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GOLF Magazine Rank #xx of Top 100 Greatest
American Golf Courses
#xxof Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the World
#xx pf Top 100 Courses you can play
GOLF Digest Rank #28 of Top 100 Greatest
American Golf Courses
#xx of Top 100 Greatest Golf
Courses in the World
#6 of Top 100 greatest Public Courses in America
GOLFWeek Rank #XX of Americas Top 100 Classic Golf Courses
Dates I Played:
Conditions: Breezy, Sunny, Mild
While working on a project in Seattle, I decided to take a weekend trip to Bandon Oregon, where the verynew Golf course duo of, Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes were. These two courses had recently caught my attention after both making the top 10 of courses you can play in America as well as the TOP 100 ranking of Golf Courses in the World. I browsed the website to get a feel for what the complex was about, at first I was anticipating a golf complex much like the Pebble Beach complex of courses where it was "corporately owned and run golf course", but as I read on I was getting differnt vibes to this complex. the golf courses were not traditional parkland courses or "manufactured" golf courses, ala Tom Fazio design. It was pure links golf using the Natural Terrain. Their motto is "Golf as it's meant to be". Wow, really? I have never heard any golf course describe itself to be this way! By this time I hadn't been to either Scotland or Ireland so I didn't really have an appreciation for real links golf, only by viewing it on TV during the British Open and through pictures. So I was excited to go. the only problem is that it is really hidden, tucked in a far remote corner of Oregon known as Coos Bay or Bandon by the Sea, and it was served by a small and tiny commuter airport that only has 3 commercial flights a day from Portland. It was an 8 hour drive from Seattle and a 5 hour drive from Portland. I had to take a little puddle jumper from Seattle to Portland and then another Puddle jumper from Portland to Coos Bay area. From there I got a car service, which by the way specializes in servicing golfers headed to the Bandon Dunes resort. The drive took about 25 to 30 mins. It was pitch black but the stars were really bright and we drove through very very tall pine trees, typical of the Pacific NorthWest, and there was nothing else around. It was a deserted drive. When we arrived at the resort, the main club house was a very basic un-austere building, a very large wood lodge. My room was a DUNES single, since my view was of the Dunes, the other side of the lodge provided for views of the golf course. the room was GREAT. The bathroom was ultra modern the decor was suttle and classy and the bed was good.
Bandon Dunes is the longer of the two courses but a bit easier to play, but not by much when you consider the affects of the wind. The bunkers are more like the sod faced deep pot bunkers found in Scotland rather than the natural looking dunes. There is alot more Gorse than fescue on this course than on Pacific Dunes, but the fairways are wider with more ocean holes but terrific green sites and cliffside holes.
The pictures to the left are pictures I took of my 1st and only round at Bandon Dunes. Just look at the majestic undulating land, the cliffs the sea and the beauty of Mother Nature. You can almost smell the salty air and hear the rush of the Pacifc hitting the shore.
I had an absoltuely enjoyable round with lots of pars, but got bit with a few double bogeys - links golf was very new to me and I didn't know how to take advantage of the natural lay of the land to get the ball to certain places on the golf course. I didn't realize that taking 2 extra clubs for a shot was acceptable. Hitting a 5 iron for a 140 yard shot under the wind was foreign to me. But despite being a true links virgin, I drove it very well hitting every fairway, hit lots of greens made allot of pairs but also got a double in there and bogeys.
Memorable holes are the par 4 4th as seen on the left pictures, where youhave a drive over gorse to a fairway sloping away from you and then the 2nd shoot to the flag stick with the 100 foot cliffs and the Pacific Ocean right behind.
The Par 3s were solid par 3s, fair with always a large and deep pot bunker to capture any balls not solidly hit onto the putting surface.
The par 5s are fair and reachable for the longer hitter or with the wind helping. I like it that it ends on a par 5, not a gimmie but a chance to post a nice number coming home.
The par 4's are solid with the 16th just remarkable as you can see in the pictures with the drive over cliffs and the green sitting right on the cliffs.
But I had such a memorable thrill to end the round at the par 5 18th, I got on the green on 3 and I birdied the last hole with a great 10 foot putt!!!
This was a true links golf experience right here in America.
Walkng to the 2nd Tee
The 4th Green, ranked as one of the TOP 500 Golf holes in the World - I made par with a 5 Iron from 190 yards away, links golf !
The 4th green - Look at the undulations of the green, behind it is a cliff and then the Pacific Ocean.
1st fairway -View of gorse lining the first fairway, looking back from green.
4th Green - My ball is the furthest away, and I missed the birdie.
These two vertical picture ont he left are views from the 4th Green, looking to the South and to the North 100 Foot cliffs seperate you from the pacific Ocean.
View from the tee box of the 6th hole, par 3.
View of the 8th Fairway from the 8th tee, Drive must carry those mounds in the fairway - I did and I also made par.
The 6th green, par 3 and Huge Pot bunker.
View looking behind the tee box of the 6th hole, par 3.
Unfortunately my tee shot did land in the pot bunker to the let of the green, double bogey was my best score.
The 12th hole, par 3 - What a view!
The daunting tee Shot for the 16th Hole - Ocean and Cliffs to the right, a huge chasm right in front of you and mounds of dunes traversing right in the middle of the fairway!
16th Green - What a view - bogey !
View from the box of the 6th hole, par 3. Left of the green is the Pacific Ocean