Bandon Dunes (Pacific Dunes) - Oregon - USA

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort,
57744 Round Lake Drive,
Bandon,
Oregon 97411,
USA


  • +1 541 347 4380


Pacific Dunes opened for play in 2001 and Tom Doak who knows a thing or two about golf course architecture designed it. Frankly it’s a modern masterpiece and architects would reap rewards from carefully studying Pacific Dunes before they embark on any future seaside design. Often, when the setting is gorgeous, as it is here at Bandon, course design often finishes a poor second. The Pacific Dunes design is at least as good as the setting and if they can harden up and quicken the playing surfaces, this could be one of the world’s greatest links.

Measuring 6,673 yards from the tips, Pacific Dunes is by no means a championship layout. But with par set at 71, it’s tough enough for most of us, especially when the wind is up. We are thrilled that Doak used kindly Nature and it’s reassuring to know that the undulating fairways are mostly as he found them. Many of the holes weave in and out of the dunes and this provides the golfer with lots of variety and some respite from the terrain.

Writing in Tom Doak's Little Red Book of Golf Course Architecture, Tom commented as follows: "The 13th at Pacific Dunes is one of the most beautiful holes we've ever built. It was almost exactly like it is today when we found it; we just had to cap the fairway with sand so we could grow grass there.

It didn't take a genius to figure out that a hole with 440 yards of Pacific Ocean frontage – not to mention a 40-foot dune on the other side of the green – was going to be famous someday. Now that I think about it, there are only three other par-4's in America that have that much Pacific frontage – the 9th and 10th at Pebble Beach, and the 4th at Pacific Dunes. What a coincidence that they all turned out so well! Or maybe the setting has something to do with how much people like them."

With a plethora of great holes it seems fickle to single one out, but if we had to, we’d probably plump for the short par four 16th with its rippled fairway and plateau green which slopes from front to back. It’s a real gem.

“Every architect dreams of building among the sand dunes in the same terrain where golf was conceived in the British Isles… Pacific Dunes is that dream come true.” Tom Doak has undoubtedly fulfilled his dream and he has left the reality and the legacy of a most wonderful course that has real heart and soul. Make the trip and play Pacific Dunes immediately, you will not be disappointed.

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Reviews for Bandon Dunes (Pacific Dunes)

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Description: Tom Doak's Pacific Dunes is considered by many to be the best course at the fabulous Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Reviews: 34
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Michael Simson

Having played Bandon Dunes and Trails on my first two days at the resort we moved onto Pacific Dunes. Unlike the first two courses where, because of the upcoming US Junior Amateur, the back tees were moved slightly forward, we played properly off the black tees at Pacific. Fortunately, the weather was perfect, with a 5 mph wind, so scoring was not as bad as it could have been.

Like the other Dunes, Pacific is built on the cliff top and like Bandon, the holes closest to the ocean (4, 5 and 10-13) provide some the most dramatic views I've ever experienced on a golf course. As with the other three Bandon courses I played, Pacific starts with a gentle par 4 (I think I parred all of the opening holes) and then builds until you get to the 4th, a truly great golf hole built on the edge of the cliff (and particularly scary for someone who fades the ball). Hole 5 plays away from the ocean, which you return to in dramatic fashion with back-to-back par 3's at 10 and 11, followed by a great par 5 and the awesome par 3 12th. There are three each of pars 3, 4 and 5 on the back 9. There are few top courses with this unusual routing, the only other top course I've played with this layout is The Berkshire (Red) in England where both the front and back 9 have this routing. Its a credit to Tom Doak's confidence to break with tradition knowing this unusual routing would still result in a truly great course. The USGA clearly prefer more traditional layouts as they have used Bandon Dunes and Trails more for their competitions than Pacific.

Reading reviews on this site, and others, Pacific Dunes clearly seems to be the most favoured of the Bandon courses, but I preferred Bandon Dunes. Whilst both have the dramatic views from being built along the bluff, Bandon Dunes feels more links like (although I would still classify Pacific Dunes as a links course). Finally, of the four Bandon courses I played, Pacific's greens rolled the best, which is saying something considering Bandon Dunes and Trails were hosting the US Junior Championship only two weeks after I played them.

July 20, 2022
9 / 10
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Robert Nyenhuis

If I had to choose one of the Bandon courses to play for the rest of my life, this one would be it. Tom Doak recently did a video for Golf Digest in which he said this course is as close to perfection as he'll ever come. Tough to disagree. It gives you everything -- sublime coastal views, punishing bunkers, tricky green complexes, and a touch of the Pacific Northwest. Simply exquisite!

