Sheep Ranch, the fifth and final course at the Oregon golf resort, was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and “may be considered the best of the five,” says resort founder Mike Keiser. Reservations are being taken for its grand opening in June 2020, and some visitors were given an opportunity to play preview rounds in October. A version of the course has been in place since 2001 that included 13 greens and no particular routing.
Golfers have seen a first glimpse of Sheep Ranch in Bandon, Ore., The Eugene Register-Guard reported. The fifth golf course at Bandon Dunes is already taking reservations for a grand opening on June 1, 2020, but the resort offered some visitors an opportunity to play nine-hole preview rounds in October.
Sheep Ranch was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw on a north portion of the property adjacent to the Bandon Dunes course, The Register-Guard reported. The par-71 layout will play 6,785 yards including one mile of ocean frontage with nine greens overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
There has been a version of Sheep Ranch at Bandon Dunes since 2001 that included 13 greens and no particular routing to allow golfers an opportunity to play in the order of their choice, The Register-Guard reported. Last year, construction began to turn it into the final 18-hole layout planned for the property.
The original 13 greens were laid out by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina in 2001, while they worked on the Pacific Dunes course at the resort, Golf Course Architecture reported. Since then, the course became something of a ‘secret’, not open to the public and only few golfers having experienced it.
Brandon Dunes opened in 1999 followed two years later by Pacific Dunes, The Register-Guard reported. Brandon Trails opened in 2005 with Old MacDonald beginning in 2010.
″Sheep Ranch may very well be considered the best of the five,” Bandon Dunes founder Mike Keiser said during a 20th anniversary event at Bandon Dunes in May. “Everyone has a favorite, but it is just a stunningly beautiful site.”
The signature spot is Five Mile Point where the third and 16th holes—a pair of par-3′s—converge on a double green overlooking the ocean, The Register-Guard reported. Just north of that green is the tee box for No. 17 which forces golfers to carry a portion of the coastline to reach the fairway.
There is a similar test on the 430-yard sixth hole with a tee box that backs up to the ocean and challenges golfers to either hit a drive over the beach below or bail out to the left and face a long second shot to the green, The Register-Guard reported.
The preview rounds featured holes No. 15 and 16 as well as the fourth through 10th holes, The Register-Guard reported. The back nine, which is currently being grassed, will play 3,609 yards from the championship tees, significantly longer than the 3,095 layout on the first nine holes which opens with a 550-yard par-5.
The arrival of Sheep Ranch is part of a busy summer at the resort that will host the U.S. Amateur from August 10 through 16, The Register-Guard reported. The best amateur golfers in the country will play Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails during qualifying rounds before Bandon Dunes hosts match play.