Ben Crenshaw’s Bandon Trails Golf Course

Field of dreams, if Ben Crenshaw builds it, they will come.
J.P. Greenwood

There’s just nothing like sandy soil, which is what we had at Bandon Trails. Our terrain was just fantastic, which makes for good drainage and shaping ability. You feel the presence of the ocean, and you can see it on a few occasions from our course, but not as much as from the other two [at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort].

There is a substantial ridge that bisects the eastern part of the course. After you play the 13th hole, you go up this ridge to the 14th tee. It’s a little bit of a hike, but when you get up on that tee, it’s worth it. Just spectacular… you can see the ocean and you’re up high. It’s a short par 4 and one of our favorite holes.

I’m such a fan of Cypress Point, Pine Valley, Royal Melbourne, St. Andrews, National Golf Links, the classics. It’s so fun to study them. My design partner Bill Coore and I have been fortunate to work on projects where we just go find the golf course. I still love what Perry Maxwell said about course design: “A golf course should be there, not brought there.”

Bobby Jones is my golf hero. He was probably the most fascinating man that we had ever to play the game. Not only was he an incredible, intuitive golfer, but his mind was so sharp. He was full of grace, modesty and common sense.

President Bush and I are friends and we wish we could play more golf. He told me at the inauguration this year that we’re going to play sometime in this second term. We’ve had some informal lessons on the White House putting green. His chipping has improved.

Winning the [1995] Masters in Harvey Penick’s memory was the greatest moment of my career. I couldn’t do anything in golf that would even approach what that has meant to me. I had the chance to do something for someone that I loved so much. Hard to believe it was 10 years ago!

I don’t watch many movies. I’m on the road about 30 weeks a year, between playing golf and course-design work. But I must say that I enjoyed Field of Dreams. I thought you could apply that movie to a lot of different things, and I applied it to golf. I guess you could say that we’re building them, and people are coming.

Off the beaten path

Not all Coore & Crenshaw courses have a wait list longer than your expected life span. Here are several you can play while waiting for your tee time at Bandon Trails.

  • Barton Creek Resort & CC (Cliffside), Austin, Texas, 800-336-6158,
  • Cuscowilla GC, Eatonton, GA., 800-458-5351,
  • Kapalua Resort (Plantation Course), Maui, Hawaii, 877-674-2225,
  • Talking Stick (36 holes), Scottsdale, Ariz., 480-860-2221,
  • The Warren Course at Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., 574-631-4653,

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