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Bandon Preserve par-3 course set to open in July 2012

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BANDON, Ore. – Already home to four of the most highly sought after public golf courses in the nation, Bandon Dunes is nearing completion of its fifth layout, a 13-hole par-3 course called Bandon Preserve.

With seeding expected to be complete in June, Bandon Preserve is set to open in July 2012 with a price tag of $100, or $50 if played the same day as another Bandon Dunes course.

Bandon Preserve was carved out of a 20-acre plot between the first tee of Bandon Trails and the Pacific Ocean. Nearly ten years ago, during the routing process at Bandon Trails, the land was deemed too severe for regulation size golf holes. But on a tour of the site in early May I found the Preserve to be a perfect fit, like a miniature version of its siblings: rugged and raw, with scenery and creativity around every dune.

Designed by the team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore (the same duo that designed Bandon Trails), the Preserve was originally meant to have 12 holes, but on a later visit Coore found another hole, bringing the total to 13.

Though the course sits back several hundred yards from the sea, panoramic ocean views are omnipresent.

KemperSports, which manages the resort, expects Bandon Preserve to cater toward golfers who want more than 18 holes in one day, but not 36. The holes range from 65 to 180 yards.

Bandon Preserve was named by Bandon Dunes’ owner, Mike Keiser, who has an affinity for nature conservation. All profits from the course will go toward conservation efforts along the southern Oregon coast.