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Kevin Pallier

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Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« on: November 08, 2022, 05:33:21 PM »
It's perennially rated in the Top100 courses in the World.


Both Golf Digest / Golf Magazine have it in their Top50 courses in the USA. It always seems to be rated ahead of the Streamsong and Sand Valley group of courses.


Is the original course at Bandon overrated? Why? Why not? What's so good / not so good about it? 



John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2022, 05:39:19 PM »
No, it's the course I most look forward to playing at the Resort.

William_G

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2022, 08:19:25 PM »
It's perennially rated in the Top100 courses in the World.


Both Golf Digest / Golf Magazine have it in their Top50 courses in the USA. It always seems to be rated ahead of the Streamsong and Sand Valley group of courses.


Is the original course at Bandon overrated? Why? Why not? What's so good / not so good about it? 


I think you can research this yourself.
LOTS of info out there.
And book a trip yourself if you haven't.
NO time for this.
It's all about the golf!

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2022, 08:48:39 PM »
It is not overrated. It is not the best course at the resort, but it could never have been the best course. It does stack up well with all the other courses (I've not seen Sheep Ranch.)

I wonder what the square acreage of each course is. I would suspect that Bandon is second-least, next to Sheep Ranch. I would think that the other three BIG courses have larger footprints. That would suggest the the OG did more with less. Any data?


Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
~Hillview
~Pinehurst (NY)
~Kis 'N Greens
~Pine Meadows
~18 Mile Creek
~Greenwood
~Shawnee
~Leroy
~

Tom_Doak

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2022, 09:31:47 PM »
It is not overrated. It is not the best course at the resort, but it could never have been the best course. It does stack up well with all the other courses (I've not seen Sheep Ranch.)

I wonder what the square acreage of each course is. I would suspect that Bandon is second-least, next to Sheep Ranch. I would think that the other three BIG courses have larger footprints. That would suggest the the OG did more with less. Any data?


Davidís original routing didnít have the second half of 5, or any of 6-7-8, because they were over the property line.  The rest of it was jammed very tightly together.


I suspect you are right that Bandon is smaller than Pacific, but not by much.  Iíd guess Bandon Trails would use the most land, because of the big ridge it straddles.


But, none of that bears more than tangentially on whether the courses are great, or overrated.

Kevin Pallier

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2022, 11:31:20 PM »

I think you can research this yourself.
LOTS of info out there.
And book a trip yourself if you haven't.
NO time for this.


William


Bandon Dunes was the first course I played when I visited the resort. I also played Pacific Dunes, Trails and Old Mac noting Sheep Ranch wasn't built when I was there. I thought then and still to this day believe the original course is well in the shadow of the others.


I've been to Streamsong and thought all 3 courses there were better than Bandon Dunes. I haven't been to Sand Valley yet (coming from Australia) but do hope to see them one day especially with the new Lido.


I'm keen to hear what other people think about Bandon Dunes - hence my questions.

Kevin Pallier

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2022, 11:32:17 PM »
No, it's the course I most look forward to playing at the Resort.


John


Why is that so?

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2022, 11:48:45 PM »
No, it's the course I most look forward to playing at the Resort.


John


Why is that so?


Because I'm at the finest golf resort in the world and the first tee is right outside the main clubhouse. I don't think of any of the courses at the resort as better than any other so I like the start at the first first.

Michael Dugger

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2022, 01:28:37 PM »
One of the joys of BDGR is the variety.  Each course is like a different child, special and unique in their own right.


Bandon Dunes is like that 3rd Manning kid.  See, donít even remember his name.  When your brothers are Peyton and Eli, youíll always be considered inferior.
What does it matter if the poor player can putt all the way from tee to green, provided that he has to zigzag so frequently that he takes six or seven putts to reach it?     --Alistair Mackenzie--

George Pazin

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2022, 02:05:04 PM »
One of the joys of BDGR is the variety.  Each course is like a different child, special and unique in their own right.


Bandon Dunes is like that 3rd Manning kid.  See, donít even remember his name.  When your brothers are Peyton and Eli, youíll always be considered inferior.


The 3rd Manning kid, Cooper, whom I think was actually the first, was discovered to have a spinal issue that prevented him from continuing his football career. Not the best analogy.


I hope to play any of the BR courses someday. I'm sad I didn't play SR when it was in its original form.
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Drew Harvie

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2022, 03:08:27 PM »
Bandon Dunes is my second favourite at the resort, behind Pacific Dunes.

