57744 Round Lake Dr
Bandon, OR 97411
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Photo of Bandon Dunes Bandon OR

Bandon Dunes

Bandon Dunes is on the Pacific coast midway between Florence and Brookings near Bullards Beach State Park. It features five regulation golf courses and a 13 hole par 3 course with accommodations including lodge rooms and cottages.

The Dunes was the first course to open in 1999 and was designed by Scottish architect David McLay Kidd who also designed the Castle course in St. Andrews. The layout journeys along the Pacific over the pre-existing lay of the land and is fully exposed to the elements. The broad fairways are bordered with natural vegetation that's similar to the gorse, fescue, and marram of the British Isles' links courses. It's visually stimulating with views of the Pacific on almost every hole and extremely challenging even on calm days, which are few. From the championship tees, it's 6,732 yards, 4.1/143, course/slope ratings with four shorter tee boxes.

Old Mac is a tribute to Charles Blair Macdonald one of the early golf course architects in the US. The layout, by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina, is a classic links design along the lines of Macdonald and Seth Raynors' National Golf Links on Long Island. NGL was a tribute to the Old Course at St. Andrews and North Berwick in Scotland among others and features holes including the Biarritz, Redan, Eden, Short, Long, Hog’s Back, Alps, and Punchbowl. The routing is over less dramatic land than the other layouts at Bandon, yet is fair off the tee with ample fairways bordered by "blast out" bunkers with only a few holes where the Pacific is in view. The tee ball positioning is critical when approaching the massive green complexes which offer a myriad of pin positions over the undulating surfaces. There's five sets of tees overall from 4,985 yards to 6,944 yards at the tips, 74.4/131, course/slope ratings.

Pacific Dunes was the second course at Bandon and designed by Tom Doak in 2001 which put Doak on the map so to speak as a notable golf course architect although he'd accomplished a number of fine layouts previously. The golf course is a minimalist design laid in over the pre-existing terrain and vegetation much like you'd find in Ireland or Scotland with several holes along the Pacific and views throughout. The generous fairways are rumpled and rolling along their natural contours as the course meanders through the 60 foot high sand dunes of the coastline. The fairways are generous and the green complexes massive with natural sand bunkers blending in and defending both. The course is not all that long at 6,633 yards, 73.0/142, course/slope ratings from the tips with four shorter tees.

Bandon Trails is the Coore/Crenshaw design at Bandon Dunes and unlike the other courses here it's off the Pacific in more of a rolling, forested environment. As with all the layouts at Bandon, it doesn't seem like much of the land has been disturbed to create the course routing. The round begins atop a massive sand dune then moves into a broad meadow continuing over the higher terrain of a coastal forest and finishing in the dunes. Several of the rolling and rippling fairways seem a bit contrived, but overall the terrain's original features are intact. The Trails is challenging even though it isn't as affected by the wind as there's significant areas of trouble along the tree lined fairways with heavy fescue, gorse like dense shrubs, natural waste areas, and conventional sand bunkers. It plays to 6,759 yards, par 71, 73.6/130, course/slope ratings from the back tees with three shorter tees.

The Preserve is the 13 hole (that's all the land they had) par-3 course designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw over and through a nature preserve adjoining the Bandon Trails course. The golf course is half the cost of the other tracks and is a welcomed quick round for testing the short game in a scenic setting. The layout is stunning and the holes positioned to test every direction of the constant wind with views of the Pacific throughout. There's an engaging variety of hole designs and green settings from 63 yards to 150 yards at the longest. The layout traverses rough edged sand dunes and over ravines to partially hidden greensites which are wildly undulating and deceptive. Coore/Crenshaw are known for their "minimalist" designs where little of the existing lay of the land is disturbed and The Preserve was no exception.

Sheep Ranch was heretofore the mysterious golf landscape just north of Bandon Dunes with an equally obscure way of gaining access to play. The layout is now the legitimate fifth, championship course at Bandon boasting one mile of ocean frontage with nine green sites right along the edge and stunning Pacific Ocean views on every hole. It features play from peninsulas with forced carries over the Pacific and the entire layout is sans bunkers. There's five sets of tees from 3,943 yards to 6,636 yards at the tips with the middle, Gold tees playing to 5,810 yards, 68.1/111, course/slope ratings, designed by Coore & Crenshaw.