Mike Keiser had long believed that golfers would travel far and wide to play high-quality golf courses. When Bandon Dunes opened in 1999 to thunderous applause from the golfing community, he knew that he had been right—and that it was time to expand.
So Keiser hired Tom Doak, a well-regarded architect who had not yet gotten his big break, to build Pacific Dunes on a property just north of David McLay Kidd’s original Bandon Dunes course. Doak produced an instant classic. Pacific Dunes has some of the most striking oceanside golf anywhere as well as a collection of top-tier inland holes. Put it all together and you have one of the greatest courses in the world.
Doak is known for his prowess in routing a golf course, and he showed off the full extent of his skills at Pacific Dunes. The course makes excellent use of the dunes on the southeastern and northwestern portions of the property, but it also cleverly maneuvers through some flatter, less inspiring land in the middle.
Pacific Dunes gives up low scores only to the most precise play yet provides room for higher handicappers to make their way around. Rarely will players shoot their career best, but many will sit on the back patio for a post-round drink and consider whether they’ve ever seen a better course.
In this edition of Fried Egg Guides, Andy Johnson, Garrett Morrison, and Will Knights have a roundtable discussion on what puts Pacific Dunes in a class of its own.
Fried Egg Guides: Pacific Dunes Roundtable