Travel bucket list idea:
Pacific Dunes Golf Course
Bandon, Oregon, United States of America (USA)|www.bandondunesgolf.com
Part of the excellent Bandon Dunes collection of golf courses, Pacific Dunes takes first prize for the exquisite work of Tom Doak, who has created a modern masterpiece – very much in the style of a classic Scottish links.
It’s only been around since 2001, but the unorthodox routing (four par 3s on the back 9) is framed by jagged sand dunes and some outrageous bunkers that erupt out of the rumpled fairways as Doak’s tip o’ the hat to Alistair MacKenzie.
It’s not overly long, nor are the greens especially tough, but the course demands all kinds of shot making and, when the wind is up, every ounce of your concentration. More than anything, playing is just a lot of fun – the perfect balance of great golf and distracting Pacific views.
Getting there & doing it
Bandon Dunes is 110 miles south of Portland. You don’t need to book too far in advance – a week or so should be plenty, but you’ll usually get a tee time a day or two before.
When to do it
The course is open all year round, seven days a week. September is the local’s favourite month to play, but February is a well-kept secret: it’s cold, but not nearly as busy and the off-season rates are in play. Try to play in the afternoon, finishing with a spectacular sunset.
Round-ups that include this experience