The Bandon Dunes resort will reopen the Bandon Trails course today.
The course, designed by the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, has been down to 13 holes since November, as the architects returned to make major changes to its controversial eighteenth, and significant alterations to several other holes, aimed at making the difficult run for home more manageable.
Coore & Crenshaw associate Dave Zinkand has been the principal shaper for the project, which has seen the eighteenth green lowered by several feet, and the crowned fairway also lowered substantially. The changes are intended to make it less likely that well-struck drives will bounce into trouble, and also reduce the chances of approach shots rolling back down the fairway. A new, higher tee has also been added, from which the top of the flagstick will be visible.
The tough par four fifteenth has also been softened noticeably, and minor changes have been made to the uphill par five sixteenth. A new tee on the par three seventeenth will give a different angle.
Josh Lesnik, president of Kemper Sports, which manages Bandon Dunes, told GCA he felt golfers would appreciate a slightly more forgiving finish to their rounds at Trails. “The finishing holes at Trails have always been one of the most difficult sections of the course,” he said. “I think the changes will make a significant visual impact – the eighteenth in particular will be much less intimidating.”