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Brett Meyer

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2022, 08:48:38 AM »
I would say that it's not overrated being in the top 50 in the US, even though I don't think it's one of the top two courses at the resort. And that's because while I think it has a few more negatives than either Pacific Dunes or Bandon Trails, its positives are about as strong as theirs.

Let's start with the weaknesses: the routing and some of the holes on the front nine. The walks from 1-2 (left tee), 3-4, and 6-7 are all longer than you'd want. The 6-7 walk is especially irritating because the 7th tee is next to the 5th green. And I wasn't a big fan of 2 (from the left tee; I might like it more from the right), 7, or especially 9. Except for a few bunkers in the middle of the fairway, 9, with its mounds up both sides and flattish fairway, reminded me of something from a high-end public course in metro Detroit.

But these walks are at most 150 yards and none of those is a bad hole. And the strengths are so strong. The back nine is as good as any on the property. There are a bunch of very good to great holes including 4-6, 10, 12, 14-17. And I thought that there was a lot of variety in the green complexes. Some were narrower, some were broader. Some had heavy interior contour, others not so much. And I really liked the surroundings of the greens. There's a lot of severity around these greens but unlike some new courses, there's always a good place to miss. The 15th hole--which they made a mess of in the US Amateur--is a good example of this. Yes long left and right are dead, but there's plenty of room short and left. You just have to realize it and use it.

So while Bandon Dunes might have the most weaknesses of the top 3 or 4 courses at Bandon (not counting Sheep Ranch, which I think is clearly inferior to the others), it has many strengths and the strengths are as strong as the other courses. All of that adds up to it probably being rated about right.

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2022, 08:59:45 AM »
A dude shaped like me died walking to 14 tee on Trails. Now we, thankfully, get shuttled.


Saying that Bandon Dunes is a tougher walk is misinformation.



Sven Nilsen

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2022, 09:09:14 AM »
A dude shaped like me died walking to 14 tee on Trails. Now we, thankfully, get shuttled.


Saying that Bandon Dunes is a tougher walk is misinformation.


Ask your caddie, to a person they'll say Bandon and Sheep Ranch are the easiest walks.  Pac is the toughest.


Its the sharp, quick climbs that burn your legs.
"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

Eric Smith

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2022, 09:39:11 AM »
No, it's the course I most look forward to playing at the Resort.

Also if you recall at the end of our February trip our friends who were experiencing Bandon for the first time chose Bandon Dunes as their favorite.

Ben Sims

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2022, 12:12:37 PM »
It has been eleven years this week since my last trip to Bandon. The only thing that has demonstrably changed in that time is the construction and opening of Sheep Ranch. I can say without reservation that if I were to spend five nights and four full days at the resort, Bandon Dunes would get no more than one play.


When people ask me why I say that you could make a reliable argument that Pacific Dunes and Bandon Trails are in the top two courses ever built by their respective architects. I’m not sure you can say the same about Bandon Dunes.


That said, I’m not so sure that means it’s overrated.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2022, 12:15:11 PM »
I don't doubt Bandon Dunes is the most liked at the resort.

If it really has the least amount of odd bounces, is the easiest walk, more options for recovery, and most closely resembles the type of shots they are accustomed to playing at home...that alone is enough to put it over the top.  Then throw in that its usually the one they see on the telly for tournaments and its a no-brainer.

P.S.  Its not an accident when ur driving in the middle of nowhere and looking for a bite to eat, there is almost always a McDonalds at the upcoming stop.  There's always comfort to be found in the familiar...

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2022, 12:51:13 PM »
I don't doubt Bandon Dunes is the most liked at the resort.

If it really has the least amount of odd bounces, is the easiest walk, more options for recovery, and most closely resembles the type of shots they are accustomed to playing at home...that alone is enough to put it over the top.  Then throw in that its usually the one they see on the telly for tournaments and its a no-brainer.

P.S.  Its not an accident when ur driving in the middle of nowhere and looking for a bite to eat, there is almost always a McDonalds at the upcoming stop.  There's always comfort to be found in the familiar...


