Short Par-4s at Bandon Dunes ft. Grant Rogers
We asked you a few weeks back via our social channels which short Par-4 on-property gives you the most trouble and three different holes led the charge. Pacific Dunes No. 6, Pacific Dunes No. 16 & Bandon Trails No. 14.
In this day and age, when hitting the ball longer seems to get everyone excited, it is small but sneaky holes such as these that will test your mental toughness and often leave you wondering how an obvious "birdie hole" turned into a bogey or worse. To get the inside scoop on how to navigate these architectural gems we sat down with Grant Rogers, Director of Instruction at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Check out his thoughts below!
Q: Grant, what is your favorite aspect of the short Par-4's around Bandon Dunes Golf Resort?
A: The short Par-4’s at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort are great because you can substitute skill and strategy for power and distance. The architects didn’t make any of the short Par-4’s easy, they made them challenging! Everyone has a chance to play the short Par-4’s well at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, but you will still have to hit some great golf shots or be lucky!
Q: Our followers mentioned Pacific Dunes No. 6 and No. 16 specifically as two troublesome holes. Care to share your secrets for successfully playing these two holes on Pacific Dunes?
A: You should be thinking about the 6th and 16th holes at Pacific Dunes when you are heading to the first tee from the parking lot! You should have the feeling that these holes will be waiting for you! The tee shots are really critical on both of these holes.
You have to hit your tee shot to the right side of the 6th fairway to have the best chance of getting on the green with your second shot. On the 16th hole, you have to hit your ball to the left side of the fairway, which gives you a much better angle for your second shot.
On the 6th hole, I usually putt the ball up the hill to the green. Rolling the ball always seems easier to me than hitting a perfect wedge shot from a tight lie. On the 16th hole, you need to take a little bit more time on your second shot. I usually have good luck taking an easy swing with a light grip using a lofted club. Try to remember that when you reach the green it is not over! Unless I am really close I try to lag my first putt on both of these greens. Downhill putts on both of these greens can be fast.
Q: There were also multiple mentions of Bandon Trails No. 14 being the toughest short Par-4 on property. How would you mentally approach No. 14?
A: The 14th hole at Bandon Trails is a classic golf adventure. It is not the toughest short Par-4 on property unless you think it is. The tee shot is actually pretty easy, if you hit your ball somewhere you can find it. Mentally you should try to convince yourself that you can hit the green with your second shot. If you do, you should be happy, if you don’t, don’t worry, you still might be able to make a miraculous par or birdie!
Q: We love your tales of adventure while on the links. Which story comes to mind when thinking about one of these holes?
A: The night before I was playing a golf tournament at Bandon Trails a golf professional asked me how I was planning to play the 14th hole. I told him that I was planning to hit a drive down the center of the fairway, hit a wedge shot into the bunker on the right side of the green and then get up and down for a par. The next day the same golf professional asked me how I had actually played the 14th hole at Bandon Trails during the golf tournament and I told him that I hit my drive down the center of the fairway, hit a wedge shot into the bunker on the right side of the green and got up and down for a par!
Q: Classic! Any closing thoughts for our readers?
A: Developing a strategy for playing classic golf holes like the short par-4’s at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort will help but ultimately your golf ball will have to take some pretty good bounces for you to play them well. Remember really great golf holes are always challenging!
If you've been to Bandon and struggled with the links golf conditions, try traveling in a bit early and spend an afternoon or more with Grant. Check out the instruction page on our website to find out how to contact him or this Golf Digest article for more stories from Grant!