By Bradley Klein, Golfweek
Visionary Bandon Dunes developer Mike Keiser always has wanted to do something special for the coastal Oregon town that is home to his now-world famous golf resort. As if four 18-hole courses and a 13-hole par-3 layout were not enough, he’s now well down the path to creating a modestly priced daily-fee layout for town residents and the public at large.
On May 15, Keiser took another step, this time with a preliminary agreement with state and local officials for what is planned as a 27-hole municipal golf course that he would build and operate and which town and regional residents could play for heavily discounted rates
The site (pictured) is on a sandy, partially wooded stretch of ground six miles south of town center, overlooking a lagoon and coastal barrier sand bar. Architect Gil Hanse has been commissioned to design the layout. At a meeting with Gov. John Kitzhaber and officials from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Keiser secured reassurances that environmental issues and a land swap could be negotiated.
Final terms have yet to be announced, but Keiser is seeking access to a sliver of land that’s now part of Bandon State Natural Area – this in exchange for other parcels that he owns in adjoining areas. Although the details of any such arrangement still must be completed, the May 15th meeting had the potential to be a deal-killer. Instead, it produced evidence of a common ground that had not existed.