Golf resort

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort will host 13 USGA Championships through 2045

Mike Keiser, owner of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, has long had a mission to introduce American amateur golfers to links golf. Given that goal — and the overwhelming success of his iconic resort on the Oregon Coast — it’s a little surprising that Keizer felt, well, surprised when Bandon Dunes first appeared on the schedule for the USGA Championship as the host site for the 2006 Curtis Cup and the players loved the experience. Keizer treated this week as a test. Would gamers want to make the trip? Would they like the place?

“The fact that the candidates want to come is a pleasant surprise for (recently retired USGA CEO) Mike Davis, the USGA and us,” he said. “We didn’t know that at first.”

Fifteen years later, Bandon Dunes’ dedication to amateur golf aligns even more closely with that of the USGA. Golf’s governing body announced on Tuesday that it will bring 13 of its amateur championships to the iconic resort over the next 24 years. It begins with US Junior in 2022 and continues through 2045 when Bandon Dunes will once again host US Junior plus US Girls’ Junior.

The full list looks like this:

2022: American Junior Amateur

2025: United States Women’s Amateur Championship

2029: Walker Cup

2032: American amateur and American female amateur

2035: American female junior

2037: four-ball American amateur and four-ball American female amateur

2038: Curtis Cup

2041: American amateur and American female amateur

2045: US Junior Amateur and US Girls’ Junior

Bandon Dunes at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon (Courtesy of Evan Schiller)

Since the 2006 Curtis Cup, Bandon Dunes – home to five of the top 10 resort courses in the United States – has hosted six other USGA championships, including the 2020 US Amateur. ‘USGA, reflects on Keiser’s oft-expressed support for the USGA Amateur Championships and his comment that he would hold one every year.

Eventually, Bodenhamer decided to explore this sentiment a little further.

“We came together on a list of championships that were important to him and to us – all of our championships are important, but there are certain reasons why we went with the current rotation that we have and it all worked out well” , Bodenhamer said.

Announcing a single venue as the host for so many championships – and extending that schedule so far into the future – is an unprecedented move by the USGA. The organization did something similar in 2020 by announcing Pinehurst as the anchor site for the US Open (with championships scheduled for 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047) and hosting a second, smaller USGA headquarters. .

The USGA’s overall thinking with Bandon Dunes encompassed several elements, not the least of which was player experience. Bodenhamer echoed a thought that has crossed the lips of many USGA champions over the years: Where you win your USGA title matters.

It’s also no coincidence that Bandon’s long list of championships begins with US Junior in 2022. It’s the start of a player’s journey through the USGA.

“Jordan Spieth has won two Juniors and the next Jordan Spieth to be able to say he or she won at Bandon Dunes will be pretty special,” Bodenhamer said. “We think it elevates our relationship with the players.”

Keizer is especially enthusiastic about introducing junior players to links golf.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” he said, calling Bandon a teaching tool in that sense.

A venue with all the magic (not to mention name recognition) of Bandon Dunes and its beachfront green resorts, golden gorse and stunning views has the power to bring extra eyes to a championship that never ends. not by the word “open”.

Sheep Ranch at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon (Courtesy of Bandon Dunes)

After Bandon Dunes appeared on Golf Channel in primetime as host of the 2020 US Amateur, Keizer said the station’s phones rang for a month. Keizer hopes to see junior events as well as future US Amateur and US Women’s Amateur shows treated similarly.

Bodenhamer confirmed that it’s too early to tell what kind of network coverage future championships might receive (on NBC, for example, versus the Golf Channel in an NBC television deal that runs through 2026). Either way, viewers who remember how the US Amateur played out last summer are likely to tune in to see the juniors in the same context.

“It will be nice to know that they will be televised with the ocean and the dunes and the history of golf in the frame,” Keizer said.

Bandon’s upcoming championship schedule will bring the American amateur twice and the American female amateur back to the station three times. Both will be played there in 2032 and 2041. It remains to be determined whether these championships will be held concurrently (as the US Amateur Public Links and the now retired US Women’s Amateur Public Links did in 2011), or back to back back, as the USGA handled the US Open and US Women’s Open at Pinehurst in 2014. Either way, both demographics are high.

“We think it’s a very positive message for the game, men and women being together, boys and girls being together – the juniors,” Bodenhamer said. “We’ve done it before and we think it can take it forward as well.”

For many USGA championship venues, hosting an amateur championship initiates a relationship that can eventually lead to a US Open or US Women’s Open. Chambers Bay hosted the US Amateur in 2010 before the arrival of the US Open in 2015, and Erin Hills hosted two amateur championships before debuting as an Open venue in 2017.

Bandon Dunes’ remote location presents a very unique set of obstacles for the biggest USGA events, not to mention that Keizer’s priority remains amateur golf.

“I would never say never, but I think for the next 25 years we’re going to focus on amateur golf,” Bodenhamer said. “The next group of decision makers will talk about Opens.”

For his part, Keizer, 76, doesn’t think that will happen in his lifetime.

Last summer, Bandon Dunes, the resort’s original 18-hole course, shone on an American amateur show aired at the end of a summer light on televised golf. Bodenhamer expects to see many, if not all, of the other four courses — Pacific Dunes, Old Macdonald, Bandon Trails and Sheep Ranch — used in future championships depending on event demographics. In total, the resorts’ courses are ranked #1 through #5 as Oregon’s best public-access amenities, and each is in the top 15 of Golfweek’s ranking of the best modern courses built since 1960 in the United States. United.

When asked his opinion on which course would be best suited for match play, Keizer drove straight to the home stretch of Bandon Dunes on the ocean.

“We have to give credit to David Kidd for the 16th hole, the passable par 4, the 15th being a very difficult par 3, usually upwind, being the warm-up,” he said. “You play this very long par 3 and then you have a short par 4 – those two right there, because that’s where most match play competition ends on the 15, 16 before you get to the 18. David Kidd, it’s like he knew he would host the US Amateur, etc., when he designed the 16th hole.”

But Keizer is confident that the Sheep Ranch, the newest course to open in 2020 and which features nine greens on the ocean, will feature prominently for future championships.

“I have to say it’s a more photogenic tie, Sheep Ranch or Bandon Dunes,” Keizer said. “Let’s call it a tie.

He could as easily call it a can’t lose.