Before we traveled to Bandon Dunes I did a series of emails to my three golfing companions sharing details on the overall experience as well as each course. My email on Bandon Trails claimed that because just about everyone thinks Trails is underrated, then it is most likely properly rated.

Our foursome for Bandon Trails Our foursome for Bandon Trails

The emphasis for this course is on the trails – it is simply a beautiful coastal Oregon hike. Golfers traverse from the rugged dunes, to a transition meadow, then into the pine woods for solitude and silence. Most of the time you are not aware of other golfers on the course. Also, the golf is good. This is not a parkland target golf course; it presents very similar challenges as the coastal brethren courses at Bandon.

Chris walking down one of the forest fairways Chris walking down one of the forest fairways

With the omnipresent forest and periodic water there are more opportunities to lose balls on this course than any of the others. Dave learned that he could find balls as well, harvesting about 8 Pro V1s on one deep forest jaunt. We were all a bit slow to warm up and get accustomed to hitting driver again, but the play was fast and fun.

Our crew celebrating Bandon Trails on the 18th green Our crew celebrating Bandon Trails on the 18th green

Our non-golfer crew joined us again, though it was a bit of a logistical challenge. Turns out it is a lot easier for the rangers in golf carts to accommodate non-golfer transportation where there’s just one. Three people wasn’t doable, so our group incorporated the Bandon trail system into their day and joined us around hole 12. Good call on their part because they were able to experience all the zones of the course and climb the hill after 14 to the beautiful overlook where Mike Keiser had his “I can definitely build a golf course here” moment.