Marketers love to use the term “links” when referring to a golf course, attempting to evoke that Olde Sod sentimentality. While most so-named courses are anything but bona fide links, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, tucked away in a desolate, remote, seaside spot on the central Oregon coast, is the real deal.
Bandon Dunes offers two courses: the original Bandon Dunes links built by Scotsman David Kidd and the newer Pacific Dunes designed by Tom Doak. Both are faithful renditions of true Scottish links golf, replete with often-horrible weather, constant wind, bumpy and rolling terrain, sod-faced bunkers, hard greens, gorse, and heather. As with a true Scottish links, you are expected to walk the course, either with a caddie or using one of the modern, easily pulled trolleys. This is an exhilarating and sometimes exhausting way to play the game, but it is truly golf at its most basic: ball, sticks, and elements, and may the best man win.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, 541.347.4380 or 888.345.6008, www.bandondunes.com