Site of the 17th green at Pacific Gales, overlooking the ocean with Cape Blanco lighthouse in the distance (Photo by Brian Oar /
Talking GolfGetaways Podcast

Talking GolfGetaways 14: Architect Dave Esler discusses Oregon’s Pacific Gales golf project


In this episode of “Talking GolfGetaways,” we’re breaking a little news — sort of. Hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch welcome architect Dave Esler to discuss the latest happenings with the new Pacific Gales golf project expected to break ground along the Oregon Coast (about 30 minutes south of Bandon) in 2017.

The “big news” is that Pacific Gales has acquired access to additional land near the golf course site (known as Knapp Ranch outside the small town of Port Orford) and plan to build overnight accommodations for Founders Club members and golf travelers — advancing the developers’ goal to create one of America’s premier destination golf clubs.

Anytime a new golf destination appears on the horizon — especially on a highly coveted piece of coastal landscape — excitement reigns for golfers who love to explore new courses. Following the process builds even more anticipation. And with Pacific Gales, that anticipation is entirely justified.

Esler, who has a decorated background in golf (four Big Ten Championships at The Ohio State University) and golf course design (Chicago-area Black Sheep, a Golfweek Top 100 course, along with a significant portfolio of restoration work), describes the joy of seeing Pacific Gales’ stunning setting for the first time. He also details the long process of clearing permitting hurdles and discusses the strength of the Pacific Gales’ team (Managing Partner Jim Haley and Project Manager Troy Russell).

Most importantly, he describes the Founders Club, a unique idea to fund Pacific Gales based on a track record of other developers’ success with similar models (including Sand Valley and Spyglass Hill), and talks about what that opportunity will provide for golf-loving investors who would like to be an integral part of making Pacific Gales a reality — and in the process receive a lifetime of golf in one of the world’s most beautiful locations.

“I just signed up a guy over the weekend,” Esler tells Mitch and Darin, “and he said, ‘You mean I don’t have to pay dues … I’m not on the hook for any assessments, and I’m scheduled to get my money back in 23 years? … How do I not do this?’”

Our thoughts exactly. Listen to the full interview and you’ll see why Esler, Haley and the team are excited to start moving dirt on what Golfweek has already called “another Oregon gem in the making.”
For more about the Founders Club, the project or to see additional photos, visit And watch for Dave Esler’s answers to our Emergency 9 golf-travel questionnaire in Episode 15.

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“Talking GolfGetaways with Mitch & Darin” is sponsored by and can be heard on The podcast is also available for download on iTunes Podcasts. New episodes post daily, five days per week.

Mitch Laurance can be found on Twitter @MitchLaurance and Instagram @MitchLaurance.

Darin Bunch can be found @GetawaysGolf on Twitter and @GolfGetaways on Instagram.

About the author



The GolfGetaways crew of Darin Bunch and Mitch Lauarance have decades of golf travels and adventures to share, which they do here at GolfTripX, on their "Talking GolfGetaways" podcast.

“Talking GolfGetaways with Mitch Laurance & Darin Bunch” can be found on and across the Golf News Net digital platform, including iTunes Podcasts, audioBoom and Stitcher. New episodes post semi-regularly (for the most part, except when we’re traveling or golfing or generally having other kinds of fun). “Talking GolfGetaways” is also available on audioBoom, iTunes and Stitcher.

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