By Dan Vukelich

A memory of the Bandon Dunes Golf Course: The Pacific Ocean shimmers pale blue-gray to the horizon, golfers, tiny dots of them, are scattered across a plateau of green, a beach below where ocean waves end their journey of thousands of miles in a froth of white foam.

This is Mike Keiser’s vision of the game of golf, one he’s replicated elsewhere on dramatic outcroppings where the land meets the sea. It’s a vision that golfers worldwide have embraced enthusiastically.

It’s hard to believe that Bandon Dunes has been around for less than 25 years. In that time, it’s made its mark  – again and again – as top golf architects working for Keiser built one masterpiece after another on that plateau of green.

The Bandon Dunes Resort opened in 1999 as a destination for golfers to get back to “golf as it was meant to be,” to borrow a phrase from the resort’s marketing. Its courses play along dramatic bluffs towering 70 to 125 feet above a nearly four-mile stretch of unpopulated southern Oregon coast.

David MacLay Kidd built the original Bandon Dunes course, emulating the Scottish style of play that emphasizes keeping the ball low or on the ground. All courses are walking only. The five championship courses are pocked by dense patches of gorse (brought over from Scotland by a man named Bandon to corral his sheep). Stiff afternoon winds prevail during summer and rain squalls are possible year-round.

All of which means that the courses of the Bandon Dunes Resort are the closest to links golf you’ll find outside of the British Isles, except, perhaps, for Keiser’s Cabot resort courses on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

In this article we’ll lay out what you need to know to plan a trip to Bandon Dunes. But let’s start with a warning up front:

The bad news is that post-pandemic demand for bucket-list golf trips has Bandon Dunes lodging booked through most of 2024. More