Ira Fishman

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2022, 03:58:02 PM »
We have been to the resort twice and played Bandon Dunes each time. Would I return if it was the only course there? No. Probably not even it were easier to which to travel. There are a number of courses to which I would return or have returned whether or not near other courses. Yale, Pasatiempo, Primland, Blackwolf River, SS Blue and Red, Mid Pines come to mind. All of them are rated lower generally than BD. So by my "would I return?" test, yes, it is overrated. But it is a helluva good course with a great setting and vibe.

JLahrman

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2022, 03:58:32 PM »
I've only been to Bandon twice, and not since Sheep Ranch opened. Personally, I can't imagine not playing each course every time you go.

After my first visit, I thought that Bandon Dunes was a good course but clearly inferior to the other three.

My opinion of it improved quite a bit after my second visit. I think it has some of the weakest holes at the resort, and I let that color my original opinion excessively. I still do think its weaker holes are weaker than any other course's weak holes, but man the good holes are really good.

Of the four courses (again I haven't played Sheep Ranch) it also beats me up the least. Of any of the four, I'm the most ready to go back out for another round after walking off the 18th at Bandon Dunes.

I love Trails, but after the hike up 16 and invariably trudging through the dunes on 18 after another wayward drive, I'm ready to curl up with a good book at Trails End. Luckily for me that's my favorite dining spot.

I've only played the courses in the winter wind, which means that the 18 at Pacific Dunes is directly into the wind and feels like it's about 900 yards long. I walk off that course ready for a nap.

Old Mac doesn't have quite the same effect, but I still am gasping for a bit of air after the walks up 14 and 15.

I consider the back 9 at Bandon Dunes to be the most playable nine holes at the resort. 10 and 11 are short and fun, 12 is very underrated. When I first played 13 I was asking myself if the rumpled land was enough to make that hole interesting. After another round I decided that it did. 14 has a bunch of ways to play it. I don't like 15, and 17 is OK, but 16 is fantastic. Because of the winter wind, 18 on Bandon Dunes has always been downwind for me so maybe that helps, but I'm always feeling fresh and ready to head right back to one of the first tees after walking off BD 18.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 05:24:50 PM by JLahrman »

Mark_Fine

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2022, 06:04:56 PM »
I'd like to hear from everyone here who has played each of the Bandon courses at least five or six times.  Then tell me what are your favorites.  All those courses are fantastic, but they all need to be played numerous times ideally in different conditions to make a more accurate assessment.  And yes I know first impressions are very important, but with great golf courses, they need multiple views/plays to determine just how great they really are (even if your name is Tom Doak)  ;D 

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2022, 06:08:46 PM »
I think BD is more fun for the majority of players while the better player might prefer the challenge of PD and Trails. None of the courses are going overrated.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Kevin_Reilly

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2022, 07:38:29 PM »
I'd like to hear from everyone here who has played each of the Bandon courses at least five or six times.  Then tell me what are your favorites.  All those courses are fantastic, but they all need to be played numerous times ideally in different conditions to make a more accurate assessment.  And yes I know first impressions are very important, but with great golf courses, they need multiple views/plays to determine just how great they really are (even if your name is Tom Doak)  ;D


You need 5-6 plays per course for a legitimate opinion? 


Funniest thing I have read on GCA in my 20+ years here.
"GOLF COURSES SHOULD BE ENJOYED RATHER THAN RATED" - Tom Watson

Mike Hendren

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2022, 08:04:58 PM »
I have always thought so and would skip it for another round on Pacific Dunes and Trails.  I find the opening two holes uninspiring as well as the 9th and 18th.  Plenty of good stuff in between.  Solid 7 in my book.
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2022, 08:21:12 PM »
Iíve never met another dude with Bandon Dunes tattooed on his ass. Itís frowned upon in intellectual circles.

Mark_Fine

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2022, 08:40:04 PM »
Kevin,
You can have an opinion about any golf course after one time around.  Most do.  But how legitimate it is is another matter.  Whether the number is 5 or 6 or Ö rounds Iím not certain, but I am positive it is not just 1 or 2 which most rankings are based on. 


As one example, think about Augusta National.  There is a reason the players who have seen it often have an advantage.  They have learned the subtle nuances, the better angles of play, the easier recoveries, the where not to miss,Ö, the rolls and swales and,Ö all the ingenious design aspects that the architect incorporated that cannot be picked up on one or two rounds.  These details are what separate good from great!


