Mike Keiser first came to notice with the phenomal success of his business Recycled Greeting Cards.
It put him in the position of being able to pursue other interests..
Being a keen golfer, that opportunity soon came when he employed Dick Nugent to build Dunes Club near his holiday house in New Buffalo
Keiser loved Scottish links golf and saw an opportunity to bring links golf to America
He scoured the country for a suitable site and eventually settled on sandy terrain on the ocean near North Bend in Oregon.
Keiser overlooked America's 'name' architects and instead chose an inexperienced young Scottish architect named David Maclay Kidd to design a genuine links course at Bandon Dunes
Keiser had the experience of building Dunes Club so he had a taste for the build- but it was a huge risk
Bandon Dunes was remote and both Keiser and the architect were relatively inexperienced.
Bandon Dunes opened for play in 1999 and straight away golfers flocked to play true links golf in America
Such was the success that Keiser catered for the growing demand by immediately building a second course at Bandon.
In 2001 Tom Doak's Pacific Dunes opened and was instantly acclaimed as one of the best courses in the world
Bandon Trails by Coore & Crenshaw followed in 2005- and remarkably all three courses were regarded as being world top 100 standard.
And still demand grew!
Mike Keiser added Old MacDonald by Tom Doak in 2010, a thirteen hole par 3 course by Coore & Crenshaw in 2012 called The Preserve, and finally The Sheep Ranch by Coore & Crenshaw in 2020
Bandon Dunes Resort now boasts five world class links courses, an amazing par 3 course, fantastic putting greens and practice facilities, a variety of dining and accommodation options and the best pro shops anywhere.
Bandon Dunes is the best golf resort in the world, in my opinion!
While the land was always recognised as ideal for golf, the owners took some time to agree that it should be the site of another championship course in the Bandon Dunes stable
Originally Tom Doak developed a unique golf course for social play on the Sheep Ranch with a number of greens and tees sprawled across the landscape- connected in a criss cross pattern by fairways and walking paths heading off in all directions.
Players could elect which green to play to without sticking to a set course or par
It was great fun but not in any way commercial.
Only a small numbers of players could be on the course at any one time
I played it a number of times and enjoyed it immensely
Sheep Ranch (mark 2)
Coore & Crenshaw were appointed to build the new version of Sheep Ranch which opened for play in mid 2020.
Their design maximised exposure to the spectacular coastline with no less than 9 green sites on the cliffs
Another feature is the lack of bunkers on the course- none at all!
Instead the exposed site relies on the natural dips and swales throughout combined with exposure to the ever present sea breezes.
With playing surfaces firm and fast the focus is on the running ball and controlling the flight of your ball
Sheep Ranch does not need bunkers!
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf tour for your group.
Suggested itineraries can be found at Golf Destinations: Bandon Dunes Resort
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