Bandon Preserve, Oregon, USA
Some might deem it controversial to include our July 2012 choice. Bandon Preserve is part of the lavish Bandon Dunes golf resort. The course is not affiliated to FIPPA, But the course has been adopted by Golf Digest magazine, the periodical that espoused Pitch and Putt back in the 1990s. And Golf Digest has endorsed Bandon Preserve as a Pitch and Putt course, and the magazine appears to be ready again to champion Pitch and Putt. With its vast population, the USA would be strategically huge for FIPPA, if the sport could gain a foothold there.
Bandon Preserve bears an Irish name, surely a good omen. And from the forward tees, the course is a first class FIPPA layout.
The 13 holes at Bandon Preserve range from roughly 40 to 90 metres, and they unfold on undulating land that slopes gradually to the Pacific Ocean. The fescue turf, the shape and speed of the greens, and the bunkering are all in keeping with the look and feel of Bandon's long courses.
Two-time Masters champion and former Ryder Cup captain Ben Crenshaw co-designed Bandon Preserve with Bill Coore.
In the high season at Bandon Dunes, April through mid-November, when the cost of playing the 18-hole golf courses is as much as $275 for non-resort guests, the cost of playing Bandon Preserve will be $100 for resort guests, dropping to $50 in late November and December. Net profits will benefit the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, founded to provide financial support for local environmental organizations for such causes as protection and reclamation of fish habitats and other environmental concerns.
The first plays 79 metres uphill. Step on tee of the 6th (70 metres), and one gets a phenomenal view of the Pacific Ocean. The teeshots at the 9th (75 metres) and the 13th (69 metres) look out on the Pacific.
Jagged bunkers carved out of the mounds, rugged vegetation and extraordinarily undulating greens make Bandon Preserve an amazing experience.