What is Next on the Horizon at Bandon Dunes? USGA Championships


As seen in Bandon Dunes Magazine.

"What is astounding is the fact there are four championship-caliber courses at Bandon Dunes, all of which have been played for these various championships. Bandon Dunes has no rival in these regards." —Mike Davis, USGA Chief Executive

Inspiring and versatile, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort provides the perfect haven for amateur golf championships. Having hosted five USGA championships so far, and with two more on the horizon, including this year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, Bandon has quickly become a storied national championship venue, where the world’s top amateurs come in search of making history.

In a relatively short period of time, Bandon Dunes has become one of the truly premier championship host sites anywhere in golf,” says USGA Chief Executive Mike Davis. “What is astounding is the fact there are four championship-caliber courses at Bandon Dunes, all of which have been played for these various championships. Bandon Dunes has no rival in these regards.” Since he created Bandon Dunes nearly two decades ago, Mike Keiser has envisioned the resort as a facility for the amateur golfer where championships could be contested. “That’s why I built it in the first place,” Keiser says. “We’re very happy to be hosting such significant championships.”

In the next two years, Bandon will host two USGA championships, for a total of seven in a 14-year span. This year will see the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball contested on Old Macdonald and Pacific Dunes. A year later, Bandon Dunes will join an exclusive club in hosting the 2020 United States Amateur, the oldest championship in the nation. The prestigious championship will challenge the top amateur golfers in the world on Bandon Trails and Bandon Dunes.

“I view the U.S. Amateur as a major championship and one that we’re very happy to have contested at Bandon,” says Keiser.


The USGA was originally formed in 1894 to resolve the question of a national amateur championship. Earlier that year, the Newport CC and Saint Andrew's GG, in Yonkers, New York, both declared the winners of their event the "national amateur champion." That autumn, delegates from Newport, St. Andrew's, The Country Club, Chicago Golf Club, and Shinnecock Hills met in New York City to form a national governing body, which would administer the championship and also the Rules of Golf. On Dec. 22, 1894, the Amateur Golf Association of the United States was officially formed, and was shortly thereafter renamed the "United States Golf Association." 


A biennial championship, the Curtis Cup pits the top amateur female golfers from the United States against those from Great Britain and Ireland in a team match play competition. Traditionally dominated by the American side, the 2006 Curtis Cup was no different. Played on the spectacular Pacific Dunes course, the Americans won over team GB&I 11 ½–6 ½. 

The USGA used Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails to host the United States Mid-Amateur Championship. Bandon Trails had only been open a short two years before testing some of the finest amateur players in the world. After losing in spectacular fashion to a young Tiger Woods at the 1994 U.S. Amateur Championship, Trip Kuehne found redemption at Bandon. Kuehne took down Dan Whitaker 9 and 7 in the 36-hole final, adding a USGA championship to his impressive amateur career. 

"I was really fired up about it. I loved Bandon and overall thought the setup would be really good for my game." —Trip Kuehne (Read more from Trip below)

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort welcomed the men’s and women’s U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. It was the first time that any USGA championship had been conducted simultaneously at the same site, posing a unique opportunity for both the USGA and the resort. The public links championships were designed specifically for public players, with those belonging to private clubs unable to enter. The Old Macdonald and Bandon Trails courses played host to both championships and 312 total competitors. The men’s field featured a strong contingent of now—PGA Tour winners like Harris English, Harold Varner III, and Derek Ernst. Ernst lasted 36 holes in the Public Links final before falling to Corbin Mills on the first playoff hole. On the women’s side, Brianna Do outlasted Marissa Dodd on the Old Macdonald layout, winning 1 up. The inclusion of Old Macdonald in the 2011 Public Links Championships meant that all four 18-hole courses on the property had now hosted major USGA championships, a testament to the extraordinary quality of golf offered at Bandon.

Bandon is fun for golfers of all abilities and it is sustainable golf. It truly is one of the great experiences anywhere in our game. —Mike Davis USGA Chief Executive

The inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four Ball was contested on Pacific Dunes, featuring two rounds of team stroke play—played in the traditional better-ball format—after which the field was cut to 32 sides that compete in fourball matches. At the 2015 championship, in an all-teenager matchup, the team of Mika Liu and Rinko Mitsunaga were victorious over Robynn Ree and Hannah O’Sullivan. A fifth successful championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort proved the versatility of its incredible courses and fostered a deep and lasting relationship with the USGA. 

“I love playing by the ocean because of the beautiful views and the windy, challenging conditions." —Mika Liu (Read more from Mika below)

With Old Macdonald and Pacific Dunes playing host to the U.S. Amateur Four Ball this year, and Bandon Dunes as well as Bandon Trails holding the Amateur Championship the year after, the question is what’s next? Keiser says he’s thrilled to continue supporting amateur championships and hopes more will come to Bandon in the future. “I can imagine two great Walker Cup teams competing at Bandon,” he says. In the end, perhaps Davis sums it up best: ”Bandon is fun for golfers of all abilities and it is sustainable golf. It truly is one of the great experiences anywhere in our game.”

To keep up to date on stories and scores for this year's U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship visit USGA.org here.



Eric Flockhart is a Toronto-based writer who competed in the 2017 Canadian Amateur.

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