Bandon Dunes Golf Resort - 30th & 31st October 2011

“Golf as it was meant to be”

Where the Pacific Ocean meets the rugged shoreline of the Southern Oregon Coast, you have Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

“The game of golf was born on rugged, wind-swept land just like this. Every hole, every hazard, every shot is defined by nature's infinite presence. As the elements change, so does the game. It's all part of the tradition of links golf. Lies are tight and conditions are lean. Bounce and roll are a much better measure of quality than color. Mastery of the ground game becomes a more important skill than raw power. The ingenious and inventive player is rewarded with multiple options on nearly every shot. Amongst the massive dunes and hearty pines, you'll discover golf in its purest state. Where nature is embraced, not conquered. And where the traditions of a time-honored game yield to an experience unlike any other.”

The above text is taken from the Bandon Dunes web site and I can’t find any other words that better describes what you can expect at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

There are four different 18-hole courses: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old McDonald. In addition you have Shorty’s, a fantastic 9-hole par 3 links course that’s extremely fun to play. We played Shorty’s twice and one of them in rain at dusk – magic.

Yet another par 3 course will be opened on 1st May 2012 – Bandon Preserve. A 13-hole links course that is totally amazing and breathtaking. We walked it and I will come to Bandon just to play it.

This is a world-class resort in a rugged, natural and stunning environment. This is as good as it get and i can’t wait until I get back here again.

Charlie Bernstein and Tony Martin joined me again and we had a fantastic time at Bandon. They have been at Bandon before, but were as excited as I to be there again. We played Pacific Dunes the first day and Bandon Dunes the second.

Pacific Dunes

The weather conditions were not that good, early morning fog that turned in to rain after 12 holes. Despite the bad weather, this is one of the best golf courses I’ve ever played – totally stunning. Maybe not the longest golf course, but rugged enough to test every aspect of your game.

It’s a very natural links course with fairways nestling among the sand dunes and with plenty of extremely rugged bunkers. In addition to this you have the Pacific Ocean roaring in the background – amazing.

It’s certainly a very challenging and enjoyable links course – I love it.

Every hole on the course is outstanding to me and it’s almost impossible to just pick a few, but these are the best to me:

Hole 4 – 449 yards par 4

It’s been played along the Pacific Ocean on top of very high cliffs. Enjoy the view on the right, but keep you ball left! There is a nest of fairway bunkers to the left about 275 yards out from tee. Aim just right of the bunkers and hit it as long as you can. The approach shot needs to be long as well and play it left of green since it slopes to the right. Be right of green and you’ll have to do some rock climbing down to the beach to get it! Good low drive in to the wind about 260 yards out on fairway, very good fairway wood short of green, two put for a par – excellent.

Hole 11 – 114 yards par 3

A beautiful short hole along the ocean, protected by rugged bunkers and gorse. Focus on being on this very small green, not close to pin. The wind will determine just how hard it’ll be, but even without wind it’s not an easy one. 9-iron short of green, bad chip and two put for a bogey 4.

Hole 13 – 371 yards par 4

This is a hole you’ll never forget. The Pacific Ocean to your left, large sand dunes to your right and also plenty of rugged bunkers to the right. The green is deep and slightly undulated. So, two very precise shots are needed in the prevailing wind – a beauty. Bad drive 180 yards off tee, 3-iron 50 yards short of green, pitch 10 yards away from pin and a two put for a bogey 5. Disturbed by the scenic view? No, just bad golf shots.

Hole 18 – 575 yards par 5

Be careful off tee, you have a sloping fairway and a huge bunker 220 yards off tee. Be left on your second to avoid two deep bunkers and ugly rough, the green is bowl shaped, so just get on green and you’ll be in a good center position. I did all of the above, except for the 3 put on green for a bogey 5.

My game was OK having the bad weather in mind and I did shot an 81 – 40 on the front and 41 on the back. Tony was the one playing most solid golf and he did also beat us up on Shorty’s in the evening – well played.

Pacific Dunes is a tremendous links course and I’m still amazed about the rugged natural layout – totally stunning.

 

Bandon Dunes

The scenery is breathtaking with the links course high above the roaring Pacific Ocean. The course is extremely natural and is nestling among the sand dunes. This is golf in it’s truest form. You need to play with your head and be very precise in your shot making. The wind will always be there and the varying elements will make the experience different every time you play it.

Mother nature was very kind to us this day, the sun was shining and a modest breeze to deal with.

Tony was the man of the day, shooting a new personal best at Bandon Dunes with a very good 76 shots – well played and well deserved. I wasn’t that far behind with 79 shots – 40 on the front and 39 on the back. With better putting, it could have that day, but…. We had a fantastic day that will be there to remember forever. Joe, our caddie, did a great job in guiding us around both Bandon and Pacific – Thanks.

 

Three holes stand out as the best for me are:

Hole 4 – 362 yards par 4

A 250 yards shot off tee is exactly what you need and to be in position to see the green. Club selection is crucial for the approach shot. Two bunkers protect the green to the left and any long shot will end up in the Pacific. Fairway wood to the middle of fairway, 7-iron to about 5 yards from the pin, missed the birdie put for a par 4.

Hole 5 – 374 yards par 4

Breathtaking scenery with the Pacific along the entire left hand side. You have a split fairway with two hills 200 yards out from tee. Hit the drive as long as you can in the prevailing wind and carry both hills. Fairway narrows in to a small green and you need a very precise long approach shot. Tough hole. Good drive to the right of the hills, very good hybrid shot short of green, 3 put for a bogey 5.

Hole 16 – 345 yards par 4

Intimidating tee shot with the Pacific on the entire right side, you need to first carry a huge cliff drop and then the lower fairway to get onto the upper fairway. 210 yards carry is needed to do all this, but don’t be longer then 250 yards because you’ll end up in a hollow. Approach shot needs to be very precise and not to the right (gorse) or long (the Pacific) – stunning hole. Fairway wood to upper fairway bunker, out of bunker and short of green, chip and one put for a par 4 – well played.

In summary, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is outstanding and must be experienced. This is challenging enjoyable true links golf and I need to get back as soon as possible to experience the other courses and as well to play Pacific Dunes and Bandon Dunes again – I may play Pacific twice, I love it.

It’s not only the golf that’s world class, the resort in itself with accommodation, restaurants, service and other facilities is also world class and just makes the entire experience even better.

 

Pacific Dunes

 

Bandon Dunes