Bandon Dunes is the course that best distills the spirit of the resort that Mike Keiser built almost 20 years ago. It offers jaw dropping scenery like the 4th, 5th and 16th holes. If offers fun holes for any golfer like the 3rd and the 10th. It offers challenging holes like the 2nd and 17th.
It is the true buffet course of Bandon, as it offers something for everyone and was my favorite course at the resort. The 4th hole is a particular favorite as you can't see the green from the tee but you soon will and what a green it is, offering an infinity-like setting framed against the Pacific as the dunes loom on your right and left.
Also, bonus points for the routing which leads you out from the lodge to the ocean then back again and then doing it all over again on the back nine, like a rubber band stretching and contracting. The inland holes are score-able yet challenging with some rollercoaster ridges and bunkers providing most of the challenges.
Certainly the 16th is the most visually intimidating yet enticing hole I have ever played. Do you try and drive the par 4 green, bail out to the left for the smart angle in, play some sort of shot up the gut or some combination thereof? Bandon Dunes is all about choices and different ways to attack a hole and the 16th gives you plenty of decisions to make while trying to avoid going too far right into the Pacific.
Bandon Dunes might have been the first course built at this ever expending resort but still remains the course that you MUST play when visiting.
Date: April 28, 2018