Bandon Dunes---Bandon, Oregon
Rankings as of 10/24/11
-32nd best US course; 60th best course in the World (Golf Magazine)
-28th best US Course (Golf Digest)
-7th best US Modern Course (Golfweek)
The first course built at the American golfing mecca of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort was, in fact, the Bandon Dunes
golf course. You’d think that the growth of the resort would have to have been on the back of a great golf course,
as otherwise the resort would have failed. And if you, indeed, did think this, you’d be correct.
David McLay Kidd was hired by Mike Keiser to design the inaugural links at Bandon and Mr. Kidd smashed an epic
homerun of Babe Ruth proportion. The course is a unanimous gem among the golf course rating intelligentsia and it
deserves to be.
You are treated to some wonderful opening holes and shots
and the routing winds and works you out to the sea and back many times.
I suppose what I love the most about this journey is that nothing is over done or forced. Fairways are wide and open
to accommodate for the wind that will be blowing off the sea. Bunkers are well placed and strategic, but not overly
manicured or frilly for frilly sake. And the greens are wild and wonderful without being too much. In fact, everything
is just perfect.
However, as you play along thinking things are just perfect you will happen to make your way to the 16th hole and
the entire concept of a perfect golf course will be shifted into hyper-drive. The 16th hole is the very best golf hole I
have ever seen and/or played. It is mind-numbingly beautiful and incredible interesting to play. In fact, I clearly see
5 ways to play the hole…and I’m sure there are more than that in total.
17 is also incredible with a massive and intimidatingly deep gorge off to the right of the fairway. Approach shots
need to be hit and placed perfectly in order to keep the score as low as possible and not dive off into the bottomless
18 winds down the journey and simply leaves you wanting more.
Bandon Dunes is the namesake of the resort and, therefore, must be the standard bearer. It carries that standard
with ease and has paved the way for many a golf architectures career to be taken to the next level.