July 10, 2022
10 / 10
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Monte McDougal

I played Pac Dunes in 40 degree weather with 30 mph winds and driving rain. And I had a blast–a true testament to Doak's genius. The course not particularly punitive off the tee but does require strategy in order to best play a hole. I didn't lose a single ball, but the greens were challenging and engaging. Pac Dunes is the best (but not my favorite) of the Bandon courses, and deserves to be ranked amongst the top in the world.

June 08, 2022
10 / 10
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Zachary Tan

Unsure whether Pacific Dunes or Bandon Dunes holds the title as headline of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, I had to play Pacific to see for myself. The original Bandon Dunes will have to wait till February along with the rest of the courses besides Old Macdonald.

Can confirm to readers that the course drains well and plays firm considering the amount of rain we got that December day. Was able to use the contours on the course to roll my approaches in.

Playing Pacific, a day after a perfect day at Old Macdonald, I was greeted with heavy rain and a 20-mph wind. The wind mixed with rain felt different than the one on my review of Old Macdonald but none the less a beautiful day.

My initial impression was that Pacific struck me as a tamer course compared to Old Macdonald. Doak’s Pacific is every bit as strategic as Old Mac if not more. Golfers are tested immediately off the starting tee, with a 210-yard drawing tee shot being the best leave onto the green.

#9 features a double green, one low and one high. On this day we played the high green. An elevated tee shot what I would call Pacific’s Sahara hole was certainly one of the high points.

#17 features a most beautiful hole with yellow gorse flowers surrounding the back and left of the green. Make no mistake as the green is every bit as treacherous. A draw is highly needed if the pin is anywhere left of the bunkers. I would imagine even more so if the course is playing firmer.

#18 struck me as another superb finishing hole. With a head on wind, I was able to use the natural contours of the green to get on in regulation. A true sight given the rain we got that day.

Pacific struck me as the better course to play in adverse weather. Although a course that will bite you, many of the holes are strategically playable under such conditions and do not diminish any of the grandeur. Pacific is no doubt a great course, something special.

December 29, 2021
9 / 10
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Jon Williams

Similar layout as Sheep/Old Mac/Badon Dunes (all next door), but tighter fairways. Greens were difficult mainly due to being hard (balls landing on green often roll to/off back). Difficult to enjoy due to 3 club wind in afternoon. Suggest playing in the morning which the locals say is usually less windy.

July 06, 2021
7 / 10
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Adam Tomasiello

One of the many distinguishing qualities of Bandon Dunes is that after experiencing the great courses there, golfers have a hard time choosing their favorite. This was easily apparent after a recent trip to Mike Keiser’s masterpiece resort. Although a bit predictable and cliché, Pacific Dunes stood out as the crown jewel even among its elite counterparts.

Upon reflection, Pacific Dunes emerged as my personal favorite at Bandon because it eloquently united the standout themes present throughout its sister courses:

• Like Bandon Dunes, the routing at Pacific is full of surprises. On most holes, the player must navigate through dense gorse-covered mounding to find the next tee. It is impossible to predict the next hole’s adventure. One such example comes early in the round. The feeling emerging from the bushes to the vista overlooking the oceanside par five 3rd is magical.

• Like Bandon Trails, Pacific feels entirely natural and ‘discovered,’ rather than built. The topography varies significantly throughout the round. There are tremendous flat holes like the 4th, and all-world climbs like the step-up fairway at the 9th. Not a single component of any hole feels out of place.

• Like Sheep Ranch, Pacific’s views are absolutely stunning, yet perfectly incorporated. Thank goodness Tom Doak did not try to force a more traditional sequence of pars onto the course; to have done so may have taken away from the perfect flow of the round.

• And, like Old Macdonald, the bold undulations in the greens and the wide, yet hazard-filled playing corridors lend themselves to unparalleled strategic options. By the turn, most players will not only have hit most clubs in their bag, but also will have needed to employ every type of shot imaginable. Some holes, like the par three 5th, will appear to require an aerial play, yet a low runner can creep over mounds into the far corners of the putting surface. Others embody the opposite effect. The 16th green may appear to welcome bounced shots, yet knobs fronting the putting surface can actually reject shots into treacherous dips and hollows surrounding the complex.

Many peers ask what traits I feel make a golf course great. Although my favorite courses span many different geographies, levels of difficulty, and price points, the one factor they all have in common is variety. Pacific Dunes is a consummate test of golf. It is a course that favors no one, yet is accessible to everyone. It is a course that reflects its environs exceptionally while still presenting challenges fit for the modern era. It is impossible to ask for a more thoughtful, yet peaceful adventure than that which awaits at Pacific Dunes.