So, who you calling stupid? I hope not us.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2022, 12:58:57 PM »
I don't doubt Bandon Dunes is the most liked at the resort.

If it really has the least amount of odd bounces, is the easiest walk, more options for recovery, and most closely resembles the type of shots they are accustomed to playing at home...that alone is enough to put it over the top.  Then throw in that its usually the one they see on the telly for tournaments and its a no-brainer.

P.S.  Its not an accident when ur driving in the middle of nowhere and looking for a bite to eat, there is almost always a McDonalds at the upcoming stop.  There's always comfort to be found in the familiar...


So, who you calling stupid? I hope not us.


Its not judgement John, just one plausible explanation...

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2022, 01:03:40 PM »
Your take is a common beard pullers trope.

Garland Bayley

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2022, 01:16:46 PM »
IMO, any rating that has it above Old MacDonald and Bandon Trails has over rated it. I have never seen it rated higher than Pacific Dunes, so that is not an issue.

Sheep Ranch is the weak sister, and I too wish I had been to the original.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Mark_Fine

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2022, 02:15:34 PM »
Just because a certain course is “liked” more than another course doesn’t necessarily mean it is better.  Rankings (at least the ones depicting what are supposed to be the best golf courses) are not a listing of what panelists “like” the most.  They are are a listing of what they think are the best golf designs. A list of favorite courses is very different than a list of the best courses.

I know a number of the guys I sometimes play with who would not like Pine Valley for example.  It would just be too hard for them and not a lot of fun.  It would not be high on their favorite list to play on a regular basis.  Most would give up the game and play Pickelball  :)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 05:59:00 PM by Mark_Fine »

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2022, 02:27:06 PM »
[size=78%]Just because a certain course is “liked” more than another course doesn’t necessarily mean it is better.  Rankings (at least the ones depicting what are supposed to be the best golf courses) are not a listing of what panelists “like” the most.  They are are a listing of what they think are the best golf designs. A list of favorite courses is very different than a list of the best courses.  [/size]

I know a number of the guys I sometimes play with who would not like Pine Valley for example.  It would just be too hard for them and not a lot of fun.  It would not be high on their favorite list to play on a regular basis.  Most would give up the game and play Pickelball :)


Raters know how much they are allowed to like something before they ever set foot on property. What a sad way to search for something to love.

Paul Jones

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2022, 02:47:25 PM »
[size=78%]Just because a certain course is “liked” more than another course doesn’t necessarily mean it is better.  Rankings (at least the ones depicting what are supposed to be the best golf courses) are not a listing of what panelists “like” the most.  They are are a listing of what they think are the best golf designs. A list of favorite courses is very different than a list of the best courses.  [/size]

I know a number of the guys I sometimes play with who would not like Pine Valley for example.  It would just be too hard for them and not a lot of fun.  It would not be high on their favorite list to play on a regular basis.  Most would give up the game and play Pickelball :)


Mark,


I agree, and that is why I listed my favorite, most fun, best course - they all are great and worth the travel distance to play.
Paul Jones
pauljones@live.com

Alex Miller

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2022, 02:53:34 PM »
IMO, any rating that has it above Old MacDonald and Bandon Trails has over rated it. I have never seen it rated higher than Pacific Dunes, so that is not an issue.

Sheep Ranch is the weak sister, and I too wish I had been to the original.


Boy you wouldn't like my ratings (i.e. personal preference)  ;)


Credit to Keiser, the resort, and the archies for continuing to add diverse experiences that bring something new to the place. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Some of those things are part of what we experience between the first and last tee shot, and some are not. When I visit Bandon I tend to break up those experiences into half days as many others might when doing 36 holes per day. 


BD comes with the experience / convenience of a meal yards from the first tee and even a sauna after the round. Plus the very special first tee feeling of teeing off / coming in to the lodge to start/end the day. The course may not have the best set of holes start to finish, but certainly nothing offensive either. It's also often the best conditioned of the courses and overall makes for a wonderful 4.5 hours on course plus more before/after.


