Welcome to GOLF’s Travel Mailbag, a series in which members of our staff field your course- and travel-related queries. Have a question for a future mailbag? Tweet us at @golf_com.
How far in advance do I need to book a Bandon Dunes trip?
If you’ve been struggling to land a Bandon Dunes reservation, don’t take it personally. No less a luminary than former NBA star J.J. Redick had to work the phone lines hard recently to get a booking. The earliest he could nab was summer, 2023.
So it goes. When you apply the current golf boom to America’s most beloved golf resort, the laws of supply and demand don’t leave a ton of leeway. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
At the moment, Bandon is booking rooms through the end of 2023, and there’s limited availability through that period. Tee times have been getting snatched up long in advance, too. But because there are five courses, you might be able to book the golf you want, assuming you are willing to stay off property and pay the higher greens free rate. These rates vary depending on the season, but to give you an example, the resort guest greens fee for July-Sept of 2022 is $295, compared to $345 if you’re staying off property.
Other ways to improve your chances? As with the golf, it helps to be flexible; the more windows in your schedule, the better your odds. For obvious reasons, smaller groups are easier to book than large ones. The (relatively) slower winter season can also be rewarding if you don’t mind playing in a bit of weather. Embracing the elements is all part of links golf. And, besides, you might even hit a spell of blue-bird days.
These are unusual times in golf. Tee sheets are packed. Phone lines are flooded. For a marquee property like Bandon, it’s a good problem to have. But the resort takes no pleasure in saying no. They want to accommodate you. Be patient. Keep trying. It will happen, and when it does, it will be worth the wait.