The cool morning air hits you in the face as you step out of the shuttle. You rub the sleep out of your eyes. The driver grabs your clubs out of the back of the shuttle, sets them down, shakes your hand and gives you and your three best buddies a quick piece of golf advice, "Enjoy the morning walk, gents!"

You make your way towards the Bandon Trails clubhouse to check in and gear up for the busy day of golf. As you walk into the golf shop, there is a tall, wide-smiled golf professional waiting there who greets you with a "Good morning, sir! Anything I may help you with today?" He answers all your questions, and you make your way to the first tee feeling prepared for the day.

What you might not have found out during the haze of an early morning is that staffer who helped in the shop is not only enhancing your daily golf experience but is also making big moves in our local community to help bring the game of golf closer to our next generation!

Known around the resort as our junior golf guru, Scott Millhouser is not only the Head Golf Professional at Bandon Trails, but he's also the Head Golf Coach for Bandon High School and helps teach the Southwestern Oregon Community College men and women's golf teams.

We sat down with Scott between clinics to talk to him about his involvement with coaching young golfers, embodying the Bandon Dunes golf experience and balancing all of that with family life and two young kids at home.

Hey Scottie, thanks for all you do to ensure our guests and local juniors have the best golf experience possible. Let's start out with some history, where are you originally from, how long have you lived in Bandon and worked at the resort?
Thanks! I am originally from Dallas, Oregon. I have lived on the South Coast of Oregon for just over 11 years while working at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Wow, the time sure does fly around here. Tell us, how do you balance work, play, coaching, and family life at home?
First, I have a wonderful wife who understands I am living my dream job. The culture at Bandon Dunes makes us feel like part of a larger family. My family enjoys playing golf, so we play where I work. Occasionally my young son will come to high school golf practice with me so we can spend more time together and the kids on the team have been great to him. We also enjoy the resort’s walking trails, and we do our best to get to the beach whenever we can.

A balanced life for sure! How long have you been coaching high school and junior golf around Bandon?
I started volunteering as the boy's Assistant Coach for Bandon High School nine years ago. I officially became the boy's Head Coach in 2012 and just finished my fifth season. This year I also took over as the girl's coach and have really enjoyed coaching both boys and girls golf. I've been involved with our junior golf programs at the resort since 2005. A couple of seasons later I realized that I wanted to follow through with the progress we had in our summer junior golf programs into the high school golf season.

How did your teams finish up this year?
We had our best turn out with sixteen boys and six girls this year! Both teams had a lot of fun and made solid progress in their games throughout the season. We had our top ranked girl win a few tournaments along with our top ranked boy winning a handful as well. Both kids have been participants in our summer junior golf programs over the past five years, and it has been incredibly fulfilling to see the progress they have made since they first attended our junior golf programs. Looking forward, we are excited to start building on the successes of this year and are lucky to have a number of returning players.

That is great stuff! Expand more on teaching golf to youngsters. What's rewarding about it? How do you ensure that your students balance fun and competition out on the course to keep them coming back for more?
Teaching golf to kids is extremely enjoyable. We try to provide a safe learning environment that cultivates confidence and character. This level of confidence allows them to have fun and be themselves. Their excitement for life, golf, and anything fun is contagious. It’s rewarding to see their reaction when they make their first putt or hit their first drive in the air and is longer than they expected. They smile, laugh, and cheer, and instantly you know they are hooked on golf. Once they hit a good shot, they cannot wait to show off what they have learned. We provide them with instruction followed by a brief competition. By keeping the competition short, they are left wanting more, and it helps bring them back week after week!

What is the best way to get kids excited about golf?
The best way to get kids excited about golf is to let them be themselves. Only focus on what they are doing right, because nobody likes being told what they are doing wrong. If you provide them with fun games and encouragement, they will remember that they had a great experience on the golf course and crave more.

Speaking of great experiences, when you take them out on our courses what is their reaction to the scenery? Does it remind you of the excitement we see in our adult guests?
Absolutely! Both our juniors and adult guests have the same reaction to our courses. It's like kids in a candy shop. They start dreaming about the next hole they are going to play and the enjoyment it will bring them.

Lastly, if there is a guest who is enquiring about junior clinics how should they go about finding more information?
They can email me at or call my office at 541-347-5973. It is worth noting that a lot of our clinics are complimentary and conducted at our Practice Center. They can also check out our summer clinic schedule available at this link! Thanks for helping promote junior golf!

Scott's illustration has been featured on a custom club cover from Seamus Golf!

