Bandon Dunes: Ranking the Best Courses

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    Golf-obsessed Americans watch the British Open year in and year out fiending for a genuine test of links golf that doesn’t require them to hop on a 747 all the way to Scotland.

    Bandon is their solution.

    Oregon’s coastal gem, Bandon Dunes, is not just another attempt at links golf on American soil, rather, it’s a seaside challenge of unforgettable value. Sure, the Monterey Peninsula, Kiawah Island and Nags Head in North Carolina provide some impressive renditions, but realistically they’re a driver, three-wood, chip and a putt away from what Bandon Dunes offers.

    The Bandon property is made of up of three links courses—Pacific Dunes, Bandon Dunes and Old MacDonald—and another 18-hole links-eqsue track that treks into a forest of spruce, pines and cedars called Bandon Trails.

    You’ll discover an unmatched golf experience at Bandon. But just how do you know which course is best?

    According to one caddie at Bandon,

    Pacific Dunes is the most spectacular. Bandon Dunes is the caddie favorite because it’s the easiest to walk. Old MacDonald is the best to play. And Bandon Trails, from a pure golf course design standpoint, is the best 18 holes out here.

    Every golfer who plays all four courses has one course that resonates most with them and it varies from golfer to golfer.

    I’ve ranked Bandon’s courses based on my experience—a golf marathon of 105 holes in less than 72 hours. The ranking system was inspired by a blend of my own metrics and Golf Digest’s revered techniques (Golf Digest produces a Top 100 courses worldwide annually; all four of Bandon’s courses are on the list).

    The categories include: design variety, memorability, authenticity and difficulty. Each category is worth a total of five points; five being the highest and one being the lowest.

    Take a look and post a comment if you agree, disagree or have any questions!

    Also, take a look at the rest of the series about Bandon Dunes:

    Bandon Dunes: Golf’s Coastal Wonder with Links to the Past

    Top 15 Coolest Thing About a Bandon Dunes Trip

    Top 10 Essentials for a Bandon Dunes Trip