Mike Keiser, owner of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, has the same remarkable ability to develop successful golf projects he showed in the greeting card business. Keiser recognizes the simplicity in the game and creates fun, efficient destinations that focus on satisfying a golfer’s foremost interests. He often manages to provide the “retail golfer” what they didn’t even know they want, ensuring a satisfied customer. Keiser long held an interest in creating a short course at Bandon Dunes. The question was simply how to do so in a manner that would compel visitors to venture beyond the Resort’s four highly acclaimed eighteen hole layouts.
When Bill Coore originally routed Bandon Trails, his reluctance to head into abrupt dunes to the west left a perfect conversation piece when the time came to locate a short course. Bill and Mike naturally migrated to these choppy dune formations sloping hard toward the Pacific, where short holes fit infinitely better than par fours and fives. During early site visits to the site, the dense shore pines and gorse made movement around sections of the property difficult. This heavy vegetation is part of a succession of plants enabled by European Beachgrass, which wiped out nearly all the habitat of a low-lying native, known as Silvery Phacelia, once prominent among these dunes. Over time a layout offering a dozen unique short holes was found along the natural terrain that would also provide permanent protection for the endangered Silvery Phacelia. A thirteenth hole was added at the start of construction, once clearing had largely been finished and a perfect green site along the western extreme of the layout was exposed. Throughout the routing and construction, care was taken to ensure the Silvery Phacelia’s open sand habitat would be expanded and protected as a result of the new course.
Today, Silvery Phacelia thrives around the course and inspires both the Preserve name and logo. An intended consequence of this conservation effort is the sandy aesthetic the Preserve enjoys, providing handsome contrast with the varied habitats of the Resort’s other courses. Each of the thirteen holes presents a new scenario, including a short pitch to the punchbowl eighth and the blind tenth, where only the flag is visible from the tee. Demand for Bandon Preserve is so intense tee times are necessarily limited to ensure quality turf conditions. As the sole Design Associate from Coore & Crenshaw involved at Bandon Preserve, David’s responsibilities were comprehensive, including contributing preliminary design concepts, project management, as well as shaping all thirteen greens set amongst this rugged, spectacular site. The non-traditional layout continues to receive acclaim, but the greatest reward for our work at Bandon Preserve is how often we here golfers from around the country remark it is the “most fun I’ve ever had playing golf!”
Bandon Preserve . Bandon . Oregon