Pacific Dunes – Played 2015
- Rankings: Golf Digest #19, Golf Digest Public #3, Golf Magazine #12, Golf Magazine Public #1
- Location: 57744 Round Lake Road, Bandon, Oregon
- Year: 2001
- Architect: Tom Doak
- Course Access: Resort
- Walking Rules: Walking Only, Caddies Available
Score Card Information:
- Black: 6,633 yards, Par 71, 73.0 Rating/142 Slope
- Green: 6,142 yards, Par 71, 70.7 Rating/133 Slope
- Gold: 5,775 yards, Par 71, 68.6 Rating/129 Slope
- Royal Blue: 3,920 yards, Par 71, 60.4 Rating/109 Slope
- Orange: 5,088 yards, Par 71, 65.6 Rating/122 Slope
I scheduled Pacific Dunes right after Bandon Dunes to complete my second day of golf. This is the course at Bandon that has gotten the most acclaim. As you can see by the rankings, it is highly regarded. It doesn’t drop out of the Top 20 in any list and is #1 in Golf Magazine’s Public ranking. I will share my thoughts on this at the end of the post.
Tom Doak’s other course on the property seems like it has been there for years. It has stunning views and seaside holes. You will get a feel of the course from the pictures. The routing is interesting especially on the back nine where there are four par threes (two consecutive), three par fives, and only two par fours.
The course was in pristine shape having just hosted the USGA’s Women’s Four Ball. I was supposedly paired with someone, but after I putted for a little while my caddie was the only one who had shown up. The starter directed me to the first tee and away the two of us went! All distances are from the green tees.
Here is a look at the clubhouse that serves the course.
Hole 1 – 304 yards – Par 4
The wind was up on this afternoon. I was told that you try to play Pacific and Old Mac in the mornings, but I did the opposite. Oh well! Since wind is always a factor I will give club selections and lines based on a neutral wind. Everything is subject to change when a four-club wind is howling.
The first hole is a short one to ease you into the round. A little draw works well here.
You realize you are close to the ocean on the second tee. You can hit a straight one here and carry the bunkers from the elevated tee.
This is a pretty hole with the raised tee box. I found the comfortable line to be right of the two bunkers in the middle of the fairway. There is quite a bit of room on the right side.
The view off the side of the fourth tee is quite spectacular!
As a single I was moving pretty quickly. Luckily, these guys would let me play through on the next hole. This tee shot demands a mid to long iron and is encroached upon by the heather and bunkers.
This is a quirky little hole. The green is tiny and you need to be careful if you are hitting driver. If you don’t keep in on the green or just short and right you could be in trouble. To me the best strategy is hitting something to leave you with a comfortable wedge shot. An errant drive to the left would be a near impossible up and down from the deep bunkers you see in the distance.
The trees on this hole offer a respite from the wind. The strategy is simple off this tee. Rip one down the middle.
The tee shot here doesn’t require much as there is a large fairway. Just take it at the two guys in the middle.
After two straightforward tee shots, I appreciated this blind one. Listen to your caddie on the line and swing confidently. It is not overly long so you may be able to get away with less than driver.
The first of the back to back par threes plays down the hill. There is trouble to the left in the form of heather and gorse.
The view from the eleventh tee isn’t too shabby.
This hole favored a draw by my eye. Start it at the left side of the bunker in the fairway and you will be in good shape.
This is another of the great seaside holes. There is plenty of room out there even though your eyes are drawn to the trouble on the left. Fire one at the big blowout bunker and you will be just fine.
What looks like a breather after the last hole is really anything but. While it plays short any misdirected shot will face serious bunker trouble. This one can be especially daunting in a crosswind.
There is some gorse to avoid on the outer edges of the fairway, but the landing area is quite large so swing away.
The sixteenth completes your journey back among the dunes. The tee shot is more framed than on the previous holes. The distance of the hole does not require driver allowing for more accuracy.
This is a demanding tee shot. There is a small bailout to the right, but not much of one. At all costs, carry the bunker on the left.
The last hole will test you. A good line is just right of the clubhouse building in the distance. This will most likely be a three shot hole for all but the longest hitters.
Surrounded by sand, the green is partially blind, but the front bunker is the only real trouble as the others are farther from the surface. You can see somewhat that the green starts before the bunker on the right and curves around it.
The round at Pacific Dunes was very memorable. The views were world class and it was a thrill to play it in the wind of the afternoon. I certainly understand its acclaim. All that being said, I may have a somewhat controversial opinion. I cannot put it ahead of Pebble Beach, but that may be my uneducated golf course architecture brain.
I was personally of the opinion that it wasn’t even my favorite at the resort. It has stunning vistas and an interesting routing and I loved it all. Don’t misunderstand what I said before. When you are talking about courses of this caliber you are really just splitting hairs. They are all great. That is the true beauty of Bandon, every course has something to love! Next up, Bandon Trails.