In the last (but certainly not least) post of my Bandon Dunes Golf Resort series, I bring you my personal favorite, Bandon Trails. Opening for play in 2005, Bandon Trails was the third golf course built on the property. Bandon Trails is the most inland course at the resort, starting and finishing amongst the sand dunes while taking you on a journey through the coastal forest during the middle of your round.
Hole for hole, I think Bandon Trails offers the most fun golf on the property. I love ocean views as much as the next person, but there was something incredibly unique and exhilarating playing links golf amongst the coastal forest. Being sheltered from the wind, of course, is an added bonus.
The par-4 opening hole:
The par-5 3rd hole:
The par-3 5th hole:
The reachable par-4 8th hole:
The polarizing par-4 14th hole:
The par-3 17th hole:
The uphill approach to the par-4 18th hole:
From beginning to end, Bandon Trails had me elated. Coore and Crenshaw hit the nail on the head with an uncanny combination of challenge, fairness, and aesthetics. From a surprisingly fun and playable 240 yard par-3, to reachable par-4’s, and strategic risk-reward par-5’s, Trails offers a bit of everything. It offers you every chance to play conservative, but taunts you to play aggressive.
I could play Bandon Trails day-in and day-out and not get tired of it. It is a pure golfing experience mature beyond its years, and has the rugged elegance you’d expect from a links-style course. Trails’ subtle nuances, contours, and array of strategic options leave plenty to learn for the regular, yet remains intuitive enough for the first-timer to have fun and feel rewarded.
Bandon Trails offers everything I’d expect from a top tier course. It challenged me, rewarded me, humbled me, and elated me.
Most importantly, Bandon Trails left me yearning for more.