South Coast Oregon: Golf Mecca of the Northwest

Take Your Game to Bandon Dunes

As reported here, avid golfers that worship Bandon Dunes got an unexpected surprise recently when United Airlines announced it will offer non-stop flights from Denver to North Bend, Oregon, starting in July. That equates to 45-minute-drive access for travelers that have long suffered the four-hour, weather-plagued drive from Portland to the incomparable golf mecca.

It also means the region’s coastal landscapes, events, festivals and attractions are now within super-easy reach. Here a five-sample look at what lies ahead:

1. Golf Digest ranks four of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort’s five jaw-dropping courses among America’s top 100. Its riches include the Tom Doak-designed Pacific Dunes (ranked 18th best in America), Bandon Dunes (David McLay Kidd); Old Macdonald (Doak/Jim Urbina); Bandon Trails (Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw); and 13-hole Bandon Preserve (Coore/Crenshaw), ranked the third Most Fun Course in America by Golf Digest. Accommodations include The Lodge and Inn, the secluded Lily Pond and Chrome Lake suites, and the more expansive four-bedroom Grove Cottages.

2. Bandon is nicknamed the Cranberry Capital of the West Coast, yet this seaside expanse also is renown for steelhead and salmon fishing, surfing, crabbing, hunting, hiking, birding, mushroom picking, beachcombing, canoeing, camping, horseback riding and antiquing. Among the must-do diversions: touring Angela Pozzi’s celebrated Washed Ashore Exhibit & Workshop Gallery; 890-acre Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and 745-acre Shore Acres State Park near Coos Bay.

3. Overnight your stay at Bandon Crossings, which offers top-shelf golf designed by Dan Hixson and vacation rental homes with splendid ocean and golf views. It’s also minutes from to Old Town Bandon, Bandon Dunes and historic Old Bandon Face Rock Golf Course.

4. Foodies visiting Bandon will have their fill of TripAdvisor-worthy restaurants, including Alloro Wine Bar and Restaurant, Edgewaters, Tony’s Crab Shack & Seafood Grill (pictured below) and the artisan cheese and chocolate ruminations of Face Rock Creamery and Coastal Mist Chocolate Boutique. Bandon Dunes also has four well-regarded restaurants to satisfy even the most persnickety of palates.

5. Super size your Oregon South Coast event calendar with to-dos that include the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship (Bandon Dunes; May 9-13); Bandon Showcase featuring celebrated Irish tenor Anthony Kearns (May 13); 4th of July Fireworks, Parade and BBQ; 37th Annual Oregon Coast Music Festival (July 11-25); 69th Annual Cranberry Festival (Sept. 11-13); and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in nearby Ashland (now through October). Also, the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. (June 15-21).

Click here for more information about Oregon South Coast.


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Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via

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