Experiencing Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on the Oregon Coast

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is an essential destination for every purist golfer and a must for every golf lover. Fortunately for Oregon golfers, it is right in our backyard near the small coastal town of Bandon.

One of the unique aspects of the resort is they don’t allow motorized carts to be used, except for people with disabilities. This means golfers have to golf the old-fashioned way by walking. 

Golfers can either carry their bags, use a push cart, or pay one of the resort’s caddies to carry their bags for them. 

It goes without saying, the scenery right along the Pacific Ocean is stunning and the quality of the golf courses is magnificent. 

On the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort website, they feature 6 courses to play, yet there is another small course called Shorty’s near the golf range. 

The golf practice facility itself is amazing with a huge putting green, a large chipping green, and two golf ranges to hit balls. 

putting green/author

Here is a list of the golf courses in order of their creation:

(yardage from furthest tees — black tees)

  • Bandon Dunes (1999), 6,732 yards, Par 72
  • Shorty’s (2000), 1,106 yards, Par 27 (9-hole Par 3 course)
  • Pacific Dunes (2001), 6,633 yards, Par 71
  • Bandon Trails (2005), 6,788 yards, Par 71
  • Old Macdonald (2010), 6944 yards, Par 71
  • Bandon Preserve (2012), 1,609 yards, Par 39 (13-hole Par 3 course)
  • Sheep Ranch (2020), 6,636 yards, Par 72

Although playing the main 6 courses is expensive, the practice range and Shorty’s are free for staying and playing guests and only $10 for visitors to use all day with a day pass. 

If you golf in the winter the prices are more reasonable and the place is more spacious, yet dealing with the coastal weather may be rough. 

Another thing to keep in mind is even though the yardages don’t seem very long, the nearly zero elevation means the ball doesn’t fly as far. Coming from an elevation of 4,200 ft., I noticed an estimated 20 percent less ball flight on shots. 

Visitors will also find 6 miles of hiking trails at Bandon Dunes:

  • Jamie McEwan Trail
  • Woodland Trail
  • Dune Trail
  • Beach Trail

These are free to walk and hike on for visitors. 

My wife and I lived in Bandon for nearly a year as I worked at Bandon Preserve as an agronomist (greenskeeper). This was an amazing experience for me as a golfer and greenskeeper. 

We walked the trails and enjoyed the beauty of the courses, surrounding forests, and ocean views.

What I realized when enjoying my time there was that it was a place for everyone who appreciated golf and the beauty of nature. The resort isn’t private or closed off, and although expensive to play on the main courses and stay as a guest, there was also the practice range, Shorty’s, and the hiking trails for free or very affordable. 

Ultimately, Bandon Dunes is a public resort open to all who want to experience what true links golf is all about. I was able to play Bandon Preserve and Bandon Trails while there and it was a great experience. 

There are many nice benches along the paths and courses to sit and take in the beauty like my wife is doing in the picture above. This was in December 2019. 

The experience of living and working there was memorable; hopefully, it won’t be the last time I venture on those beautiful grounds with my bag of sticks and camera. Just to note, their website has many amazing pictures and video footage of each course if these pictures weren’t enough. 


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