Crafting Your Perfect Trip


When is the best time to play Bandon Dunes if you want to see the sunset? What’s the best rotation for a newcomer? What months are the calmest? Bandon Dunes’ Director of Resort Operations, Jeff Simonds, has been asked all the questions by newcomers and veterans alike. Planning the perfect Bandon Dunes itinerary is really dependent on what your goals are, Simonds explains. “The best time to come is when it fits in your schedule,” he says. With that in mind, the 14-year veteran of the resort offers his Bandon insights gleaned from his time at the resort interacting with tens of thousands of guests.

As seen in Bandon Dunes Magazine.


If you’ve never been here before, one of the more enjoyable ways to understand Bandon is to start on the 13-hole Bandon Preserve. You get the firm turf, the tight lies, the big greens, and the great ocean views. You’re going to be excited to finally play Bandon, and you’ll have the opportunity to be creative with your putts and pitches. We also allow up to an eight-some on the Preserve so it is a great start to catch up with your buddies who don’t live near you.


Old Macdonald is the course that is most exposed to the elements. So, if you’re trying to avoid the wind as much as you can, then you’d play it in the morning and then Bandon Trails in the afternoon.


For an epic day, you’ll want to finish on Bandon Dunes or Pacific Dunes so the round ends in the evening—the sunsets are truly incredible. But they are great to play in the morning when you are waking up with the golf course and you can smell the ocean and hear the waves as they are crashing— that’s pretty good as well. However, it is also great to play Pacific in a morning and then another day in the afternoon because the courses will play very differently. You want to see how they change from the morning to the afternoon and you’ll see how links golf changes throughout the day. A 440-yard par four can be driver and a 3-wood in the morning, but only a driver and mid-iron in the evening. It is about understanding the conditions.


Mid-July through the end of September is the calmest and predictable days out here. But you can get 70 degrees and calm any day of the year. If you’re playing the odds, that 90-day stretch through September is probably your best option. Our predominant wind changes in April and May, then back in October and November—you’ll see stronger links conditions and a lot of people love that.


There are many ways to craft the perfect four-day Bandon trip. It all depends on where you are in your life and how you define the perfect experience. The perfect trip for me is to play 18 on the first day at Bandon Dunes so you can see the sunset. You’re also going to want to have a caddie for the first course when you play it the first time—it’ll help immensely. Then on the full days, I’d be sure to play multiple rounds to take advantage of our replay rates and find time in my itinerary to enjoy the Preserve and Punchbowl. Finish with 18 or an early Preserve round on the departure day. You’ll be pleasantly worn out. And often you’ve messed up a hole and you want to go back and test it again. This way you have that opportunity to play two courses twice, and you spend four days absorbing everything at Bandon.


Caddies are really an essential part of the experience. Your GPS might say you have 220 yards into a green, but depending on how it is playing, it could be 275, or 150. Our caddies really know the course and the conditions and they can tell you so much about how each course is playing depending on the weather. They really are key. Out here you’re playing chess—not checkers.


Mike Keiser has set it up so that if we’re sold out from a lodging perspective, there’s always golf inventory. He likes to play quickly and he made sure that it doesn’t feel too busy when we’re full. With that in mind, on most days we try to get everyone out by 11 am, which allows players to replay in the afternoon. There’s no penalty if you book 36 and are too tired to play that afternoon. We recommend people just book it and we’ll roll with the changes.


Our reservations team are experts on the best way to experience Bandon. Give them a call at the number below or drop us a note on our Reservations page!


CALL (855) 444-1081

Stay Cool. Play Links Golf.


The breezes off the Pacific Ocean have shaped Oregon’s rugged coast for eons, creating the natural canvas on which Bandon Dunes now rests. It is this coastal weather that makes true links golf so unpredictable and engaging, and often a welcome relief from summer’s heat.

At Bandon Dunes, that coastal weather is always a source of conversation and a consideration on when to plan your next visit, but the weather has also been top of mind for golfers everywhere, it seems.

This summer has been one for the record books, with points across the country and beyond hitting thermostat-busting new highs. In fact, June & July were among the warmest on record, and August appears to be following suit.

Learning to manage the summer conditions is an important part of golf for many of us, and typically a small price to pay for playing a game we all love, to be sure. Yet a cool breeze this time of year is always a welcome change of pace. And while golfers around the country toil under a sweltering summer sun, Bandon Dunes keeps cool with the natural air-conditioning that the Pacific Ocean provides.

