Bandon Dunes feels like a Scottish links course, as well it should. It was designed by an unknown Scottish architect named David McLay Kidd (his father was a golf course manager at Gleneagles in Scotland). Kidd insisted that the clubhouse be built inland, saving the coastline for the golf course. (Rumor has it that this was a big factor in Kidd’s hiring; the other architects all recommended giving the clubhouse and ocean view.) In fact, when David McLay Kidd showed up for his interview and saw the formidable lineup of well known golf architects he was competing with, he was ready to pack it in and head back to Scotland. Thinking he didn’t stand a chance of getting the job, he went to the interview with a list of conditions, such as the clubhouse’s inland location, no homes or buildings on or near the course, and the feel of a traditional “British Isles” links course. He left feeling sure he’d never hear from the club again, but a couple of weeks later, Mike Keiser called to say, “You’re hired.” Kidd either is a fantastic golf architect or this may be a case of “God as golf architect” with Kidd doing the routing, but Bandon Dunes is magnificent. It has six wonderful holes on the ocean, with gorse, heather, rolling hills and plenty of sand dunes. It is a walking-only course, so be prepared to walk and be prepared for some breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Larry Berle.
Date: November 25, 2014