Gleneagles Golf Developments’ first golf course design project in the USA has been ranked number 10 in the prestigious Golf Week’s list of America’s Best Top 100 Modern Courses. Bandon Dunes, on the south coast of Oregon, will open to the public in May this year.
The Scottish design team is delighted by the news. “We were extremely proud to be chosen as the design firm for this unique project,” said Ian Ferrier, managing director. “The name Gleneagles has always stood for the utmost in integrity and excellence throughout the world and it was our goal to further this great tradition with our first design effort in the United States. Our lead designer, David McLay Kidd, is a Scot steeped in the traditions of the game but unafraid of breaking the mould and creating a course which is unique.”
The ecological fragility of the site demanded careful thought throughout the design and construction, incorporating and enhancing the site’s abundant natural features. David McLay Kidd first visited the 250 acre site in 1994. Located on the Oregon coastline about 4 hours south of Portland, initial reconnaissance was difficult because of the density and height of the gorse and trees on the site which was overgrown and untouched for many years.
“This is such an incredible coastline and the site quite unlike anything I have ever seen outside of the British Isles.” Says David McLay Kidd. “It was quite obvious that superb golf holes could be laid out in every direction – the challenge was to find the best routing of these natural holes that allows the players to experience this unique landscape in the most thrilling and memorable fashion.”
The project’s owner, Mike Keiser of Chicago, also owns The Dunes Club in New Buffalo, Michigan. “This was the most spectacular piece of undeveloped coastline suited for a links land golf course that I have ever seen in the United States. The completed golf course is a testament to the dedication of the entire team from Gleneagles Golf Developments.”
Bandon Dunes is a par 72 with multiple tees creating a course length of 5,154 to 7,400 yards. Seven holes are on the water and sea views may be enjoyed from every hole. Unusual for the United States the course has been designed as a walking course in the links tradition. Carts are only available to golfers who are medically disabled.
Gleneagles Golf Developments currently has design projects in the United States, Spain, Nepal, South Africa and Ireland.