Big thanks to @seamusgolf for creating this head cover for my very close friend and Head Golf Pro at #bandontrails Scott Millhouser. Scott is a class act and this is an image of his beautiful, smooth, buttery golf swing!! Big love to him and #seamusgolf #whyilovethisgame #pga365 #oregongolf #bandondunes #bandondunesgolf @bandondunesgolf #pnwgolf #playerswanted #pacificdunes #enjoyyourwalk @boo_her @kempersports

A photo posted by Brian (@mands_on) on Oct 7, 2016 at 6:03pm PDT



For fifteen years Grant Rogers has been sharing his golf wisdom with guests and fellow employees as the Director of Instruction here at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

If you're lucky enough to know him, or to have taken a lesson from him, then you are familiar with his epic stories and his zen like approach to the game. Golf, much like Grant, must be experienced to be fully enjoyed. Experience is at the heart of what makes Grant such a great instructor. Like the Tao Te Ching, what he says sometimes might seem obvious on the surface, but if you listen closely he's speaking to the larger picture of things.

Recently, we sat down with Grant to pick his brain and to glean some insight into how he approaches the game. The following video is a snippet of our larger conversation. We hope you enjoy it.

Watch our in-person interview with Grant Rogers below or on our Vimeo account. You can also visit our  Instruction">Instruction Page for instruction details and more videos from Grant. 

Read the extended interview below and please share your Grant stories with us in the comment section!

So Grant, how long have you lived in Bandon?

I've lived in Bandon almost 15 years. The time has really gone fast. I can't believe I've been here 15 years but someone told me that yes I have. *Laughs

I've been here 6 years and it seems like only a few days have gone by.

I know it. What is the deal with that?

I don't know why that is.

I do. Someone told me when I was little that time accelerates as you get older. I said, "No it doesn't. Time is a constant!" So, I was convinced I was right. Then as I got a little older I became convinced he was right. I do think it accelerates. *Laughs

So Grant, what's your "Bandon Story?" How did you discover the resort?

I do have a Bandon story. I'm glad you asked that question. My Bandon story starts at Royal St. George's Golf Club in England. Somehow I ended up there and as soon as I played that golf course my whole attitude about golf changed. I realized this style of golf I really like to play the best.

Links golf? 

Yeah, links golf. I had never really played golf like that before and then instead of coming home I decided to play more golf like that in Scotland. So then I kind of vanished in Scotland for a while. But, when I got back to the United States I started realizing that I was constantly scheming on different ways to get back to Europe to play golf. I was pretty successful because I was able to go there 20 different times to play golf. So that's when I got really hooked on links golf. As soon as I discovered that they were building Bandon Dunes I came over and took a look at what they were doing. At that time they were just building the fifth hole at Bandon and they were really excited to have someone to show the golf course to. Which was basically just the fifth hole. I took one look at that golf hole and thought, "This is going to be a fantastic golf course, just like those courses I used to play in Europe."

No. 5 on Bandon Dunes is a beast!

Yes. One of my favorite holes on property!

Do you like it because it plays so differently from day to day? You could play it in a north breeze, south breeze and benign day and have a different experience each time.

That's true. Something is different every time you play it, usually it's the elements. The great thing about playing Bandon Dunes golf is the wind. I think it's the X factor. You never know exactly what's going to happen wind-wise. I've been sending notes to people I give lessons to, telling them, "I'm pretty excited that the northwest wind is back." It really does add a lot of interest to golf in the summer here.

Aside from being aware of the wind and such, what do you think is the secret to a low score on our links courses? 

You have to know when to play offence and defense. Sometimes it makes sense to go for the green, for example, and sometimes it makes sense not to go for the green. It's almost kind of irresistible [to go for the green] because there it is, and if you hit your best shot you're going to get on the green and maybe a birdie putt, right? And then all of a sudden, people are really surprised that the ball didn't go where they aimed, they ended up in a sand dune and they made a 10. So they may have been better off hitting a 7-iron, getting on the green that way, and then 1 or 2-putt to get a par or a bogey. So, you just have to take your time and look at what makes the most sense. The greens here are really well guarded, for one thing, especially against long shots. And that's what gets the more agressive, low-handicap player in trouble because they are pretty aggressive here when they don't need to be.

Do you have any nicknames?

