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How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition
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TOPIC: How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition

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sixpez
How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition
SoCal Community Staff

sixpez: sixpez - Golf Normad GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

Member Since:
    October 16, 2003


Favorite Golfer:
    Tend to root for Phil
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    Mt. Shasta Resort


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Friday July 7, 2017 9:28 AM
I've been meaning to start this thread for a couple weeks since there were some great recent GK reviews of the Bandon Dunes courses. roarksown1 kind of beat me to the punch with the more local "who wore it best?" forum, but I want to focus on some serious golf destinations with multiple courses to rank. In this case, Bandon Dunes specifically.

I always find it interesting when anyone plays Bandon Dunes because almost everyone ranks the courses differently. I think that just goes to show how great a resort it is because each course sparks different personal opinions and feelings.

So, I'll throw it out there to the people who have played all (or at least most) of the Bandon Dunes courses. How do you rank them?

Here's my list:
1. Pacific Dunes
2. Bandon Trails
3. Bandon Dunes
4. Bandon Preserve
5. Old Macdonald


Yes, I include Preserve. Despite it being a strange 13-hole par-3 layout, nobody should overlook that track when making the pilgrimage to Bandon. It is a must-play just like the rest of them.

I used to contend Trails was my favorite, but then I played Pacific again a couple years back and I had to put it back on top. Honestly, whichever one I've played most recently will probably be my favorite at any given time. Old Mac didn't quite grab me as much as the others, though I would like to give it another chance. I had a long (and rare) frost delay there that kind of marred the whole experience on that course. Normally, the unpredictable weather is part of the fun in Bandon, but a frost delay just kind of sucked and messed up my entire day.

I actually rank the non-resort Bandon Crossings course on the other side of town higher than Old Mac, but I left it off this list to focus on the resort courses. I didn't include the Shorty's par-3 practice course at Bandon Dunes nor the Punchbowl putting course. Those aren't as relevant to this discussion, but are worth checking out while there. They are free to play, so why not?

It will be interesting to see how the rankings change when they officially redo the Sheep Ranch (or Bally Bandon, if you prefer) course and make it part of the resort. It's an incredible piece of property and Gil Hanse should be able to make some magic there if the plans come together. There is one green complex sticking out from the cliff that should ultimately be the signature hole of the entire resort if used properly. That said, I have mixed feelings about them redoing this course because it is currently such a unique "personal" golf experience that defies description.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. How do you rank the Bandon Dunes resort courses?
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 Message #84613
Rat-Patrol
RE: How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

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    April 20, 2013


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    My Grandpa was
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Friday July 7, 2017 9:30 AM
Soon, if everyone who has posted a Bandon review responds . . . never mind, the six of you have a blast!
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 Message #84614 - This was a reply to message #84613
weber2323
RE: How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition
SoCal Community Staff

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Friday July 7, 2017 10:03 AM
Pacific Dunes
Bandon Dunes

Old Macdonald wasn't built when I went and I didn't play the Preserve but even not playing those I'd still rank them ahead of Trails. Hated that course.
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 Message #84617 - This was a reply to message #84613
michaelko
RE: How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition
NorCal Community Staff

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

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Friday July 7, 2017 10:36 AM
1. so true that everyone has their opinion, and it varies wildly... no trends
2. there is no wrong answer.. #4 on the list is better than virtually every course you've played
3. i tell people, whatever your expectation is, bandon will surpass it
4. i've been twice, and my opinion has changed.

trip 1:
bandon dunes
pac
trails
old mac
preserve

trip 2:
bandon dunes
old mac
trails
pac
preserve

second trip, old mac was so much fun... probably had to do with the caddie, as i didn't take one first trip. but i tried shots i never would have envisioned with his help.

dunes to me is just so interesting.... not a bad hole in the bunch.

trails, in trip 2, out of 12 guys, it was the overwhelming favorite of the 12. i certainly enjoyed it more the 2nd time

you should have a poll so we can track this.. do we have a poll feature here?
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 Message #84618 - This was a reply to message #84617
weber
RE: How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition
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    December 4, 2002


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Friday July 7, 2017 10:40 AM
Played in December 2014.

1. Pacific Dunes
2. Bandon Trails
3. Bandon Dunes
4. Bandon Preserve
5. Old MacDonald

Looks like I just copied Keith's ranking, but I guess great minds think alike
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 Message #84619 - This was a reply to message #84617
lotrgolfer48
RE: How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition

GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup GK Event: Played in a GK Event

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    January 10, 2011


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Friday July 7, 2017 10:47 AM
Unfortunately, only got to play BD on my half day through Bandon. Very impressive course but was honestly underwhelmed by the 5 shortest holes. All the 3s were playing between 190 and 200 yards with similar dangers (I like #2 the most of the bunch, but it has the worst view) and the short Par 4 16th is, I guess, a risk/reward tee shot with no real reward apart from overlooking the beach once you get to the green. Had those holes been better I think Bandon Dunes would have jumped to the top of my all time list. Instead, it resides comfortably in the Top 5 but below Chambers Bay.
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 Message #84620 - This was a reply to message #84618
sixpez
RE: How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition
SoCal Community Staff

sixpez: sixpez - Golf Normad GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

Member Since:
    October 16, 2003


Favorite Golfer:
    Tend to root for Phil
Favorite Golf Course:
    Mt. Shasta Resort


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Friday July 7, 2017 10:52 AM
Well done, Tom. Anyone who's played over 10,000 rounds of golf can't be wrong!

To the other weber, I can't imagine anyone "hating" Trails. It and Old Mac definitely stick out as the ones most likely to cause wider-ranging opinions, though.

Interesting feedback.

Sorry Jim for the jealousy. You can start a thread to rank the 4 SD courses you play over and over. In case you're wondering, I say Torrey South, Torrey North, Balboa and then Coronado.

[[Edited by sixpez on Friday July 7, 2017 10:53 AM]]
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 Message #84621 - This was a reply to message #84619
lamitchw
RE: How Do You Rank Them? - Bandon Dunes Edition
Member Since:
    October 19, 2012


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    Pacific Dunes


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Friday July 7, 2017 11:02 AM
My rankings would be as follows:
1. Pacific Dunes
2a. Bandon Dunes
2b. Old Macdonald
4. Preserve
5. Bandon Trails

I think of the courses at Bandon like I think about wine: what one person loves, another may not care for. That's not to say any are bad, they just fit everyone's palate differently. All of the courses are absolutely spectacular, and blew my expectations way out of the water.

To me, Pac Dunes is a notch above the others. The first time I played it, at almost every hole I exclaimed 'wow!' Bandon Dunes just edges out Old Mac because of it's history, and the ocean holes. However, Old Mac is the truest links-style course of the bunch, and my caddy knew it like the back of his hand. That definitely made things more fun. The guys I went with don't really like Trails, and I wasn't playing well that afternoon, so I want to play Trails again for a more informed rating. Preserve is just stunning. We weren't playing too seriously on Preserve, more drinking and gambling than anything, but I've never come close to playing a par 3 that beautiful.

We didn't get out to the Sheep Ranch, but you can see it pretty clearly from Old Mac and it looks like it could have the best views on the entire property. I can't think of a more perfect golf resort. I returned home from my trip on June 20, and I think about it literally every single day. I can't wait until next year's trip...
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 Message #84624 - This was a reply to message #84613

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