Bandon Dunes, Oregon

Wednesday February 21st, 2007

Seasoned travelers know that the number of amenities offered by a resort is too often in inverse proportion to the quality of the golf. A spa doesn't make up for mediocre courses. At Bandon Dunes, the opposite approach has won out. There are no frills: It's about golf the way Bali is about beaches. And with three of GOLF MAGAZINE's Top 100 Courses, it's the best one-stop shop you'll find anywhere.

Pacific Dunes



The Card Wrecker



TOM DOAK ON PLAYING IT

  • "The green is protected by a deep hollow front-right and bunkers behind. From the hollow you're playing off a bare lie to a shelf of green 20 feet above you. Leave it short and the ball may come back to you. Some players try to drive the green, figuring they'd rather be in the hollow with their first shot than with their second. For most players it's best to lay back and leave a full wedge shot. I often aim for the ramp of grass between the bunkers — that's why I built it! I've seen people make 4 from the hollow in front, but they were either really good or really lucky."
  • Bandon Trails
    6,765, par 71
    No. 47, Top 100 Courses in the U.S.

    Bandon Dunes


    Local Knowledge:

    THE COST

  • Greens fees at all three Bandon Dunes courses are $185 for resort guests, $240 for nonguests. Same-day replays are $95. Before May greens fees are $75-$130 for guests, $100-$175 for non-guests. To make tee times, call 888-345-6008.
  • NEED TO KNOW
  • Bandon is a walking-only resort so a caddie is a smart investment.and not just as a Sherpa for your bag. His knowledge of the tracks will save you from more big numbers than a crooked accountant. Cost: $50.
  • WHERE TO STAY

  • The Lodge at Bandon Dunes is as simple as golf resorts get: good food and drink and close to the action. There are 19 single rooms and two four-bedroom suites. Rooms are $180 May to October. A suite is $1,500 in high season. Cottages start at $280. Call 800-742-0172.
  • GETTING THERE
  • Alaska Airlines flies into North Bend four times a day from Portland. The flight is one hour. The resort is 25 minutes from the airport on Highway 101. Driving time from Portland is 4.5 hours.
  • THE SHEEP RANCH

  • Known jokingly as "Area 51," the Sheep Ranch isn't a conventional course. Tom Doak laid out 13 tees and greens on the bluffs. Drop a ball, choose your target and begin a journey that takes you back to how the game was first played. Then pull the gate behind you. That's if you can persuade the resort to let you out there. No harm in asking, right?
  • WHERE TO EAT
  • The Gallery at the Lodge serves up great local seafood and steaks. The bone-in Cowboy ribeye is as daunting a challenge as the courses. 541-347-5737
  • McKee's Pub has all the warmth of a Scottish highland hostelry, and is the perfect spot for pub grub while reliving the round. 541-347-5733
  • Lord Bennett's in Bandon has great steaks.with ocean views and prices to match. 541-347-3663
  • WHAT TO DO

  • Take a sunset tour of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse with the keeper, including a climb up to the lantern room. $35; 541-332-2750, lighthousekeeper.com
  • Shore Acres State Park has a Monterey pine listed on the National Big Tree Register. It's 95 feet tall with a 74-foot crown spread. 541-888-2472, shoreacres.net
  • The hazards at West Coast Game Park Safari 7 miles south of Bandon have even more bite than the courses: lions, snow leopards and panthers. $13; 541-347-3106, gameparksafari.com
  • More From the Web

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