17. Pacific Dunes
Tom Doak (2001)
This is the second course constructed at Bandon Dunes Resort and the highest ranked among the resort’s four 18s. To best utilize ocean frontage, Tom Doak came up an unorthodox routing that includes four par 3s on the back nine. Holes seem to emerge from the landscape rather than being superimposed onto it, with rolling greens and rumpled fairways framed by rugged sand dunes and marvelously grotesque bunkers. The secret is Doak moved a lot of earth in some places to make it look like he moved very little.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 14, 2007-10. Previous ranking: 18
Panelist comments:, Pacific Dunes golf
“Pacific Dunes is just a ton of fun. The views of the Pacific Ocean, the design variety, the mix of short, long, moving left . . . you're pretty much guaranteed to walk off the course with a good vibe."
"As extraordinary a setting as you'll find anywhere, but particularly unique for a links course in the United States. What a fine, natural site for golf."
"Distractingly beautiful, but unfailingly challenging, with new surprises at every playing. Tremendous the way the gorse frames many of the holes, with cliff drop-offs with natural vegetation, and views of the Pacific Ocean. The test never lets up, and the fun and exhilaration last the whole round."
“Difficult in the way that Merion is difficult. It's not overly long, and the greens aren't crazy -- actually they're relatively flat. But even in a lighter wind, you need a tremendous variety of shots to score well. And if the wind is up, your game better be, too.”
“Doak's MacKenzie-style, blow-out bunkers are reminiscent of Cypress Point. Pacific Dunes is a joy to walk and play under any conditions! Simply the best.”