Pacific Gales: New golf course on the Oregon Coast will be another option, breaks ground in ’14

Updated: January 3, 2014

The modern legend of golf on the Southern Oregon coast adds an exciting chapter with the announcement of a new project, Pacific Gales — 18 holes set to emerge from some of the world’s greatest seaside landscape, with one of the game’s most accomplished development teams behind it. Course construction is expected to begin in summer 2014.

Located on a portion of privately owned Knapp Ranch in Curry County, between iconic Cape Blanco and the town of Port Orford, Pacific Gales will add a spectacular new dimension to this remote but world renowned stretch of North American golfing coastline. Several holes will sit directly on the ocean, including both the 9th and 18th, which will share a common cliffside green — unique among American seaside courses.

“I’ve been in the business for 30 years, and you know a great site when you’re on it,” says Jim Haley, managing partner of Elk River Property Development, LLC, who first ventured to the Oregon Coast as a member of the construction team for the original Bandon Dunes course. “This is a great site. You don’t get them very often.”

Haley began the long journey to making Pacific Gales a reality in the late 1990s, while working as Bandon Dunes architect David McLay Kidd’s lead shaper — a relationship that continued through some of Kidd’s most well-regarded projects around the globe via Haley’s construction company, Highland Golf Services.

The next step was finding the right designer for the new project, which led to Dave Esler, who had built his reputation bringing restoration work to life with a light touch and classic flair in the Chicago area. Esler also created the layout at highly acclaimed Black Sheep Golf Club — ranked by Golfweek as one of America’s Best 100 Courses. Work on the new course is expected to begin in the 2014 season.