THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Ocean Dunes Golf Links. A favorite of locals year-round, this course operated by Three Rivers Casino & Hotel is a straightforward 18 holes that reward great shots and penalize the poor ones. You won't find many sand bunkers, because the narrow course is surrounded by sand dunes. Instead, you'll encounter fairways winding about dunes lined with ball-swallowing gorse, heather, shore pines, and native sea grasses. Pot bunkers guard small greens, and play can get pretty frisky if the frequent wind picks up. However, the course is well drained and playable—even under the wettest conditions. 3345 Munsel Lake Rd., Florence, OR, 97439. 541/997–3232 or 877/374–8377. www.threeriverscasino.com/golf. Summer green fees $99.
Sandpines Golf Links. This Scottish Links–style course is playable year-round. Designed by Rees Jones, the outward nine is cut out of pine forest and near blue lakes; and the inward nine provides some undulating fun, with the rolling dunes at the forefront from tee to green. While challenging, the course is generous enough to provide a great day on the links for beginners and more polished players. Sandpines has a fully equipped practice area with a driving range, bunkers, and putting greens. 1201 35th St., Florence, OR, 97439. 800/917–4653 or 541/997–1940. www.sandpines.com. Summer greens fees $79.