Talking to people about their trip to Bandon, I feel that most people come away from the original course applauding the views, while claiming the actual layout to be dull.
The first time I played the course, I honestly had a similar reaction. However, since your third round of the day at the resort is free, I was fortunate enough to play Bandon 4 times on my trip. The course is a true scottish links; there are so many interesting hollows that take multiple rounds to truly appreciate.
Every single hole demands proper angles into each green. The course is a playground with infinite options. Some of my favorites include the tenth, which plays up over a huge hill to a blind, runaway green. There's a certain spot on the left center part of the fairway that yields the best angle. The fourteenth might be the country's best bunkerless hole. The par 5 meanders through moguls. Staying up the left will avoid getting trapped in a massive swale up the right, allowing the green to be hit in two. The sixteenth is an all world par 4, with options abound and a chance at going for the green.
Overall, Bandon Dunes is a delicacy. Is it the best course on the property? Probably not, I personally prefer Trails and Pacific. But the course is remarkably underappreciated. David McKlay Kidd did a fantastic job in allowing this property to truly capture a scottish feel.
Date: February 21, 2020