May 06, 2021
10 / 10
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Brian Moran

One thing I absolutely love about Bandon is that you could ask anyone in McGee's Pub what their favorite course is and hear six different answers. If you go to Pebble everyone will say Pebble is their favorite, followed by Spyglass and then Spanish Bay. At Pinehurst it'll go 2, 4, and 8/3. At Bandon we all have our lists but each one is different, which makes it special.

For me personally, my rather unoriginal favorite course at Bandon is Pacific, followed closely by Trails. Pacific is by far the boldest design on the property, playing through massive dunes and a unique sequence of holes that I think just adds to the quirk.

The first is one of those easy handshakes where you don't need driver and can get a great look at birdie with a wedge in. While the second is equal in length the similarities stop there. Two massive bunkers must be carried in order to get a good angle into the mounded green. The third gives the first view of the ocean, not as dramatic as the fourth at Bandon but still never something to complain about. The hole features a centerline bunker which, if challenged, can allow a player the opportunity to shoot for the raised green in two. The fourth is the first hole played along the ocean with an awesome tiered green complex set back into the dunes.

The fifth is my personal favorite hole on the course. Its a mid range par three with a kicker on the right and a back tier guarded by a massive bunker. Its one of those shots where you have so many different options of how to play it, none of them being necessarily perfect. The sixth is another favorite, a driveable hole with a narrow green guarded by the deepest bunkers you'll ever see. Just go down and hit one from down there and I'll venmo you $5 if you can actually get up and down from down there. People might think its overly penal but you're not going to hit a wedge in there, the bunker is meant to catch people who get overly greedy off the tee. It reminds me of a much bolder version of 6 at LACC.

7 is a cool hole that comes back to the clubhouse and plays to a green set in the trees. Tip for anyone looking to sneak in an extra couple holes: since the 7th green backs up to the Punchbowl putting course (which you have to check out at night) its perfect for an extra go. Remember that the second round of the day is half off, and the third round is free. So after you finish your ice cream skillet at the Pacific Dunes Restaurant (which is to die for), head back over to the first tee and play the fourth as the sun sets over the Pacific.

The 8th is a perfect Tom Doak hole. From the tee its a straightaway par four with two bunkers wide right. But hitting a shot down the center screws you, as you have no angle to go at the pin depending on its location. The green is unlike anything you've ever seen, it features a bunker fronting the center of the green with a runoff area left and punchbowl right.

The 9th is a blind tee shot where the more you cut off the dune the better you'll end up. The two greens are both equally awesome and while I like the flow of the lower one better, the upper allows for the higher tee and a great view on ten. Ten is a rather nondescript green situated between dunes with a beautiful view of the ocean. Eleven is a short very old school feeling par 3 along the ocean. A deep bunker deceptively guards the green.

Twelve is another interesting short par 5 with a wacky green that requires thought to play into if attempting to get there in two. 13 is probably the most photographed hole on the course, and rightfully so. Playing closer to the ocean allows for a clear shot at the green, while bailing out forces you to hit over the massive dune. 14 is another tough short three that reminds of the postage stamp at Troon, missing is a complete kick in the teeth. 15 is a short 5 where I had the first of two eagles on the day (the other being on OM 15). 16 is another really quirky yet awesome Tom Doak hole. Its only 300 or so yards, laying up to the left can give a short wedge in, but pulling out driver can allow the ball to take the slot to the green, or leave you down in a deep valley. In that way it kinda reminds me of 10 at Shinnecock. 17 is a redan hole that is miles better than the redan at OM. 18 is the perfect finisher with an aerial tee box where a good tee shot can give one last birdie opportunity.

Pacific Dunes is in my opinion the best test but at the same time the most fun course on the property. A high handicapper will lose more balls on Trails but a scratch golfer will be challenged by the difficult greens at Pac Dunes. At the same time, its almost hard to keep score because there are so many shots you want to hit, so many slopes begging to be used. No course at Bandon will disappoint, but a day at Pac Dunes will remind you that the long travel to get here was worth it.

April 13, 2021
9 / 10
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Colin Braithwaite

Just writing about PacDunes makes we want to catch a plane to revisit golfs Disneyland. Normally, I get fairly detailed, but my prose will not surpass the reviews below. PacDunes is my favorite at the Bandon complex. When you go, ask for Brown Bear as your caddy. Savor every moment as the round will zip by with astonishing speed and most importantly have fun.

December 06, 2020
10 / 10
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Peter Wood

Tom Doak is one of the great golf architects of the modern era, and Pacific Dunes is the course that announced him. It is one of the world's great courses.

