Bandon Trails Golf Course


Bandon Trails Golf Course
57744 Round Lake Drive
Bandon, OR 97411

Course Review Date: 01.28.2012
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre

Last year I got a bit out of sorts on Trails and in turn asked Jason to write up a review on the golf course.  This year, with my head screwed on correctly I was able to take in what I now think is the best golf course from a design stand point that Bandon has to offer.  Bandon Trails is often over shadowed by the other 3 golf courses, likely because it is so different.  It does not feature the daunting ocean views and wide open playing surfaces the other three offer.  Tree lined and at times narrow fairways will challenge your precision on the teebox and penalize you for an errant shot.  Water and well place bunerking challenges your approaches.  This is the kind of place where if you get in a funk, you could be in for a world of hurt, as I discovered in my previous visit.

What makes this track so special?  Well, for starters the Coore/Crenshaw team did a remarkable job at using the natural settings and landscape and kind of just carved the course out there.  It seems as though they left as much ground undisturbed as possible and slapped some green in the middle.  Thus you get a course that is more an adventure than another round of golf.  Up a big hill you climb to reach a tee box, or through a thick, wind swept ocean front forest you find your way to a green.  The course just has so much character its kind of hard to explain.  One thing I can explain, its no easy track at all.

Bandon Trails is one of those rare golf courses where if one part of your game is off, everything is in trouble.  Often you can drive the ball poorly but still play good approaches, bring a good short game and survive.  Maybe your chipping and putting is dead but you are just hammering the ball off the box….nope….not here.  The course isn’t necessarily designed to reward your good play, more to just let you survive. A bad driving day here is a total nightmare.  If you have survived tee to green you are rewarded with the best putting surfaces of any of the golf courses at Bandon.  Fescue like the rest but smooth, healthy and very true.  Putt on these and then go play Pacific and you’ll understand what I mean.  A night and day comparison.

Please, if you are visiting Bandon do not overlook this place and skip it.  Yes, Bandon, Pacific, and OldMac are rated higher in all the golf publications but trust me, the design of Trails is nothing short of spectacular.  The other courses are of course exceptional, but none of them have the character and charisma if you will, that Trails displays.  Play this course and imagine what it would be like moved to Seattle…just don’t imagine what it would cost to play.

Golfchops.com rating: 25/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
Value: 5
Amenities: 5

Rating Notes:
– Kudos to the staff at Trails for letting us hitch a ride up a couple big hills to get our round in before dark.
– Best greens on the property without question.
– Conditions are perfect and enhanced by use of the natural landscape.
– $75 is an absolute steal to play this place in 60 degree weather.
– Restrooms in a couple different places, access to a snack bar in a couple places, solid practice green, lots of instruction and help from staff, perfect.

 

Course Review Date: 01.28.2011
Course Reviewer – Jason

Pictures Below

Bandon Trails, the 3rd course at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, was completed in 2005 by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The course starts at the top of a massive sand dune, opens up into a large meadow, works through the forest, then finishes back at the dunes. It’s no secret that this is the fourth rated course of the bunch but that being said it is still an amazing track. Bandon Trails is unique in the fact that it is not the pure links style golf course that the other 3 Bandon course are. Trails does have a couple holes that offer some remarkable views of the Pacific Ocean, but as stated before its primarily laid out through the forest and meadow.

Bandon Trails starts with a wide open 392 yard par 4 that favors drives to the right side of the fairway. The second hole is an epic 214 yard par 3 with elevation change and wind making club selection difficult. Number 8 is a 321 yard par 4 that may be reachable for the bigger hitters but be careful because the green is surrounded by trouble. The front nine finishes with a 567 yard, par 5 that is framed by the dense coastal forest but temps you to go for it in two because of the lack of trouble around the green.

Trails really shows its’ teeth on number 12, a 242 yard par 3. If your tee shot lands short you may find your ball funneling down a slope and into a bunker 50 yards in front of the green. The 14th is a downhill, 325 yard drivable par 4, but be careful because the green is the smallest on the course. The 17th hole is a beautiful, 180 yard, par 3 with a false front and bunkers left, right, and front. The last hole is a 399 yard, par 4 with a majestic rolling fairway and an elevated green.

Truthfully, Bandon Trails is a phenomenal golf course that gets overshadowed by the brilliance of the other 3 courses on the property. Ask a lot of the staff to rate the courses in order and you’ll find many of the have Trails #1 or 2. Bandon Trials is like the 4th best looking super model in a catalog – She may be the fourth best; but hey she’s still a fringing’ super model! The course conditions are excellent, staff was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, the rooms at the resort were amazing, the food was good, and the golf is second to none! If you have ever considered a golf trip make Bandon Dunes Golf Resort your number one priority! You will not regret it.

Golfchops.com rating: 25/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
Value: 5
Amenities: 5

Rating Notes:
– The entire staff at Bandon is almost over friendly. Everyone greets you, welcomes you, offers assistance etc. This service is from reservation to check out. Perfect.
– Excellent greens at Trails, very smooth and consistent
– Conditions of the golf course were prestine, just like the other 3 tracks.
– Depending on the season, prices vary, but golf at Bandon Trails is not cheap by any means. $225 during peak season or $115 in the off-season. Like the other courses, Trails is worth every red cent.
– Restrooms in a couple different places, access to a snack bar in a couple places, solid practice green, lots of instruction and help from staff, perfect.

Pictures from Bandon Trails

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