Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. He is a regular contributor with Athlon Sports and PGA Magazine. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. His favorite golf destinations are Ireland and New Zealand, along with Michigan and California, where he lives with his wife and two children. Jason rarely touched a golf club until his college days at Eastern Michigan University, but now his passion for the game knows no out of bounds. He got his start writing with the TravelGolf Network in 1999. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

  • 5.0 stars from 5

    Bandon Dunes Golf Resort - Pacific Dunes Course

    "The definition of a five-star course"

    Anybody who doesn't give Pacific Dunes five stars on GA is a lunatic. It is the class of the resort and a true thrill to walk. I played it on an overcast day in 40 mph winds where balls were blowing around on the greens and sand was flying out of bunkers. We still had a great time. I can't wait to see it in its full glory in the sunshine. There are a couple severe green complexes I could quibble about, but the way it plays like a pure links on the coastal cliffs is the reason the hashtag #whyIlovethisgame was created in the first place. It's every bit the bucket-list experience at one-third off the price of a round at Pebble Beach or Shadow Creek. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Bandon Dunes Golf Resort - Bandon Trails Course

    "Don't sleep on Bandon Trails"

    Bandon Trails doesn't have the ocean that Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes offer, but boy is it a stellar routing from Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. I had the most fun playing this course of any at the resort. It's not as hard as the others, and it's scenic in its own right. The first two holes romp through the dunes like you're at Enniscrone in Ireland. From there, until the last hole back through the dunes to the clubhouse, the forest setting is pure Pacific Northwest. The collection of par 3s rule the day - the 166-yard (green tees) second hole in the dunes, the biarritz green at no. 5, the driver/wood tee shot at the 235-yard 12th and the downhill 17th. Be sure to stop at the plaque behind the elevated 14th tee, a demanding but short par 4. This is the view that prompted Mike Keiser to buy the land and eventually develop the resort. It's ground zero for all things Bandon Dunes. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    The Prairie Club - Dunes Course

    "A prairie land masterpiece"

    Now this course just screams Nebraska. It's rolling hills and wide open spaces (think runways for fairways) help create a wildly different experience for golfers. It's the only Tom Lehman course I've played. He's teased me into wanting to see more. The blown-out bunkers are great visually, yet deadly to golfers. The greens might be a touch too wild, although that's part of the allure. I played it in late October in 2013, a day before a snowstorm cancelled my rounds and closed the resort for the season. While I was playing the maintenance staff was filling the bunkers with old Christmas trees to keep the sand from blowing out during the harsh winters. That's how windy and extreme this site is. What a cool place for golf. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

    "I'll give Old Mac a second chance next time"

    Old Mac wasn't kind to me in any way. The course had water on certain greens and fairways as a result of the wettest, coldest winter in decades on the Oregon coast. The sub-50-degree day I played it, stinging hail pelted my group. Needless to say, I didn't play well and get a good feel for what could be an interesting course. Walking off with at least eight three-putts, I thought 'How anyone could enjoy such a punishing putting test on huge greens'? That said, there are other subtleties to appreciate - the blind tee shot near the 'ghost tree' on no. 3 and the biarritz green on the downhill par-3 fifth hole. Old Mac will never be my favorite at Bandon Dunes, but maybe a second helping will give me a better understanding of its merits and help me overlook its weaknesses. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

    "Fun golf with ocean views"

    My Bandon Preserve experience was a wet one, playing the first several holes in a steady mist. That rain clouded over the ocean views, but even then, this was a wonderful, relaxing way to play golf, even if you've already played 18 holes. It's a nice way to unwind after battling the tougher, bigger courses at the resort. The longest shot is an uphill 160-yard par 3 that might require a 175- to 180-yard poke, depending upon the wind. The shortest is a wee 80-yard flip over a dune to a punch bowl green. Grab a couple clubs, a couple brews and play a skins game with your buddies for a really good time. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Bandon Dunes Golf Resort - Bandon Dunes Course

    "An original classic"

    It's hard for me to say publicly that this is my third favorite course at the resort, because it's just so darn good. It's the most fair of the three linksy courses (except for the bunker on the par-3 15th hole) and arguably the most fun. There's great variety and character in the holes and on the site itself. Several of the fairways look like moonscapes with endless humps and bumps. The wall of six bunkers in the eighth fairway is a cruel but amusing trick. The coastal holes (4-6 and 16) all have unique characteristics that make them memorable. It's a course I could play every day and never tire of its challenges. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    The Prairie Club - Pines Course

    "Finishes in second by a lash"

    The Pines course is almost five-star good, but I gave it four to balance out the overall rating from reviewers so far. I played the course in late October in 2013, a day before a fierce snowstorm cancelled my rounds and closed the resort for the season. The views of the canyon are nice, although I feel like an opportunity was missed. I was hoping to interact with the cliffs more. How about a thrilling shot over a chasm? Alas, it never comes during the round. Nitpicking aside, between the conditioning and scenery of the course and the secluded vibe of the resort, playing the Pines is a special experience. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Bandon Crossings Golf Course

    "Find your way to Bandon Crossings"

    It's too bad most golfers come to Bandon Dunes and never leave the resort. Just minutes away is Bandon Crossings, a real treat to walk or ride. The fact that you can take a cart is a savior to many golfers. It's not the glamorous operation that the resort provides - Bandon Crossings operates out of a trailer - but it's priced at a nice value. The course, featuring five par 3s, winds through meadow and forest inland from the coast, so it's a bit more sheltered from the wind and harsher weather. There are some really cool holes - the par 3s at no. 11 (with a wild green) and no. 14 (a beautiful elevated tee shot over a marsh) - and some quirky ones, too. The fifth hole can play as a 410-yard par 4 or 545-yard par 5 depending on which of the two greens is in play. The 18th hole finishes with a par 5 over and around a ravine. I'm not crazy about being forced to layup on the second shot in front of a cross hazard, leaving a 200-yard approach into the green. I'll give the architect a pass. The rest of the round is pure fun. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Sheep Ranch

    "A change of pace at Bandon Dunes"

    In full disclosure, I didn't play the Sheep Ranch. I merely toured it, taking pictures and video and imagining what it would be like to have such a beautiful piece of golf paradise all to myself for an afternoon. The Sheep Ranch currently consists of 13 greens and some tees and fairways cut by Tom Doak and his crew. Golfers can rent the course for half-a-day, bringing out their own food and drink, and play the holes in any direction. It's a grand way to celebrate the game without all the traditional guidelines and rules. The opportunity won't last forever, however, as Mike Keiser has tabbed Gil Hanse to design the resort's next full-scale golf course on the spectacular site. Adding a fifth 18-hole resort course at Bandon Dunes is both exciting and sad. Anybody who has played here will miss the unique experience of playing the off-the-grid Sheep Ranch. more »