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Bill Coore on Bandon Dunes' new course, Sheep Ranch, design philosophy, and course rankings

October 14, 2019
Sheep Ranch sketch.png

Few new golf courses have ever generated the buzz of Sheep Ranch, which is scheduled to officially open in June 2020. And judging from the early reactions, it's not going to be the black sheep of the Bandon Dunes family.

The highly anticipated fifth 18-hole track at the famed Oregon golf resort was built on a piece of property that formerly had 13 unirrigated greens so to a select few fortunate to have hit shots there, the land will be familiar. All golfers, however, will recognize the names of those who designed the new course.

Bill Coore and two-time Masters champ Ben Crenshaw have teamed up to create some of the country's most spectacular courses since establishing the firm of Coore and Crenshaw Inc. in 1986. The duo already designed the property's Bandon Trails and Bandon Preserve, a 12-hole par-3 course, but Sheep Ranch offered an exciting new opportunity with its coastal setting.

"Mike (Keiser) and Phil Friedman, particularly wanted to use the coast line as much as possible, for obvious reasons. Their directive was, 'you guys try to use every linear foot of shoreline, if you can.' Pretty tall order," Coore told Golf Digest. "We didn't quite make every linear foot, but we got pretty close."

Coore joined Stephen Hennessey on this week's Golf Digest Podcast to talk about how Sheep Ranch came to be, his design philosophy, and his thoughts on course rankings. Plus, Alex Myers and Sam Weinman discussed Lanto Griffin's maiden PGA Tour title, Rickie Fowler's wedding, and recurring golf dreams and nightmares. Please have a listen: