Designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd in 1999, Bandon Dunes sits perched atop the bluffs of the Oregon coastline. Being the original course design and one of five courses overall, the “Bandon Dunes” course is located just outside the main clubhouse, requiring only a few steps to the first tee. It was nice to save some steps anywhere we could, for none of us truly knew the walking marathon that was ahead.
We were greeted by a friendly par-4, turning left to right and playing 352 yards from the green tees (recommended for most amateurs).
It didn’t take long for the ocean to come into view, as the par-5 third plays downhill directly towards the Pacific and into the wind. Speaking of wind, try to get on the course early to avoid 30-40mph winds and gusts. There is no real consistent wind direction you can count on, but one thing is certain, you will know which direction it is blowing at all times.
The Bandon Dunes course boasts one of the most beautiful approach shots I have ever seen. A par-4 playing around 370 yards, the fourth hole does not require a lot off the tee. A 3-wood or a hybrid and you should be in good shape. Once you get to your tee shot, small mounds on the left and right create a corridor to the green, backed by a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Coming up short is your miss, because here at Bandon Dunes you can putt almost anything!
The next few holes would not stray very far away from the breathtaking coastline. As a matter of fact, the next two holes ran right alongside the bluffs, making is hard to concentrate on your shot with such amazing scenery. You better watch your step too, for a lost ball is not worth your life (although sometimes I wonder).
As the Pacific Ocean stretch came to a close after the 6th, the course would again lead us back to the ocean on the par-3 12th. This gorgeous hole plays about 160 yards from the green tees, but again you are best off missing short here. The backside of the green runs down towards the Pacific Ocean, so miss that baby short and 2 putt your way to par from the fairway!
If you want to hit the beach, the par-3 15th hole features the deepest bunker on the course. The sand here at Bandon Dunes is unlike any I have ever played. The high winds and rain make it extremely fine and packed tightly, not to mention this property DID used to be sand dunes. Of course, I subsequently made my way into the deepest bunker on the course, despite our caddy’s advice to stay toward the left side. This made for the sand shot of a lifetime, but I ended up blading it into the ocean. Hey, at least I gave the fish some company!
One of my favorite holes on the back nine was definitely the par-4 16th. Not only does this hole run parallel to the Pacific, but the tee shot allows for a wide range of strategic plays. Do you dare pull the driver and go for the green? Or play it safe to the left and set yourself up for a 120-130 yard shot. Since we got to play this course twice, I elected to play it safe both times. Although my second approach was severely chunked, I found a way to nail an 80-yard birdie putt from the fairway! See, you really can putt anything here!
A few helpful tips for playing at Bandon Dunes:
- Don’t wear new shoes and bring 2 pairs (lots of walking)
- When in doubt, putt it!
- The weather can be brutal, bring plenty of rain/wind gear and socks
- The low bump and run is your friend
- Take it all in, it’s one of a kind!
Bandon Dunes Course Rating: 4.8 / 5 Stars
Bandon Dunes was nothing short of spectacular. Out of the 5 total courses, we played at the resort, the group picked Bandon Dunes as the unanimous favorite, allowing it to enter our Top 10 Courses. The fun challenge, mixed with the incredible views made this course the de-facto number one. Now, this is like comparing a Lamborghini to a Ferrari since all 5 courses were spectacular, but Dunes stuck out to us in a big way. We will definitely be back to play golf as it was meant to be.
During our trip to Bandon Dunes, Oxford supplied our team with apparel. Thanks to the crazy weather along the Oregon coast we had a chance to wear everything from shorts and short sleeves to pants and outerwear. On a once in a lifetime trip, our apparel from Oxford was the cherry on the top. Not only did we have a breathtaking experience we looked amazing while doing it! Please visit Oxford to check out the latest in high-performance golf apparel, and dress like a Golf Aficionado!