Direct flights make Oregon’s coastal golf mecca accessible.
Golf pilgrimages come at different costs. The journey to play Augusta, Cypress or Pine Valley can require years of networking, letter writing and palm greasing. A weekend at Pebble could take years to pay off at prime plus 14 percent.
Then there’s Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, the award-winning, walking-only golf mecca hard by the Southern Oregon Coastline—and as seemingly hard to get to. Until now.
In April, United Express announced twice-a-week service (Sunday and Wednesday) between Denver International Airport (DEN) and Southwest Oregon Regional Airport (OTH), in North Bend, Oregon—less than a half-hour from the resort. Operated by SkyWest Airlines, the three-hour flights will run from July 1 to October 18. Round-trip airfare costs around $500.
So instead of flying three hours to Portland and driving another five to Bandon, you’ll save yourself eight hours of round-trip travel. That’s enough time to play two rounds on any of the resort’s four courses—Bandon Dunes (designed by David McLay Kidd), Pacific Dunes (Tom Doak), Bandon Trails (Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw) and Old Macdonald (Doak and Jim Urbina)—all of which sit 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean and have quickly grown permanent roots on every publication’s ranking of Top 100 U.S. courses. Recent additions include the highly ranked 13-hole Bandon Preserve Par-3 course and the 2.5-acre Punchbowl putting course.
Bandon’s accommodations reward those who walk as many as ten miles a day on its links. Amenities include a sauna, whirlpool, fitness center and massage center. Six dining and drinking options include McKee’s Pub, where you can wash down a scotch egg and plateful of Grandma’s Meatloaf with a single malt or a pint of craft brew, as well as the more upscale Gallery, where fresh fish and an extensive (and relatively inexpensive) wine list carry the day.
Lodging comes in five equally distinctive flavors: The Lodge and the Inn both offer single rooms with one and two beds; Chrome Lake’s 21 secluded buildings feature private bedroom lofts; the economical Lily Pond cottages; and the 16 designed-for-foursomes Grove Cottages, which will accommodate you and three friends with four private rooms and a shared parlor and patio.
Off-property, Bandon is also a cool coastal town bristling with fishing boats, fresh seafood, cheeses and a world-class cranberry festival. And when you do decide it’s time to go, it’s now only a half-hour to the airport and three hours home.