Bandon Dunes Announces Long-Awaited Fifth Course
This morning started out like a normal Wednesday. Then an email popped into my inbox – “Bally Bandon Sheep Ranch Coming 2020” – and suddenly I can’t wait for this year to be over.
Regular readers will know that I made my first trip to Bandon Dunes this past fall, and it was a transformational experience (all my Bandon content can be found HERE).
Prior to the trip, in the process of feverishly researching Bandon Dunes, I read about the Sheep Ranch. In short, it was a site on the Pacific Ocean with nine Tom Doak-designed greens that was available to those in the know. The course hadn’t been fully fleshed out which lent itself to creative, make-it-up-as-you-go routings.
Now, Mike Keiser and Phil Friedmann have tapped the design team of Coore & Crenshaw to create a par 71, 7,000 yard 18-hole course that will open to the public in 2020 (official opening day TBD).
The Bally Bandon Sheep Ranch is located on Five Mile Point, north of Old MacDonald. It will feature over a mile of ocean frontage and nine greens that are on the cliffs above the Pacific. Not only will nine holes be on the ocean, there will be ocean views from every hole on the course.
Q&A with the Founders:
(Phil) You’ve been the one managing the Sheep Ranch for the past 15+ years – how would you describe that experience? Why is now the right time to update it into a traditional golf experience?
• It was wonderful to have this incredibly special golf experience early on. It is now time to share the magic of the Sheep Ranch with other lovers of the game.
With so many great golf course architects in the business, how did you decide on Coore & Crenshaw? Do they have a specific design that captured your attention the most?
• Coore & Crenshaw solved the riddle of the perfect routing on the ocean’s edge.
(Phil) How do you think the Sheep Ranch will compare to the other courses at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort? Others around the country? World?
• The design is brilliant and there is a mystical nature to the interaction of the land and the ocean. The experience will be amazing. Could it be the best? Yes!