The Coore-and-Crenshaw-designed Sheep Ranch, the fifth course at Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon, will open for public play on June 1, 2020. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort announced it would start taking bookings for the Sheep Ranch course on Oct. 8, extending the opportunity to play the new course to those who have already booked a stay at the property from next June onward.
The new Sheep Ranch course replaces what was built in 2001 by Tom Doak as he was working on Pacific Dunes. Many of Doak’s 13 green sites were used in the design of the new Sheep Ranch, but Coore and Crenshaw have designed the 6,785-yard, par-71 course to be an 18-hole tour de force instead of a mysterious, self-guided secret. The new course will feature one full mile of ocean frontage, with nine green sites located on the water’s edge and cliffs of the Oregon coastline. All 18 holes will have a view of the Pacific Ocean.
Bill Coore designed a routing that put 18 holes on a 140-acre property, avoiding what seemed a logistical necessity of laying out the course on a 390-acre plot separated by a ravine.
“Bill went there and did a routing that knocked our socks off,” Keiser said. “The site is two parts: the lower deck, which is about 140 acres, and the upper deck, about 250 acres. Everyone, including Phil and me, thought we would have to go over the ravine that divided those two decks, with one or two bridges. And that was not an attractive thing for either of us, to build a links course with two bridges.
“Bill figured out, with his brilliant routing that we’re building, how to put all 18 holes into 140 acres. When it opens, it will be nine greens on the ocean bluff.”
The most talked-about piece of the new course has been the double green for Nos. 3 and 16 situated atop Fivemile Point. On these holes, players will have to hit approaches over the cliffs.
Mike Keiser and Phil Friedmann co-founded the original Sheep Ranch, and they’ll continue to partner on the new course, which is situated just north of the proper Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Bandon Dunes will take reservations and tee times for the Sheep Ranch course, and the course will have its own clubhouse.