"So, for now, there are no official numbers to the holes. But there’s a good chance they decide on one set order before opening day, which will be in the summer of 2020. What will never be on the Sheep Ranch are bunkers. NO BUNKERS. “Ben and I talked about it a long time ago,” says Coore. “Robert Hunter, in his book called The Links, back in the 1920s, said there would one day be a site with such interesting undulations, sand bunkers wouldn’t be necessary.”
The catalyst for the concept was Coore, who had walked the terrain on several bad weather days. The sand in the few bunkers that were out there had all blown away. The old abandoned bunkers only piqued his interest.
"I said, 'seed them,'" says Coore. “With some wispy fescue. They’ll enhance the visual presentation, keep balls from going off cliffs and it helps any maintenance issues.”
So, coming soon to Bandon Dunes, a Sheep Ranch redux, with an actual routing, reimagined greens, cliff-side cape holes that run north and south of Five-Mile Point, which is where you’ll play to a double green. There will be tees that go one way, and that same tee might go the other way. But in no way will you ever be playing from a sand bunker."
Bunkerless courses are more difficult for low handicappers, and easier for high handicappers (because they can putt the ball and chip it easier than splashing out of a bunker).
They are also easier and much less expensive to maintain. I hope more courses go this route in the future.
Even if you're just building grass bunkers, it's a great concept. Would love to see one in this game.
Go play Ethos Club. I built the course without greenside bunkers and focused on slopes and contours in and around the greens to keep it interesting. Onlly sand on the course is waste areas in the fairway but there’s no rough so you can play it 100 times and never be in them. There’s a second version with separate tees creating new angles and yardage’s and pars. Check it out!
C&C, Doak, Gil, and DMK have so many great ideas like those from the original post and yes, the future is looking very interesting for sure. Golf is too often creating and following “rules” so ideas that are outside the status quo should be welcomed with open arms.
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Post by mrvinegar206 on Apr 19, 2019 18:11:43 GMT -5
I think a lot of places have too many bunkers when grass bunkers or little mounds would be effective hazards.
The one hole that caught me off-guard playing the Old Course was the 4th. One small mound, even mown at fairway-height, completely changed the way to approach the front hole location that day.
Being stuck on one side of a fairway-height mound with the pin directly on the other side is an underrated challenge, yet it’s one that any skill level might be able to pull off, where as a 25 handicap would have almost no shot from a short-sided bunker!
One last thing, my dad and I had the opportunity to rent out the old Sheep Ranch back in the day. The natural contours are incredible. I agree with Mr. Coore, if there is one place that a bunkerless course could be pulled off, it’s this site. Though, just because there are no bunkers, doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of trouble! The ocean is still going to be in play for 8 of the greens!
TGC 2019 Courses: -Glenelg Golf Club - Black -Wayfarer Foothills -Crab Claw Bay Golf Club -The Kenzatillie Club -Glenelg Golf Club - Blue -Glenelg Golf Club - Red
Bunkers are handy at times e.g stopping balls going off steep hills; showing where a hole travels; deception, even drainage with the right sand but agree completely that it’s far more fun and unique with a wobble of the topography.l instead. St Anndrews 4th is a great example but up until recently nobody would dream of creating something like it.
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The course I've been playing here, built in 1925, has been rerouted a bit and filled in about 90% of their sand bunkers to be grass bunkers instead. I'm not even that bad out of the sand, but it certainly makes for some interesting shots. I've definitely taken note of where those grass bunkers are and avoid them like the plague.
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For some reason I was thinking this was all par 3's and bunkerless. I didn't realize it was a full routing of bunkerless holes. That's amazing...
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