7 March 2017
It began in 1999 with the opening of Bandon Dunes. Designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd, the course is perched on a bluff high above the Pacific Ocean. The course unfolds along pristine native dunes where expansive ocean views are revealed on nearly every hole. The course is completely natural and routed through an environment of indigenous vegetation. Beyond breathtaking scenery lies the game of golf in its truest form. This is a thinker's course. Winds are ever-present, and the varying elements create a new experience each time you play.
From the moment I stepped out on these wild, wind-shaped sand dunes, I knew this would be the opportunity of a lifetime. The owner, Mike Keiser, wanted something authentic and true to the Scottish tradition. My reply was, "No real estate, no golf carts, no clubhouse on the beach."
I imagined the routing having the structure of a symphony -- a strong start, a sense of anticipation, small crescendos, and an incredible finishing sequence along the Pacific. The course had to provide not only a challenge to every skill level, but also a sense of adventure and an exploration of this great landscape. As on true links courses, each hole offers several strategies to reach the green. Although the fairways and greens are large, the best line of attack requires accuracy, which can always be tricky. Players must consider the sea breeze and the firm sand-based turf. Newcomers to links golf must master playing the ball along the ground, shots that have all but disappeared from today's game.
It thrills me now to watch the public playing the game as it was originally meant to be played, on the finest linksland I've seen outside the British Isles. --David McLay Kidd, Course Architect