In recent years Tara Iti in New Zealand has also been recognised at the highest levels. With Barnbougle Dunes a personal favourite it is my opinion that Doak now has three courses in the best twenty five courses in the world.

Pacific Dunes is blessed with great golfing land- beautiful dunes land with gorse, and a dramatic coastline.

One of TD's Great skills is the routing of his courses and at Pacific Dunes he has been able to get a very nice mix of ocean side and dunes holes, and move between them to add interest, variety and rhythm to the round.

There is some flatter less interesting land but he has used par five's at hole 3, 12 & 15 as the connections between sections of the course.

With impressive green complexes and attractive fairway bunkering they are good holes- but more importantly they allow the course to take maximum advantage of the more exciting terrain

I have played Pacific Dunes quite a number of times now and will never forget playing the first hole for the first time. I just knew immediately that it was something very special.

The green complexes, bunkering and use of exposed sand in the first few holes impressed. And then we hit the coast!

Holes four & thirteen are impressive, but hole eleven is one of my favourite holes anywhere!

Notable holes include:

- hole 1, a stunning short par opening hole that sets the scene. The short approach must be accurate..
- hole 2, another short par 4 with sand to carry off the tee, and bunkers galore!
- hole 3, a nice par 5 with an impressive green complex tucked into a dune
- hole 4, a long par 4 right on the coast. Right is not an option!
- hole 9, a unique par 4 with two quite different greens- a sign on the tee advises which green is in play
- hole 10, a longer par 3 from an elevated tee to a green with ocean backdrop. Wind is a major factor!
- hole 11, a magnificent par right on the clifftop. It's a small target surrounded by trouble. One of the world's great par 3's
- hole 13, a long strong par playing along the clifftop with ocean left. The fairway rises as you progress toward a green sitting between cliffs and a massive exposed sand dune
- hole 14, a pretty par on an exposed ridge

Bandon Dunes Resort is the best golf resort in the world, in my opinion. Pacific Dunes is one of the best courses in the world. What more can I say?

Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.

November 13, 2020
10 / 10
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Ryan Book

I picked up on some advice regarding golf photography from Tom Doak a few years back as I was considering potentially pricey equipment to supplement my rather basic setup. I found a quote from Doak praising the standard DSLR setup that can be had at a relatively low price at most electronics stores. He offered some other tidbits about angles to the sun and such, but the crux of his argument was that if you understand framing, you can do much without doing excess.

The same could be said for Pacific Dunes. In fact, Doak has said about as much regarding the course, noting that the average golfer could easily find the incredible green sites at Pacific, whether that’s the descent toward the Pacific at No. 10, the following Par 3 into the wind along the coast, or the green parked against a significant dunescape at No. 13. Observing the black streaks and pebbles in the bunkers suggests just how natural this course is.

Is it possible that you or I is equally capable of creating a Pacific Dunes, should Mike Keiser call us tomorrow with a similar piece of property? Tom may suggest so, but he’s incorrect.

I’ll prove this point by highlighting my least favorite hole, No. 4. This long Par 4 covers 463 yards of shoreline, which — if we take liberty with Doak’s words a tad — implies it should be the most obvious hole on Bandon’s property, considering it has the longest chunk of cliffs at its disposal. It’s a tough hole, even with the wind at your back, as you’ll need to hug those cliffs with consecutive shots to arrive in regulation, and a relative lack of rolling turf doesn’t add much to that formula. It is a beautiful hole...one that you or I might have actually been able to dream up. That the majority of Pacific’s most strategically interesting holes are inland is testament that Doak is my superior.

There are any number of holes to cite, most of which have probably been included in previous reviews, so I won’t dwell. My favorites include the fall-away fairway and grassy mounds that maker No. 7 a Par 4.5 during matchplay. Or the Road-style green at No. 8 that, despite its 400-yard length, proves any hole with a Road-style green is a think-piece upon approach. The downhill Redan at No. 17, which ups the template’s challenge thanks to the gorse-covered dune at the rear (which distracts nubile American eyes like mine, who has never experienced such a sight). Finally, the largest bunker on the course off the tee at No. 18: You have the wind at your back for the final hole and are sensing the opportunity for glory...so of course there must be a monster for the hero to evade.

Apologies to No. 4; it’s not a weak hole by any means. Just the least successful child in a successful family (I know the feeling, No. 4). But I don’t generally give six-ball ratings to courses that have weak holes.

Looking back...it doesn’t look like I’ve ever given a six-ball rating. Let’s break that streak today.

October 26, 2020
10 / 10
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