Golf Course Review: Pacific Dunes (OR)

Pacific Dunes Course Rankings:

Golf Digest: #2 US public, #18 US top 100, 18 toughest, #1 Oregon
GolfWeek: #2 US modern, #1 US resort, #1 Oregon
Golf.com: #1 US public, #20 world, #12 US top 100, #1 Oregon

Designer: Tom Doak (2001)

While the course measures only 6,633 yards from the tips, extreme thought should be put in to tee selections at Pacific Dunes (the same as at Bandon Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old MacDonald!). The wind in Bandon, Oregon ranges from tolerable to extreme – extreme being over 40 miles per hour with intense gusts off the ocean.

View from the Pacific Grille at Pacific Dunes Golf Course over the Punch Bowl and out over the Pacific Ocean

View from the Pacific Grille at Pacific Dunes Golf Course over the Punch Bowl and out over the Pacific Ocean

We had a “One in a thousand day” for our first round of the trip at Pacific Dunes, with winds that were typically around ten or so miles per hour. “If there was ever a day to play the tips here, this is the one,” our caddie Charlie Kloss told us.

Choosing the tips means teeing off in front of spectators outside of the Pacific Grille, located upstairs from the pro shop at Pacific Dunes. Know what you’re doing and you’ll be fine, but if the wind is blowing hard then maybe the first tees in are a great decision!

Chances are there will be people inside your flight zone from the tips on one, as seen below. Was this intentional to make sure players who choose to play the tips know what they are getting in to?

Hole 1: Par 4 (370/304/287/200/253)

Hole 1: Par 4 (370/304/287/200/253)

If playing without a caddie, the first hole can be quite confusing – the fairway rises uphill and the hole actually bends slightly to the right.

Greg and I took a caddie for our first round at Pacific Dunes, and elected to carry our own bags the second time. We both hit the middle of the fairway off the tee, then stood there discussing where the hole ends up. I walked up a ways, then he did. Neither of us could tell for sure. “Do you have pictures from yesterday?” “If I remember correctly, it goes a little to the right.” “Good enough by me.”

We both ended up in greenside traps.

The green on one is one of the fastest on the entire course, and rolls hard from back to front from the right side.

Hole 1: Par 4 (370/304/287/200/253)

Hole 1: Par 4 (370/304/287/200/253)

I hit balls in to the fescue left during both of our rounds at Pacific Dunes, so I cannot say a whole lot about the fairway here other than that I had a lot of difficulty hitting it.

To be fair, though, the setup of the hole on two is absolutely beautiful – central fairway traps and one of the narrower fairways on the course.

The hole runs uphill to a green that is elevated and fronted on the right by a deep bunker with a huge lip.

Hole 2: Par 4 (368/335/335/180/275)

Hole 2: Par 4 (368/335/335/180/275)

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