Course Spotlight

World’s Most Beautiful Courses: Pacific Dunes

By Jeff Simonds, PGA
Published on
Pacific Dunes

Pacific Dunes

Beauty is subjective and in the eye of the beholder, but when the beholders are the Advisory Board,* beauty is pretty definitive. We've asked officials at each course selected to tell us in their words why their course is an appropriate representative for The World's Most Beautiful Courses.

Golf as it was meant to be

When Mike Keiser first saw the land that was to eventually become Bandon Dunes Golf Resort he knew right away that it was a perfect setting for golf -- dream golf. It was his vision that brought about Pacific Dunes, a golf course discovered with the help of Tom Doak. To be chosen by's Advisory Board as one of The World's Most Beautiful Golf Courses is an honor that we are very proud to receive. There are many beautiful golf courses but few like Pacific Dunes. Pacific Dunes exudes beauty from the stunning views taken in as you play high above the Pacific Ocean to the beauty that is the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort culture, the experience is truly golf as it was meant to be. It's more than just golf here, it is a total sensory experience --walking only, with great golf, great caddies and great food and drink.

Play authentic links golf

Pacific Dunes is located on the Southern Oregon coast, part of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort where it lays alongside Bandon Dunes, Bandon Trails and soon to be joined by Old MacDonald. Upon your arrival you find that the golf course isn't just "links-like" -- it is authentic links golf. It sits perched above the Pacific Ocean near the mouth of the Coquille River. As you play the golf course you are challenged by not just the course design but by the surrounding elements of the wind, rain and natural terrain.

Breathtaking natural beauty

Opened in 2001 and designed by Tom Doak, Pacific Dunes is natural beauty at its best. Measuring 6,633 yards from the championship tees, Pacific Dunes is considerably shorter than many courses built in this decade. Despite the yardage, the year round wind causes it to play just as big as any course you might find. The fourth hole, a 463-yard par four where you play down the rugged coastline is just as memorable as the unforgettable tenth and eleventh holes, back-to-back par threes that can be a 9-iron or fairway wood depending on how much the wind is blowing. The thirteenth hole takes you back along the coastline, where your approach shot into the 444-yard par 4 is often missed towards the ocean because of the massive natural sand dunes that border the right side. The finishing hole is a 591-yard par 5, requiring an accurate tee shot that plays away from the big blow out bunkers down the left side. As you get closer to the green you again have to avoid the bunker on the front side of the green that gets deeper and deeper each year with the blowing winds. To finish Pacific Dunes with a birdie or par leaves you with a unique sense of accomplishment -- but you'll always finish with the memories of an unforgettable golf experience.

Steeped in culture

The other type of beauty found at Pacific Dunes, Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails is the Resort's culture. While at the Resort each golfer embarks on a journey that can be talked about for a lifetime. Guests visit to play golf, walk the courses and enjoy the timeless tradition of a professional caddie. Many play 36 holes in a day, walking upwards of fourteen miles, relishing the disconnect from the busy hustle of their daily routines. From the moment they enter the Resort, guests are greeted by a friendly face, offering assistance with any needs but refraining from an in-your-face service that makes a place feel stuffy.

It’s all about the golf—plus great food and camaraderie

Most guests seek to spend as much of their time as possible with a golf club in hand. And when the sun goes down friends gather to enjoy great food and recall the events of the day. Whether you are settling your bets over a beer in the new clubhouse at Pacific Dunes or choosing some local seafood or steak to complement your wine in The Gallery at the lodge, one thing is for certain: while at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort you get the opportunity to experience how the game was created -- playing links golf, amongst the wind and rain, playing the ball close to the ground and away from the many bunkers between you and the bottom of the cup. We hope you get the chance to come visit the Oregon Coast and Bandon Dunes Golf Resort to play Golf as it was meant to be.

The World's Most Beautiful Courses is a list of courses selected by the Editorial Advisory Board. The only prerequisites asked of the Board were 1.) they select courses open for public play and 2.) they not vote for their own course. The top 10 courses will be featured, in no particular order, other than the top vote getter which was selected by a unanimous vote.

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