Most visitors to Bandon Dunes make their way to McKee's Pub at some point during their stay. Many will think that it honors a magical watering hole somewhere in Scotland or Ireland - and therefore is a fitting tribute to the birthplace of the game. But it is actually named for the man who pioneered much of what is seen at the resort today.
Howard McKee was one of Mike Keiser's most trusted advisors on the development, design, and vision for Bandon Dunes. Howard earned three degrees at Columbia University in New York City and became one of the finest land use and urban design experts of our age. He died on December 8, 2007, after a long battle with cancer.
During his illustrious career, Howard helped create Oregon's land use laws and led teams that designed innumerable projects around the globe - each challenging conventional thinking to preserve the human spirit in urban design. Howard maintained a home on the Oregon Coast and spent much of his time at Bandon Dunes. Over the past two decades, he located the pristine stretch of sand dunes on which Bandon Dunes was developed and then led the team that secured permits to move forward. He designed every structure on the property and clarified how all the pieces fit together. His was a vision of golf and infrastructure honoring the environment in which it is created, of a pure challenge in the spirit of the game, all uncluttered by manmade amenities.
Howard was a thinker and a visionary. Some had the opportunity to work directly with him and continue to be amazed at how affable - and at the same time uncompromising - he could be on the vision. Some know him only through the golf experience that he leaves behind for all of us to enjoy. We ask you to join us in respectful and loving memory of Howard McKee and his indispensable contribution to the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort you know today. Maybe with a toast to him the next time you're in McKee's Pub. Or perhaps more fittingly, a slight nod as you finish the 18th hole the next time you play.