An Overview of Bandon Trails At Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Bandon Trails at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort was a bit of an odd experience for me. While much of Bandon Trails looks like a Northern Michigan woodlands course, it plays like its sister courses at Bandon Dunes: hard, fast and windswept. Architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw did an terrific job in creating a beautiful, interesting and playable course. For me, it was a tossup as to whether Pacific Dunes or Bandon Trails was my favorite course at Bandon Dunes.
Woodlands of spruce and cedar are the distinguishing characteristics of Bandon Trails, separating it from Bandon Dunes’ other courses, which largely are constructed on the windswept dunes adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. With the exception of the first and last (which are among the dunes), each of the holes at Bandon Trails is beautifully framed by trees.
Of all the courses at Bandon Dunes golf resort, Coore and Censhaw’s Bandon Trails is for me the most memorable. I could easily identify each of the holes of Bandon Trails on my photo roll — something that I struggled a bit to do with Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, and particularly Old MacDonald. That is no knock against the others, which absolutely have memorable holes, and to which I would return to play in a heartbeat. Rather, I think it is a commentary on how this Michigan golfer’s eye has been trained to look at golf courses: trees, elevation changes, water/marsh.
Elevation changes can be significant at Bandon Trails, as with the sharp downhill drop on the fourteenth, or the slowly climbing sixteenth (above). Water and/or marsh come into play on three holes.
Fairways at Bandon Trails generally are wide and inviting; the greens are large and open to a ground game. From the tips, Bandon Trails measures 6, 788 yards and plays to a 73.6/130. The green tees measure 6, 248 and played at 71.1/128. One step up, the Gold Tees come in at 5, 751 and play to a 68.7/122. Bandon Trails is not a particularly long course, and all things being equal, the hard-and-fast conditions serve to shorten it up a bit.
Bandon Trails is justifiably ranked on both Golf Digest and Golf magazine’s lists of the top 100 golf courses.
I’ll have a full and more detailed review of Bandon Trails at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort soon.