An Overview Of The Bandon Dunes Course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
The eponymous course at Bandon Dunes golf resort is Bandon Dunes Golf Course. A true links course on authentic links land, Bandon Dunes scores a hat trick with its Scottish architect, David McLay Kidd.
You can practically hear the bagpipes and taste the whisky.
Seven of holes at Bandon Dunes start, play or finish along cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The views are absolutely spectacular. That alone is worth the trip. Just off the seventeenth tee is a bench overlooking the linksland, beach and Pacific Ocean. I could have happily spend hours there, just watching the sea.
As it was, I only had a few minutes. This shot was taken by John Duvall, my good friend from IntoTheGrain.Com. In addition to being an all-around good guy, JD is the kind of golfer I aspire to be. He hits the ball supernaturally long, and has a short game to match.
The remainder of the holes at Bandon Dunes are routed through the rugged barrens behind the dunes fronting the sea. The fairways and putting surfaces are like green oases amid a wild and sandy wilderness.
Bandon Dunes is a tough course, especially for players who are not used to the hard-and-fast, windswept conditions. That environment plays havoc with all of the usual club-distance calculations. Unless you’re the type of player who can just overpower a course, Bandon Dunes asks for flexibility and imagination. You must imagine what you want the ball to do and then choose a club for the job, whether it makes sense or not. I spent much of the week at Bandon Dunes putting with a hybrid from fifty yards out.
From the back tees, Bandon Dunes measures 7, 212 yards and plays to a 76.8/150. From the green tees, it comes in at 6, 221 and plays to a 71.4/133.
The sixteenth at Bandon Dunes may very well be its “signature” hole. This is a 363 yard par 4 with a split fairway.The best hole on the course — and perhaps the best hole at Bandon Dunes Resort — is the 16th. Measuring 363 yards, it has an interesting split fairway. The upper fairway offers a shorter and straighter approach, but is further from the tee. Hit too far to the left, however, and the approach requires a lob over rough. The lower requires a shot over some intervening dunes and waste.
With a strong wind at our back, two of my three playing partners very nearly drove the green. One fell just short from the back tees. The other, a tee up, flew over the green. His ball never was found.
For my part, I played well to the left, then used two shots (I chunked the first) to work my way up to the green.
My only regret from Bandon Dunes is that I didn’t have time to play it twice. I desperately want to go back to Bandon Dunes golf resort.
Every serious golfer should go. It’s that kind of a place.