Bandon Dunes has already established itself as one of the premier golf destinations in America since opening its doors in 1999. Boasting four courses all ranking inside the top-20 on both Golf.com and Golf Digest’s “best public courses” lists, it’s no surprise why given the property’s landscape. Now the resort’s founder, Mike Keiser, wants to add a fifth course to the mix, and it looks incredible.
The course is called Sheep Ranch and it’s located just north of the resort’s main entrance in Bandon, Oregon. Keiser and business partner Phil Friedman purchased the land in the late 1990s and let course architect Tom Doak have some fun. It’s essentially a 300-acre parcel of land that sits on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean, with 13 greens that can be played in multiple directions.
According to a Golf Advisor report by Matt Ginella, “If you ask about a tee time at the Sheep Ranch, you get a phone number to the caretaker of the land. And if you reach him, and the course is open, he might give you access for about $50 per person. As for upkeep and irrigation, there has always been the bare minimum. Greens are mowed and fairways are knocked down occasionally. Mother Nature handles the watering of the grass and you decide on teeing areas.”
This opportunity comes knocking after Keiser’s previous plans to expand, which included architect Gil Hanse, were scrapped after negotiations stalled with the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon State Park’s Department. Now, the wheels are in motion and Hanse is the leading candidate to design what is sure to be another gem.
“It should happen in the next two years,” Keiser said. “The site is spectacular. Approval is easy because we already own the land. Irrigation shouldn’t be an issue. But we’re not in any rush.”
Apparently, Gil Hanse agrees. “The Sheep Ranch is the best site we’ve ever seen for a new golf course,” he said.
We don’t doubt it.