Day Three: Bandon Trails
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw had some familiarity with dunesland when Mike Keiser called on them to build the third course at Bandon. Sand Hills, near Mullen, Nebraska, has moved permanently into the top ten of american golf courses in a short period of time.
Again, if you want to pass Go and go straight to the photo tour, do so. If you want words (it takes a thousand of them to make one picture), keep reading.
Bandon Trails is the inland golf course at Bandon Dunes resort. The soil is the same, sandy loam that you find on the other two courses. What you have at Trails that you do not have at the other courses is protection from the ocean winds. Trails plays nearly the same distance as Bandon Dunes, yet seems more like a quiet cathedral as compared with Dunes’ outdoor celebration. Tall trees frame certain shots on certain holes, but never intrude so much as to negate the links feel of the course. As with Dunes, I putted and metalled from up to fifty yards off the green, often choosing the low road over the high road.
There is a certain spaciousness to Trails that is absent on Dunes. There is much room between holes, and often a bit of a walk between green and tee. Chief among the memories is the treck up “Cardiac Hill,” a quarter-mile uphill stretch from the thirteenth green to the fourteenth tee. I was puffing as I reached the tee deck, although the caddy who carried both my partners’ bags was hardly winded. Hopefully the “Hill” won’t claim any victims down the road!
Although I need a bit of time to ruminate on my expectations and my satisfactions, I can honestly write that both courses have a uniqueness and a similarity that makes me want to return. I’ll get another crack at the Dunes on day four, so perhaps I’ll look back on the Trails (and Pacific Dunes) with a bit of melancholy, having had only one round over each of them.
|« Day Four: Pacific Dunes and Tom Doak||Bandon Dunes Log: Day Two--The Original »|
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