By Cheryl Justak, Publisher
Contributions by Erik Peterson, Director of Communications for Bandon Dunes
As golfers, many of us have a bucket list of golf courses that we would like to play at least once before we leave this earth. For me, as well as for probably 90% of golfers who enjoy traveling and playing different golf courses, Bandon Dunes was definitely on that list.
While Bandon Dunes certainly has "bucket list" qualities, it's not a place golfers are content visiting just once. Bucket list activities typically are individual and personal. However, Bandon Dunes is a very special place tucked away along a stunning coastline that naturally brings people together. And who would want an amazing experience with their friends just once? Just like a kid on a rollercoaster. Wouldn't it be more fun to ride the rollercoaster more than one time? Or even ten times?
All four 18-hole courses at Bandon Dunes can each be classified as a masterpiece as they are equally impressive. During our visit to Bandon Dunes, we had the pleasure of sitting down to visit with Erik Peterson, Director of Communications for Bandon Dunes. Erik was very insightful and provided us with several interesting perspectives about Bandon Dunes.
First of all, Erik shared, if you were to ask 10 different people to rank the Bandon Dunes courses from 1 to 4, you would get different answers from just about every person. Secondly, all four courses are ranked inside the "Top 50" on GOLF Magazine's list of "Top 100 Courses in America." No other property (public or private) has more than two. And, lastly, all four courses are the same price to play. If one course was more popular than another, it stands to reason that it would be priced differently.
We also discovered in talking to Erik that Bandon Dunes Golf Resort had been chosen by the USGA to host the inaugural U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship. The event, which will be held May 9-13, 2015 at the resort's Bandon Dunes Course, replaces the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links and is the USGA's first new championship since 1995.
Bandon Dunes' remote location is actually a positive because getting there becomes part of the entire experience. Erik expressed how he enjoys standing out in front of the main lodge as guests arrive. They pile out of their Suburban together and high-five as if to say, "We made it! Let's do this!!" He added, "I can't think of another golf resort where the experience begins before you even arrive."
There are many different ways to get to Bandon Dunes. We flew into Portland, Oregon to spend a few days in this vibrant city. We then started out on the five-hour drive to Bandon. We stopped half way to spend the night and play a round of golf at the Salishan Golf Resort. The next day we enjoyed taking our time driving the winding coastal roads that provided spectacular views of the blooming rhododendrons of every color and size, quaint coastal towns, and stopping for lunch to savor the magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean.
There are several choices for lodging at the resort and it depends on what you are looking for in terms of accommodations. All are conveniently located to each of the four courses and each offers various food and beverage options as well. Make sure to have dinner one night at the Pacific Grille located at Pacific Dunes, while enjoying beautiful views of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.
We had the pleasure of playing all four courses and I would highly recommend taking a caddie when you play. The caddies are highly knowledgeable and can provide a more pleasurable round. Plan on a minimum of $100 per caddie per round for each golfer.
After playing all four courses and enjoying each one's matchless beauty and challenge, one thought continued to permeate my mind about Bandon Dunes. The golf courses back home typically defy nature and are built by taking the existing landscape, changing it, and creating something that did not exist before. Bandon Dunes does the opposite. Each course works with the beauty of the existing terrain, the sand dunes and the rugged coastline, and weaves throughout the natural landscape, all while embracing the elements and nature to create an unbelievable golf experience.
Bandon Dunes is unique because it truly is all about the golf. Many resorts try to be all things to all people by offering golf, shopping, spa, swimming pool, casino, etc Bandon Dunes is for people who love golf. It's pure and simple.