Ranked 70th in the US
Bandon Trails Course Review
Bandon Trails opened for play in 2005 and was designed by the team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. Bandon Trails is unlike the three other courses at Bandon Dunes in which it is for the most part set in the trees and only touches the links land of the resort on the opening two holes and the closing 18th hole. Although the course is set in the trees it still plays and feels like a links course, the ground here is sand based making the course hard and fast. The biggest difference in playing Trails is once you get into the forested holes the wind doesn’t play a big factor as it does on the other three courses. Bandon Trails is also the site where the idea of Bandon Dunes Resort, behind the 14th tee there is a bench that Mike Kieser first set his eyes upon the land that was to become the Bandon Dunes Resort
Hole Descriptions and Pictures
1st Hole 394 yds Par 4
The first hole at Bandon Trail starts at the highest point in the sand dunes and weaves its down into the fairway and up to the green left. The tee shot here is to play a shot no more than 230 yds as the fairway bottlenecks at that point. The fairway here is heavily sloped on both sides towards the middle of the fairway. Your second shot is uphill to a green guarded by a couple of dunes on either side of the green that you must carry past in order to get onto the fairway or green surface. The green itself in general slopes from back to front and there are a few small backboards at the back of the green that will bring your ball back towards the middle of the green.
2nd Hole 214 yds Par 3
This is the last part of the dunes you will see until you reach the 18th hole, this downhill hole predominantly plays downwind and the hole plays much shorter than its yardage. This hole has bunkering on both sides of the fairway and requires an accurate shot to avoid any hazards. There is also a nice layup area short of the green that is very large and is a good place to chip from. The green in general slopes from back to front here and there is a small false front at the front of the green that will repel a short shot.
3rd Hole 549 yds Par 5
This is a reachable Par 5 in two when the wind is coming out of the north, your drive should be towards the bunker in the middle of the fairway 290 yds away or right of it. Your second shot should also be up the right side of the fairway here unless your going for the green in two shots. There are two more bunkers in the middle of the fairway that can catch shots located at various lengths from the green. The fairway to the left of the green here in general will kick your ball towards the right side and any shot coming in from the right should give you the best angle. The green itself has a plateau back right that can be tough to get to when its windy but the rest of the green has some undulation to it.
4th Hole 408 yds Par 4
The hole gently doglegs to the right over the mound that runs from the fairway bunker on the left all the way up the right side of the fairway. A good tee shot here should be at the low point of the tree line between the fairway bunkers. Your second shot maybe either blind if you didn’t make it over the hill in which case aim your next shot at the lone pine tree between the stands of trees. The green itself is guarded by bunkers left and right and a shot short of the green here is the best place to be in order to chip or put your next shot. The green surface here slopes in general from back to front so being below the hole is optimal here.
5th Hole 133 yds Par 3
The first par 3 is a short hole that can be easy to hit but hard to putt on depending on where your ball ends up. The green is surrounded by 6 bunkers that are very tough to get up and down out of. The green surface here has lots of undulation on it with two distinct levels front and back with the back level being the hardest to hit and putt to. A good play here is to the middle of the green.
6th Hole 395 yds Par 4
This hole is a straight away par 4 that can play either to the right or left of the fairway bunker in the center of the fairway. The majority of shots are played left of the center bunker giving the player a large amount of fairway off of the tee. The center bunker is 210 yds to reach and your tee shot should be played 25 yds to the left of the bunker as there is another bunker further down the hill and slightly to the left . Your second shot into the green should be played at the right side of the green as most shot will bounce back towards the center of the green. The green has three bunkers that you may not see from your second shot along the left side and back. The green surface in general is fairly flat and tilts slightly from the right side towards the center of the green.
7th Hole 440 yds Par 4
This is the longest and the toughest par 4 on the front nine, the hole is uphill from the fairway and taking one club more is required in order to hit the green. Your drive should be hit at the small grass island in the left fairway bunker giving you the best angle into the green. The bunker is just under 300 yds away, out of reach for the good majority of players. Your second shot is uphill to a green that has a two bunkers one back left and one front right, there is also a large false front that will bring your ball back off the green a good 20 yds that must be carried over. The green has three levels to it that have to be taken into consideration when playing your shot from the fairway.
8th Hole 321 yds Par 4
This is a short drivable hole from the green tees this hole is under 300 yds. For those unable to reach the green a shot around 200yds is all you need, keep your ball right center here to avoid the bunkers left and right. If you can reach the green the play is to hit it at the right hand side of the green the fairway short of the green generally slopes towards the center. For players laying up you’ll have a shot into a green surrounded by five bunkers. The green generally slopes from back right to front left. There is a fair bit of undulation on this green so getting the ball close to the pin is important here.
