Bandon Trails offers a blend of the dunes and Scottish links type layout-out with a few more trees in view and in play. The course is extremely tough to walk, and, with no carts available, a caddie is suggested. The course is extremely beautiful, but the continuous rolling hills will make you feel like you are on some kind of hike around the property.
Right from the start, Bandon Trails is appealing to the eye. The natural beauty and rawness of the area are still visible but only three holes resemble its neighbours, Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes. The course offers the largest range of par-three yardage one will probably ever play, with the four holes measuring 133, 180, 214 and lengthening to a monstrous 242 yards on the 12th. Depending on the wind, driver may be required to reach the latter's large putting surface.
The course offers a solid test, but I felt that the penalties for wayward shots were not very severe. The greens and fairways were still consistent with the other two courses, but seemed a little lusher in certain spots. Greens, once again, were large and undulating placing a premium on making sure one has the ball on the right side of the flag. The putts would skip and slide, but continue to roll pretty true most of the time.
Bandon Trails is a solid test, and ranks as my second favorite among the courses in the area behind Pacific Dunes. There are some drawbacks, like the green on the short par-four 14th hole and a couple other putting surfaces that would be quite the challenge for amateur golfers. Overall, another great course on this very unique golf property.
One has to hand it to the owners and designers for staying true to what makes this place special. They place the game of golf as the most important element, and are trying not to give in to any of the current North American course expectations. This feels like old school golf from the black and white images we sometimes see on the Golf Channel.
Date: May 06, 2010