Play Preserve before anything else. The 13-hole par-3 course is a great primer for links golf, and each hole offers a view of the Pacific Ocean. Also, you can play as an eightsome at Preserve, which guarantees a ton of laughs.
Request caddies. You’ll have the same caddie during the entire length of your stay, and you can use your credit card in the pro shop to withdraw cash. But if you don’t want to splurge on taking a caddie for every round, know that caddies are most essential at Old Macdonald.
Bandon offers a replay rate: your second round during any given day is half-price. If you play two rounds in a day, the third round will be free. And Bandon will pay you $100 if you play a fourth round in one day.
Architecturally, Pacific Dunes is No. 2 on our ranking of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses, Bandon is No. 7, Old Macdonald is No. 10, and Bandon Trails is No. 14. Pacific Dunes and Bandon Dunes offer the most stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Old Macdonald is, by far, the most wide open. And Bandon Trails presents the most intricate mix of risk-reward holes but is played entirely inland.
One knock against Bandon Dunes, if you want to call it that, is that there's not much in the way of non-golf activities. The town of Bandon has a couple of bars and restaurants, but if you're looking to build a trip around cultural activities, this might not be your spot.
There are five restaurants on property, ranging from the no-frills McKee's Pub, to a selection of higher-end fare. You’ll probably never have better fish tacos than those served at Bandon Trails' Trails End.
Show up prepared for all the elements, since you'll be playing lots of golf and since weather forecasts can change in an instant. Bring at least two pairs of golf shoes, stuff for chafing, a rain suit, chapstick, sunblock, cream, etc.
Shuttles take you everywhere, and you'll never have to wait more than five minutes to get one. Once you drive in from the airport, you can park your car and forget about it until it’s time to leave the resort.