Well, lately people have been calling me "The Wizard" because of The Wizard of Bandon Dunes article that appeared in Golf Digest. If you haven't read it there are a few stories people might enjoy if they read it. The other day someone was kind of teasing me about that nickname and I told them, "Be careful, as a wizard I can make you disappear!" *Laughs. He hasn't called me the Wizard lately.


How do people sign up for links instructions?

We do have a page on our website that has all the information about what we offer. Basically we can help people with anything related to their golf game. Our Practice Center is the best. So, it's unlimited in terms of what we can do to help people with their golf shots or with their golf game in general. Then of course we give lessons out on the courses because a lot of times people will tell me, "Great you have me hitting the ball really well on the range but I can never do this on the golf course." So then we suggest to go out there together because sometimes they just need a guide out there to be with and help them out with a little more about strategy and maybe a little bit about how to putt well out on the golf course. That makes a big difference because it has a lot to do with scoring.

What's the most common question a student will ask you?

A lot of people here at the resort are intrigued and want to know more about links golf. They also want to know what's different about links golf and how do they play their best golf here in Bandon. Links lessons are really popular. We give those to small or big groups where we talk about specific links shots, how to play in the wind, how to survive in the bunkers, and how to putt well. If they can learn a little bit in each area they're going to play better, for sure.

How can individual lessons be different than links lessons?

A lot of times their swing problems are pretty simple to fix. It's not like a band-aid lesson, it's more like, "This is how you fix this problem." I have a lot of people try to tell me, "It can't be that easy" and I tell them to hit another one. Then they hit another good golf shot because what ever they have been trying to do has been way to complicated. Golfers have trouble doing something that's really complicated with a golf club in their hands. It just doesn't work.

I've heard that too. It's best to simplify, right?

Yeah, this idea of "less-is-more" is actually true. You can't be thinking about 19,000 things. It just doesn't work.

Do you think there is an ideal swing?

That's a really good question. There is an ideal swing actually... it's the one that works best for you. That's where an instructor has to figure that out, "Okay, what swing will work best for you?" A lot of times people have natural swings too. We've done some interesting experiments with swinging a golf club and filming it. It's amazing how good their swing really is. If you introduce a golf ball who knows what they're going to do. They put it in a different mode. They go from swinging a golf club mode, to hitting a golf ball mode. It's really different. Sometimes I'll have to tell people how good their practice swing really is and that they should sneak up to the golf ball and really use it. *Laughs. Because if they do, they hit this really good golf shot, ya know?

Do you have consistencies you look for from address through the swing that you like to follow?

Yeah, I do. A lot of times when someone is waiting for me at the Practice Center for a lesson and as I'm walking up to them I see their swing from a distance, before I even talk to them I know the problem with their swing. Just watching them take a few swings I can tell a couple of the things that they're doing that are really good, but we have to add a few things to it to make it really good. If the rhythm and balance is good for a golfer, they're gonna have a better chance of hitting a good golf shot. That's for sure. So a lot of times if they have a problem it's related to one or more of those areas. So my focus becomes, let's get the balance right, now let's get the rhythm right then we'll see what happens. A lot of the time the results are really good.

What are your thoughts about luck? What do you think about the saying, "luck is just preparation meeting opportunity?"

Well... sometimes it is just luck too. Sometimes you just get lucky. That golf ball could've gone in the water but it didn't or the ball could've gone out of bounds but it didn't. Or you went in the bunker but had this perfect lie, then all of a sudden a putt went in that you thought you missed. Luck is on your side sometimes. Luck is definitely a factor in links golf. So if you're playing your best golf on any of our golf courses you're having a lucky day. The reason I'm saying that is once your golf ball leaves the club then you have zero influence on that golf ball. So then, that's where the luck comes in. If you want to find out if you're a lucky person or not, just hit a golf ball somewhere and you'll find out.

*Laughs. That's a pretty good line to start wrapping up. Anything parting thoughts you'd like to add?

 I think that anyone who's interested in golf is interested in playing a little better. They want to know more about their potential. I know I've had some really good golf lessons myself. I think golf lessons can be very valuable. So, I would encourage anyone that wants to get better to get together and come out and see us. We'll do our best to help you.

I haven't seen a problem that someone has had with a golf club that can't be fixed. Sometimes they have to be a bit more patient and have a little more sense of humor about the whole situation but they can definitely get better. I just encourage all golfers to get some help if they need it and just enjoy whatever is going on. Be glad you're on the golf course.

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is really an amazing experience. And it really is amazing every day.


ICYMI: Don't forget to check out our Employee Feature on Bob "Shoe" Gaspar from early 2015!

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