Golf News

Bandon Dunes building par-3 course on stunning, sandy terrain

Bandon Preserve, the 13-hole par-3 course that opened in 2012 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon, ushered in a trend of high-end resorts adding short courses that far exceed the experience of many afterthought par-3 layouts that came in preceding decades. Real holes on stunning terrain make for an unforgettable experience that has become a major draw along the southern Oregon coast, and a new breed of par-3 course has evolved around the world.

And Bandon Preserve will soon have a sibling just a few hundred yards south along the coastline.

The resort officially announces today that it is constructing a new, 19-hole par-3 course, yet to be named and built by the WAC Golf team of Rod Whitman, Dave Axland and Keith Cutten. The layout was routed on dunesland between the first hole of the resort’s Bandon Trails course and the Pacific Ocean, and construction is already underway. Plans are for the course to be completed this year, with some preview play possible this fall and a full opening in 2024.

Bandon Dunes

The layout for Bandon Dunes Golf Resort’s new par-3 course between the first hole of Bandon Trails and the Pacific Ocean (Courtesy of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort)

“This is just an incredible piece of ground, and we’re super excited about it,” said Cutten, the youngest member of the WAC design team who has worked in various roles with Whitman and Axland for more than a decade, most notably at Cabot Links in Nova Scotia, one of the top-rated public-access courses in Canada. “It’s quite a bit choppier, more severe changes in the dunes than some of the other pieces of ground out there, so it’s just perfect for a short course.”

The layout of Bandon’s new par-3 course has been in consideration for years, and architect Tom Doak had marker flags in the ground for a proposed routing last year. Bandon Dunes founder and owner Mike Keiser said plans changed, and the WAC team was given a chance to create a layout on what Keiser always believed to be a special piece of land.

“We called and said, ‘Why don’t you stop by and see what you can do?’ ” Keiser said. “They came up with, I think, a brilliant routing. I wouldn’t call it short, because our scorecard will have short, medium and long distances. They did a fabulous job and you’ll have to wait and see for yourself.”

Holes will range from just under 60 yards up to nearly 160, depending on the tees selected, Cutten said. Keiser said the plan is for each of the 19 holes to offer a chance to…


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