Long-awaited Bally Bandon Sheep Ranch readies for 2020 opening
17 Apr 2019
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com
Bally Bandon Sheep Ranch Green Site (Bandon Dunes photo)
For more than 15 years, golfers playing the scenic 13th hole at Pacific Dunes have gazed up the coast, and asked their caddies about the mysterious piece of property to the north.
"That's the Sheep Ranch" is the usual reply, with a forthcoming explanation of the status of the property as a hopeful part of Bandon Dunes Resort's growing list of courses.
While the course was owned by Phil Friedmann and Bandon Dunes owner Mike Keiser -- and therefore destined to be developed as a course -- the Bally Bandon Sheep Ranch (it's official name) was shrouded in mystery.
Even more enticing -- the landscape had a number of greens (11 if my memory serves me) set out with flagsticks and grass close enough to put on. For a flat fee, golfers "in the know" could set out down a windy road, unlock a ranch style gate, and gain access for an afternoon of old school golf. Pick your own holes, and have at it.
- Keith Potter photo
I've been luck enough to spend two days doing just that, and can tell you that the piece of land might just hold the future to another one of the country's best golf courses. I'm willing to bet on it.
And my bet is even more certain with the announcement that the design team of Coore & Crenshaw have been hired to make their mark, yet again on Bandon Dunes. (The team designed the resort's third course, Bandon Trails as well as the 13-hole par three layout, Bandon Preserve).
Bally Bandon Sheep Ranch has a full mile of stunning ocean frontage, and the par-71, 7,000 yard 18-hole layout will offer stunning Pacific Ocean views on every hole.
Rest assured, if Bally Bandon is open in time for the 2020 AmateurGolf.com Two Man Links Championship, we will surely add it to the rota.