How Bandon Dunes in Oregon has firmly established itself as the United States’ favourite golf resort
By Michael McEwan
LOCATED in Oregon, on the north-west coast of the USA, Bandon Dunes is one of America’s most hyped golf resorts - and with good reason.
The town of Bandon, which sits at the mouth of the Coquille River, is arguably the closest thing America has to St Andrews. The locals live and breathe golf, whilst the four links at Bandon Dunes (five, if you include the fabulous par-3 layout) evoke the spirit of the ‘Auld Grey Toon’s’ own impressive collection.
The first of the courses opened in 1999 and was designed by (surprise, surprise) a Scot, David McLay-Kidd.
Pacific Dunes followed two years later. It was designed by Tom Doak - the man behind The Renaissance on East Lothian - and proved so popular so quickly that it soon overtook McLay-Kidd’s track as the highest-rated course on the property. Indeed, in 2005, Golfweek rated it the No.1 course in the USA, pipping Pebble Beach to the top spot.
Also in 2005, Bandon Dunes welcomed its third 18-hole layout, the Coore-Crenshaw designed Bandon Trails. Unlike its contemporaries, none of its holes are routed along the edge of the Pacific Ocean, meandering instead through dunes, meadows and forest land.
Old Macdonald followed in 2010. Named in honour of Charles Blair Macdonald, the man who designed the first 18-hole course in the States, it was crafted by Doak in collaboration with Jim Urbina. According to Golf Digest, it is ‘the hottest course in America right now’ and ‘looks like it was lifted, cleaned and placed from the west of Scotland’. High praise.
With a variety of accommodation on offer on-site, a short break at Bandon Dunes has become one of the hottest tickets in US golf. Rest assured, it lives up to the hype.
For more information on Bandon Dunes and all of its courses and special offers, log-on to bandondunesgolf.com