While the dog days of summer are in full swing throughout much of the country, Bandon Dunes is entering its most reliably gorgeous stretch of weather. High temperatures in Bandon average just 68 degrees in August. In September, 67 degrees. And in October, the average high dips to a beautifully mild 63 degrees — about the same average high as one will find here in June.

August, September, and October happen to be three of the driest months of the year, too.

Climate data only gives us so much insight, though. What is truly intriguing is the opportunities those clear, mild days present.

Some quintessential Bandon moments become more likely in August, September, and October. Watching the clear, blue sky seemingly set on fire as the sun fades behind the Pacific Ocean as you play the 16th at Bandon Dunes is a memory of a lifetime. And the chance to see it only increases in late summer and early fall. The late summer and early fall also offer ample opportunity to take advantage of the replay rates, with plenty of daylight to finish a full 36 (or more) holes.

Of course, defying expectations is part of the Bandon Dunes experience, too. While Bandon Dunes offers the chance to simply escape the heat of summer or to stave off the early fall chill in August, September, and October, clear, sunny days are more common throughout the year at Bandon than many might think.

Whether escaping the heat in August, savoring the fall, sneaking in a visit on a surprisingly calm winter day, or getting a jump on the year in spring, the golf season never ends at Bandon Dunes.

To Experience True Links Golf  This Fall

CALL (855)417-1854



If you've ever had the good fortune of visiting Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, no doubt you've likely shaken hands with one of Bandon Dunes' icons in front of the lodge. His smiling face and laid-back charm are not easy to forget, but did you know his name is Bob? Chances are you remember him by the nickname, Shoe.  

Well if you are wondering how he was officially tagged "Shoe" or what his secret is to great customer service you are in luck.  We pried him away from the podium for a few minutes to get an inside scoop. 

So Shoe, tell us how you got your nickname.

Before the resort opened in 1998, a friend of Josh Lesnik was covering the PGA Championship in Washington. Josh invited his friend (Jeff Rude) down here to tour the new facilities and when he showed up he brought along some of his friends from Golfweek magazine including his editor, Dave Seanor. When Dave and the rest of the crew exited the van, he took one look at me and said I looked like the jockey, Bill Shoemaker. Dave said, "We'll just have to start calling you Shoe". I didn't think it would catch on but, Josh affectionately kept calling me Shoe every time he needed something or wanted me to go somewhere with him, like to lunch. You get the idea.

Hard to imagine that was almost twenty years ago already. Have you lived in Bandon a long time?

Faith, my wife and I moved to Bandon in July of 1980.

What did you do before coming to Bandon Dunes?

I was a driver for UPS in the Los Angeles area for twenty years prior to moving to Bandon. Then I worked as a driver and manager for Silver Eagle, a small regional freight carrier, for sixteen years. I semi-retired in 1997 with a combined thirty-six years as a teamster. I also belonged to the United States Coast Guard reserves in Charleston for eighteen years. That plus my six years in the Army allowed me to retire in 2001 with 24 years combined military service.

Wow.  LA to Bandon in the 80's must have been quite the culture shock. Thank you for your service, by the way. How did you ever get involved with Bandon Dunes in the first place? Is it true that you took the very first reservation for golf at the resort?

(Hear Shoe tell in his own words how he became a member of the Bandon Dunes crew and other anecdotes in the "Bonus" content audio portion below)

I did take the first reservation. It was Greg Popma from Portland. I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell Josh. Josh's reply was a classic. With a twinkle in his eye, he jokingly said, "Shoe, we're going to need a lot more than one."

We've had more than one alright. I think the secret's out. I know Josh would agree Bandon Dunes' success, apart from the world class golf experience, is due in no small part to the world class hospitality and customer service provided by you and others. What do you think is the secret to great customer service?

There's no secret to great customer service. Just make the guests feel welcomed and at home. Be helpful and friendly and above all be sincere, and genuine.  Josh told me long ago to try and see things from the guest's perspective and that has really worked.

Sounds like great advice not only for great customer service but for life. You must get asked a lot of the same questions, especially about the weather.

The day we opened, our first guest stepped out of the door and asked, "what's the weather going to be like today?"

