When it opened in 1999, the owner of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Mike Keiser, envisioned a resort with five courses--all of them distinctly different.
The Bandon Preserve is scheduled to open on May 1st, meaning now, Keiser's vision has been fully realized.
As the 13th anniversary of the Bandon Dunes golf resort draws near, it's only fitting that the fifth and final course here is a 13-hole layout. What looked like a windblown sand dune just a year ago, has been transformed, and the Bandon Preserve is ready to be played.
"We've been ready to open for sometime now, watching it grow in," says Head Professional Jeff Simonds.
The Bandon Preserve is an all par-three course that is wedged in between the first tee at Bandon Trails, and the Pacific. The name of the course comes from efforts to preserve the silvery phacelia, a plant that is being choked out by beach grass.
Beyond that, you might ask yourself, what's so special about a par three course, that only has 13 holes? Well, for starters, it sits right on the Pacific Ocean, and might have the best views of any par three course in the world.
"It's kind of a subtle start," says Simonds. "You play the first hole, and it's not until you get here to the second tee box that you get to see it. For 11 of the 13 holes, you're stunned by the beauty out there."
And it's that par three experience that Simonds and the folks at Bandon are hoping golfers embrace. After all, not everyone is cut out to play 36 holes in a day.
"It's 13 holes, so if you finished a full round at one of our other four golf courses, and you want to play more golf," says Simonds. "But maybe those legs aren't ready to carry you all the way around."
And of course, you can always sit on one of the benches that look out at the ocean, and enjoy the view. Either way, not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.