Reviewed by: zeppelin51423, manhattan beach
Finished up a 3 night/4 day golf trip to the Bandon property for Memorial Day weekend. I have a lot to review and many pictures to post.
Bandon Dunes (the property inclusive of all courses) is a world class golf destination that may not have many rivals in terms of number of top 100 courses all within a stones throw from each other. Places that come to mind that can compete include maybe Pinehurst & Pebble Beach. I will go into detail on each course on the property but I will say this, what makes Bandon perhaps the best golf destination in the world is the variety of golf they offer. From Bandon Trails to Old Mac & everything in between.
Bandon Trails was the first course we played on our weekend trip and I was blown away at the layout. Many visitors overlook Trails when coming to Bandon as it is not a true links golf course. But the demanding layout sits far away from any of the other golf courses on the property and has a very remote feel to it. I would argue Trails to be the toughest course on site or at the very least tied with Old Mac. Once you get past the 1st hole, the course slowly switch backs up to the highest point on the property, hole 14 tee box, which is also said to be the location for which Mike Kieser decided he would purchase the property some 25 years ago.
Trails is well protected by massive pine trees which make it a great option for the 2nd round of the day when the wind is picking up. There are a handful of driveable 4’s (8, 14) reachable 5’s (2 & 9) which can provide some chances at birdie/eagle. What makes Trails truly exceptional is Coore/Crenshaw’s ability to blend three distinct settings Ocean/Forrest/meadow and create what I think is a course without a single “bad” hole. Once you get into the forest section there is a stretch of 6-7 holes where you feel like you are the only people on the property.
I wont dive much into course conditions at Bandon in my reviews but I will just say that all courses were in superb conditioning. This is links golf so the conditions vary significantly throughout the year. But one thing to note, the greens at Trails are getting heavily spotted with Poa and late in the day they do get bumpy. I heard from multiple people the Greenskeeper is planning to stop fighting the Poa and slowly let it take over. In no way did this impact my enjoyment of my second favorite course on site.