PD has maybe the best architecture out there 


BT likewise, plus the change of scenery and peaceful nature walk experience 


OM may struggle in this regard actually, but I also think it is wholly unique as a golf course 


SR may have the most dramatic coastal experience on the property even without the dunes and flashes of sand 




Each bring something to the table and when a course has the ability to standout on its own in one's mind it can be held in high regard.

Doug Wright

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2022, 02:57:17 PM »
Having been to the resort 9-10 times over 20+ years, I’ve had this discussion with others (and myself) many times. My lodestar in thinking about this or other courses is “Is it fun while presenting enough—but not too much—challenge?” (Pacific Dunes is one of my favorite courses anywhere because it hits my fun and challenge buttons perfectly.) In my opinion Bandon Dunes has improved over the years in this regard. It’s gone through a lot of softening over the years. The gorse was really intimidating and some holes like 4-5 and 16 almost unplayable in wind in its early days. Who likes that? Now the gorse has been cut way back and that’s made the course, while still challenging, doable for most players and in my opinion a lot more fun to play.
My first ever round at the resort was on Bandon Dunes, and I will never forget reaching the dogleg on the fourth hole for the fantastic Pacific Ocean reveal. That’s part of BD’s charm—the anticipation builds as you play holes 1-3, hearing the constant wave action, and then again through holes 7-11 and 13-14.  The ocean holes aside,  I find Bandon Dunes is solid if not spectacular. Comparing it to other courses, I do think Bandon Dunes enjoys some cache from its location at the resort and the ocean effect. However,  Bandon Dunes is anything but a reliever course. There’s plenty of challenge especially when there is wind as usual, and fun to be had tacking to navigate holes like #10 and #14, avoiding the chasms short of #2 and #15 and to the right of #7, #13 and #17, and the #8 carry bunkers (are they still there?). The 9th and 18th holes are rather bland, for sure, and they detract. I also have never liked #16 despite its “signature hole” status. Maybe fun for a better player but I’ve always found it to be a strange golf hole.
In the end of course it’s a matter of personal preference and associated playing skill (or lack thereof), the latter of which changes day to day and trip to trip. But to say Bandon Dunes is “overrated”? Probably not, at least to me. I think it is “inferior” to the other courses on the property except for Sheep Ranch, which in a couple plays I found pretty boring and repetitive. However, Bandon Dunes is a very fine golf course that I enjoy playing every time I am at the resort—moreso even than Bandon Trails, which I find just too damn hard anymore. Bandon Dunes is different from the others on the property, but that is a good thing and from a golf course architecture standpoint part of the reason it deserves its rating IMO.   
 
Twitter: @Deneuchre

Jeff Schley

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2022, 03:00:38 PM »
I think overrated is certainly not the proper description that comes to mind on any of Bandon's courses. It is like Miss Universe, whoever finishes 10th will still induce whiplash. I think let's celebrate it as opposed to really waste effort arguing if it is #50 and should be #85.  It is a great course. As we don't have old historical links courses like the UK then we can create them better late than never.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2022, 03:09:54 PM »
The OP has a legit question that I’ve asked myself many times before. His curiosity stems from wondering why a course so revered never gets plaudits.

Kevin Pallier

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2022, 09:56:06 PM »
I think overrated is certainly not the proper description that comes to mind on any of Bandon's courses. It is like Miss Universe, whoever finishes 10th will still induce whiplash. I think let's celebrate it as opposed to really waste effort arguing if it is #50 and should be #85.  It is a great course. As we don't have old historical links courses like the UK then we can create them better late than never.


Jeff


Have you played the Streamsong and Sand Valley layouts? I'm keen how you (or anyone else) views BD in relation to them?

David_Elvins

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2022, 10:20:55 PM »
Is 1 and 2 the worst 2 hole stretch at the resort?