I'm sure it's been the same ever since. You have your own Twitter account now, @GolfShoeBandon where you tweet out the latest weather situation and give it a ranking. It's very interesting and informative. You've adapted to the new technology quite well. Do you see yourself as a kind of weather man now?

Twitter is new to me and I'm trying. I've received some positive feedback, but there's always room for improvement. Ever since my first day, I have been very interested in the weather and the role it plays with the guests. If I had more time and energy I would go back to school and study Earth Sciences.

(Follow Shoe on Twitter below)

If only we had more time and energy. I hear you there. That's interesting about studying Earth Science. Who would you say the most interesting person is you've welcomed to the Resort?

That's an easy one. The most interesting person I've ever welcomed to the resort is the next one.

Don't forget to check out Shoe's Weather Report via Twitter:

Check out the audio portion on our Soundcloud

How to prepare for links golf weather


If you are familiar with links golf, you know that weather conditions can change quickly – it’s one of the reasons links golf is so fun. The changing weather conditions, whether it's wind or rain, force players to use their imagination to hit golf shots that they wouldn’t otherwise try. But unless you’re properly dressed, a change in conditions can have a significant impact on your round, even making you wish you were back in McKee’s Pub, out of the weather. 

To help determine what to wear, we asked Grant Rogers, director of instruction at Bandon Dunes, to put together a Links Golf Layering Guide with some useful tips to make sure you stay comfortable, warm, and dry out on the links. Check out this video:

Layers, Layers, Layers!

Wearing multiple layers is the best way to prepare for changing weather conditions because they allow you to make adjustments based on your level of comfort and the weather conditions. Too cold? Add a layer. Too hot? Shed a layer. Don’t get caught with a bulky jacket or, even worse, no jacket at all. Here are the 3 types of layers you should have ready:

1) Base Layer to Keep Your Body Comfortable
This is the layer that touches your skin. It’s extremely important that you choose a material that helps pull moisture away from your body, keeping you dry and comfortable. 100% cotton typically retains moisture so we don’t recommend it as a base layer.  Instead, try a blended fabric made up of both cotton and polyester or 100% synthetic fabrics like polyester. not only are these fabrics comfortable while wearing them, they are also wrinkle resistant and easy to care for.  If you’re not sure where to find something like this, we’ve got you covered. Bandon Dunes Base Layers include Adidas, Cutter & Buck as well as Fairway & Greene golf shirts.  

Click here for our Base Layer Collection.


2) Middle Layer to Keep Your Body Warm
This is the layer that helps you retain heat by trapping air and keeping it close to your body. It’s nice to have at least one middle layer piece with a zipper so that you can unzip when you’re heating up or zip up when you need some extra protection. Vests are great because they insulate the core of your body while keeping your arms free for your golf swing. We also recommend using wind sweaters that include an anti-static, wind-resistant lining to protect you on those blustery days. Again, if you’re not sure where to find some great middle layer pieces, we have some great options: Bandon Dunes Middle Layers include Fairway & Greene merino vests and wind sweaters. These products are made with Zegna Baruffa Italian merino wool which is finer and softer than other types. They hold up and will last over time. We also offer the Climawarm layering options from Adidas, which utilize tech fabric. 

Click here for our Mid Layer Collection.


3) Shell Layer to Keep Your Body Dry and Protect You from Wind and Rain
Some of you have probably had it happen to you…if you haven’t had it happen to you, it’s probably happened to someone in your group…a rain jacket that lets in water bit by bit, drop by drop, until you or your golfing buddy are soaked. Even with the rugged beauty of links golf around you, getting wet on the golf course can be a distraction. 

Thankfully, we know rain jackets and rain suits. Our recommendation: “There are different levels of waterproof fabrics and the more you educate yourself about seam sealing versus critically sealed, the better off you will be. There are waterproof knits that give you amazing stretch and mobility but they are not the best for keeping you comfortable in a steady rain.  Our preference is Gore-Tex because it’s guaranteed to keep you dry. 

Here are some pieces we recommend: Bandon Dunes Gore-Tex Rainwear including jackets and pants from Adidas and Zero Restriction.

Click here for our Shell Layer Collection.

Find some buddies, grab some layers, and hit the links! There’s never a wrong time to play links golf if you’re properly prepared. Follow the steps above and the next time your friends start to whimper when the wind picks up, you’ll be prepared to enjoy golf as it was meant to be.

Interested in learning how to hit some classic links shots? Check out our instructional blog posts and videos here

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