I am sure you heard the story about Bobby Jones walking off The Old Course at St. Andrews after his first time seeing it saying it was a dog track!  He hated it but after more and more times around, he recognized its brilliance and it became his favorite design.  How legitimate would Mr. Jonesí vote have been after one time around?

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2022, 09:27:51 PM »
I think BD is more fun for the majority of players while the better player might prefer the challenge of PD and Trails. None of the courses are going overrated.


Then why is BD the preferred course for the USGA championships out here?


Of the five, Bandon is the only one with the length to challenge the better players.  Most people play the Green Tees out here, with a few playing the Blacks.  On some holes there's still another 30 to 50 yards back that never get put in play.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 09:29:40 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2022, 09:47:46 PM »
I think BD is more fun for the majority of players while the better player might prefer the challenge of PD and Trails. None of the courses are going overrated.


Then why is BD the preferred course for the USGA championships out here?


Of the five, Bandon is the only one with the length to challenge the better players.  Most people play the Green Tees out here, with a few playing the Blacks.  On some holes there's still another 30 to 50 yards back that never get put in play.


Donít you think that PD and BT are more difficult for visitors to the resort when most play the green tees?
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2022, 10:25:54 PM »
I think BD is more fun for the majority of players while the better player might prefer the challenge of PD and Trails. None of the courses are going overrated.


Then why is BD the preferred course for the USGA championships out here?


Of the five, Bandon is the only one with the length to challenge the better players.  Most people play the Green Tees out here, with a few playing the Blacks.  On some holes there's still another 30 to 50 yards back that never get put in play.


Donít you think that PD and BT are more difficult for visitors to the resort when most play the green tees?


No. Depends on the day, depends on the wind, depends on the player. 


Your first comment specified better players looking for a challenge.  I'd think those that want to really test their game are going to step back as far as the resort will let them play.


From the Black tees, Bandon can be the toughest of the five (all you have to do is look at the par 3's to figure this out).  Pac just doesn't have the length as the differential between greens and blacks there really isn't too great (there are a couple of exceptions, including 4).  Same for Trails (other than 2).  (As an aside, there used to be a greater differential at these courses, but the resort doesn't use many of the original Black tee boxes that much anymore if at all.)  Old Mac has a few holes that stretch out a good bit further, with only really 11 turning into a beast.  Sheep Ranch is the course where more groups move back to the blacks for a round while sticking with the greens on the other courses.


As for the main question on this thread, Bandon generally ranks higher than the other four on a random sampling of guests.  I don't think this is because it is easier, and probably has more to do with people thinking that good shots get rewarded at Bandon.  You don't get the severe punishment you get at Pac for a small miss, or the random bounces of Old Mac, or the problems presented by the brush and trees at Trails.  If you miss at Bandon off the tee, for the most part you're going to have a chance at recovery.  That shot might not be easy, but often it is possible.  And oftentimes it is those shots that stick in people's memories, whether they were the one's that pulled it off or the opponent in the match that saw a sure win turn into a loss of half.

"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Paul Jones

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2022, 11:03:31 PM »
Bandon Dunes - favorite
Bandon Trials - best course
Sheep Ranch - most fun
Pacific Dunes - close 2nd to all above
Old Mac - least favorite, but still really good
Paul Jones
pauljones@live.com

JLahrman

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2022, 08:27:18 AM »
Then why is BD the preferred course for the USGA championships out here?


Of the five, Bandon is the only one with the length to challenge the better players.  Most people play the Green Tees out here, with a few playing the Blacks.  On some holes there's still another 30 to 50 yards back that never get put in play.


Sven I think you make good points about the length.


But I also don't think it hurts that #16 at Bandon Dunes is arguably the most photogenic hole at the resort, certainly of the non-Sheep Ranch courses. And definitely the most photogenic late-round hole. While the USGA's amateur championships don't have to worry as much about TV/video implications as the US Open or PGA Tour events do, the possibility of having matches end on that hole could also be a factor.

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2022, 08:45:18 AM »
The 16th was hated when it first opened by many on this board. Rater culture used it to define why Pacific is a better design.


A dirty little secret. Bandon Dunes is underrated compared to the opinions of the civilian golfer.


I find it fascinating the both Keiser and Schwab trusted Kidd and yet the rater corp wonít.

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