The reputation of Bandon Dunes as one of the premier golf resorts in golf has grown over a concise period of time. It’s not hard to see why. With 5 full courses, all worthy of being showstoppers in their own right, plus an equally impressive short course and other desirable facilities, place Bandon Dunes in the elite company of golf trips worldwide.
But to some keen golfers, Bandon also represents a tough trip to plan. Positioned on the remote Oregon coast, some could politely say Bandon is not far from the middle of nowhere. Whilst part of Bandon’s charm is its remote and rugged location; there are steps and questions to consider when planning a trip.
How did you get there?
Depending on the time you have available, the money you are willing to fork out, and where you are coming from in the world, be prepared for at least a small adventure when getting to Bandon Dunes.
For those traveling internationally, three of the bigger airports you may typically fly into including San Francisco, Seattle, or Vancouver. Driving time will then vary from 8 to 10 hours depending on what airport you choose. The pros of driving, especially in a larger group, are that you will save some money and potentially see some amazing sights on the way (if you come from Vancouver or Seattle Chamber Bay Golf Course is a great option for a round on the way). The downside is naturally at least 1 lost day of travel at either end of your trip.
If you wish to cut down on travel time, the closest local airport is North Bend, Oregon. Only 25 miles from Bandon Dunes. But connecting flights can be pricey. Eugene, Oregon, is 2.5 hours away and Portland 5 hours. Both may offer cheaper rates.
If you feel like really pushing the limits on your trip, charter flights can land as close as 10 mins to the course,e and local transport can be used from North Bend or any of the private air trips. There is no great point in having a car on-site at Bandon Dunes if you arrive at one of the local airports.
When to visit?
Bandon Dunes may be one of the more controversial questions among your friends when you travel to play when you are planning out your trip. Rates do vary wildly at Bandon between peak and off-season. For example, a round of golf can vary between $140 and $345 for a non-resort guest. Big dollars if you plan to play a fair bit.
Weather is an important factor when you are doing your planning too. Bandon makes no secret that winds can be severe, but that can happen any time of the year. The good news is that temperatures tend to be relatively mild – very rarely dropping below freezing and equally not often rising over 80 degrees. Rainfall, however, does certainly spike from October to May.
Daylight hours are the other important consideration when you book Bandon. If you want to play 36, it’s possible year-round, but only just. You will need to be the first group out and close to the last group back in during the winter months. Play in summer, and you can saunter around a casual 36 and have time for the par 3 courses in the evening.
If money is no object, then June to October is your spot. Rainfall is at its lowest, and winds typically will be most friendly. November and early December potentially provide the most value to cost-sensitive golfers. Pricing is ‘shoulder season,’ but the weather is more settled than in Spring.
The good news is that Bandon can be played through the year, and even with the best of planning, you may strike a good or bad patch. However, if all else fails, spend a bit more, as this may be a bucket list trip.
Where to stay?
If you can afford it, stay on site. Bandon offers a range of accommodation options tailoring to a range of golfers’ budgets and needs, and I firmly believe you will get a better overall experience staying on site. If you wish to play 36 or more holes a day, you will also find things easier staying on site—no need to hire a car or worry about getting home after a few drinks.
It is important to note golf rates are also much cheaper if you stay on site.
In saying that, if you have a larger group, it is certainly possible to save money staying in private AirBNB style accommodation off-site. You will also potentially save on food and drinks.
There are no right and wrong options, but if your budget allows, go for the best all-around experience and stay on site. However, if you are off-site, check out a round at Bandon Crossing Golf Course – the ‘other’ golf course in the region.
How much golf to play?
How long is a piece of string? If I could stay at Bandon for a month, I would. I might even see if I could sleep in the greenskeepers shed all year.
But at the very least, ensure you spend 3 days on-site. You can play the 5 full courses and also the extra special Bandon Preserve par 3 courses. It will be a busy trip with 36 holes on 2 days back to back, but that is what you are there for
To go to Bandon and not play all the courses is a travesty if you are a keen golfer.
If time is an issue, I would suggest a trip lasting 5 nights. This way, you can play every course once in the morning when winds should be at their most placid. Then you can play some courses you want another crack at in the afternoon.
With over half a dozen food options on-site at Bandon, you will also be spoilt for choice. And the team is first class at helping you enjoy your trip.
Whilst Bandon may seem like a tricky spot to get to, in summary, it can be an affordable trip once on site. So if you are dreaming of heading out west, no time is better than the present.