facility and the line of mature cypress trees. This is all just from the parking lot. Standing on the first tee you can see that there is a little bit of elevation change. My first round I had no idea how much the property moves. The course wanders through nearly treeless land on the north, and moves into a forest setting to the south, with a challenge with every shot. Although there is only 80 feet of total elevation change, there is seldom a completely flat lie. The par-3’s are magnificent, from the 60 foot drop on number 14 into a bottomland flanked by two small creeks, to No. 17 that must carry over a pond.

The 18th hole finishes one of the best gambling holes of all time. If you don’t get a good drive you’ll have to lay up on your second shot leaving your partner the opportunity to go for the green on this par-5. The 80-foot arroyo that cuts across the fairway at 200 yards out insists that you have your best stroke or you may lose much more than a golf ball.

Next time I want to come back with some buddies and stay in A Home on the Range, a big sprawling farm house right at the driving range or maybe an oceanfront home right in town. I will be back.

Salmon Run: Panoramic views and lots of water challenges
Salmon Run Golf Course is a golf retreat unlike any other in the Pacific Northwest. Located in beautiful Brookings Harbor and set in a maturely wooded area, this course is accented by panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Golf Digest ranked this course as one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in Oregon. Salmon Run’s name originates from the Chetco River, which runs alongside this course and is one of the largest salmon spawning rivers in the country. During spawning season, hundreds of fish can routinely be seen making their way upstream. Fearless golfers only need apply.
The Feel of the Course

If you are fearless the fun begins right away. They start you off with the Salmon Spawn Hole, a par four that requires a well-positioned tee shot. Don’t go too far off the tee as the fairway narrows dramatically. The signature hole is the Lombard Street Hole or fourth hole and has an island green that may be one of the prettiest holes in golf. The bridge crossing from the seventh green to the eighth tee provides one of many opportunities to view the spawning salmon during the fall, winter and spring months.

There is lots of water and many beautiful creeks. Playing Salmon Run is like island hopping, and many of the holes have some very impressive elevation changes. Your tee is sometimes located on a cliff with a grand view of the fairway and the wilderness area below. Narrow fairways abound with trees.

Ocean Dunes: Golf played under a variety of conditions
Ocean Dunes was built by noted architect William Robinson to be fair yet challenging under a variety of conditions. Emerald fairways wind over, around, and through wild dunes bordered by Gorse, Heather, Shore Pines and native Sea Grasses. Pot bunkers guarding small greens and narrow fairways serve to both confound and delight the enthusiasts who play here. And, if you’re really lucky, the wind might blow – as they say in Scotland, “Nay wind, nay golf.” As with any true links, the course is extremely well drained and playable – even under the wettest conditions – year round.

The coastal climate in Florence is mild. Not too hot in summer, and not too cold in winter. The Old Town area is especially picturesque, with fine lodgings, restaurants, and galleries. Many other attractions such as Heceta Head Lighthouse are just minutes away.

USGA Championships: Bandon Dune Resort will host a pair
The United States Golf Association will hit the Southern Oregon Coast this year with a pair of championships in the Men’s and Women’s Public Links Championships. The events will take place at the same time on the Bandon Trails and Old Macdonald courses. The events will be held June 27-July 2. A total of 156 men and 156 women will play through two rounds of qualifying before the fields will be cut to the low 64 for men and women for match play. It marks the return of the USGA to the Bandon Dunes Resort.

The USGA played its Curtis Cup in 2006 at Bandon Dunes and then returned with the U.S. Men’s Mid-Amateur in 2007. The event will draw the top amateurs from around the country who are not associated with private clubs. The men’s defending champion Lion Kim won’t be back to defend, as he will turn pro this summer but the women’s defending champ Emily Tubert of California will be back to win a second straight championship.

New course coming: Bandon Dunes will welcome par-3 course
Bandon Dunes resort will add a fifth course to its mix next year when a new 13-hole par-3 golf course will open up next to the Bandon Trails clubhouse. The course, designed by Ben Crenshaw and partner Bill Coore, will feature holes from 85 yards to nearly 200 yards and most will have views of the Pacific Ocean. The reason for 13 holes? It just seemed to fit the plans, said David Zinkand of the Coore-Crenshaw design group. The first tee will be located right outside the door of the Bandon Trails clubhouse and the courses will wind toward the ocean and back again.