9th Hole 567 yds Par 5
This long par 5 usually has a prevailing wind making it possible to reach the green with two good shots. The tee shot can be aimed at the large bunker on the right side of the fairway, from the tee its 290 yds to reach the bunker. The second shot to the green is straight away and either you can lay up or go for the green. The third shot to the green is straight away there is one bunker to the right of the green here. The green surface itself is very long in length and varies in width. In general its better to be short of the hole on this green.
10th Hole 418 yds par 4
The start of the back nine at Bandon Trail is a short par 4 that has large bunkers that run along the left side of the fairway and right side towards the green. A good tee shot here should be at the large bush tree located in the right hand bunker. Any shot hit within 15 yds of the left bunkers may bounce or roll into the sand. Your second shot into the green here can be played left of the hole as shot landing left will roll to the right. The green surface here is round in shape and generally slopes from left to right towards the front of the green and bunker.
11th Hole 445 yds Par 4
This downhill hole doglegs to the right, its the only hole at Bandon Dunes that has an on course water hazard on it. Your tee shot should be played at the branch that is bent to a 45 degree angle up in the treeline. If you want to play more aggressive take a line 25 yds to the left of the fairway bunker on the right. There is plenty of room to the left here for your drive so don’t be afraid to play safe out that way. Your second shot is downhill to a green that has a pond running down the right side of it. The fairway bunker on the left is generally not in play and a good 50yds from the green. You can play right at this hole or out to the left leaving you with a chip or putt. The green surface itself is very large and in generally fairly flat, the back of the green has the vast majority of undulation here.
12th Hole 242 yds Par 3
The longest par 3 at Bandon Trails, although a long hole the only trouble you may find here is the large mound to the right of the green that blocks a clear line of site to the green if you end up over there. There are bunkers left and long here but they generally don’t usually come into play for the good majority of players. The play here is to aim at the left center of the green as all shots generally will find their way towards the center of the green. The green surface itself is long and 25 yds wide.
13th Hole 401 yds Par 4
This is a downhill hole that requires a drive between down the left side of the fairway in order to have the best angle into the green. A drive hit to far to the right may have a blocked second shot to the green. The aim point off the tee is at the left side of the green. Your second shot into the green requires an accurate shot as missing left or right will leave you with a tricky shot out of the bunker or pitch shot back onto the green. The green here has a large slope in the front and undulation on the left side.
14th Hole 325 yds Par 4
This short hole is drivable for the longest of hitters. Your tee shot is hit from an elevated tee high above the green. Your aim point here should be between the green side bunker left and the left side of the green. The fairway slopes severely from left to right so don’t be afraid to aim for the left side of the fairway. Your second shot is uphill to the pin aim 10ft to the left of the pin and play 10 yds short of the pin for the best chance of hitting the green. The green surface is very narrow and flat front to middle and open up at the back where another plateau is located below the middle part of the green.
15th Hole 406 yds Par 4
This par 4 doglegs to the right, your tee shot should be played are far left as possible giving you the best angle into the green. The bunker in the middle of the fairway is 260 yds from the tee on the far left side. Your second shot is slightly uphill to a green guarded on both sides by bunkers. In general it’s a good half club more to get onto the green from behind the fairway bunker. The green surface in general slopes from back to front and there is a lot of undulation in this green depending on where the pin is located.
16th Hole 530 yds Par 5
This par 5 is uphill from the second shot on, your tee shot here can be played either down the middle of the fairway or up the right side of the fairway, either way your ball will most likely end up on the left side. There is a large bowl that collects balls and most drives will find this bowl. Your second shot is uphill there is lots of room here just avoid the bunkers on the right side. A good shot is down the middle of the fairway. Your third shot is uphill again use one more club at least here for the elevation change and keep your ball out to the right of the pin as most shots will find their way to towards the left. In general this green surface slopes from the right side to towards the left side. The green is pretty long and around 25 yds wide.
17th Hole 182 yds Par 3
This par 3 is one of the better par 3’s at the Bandon Dunes resort and resembles the sand belt courses of Melbourne. This green is surrounded by bunkers and you’ll need an accurate shot in order to hit the green. The green surface has a false front and a similar slope at the back of the green as well. There is a bit of undulation on this green but nothing major.
18th Hole 391 yds Par 4
The 18th hole at Bandon Trails usually plays longer than its yardage of the green. The hole winds its way back into the sand dunes and doglegs up to the right. Your tee shot should be hit between the starter shack and the tree to the left of the shack. Your second shot here will be uphill to the green and is usually into the prevailing wind out of the North. The green here is fairly large and round and in general slopes from back to front.