Bandon Dunes adding another par-3 course

Mar. 18—Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is getting another golf course.

The resort announced on Tuesday the addition of another par-3 course, located south of the Bandon Preserve short course and west of Bandon Trails, one of the resort's five 18-hole courses.

In an announcement on the resort's website for the new short course, which doesn't yet have a name and doesn't have a scheduled timeline for opening, resort owner Mike Keiser praised the property.

"Words don't really do the site justice," Keiser said. "It has so much potential."

It is being built by the firm Whitman, Axland & Cutten Golf Course Architects. WAC includes Rod Whitman, Dave Axland and Keith Cutten, who all have worked extensively with Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the famed architect duo who built Bandon Preserve, Bandon Trails and Sheep Ranch at the resort.

It will share a couple of traits with its neighbor Bandon Preserve.

First, it goes against the mold for traditional number of holes. While Bandon Preserve has 13 holes, the new course will have 19.

"We were charged with finding up to 14 holes over outstanding and rumpled dunes," Axland said. "Our first routing resulted in a 12-hole layout. However, after follow up conversations, we decided to try for more holes, on even more dynamic land, to the south. Interestingly, we ended up with 19 holes purely by accident. We believe these holes to be the best the site has to offer."

The second similarity to Bandon Preserve is that the new course also will benefit the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, with all net proceeds helping fund the resort's grant-making department, which supports conservation, community and economic projects on the South Coast.

Construction of the new course starts soon and the architects share Keiser's praise for the site.

"It is a privilege to work on a pure links site," Whitman said. "It is the perfect setting for the style of course we hope to build."

"This will be fun," Cutten added. "Fun to build and fun to play. What an honor to work for the Keisers on a piece of ground so ideal for golf.

Keiser is confident the design team will "untap the land's inspiring features with a unique routing unlike any of the other golf experiences on property," according to the website.

Axland has worked with Coore and Crenshaw for more than 20 years and was a key shaper on the famed Sand Hills Golf Club course in Nebraska, as well as on Bandon Preserve.

Whitman also has worked with Coore and Crenshaw many times over the years and was the designer for the famed Cabot Links course in Nova Scotia, Canada, the first course in the Cabot Cape Breton Resort that is part of the Dream Golf family along with Bandon Dunes and Sand Valley in Wisconsin.

That project was the first time Whitman, Axland and Cutten all worked together on a project. Whitman and Axland also worked as shapers when Coore and Crenshaw built Cabot Cliffs at Cabot Cape Breton and Cutten completed the bunkers on the course.

Whitman and Axland designed The Nest, a 10-hole short course at Cabot Cape Breton, and Cutten was the project manager and lead shaper.

The trio officially incorporated their design firm in 2020.

The routing for the new course at Bandon Dunes is included on the resort's website.

While all the holes are par-3 holes, they will have several tee boxes to cater to golfers of all abilities.

There will be two shared greens, a concept used on the third and 16th holes at Sheep Ranch and the fifth and 10th holes at the resort's Old Macdonald course, as well as at the famed St. Andrews Old Course in Scotland. The sixth and 18th holes will share a green on the new course, as will the ninth and 13th holes.

"This will not be a simple pitch-and-putt," Cutten said on the design firm's website. "All 19 par-3 holes will be of a quality to match the rest of the superlative offerings at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. However, multiple teeing areas will ensure that golfers of all abilities will have fun.

"There are more than 16 acres of connected turf, highlighting incredible natural and shaped ground contours, which will add to the interest of this design."

The site is filled with rolling dunes and scattered shore pines. Soon it will have the newest golf course at the resort.