Didn’t appear to be any sophistication in routi by or shaping to indicate you are playing a top 1,000 course.
Ask not what GolfClubAtlas can do for you; ask what you can do for GolfClubAtlas.

Jeff Schley

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2022, 02:50:01 AM »
I think overrated is certainly not the proper description that comes to mind on any of Bandon's courses. It is like Miss Universe, whoever finishes 10th will still induce whiplash. I think let's celebrate it as opposed to really waste effort arguing if it is #50 and should be #85.  It is a great course. As we don't have old historical links courses like the UK then we can create them better late than never.


Jeff


Have you played the Streamsong and Sand Valley layouts? I'm keen how you (or anyone else) views BD in relation to them?
I have played SV but not SS. My 2 cents, is that SV/MD are much grander and feeling of seclusion with some trees. The greens at BD I think are better than either layout at SV. The width off the tees for SV/MD make it easier off the tee. Of course with BD being a links and exposed to weather even 15-20 mph winds really make it difficult for us amateurs.

Separate from the golf, the views at BD really are great and adds to your day regardless of what you shot.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Garland Bayley

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2022, 06:41:36 AM »
...
Each bring something to the table and when a course has the ability to standout on its own in one's mind it can be held in high regard.

The original four courses are all standout. My quibble is simply the order they appear in ratings.

Sheep Ranch stands out in my mind for not being sand based. Such a "stand out" does not equate to "high regard". I'd rather play Bandon Crossings.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2022, 09:53:10 AM »

I have no idea why people disparage the first two holes at the OG. Knowing that they would build away from the buildings, and knowing that the buildings would not take up precious cliffside land, they built two challenging holes that should remind anyone of a linksy hole that climbs a rise.

I don't know what the opening holes were supposed to be like, before they acquired the additional land. It would be interesting to see an original routing.

I'd love to know more about what some think makes them lesser holes. Building into and along a rise must be challenging, especially when you need to use the land. A similar course that comes to mind is the OG at Arcadia Bluffs. Uphill par five (par four at Bandon Dunes) followed by a downhill par three (uphill par three at Bandon Dunes.) I'll rank the BD opening duo over the AB pair, but each served a purpose.

I don't know that there is a bad hole at the resort, much less a bad stretch.



Is 1 and 2 the worst 2 hole stretch at the resort?


Didn’t appear to be any sophistication in routi by or shaping to indicate you are playing a top 1,000 course.
Maybe for 2022
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Mike Hendren

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2022, 11:39:35 AM »
Does BD benefit from the 9th returning to the house?  I wouldn’t think so.
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2022, 11:52:20 AM »
It has been eleven years this week since my last trip to Bandon. The only thing that has demonstrably changed in that time is the construction and opening of Sheep Ranch.


Bandon Dunes would probably look a bit different to you today than it did 11 years ago.  There's been a ton of gorse removal, the remaining bunkers have been completely reworked and a number have been removed or moved.  The 2nd hole has a completely different look, with the grass hillside on the left replaced by a gaping bunker.  6 looks very different with a catch bunker on the left as opposed to the grass runway to the cliff. 8 has a very different bunker scheme, with the half horseshoe pretty much replaced by a center line bunker right in the landing zone and the DZ bunkers on 9 have been reworked.  One of the left side bunkers on 11 was removed, making a drive at the green much more of an option.  The bunkers on the right side of 14 were enlarged creating more danger on that side.  The DA at 15 was moved to the right and is smaller, removing perhaps the most iconic bunker on the course.  The fairway bunker on 17 was filled in.  All of these changes were made to soften the course a bit, and included the removal of the left side bumps on 15 which used to carom certain shots onto the green.  Today, the newer grass on that side acts like a speed slot which sends any shot off the green on the left into the hazard behind
"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

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Is Bandon Dunes overrated?
« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2022, 11:55:53 AM »
Is 1 and 2 the worst 2 hole stretch at the resort?


Tell me you haven't played Sheep Ranch without saying it.
"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

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