1. Kristof Posted: 01/15/19 1:23a Member Since: Feb 20, 2018 From: Melbourne
Loved this experience. We contacted the local caretaker who gave us access for the day for a very reasonable price, about $100. Just 6 of us. So there's this great expanse of proto golf course with gr... Continue »
Loved this experience. We contacted the local caretaker who gave us access for the day for a very reasonable price, about $100. Just 6 of us. So there's this great expanse of proto golf course with greens dotted about and only very rudimentary fairways. You choose your tee ground and head for some flagstick, way in the distance. We stayed for about 5 hours exploring the place -it was brlliant. The highlight was probably the coastal par 3 with the green perched on a ledge and jutting out over the ocean. As far as condition goes you would not rave about it when comparing to the Bandon courses across the road - it was quite dry in places although the greens were very firm and free rolling. Lots of untended rough to avoid. If you go to Bandon, its a must play.
2. sixpez Posted: 12/23/15 8:44p Member Since: Oct 16, 2003 From: Irvine
Was excited to check out Bandon's "secret" course today, though it's getting more known as public can access it now on a limited basis. You have to call Bandon Golf Supply to request a day/time and th... Continue »
Was excited to check out Bandon's "secret" course today, though it's getting more known as public can access it now on a limited basis. You have to call Bandon Golf Supply to request a day/time and then they'll confirm with the caretaker of the property. Then you have to send in a $100 (per player) check in advance of play. I set my time up for 9:00 today and it went pretty smoothly as they're not getting much play with the weather lately. It's really surreal to show up to the out-of-the-way gate and gravel road up to the course, where the caretaker greets you and gets you on your way. Then, I had the course all to myself. They do not book multiple groups at any given time, so you have full run of the course for as long as you want. I am happy they let me come out as a single, and it was rather interesting to be totally alone out there once the caretaker left. Just me and a very raw golf course on the ocean's edge.
Conditions really don't matter much, but things were nice enough. In fact, the greens were very well kept (as nice as on the resort) and he said they just cut them yesterday. The fairway areas were consistently cut with pretty good coverage throughout. The outer native areas seem to have been cut down recently, so I could find and play balls in the shorter fescue and gorse. I imagine they let it grow back out and it can get nasty.
This is an interesting course. It was designed to be the resort owner's personal playground, with Tom Doak hired to craft a very crude layout of 13 green complexes and then sprawling fairways loosely connecting them all. It is intended to just make up your own holes and routing, but there is an actual 18-hole par-70 routing with a fairly easy-to-follow map on the scorecard. You utilize several greens more than once as you zig-zag around the property. It's hard to see where you are headed most of the time, but you just hit in the general direction and eventually find the proper green. There really aren't tee boxes on most holes as you just find a flattish spot to tee it up. It's all very loose and not something you need to take too seriously. Really, it's about the experience of playing something so remote, rugged and in its simplest old school form. I ended up playing the suggested routing, which is very long and tough. I would have stuck around longer to make up a few of my own holes, but the weather was brutal. At two points during my round it was hailing on me (blowing sideways in stiff, freezing winds) with nowhere to hide!
There have always been rumors that they'll refine/expand or just completely build over this course to make another resort course. The property is prime, just north of where Old Macdonald is. Six of the green complexes are right along the bluffs and the "E" green is truly spectacular out on a small point. I'm glad they've resisted the temptation to level this course and I got to play it as it was originally laid out. There is no clubhouse. It's as bare bones as you can get, and that's part of what makes it so interesting. We'll see how long it lasts this way, but it's worth taking advantage of for a truly unique golf experience that has similarities, yet feels worlds apart, from what you get at the resort.
Note the course is not open during the summer months because there is no irrigation system for the fairways. They let Mother Nature do the watering in the fall, winter and early spring, and that's plenty around these parts.