The first course at the resort, Bandon Dunes, opened on May 19, 1999. Bandon Dunes was designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd, and it instantly garnered high praise. The course was one of Kidd’s early efforts in designing a golf course. Since opening, the original golf course on property has been adjusted. Alterations include significant amounts of gorse removal and a rerouting of the par 3, second hole. Bandon Dunes is traditionally home to resort guest’s lowest scores, thanks to its forgiving landing areas off the tee and mildly to moderately undulated green complexes.
The resort’s second course, Pacific Dunes, opened on July 1, 2001. Pacific Dunes was designed by Michigan architect Tom Doak, and sculpted by his design firm, Renaissance Design, Inc. Pacific Dunes also opened to glowing reviews and quickly surpassed Bandon Dunes as the highest-rated course on the property. Pacific Dunes was rated the number one resort golf course in the country in 2005 by Golfweek magazine, placing just ahead of Pebble Beach. It is ranked 8th in the best links courses ranking by Golf Magazine in 2014.
The resort’s third course, Bandon Trails, was designed by the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Bandon Trails opened on June 1, 2005. Bandon Trails departs from its siblings in that no holes are routed along the Pacific Ocean. The course meanders through dunes, meadows, and forest land.Upon its opening, Golf Odyssey, the preeminent newsletter devoted to golf travel, named Bandon Dunes, The Best Place on the Planet for Golf.
The fourth course, Old Macdonald (in honor of Charles Blair Macdonald), was designed by a team led by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina. It opened in June 2010. The fifth course, Bandon Preserve, is a Par-3 short course There are 13 holes on the course. It was also designed by the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and the course opened on May 1, 2012. The newest addition to the Bandon Dunes family, The Punchbowl, is a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) putting course designed by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina. It opened in 2014. It is adjacent to the first tee at Pacific Dunes. It has 18 holes and takes about an hour to play. The area is a collection of natural hollows. Punchbowl is a longstanding design concept by golf architects. The 18th hole at Old Macdonald shares the same principles and is aptly named “Punchbowl.”