Sheep Ranch

The tee box for the sixth hole on the new Sheepranch Golf Course provides one of a number of the stunning views that have made the course a favorite already.

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Bandon Dunes Golf Resort recently was honored again with stellar rankings by a national publication, though it wasn’t a surprise.

All five Bandon courses, including Sheep Ranch, which opened last summer, were high on the list when Golfweek released its ranking of the top 200 resort courses in the United States.

Among all the great golf destinations in the United States, only one had more than one course in the top 10.

That was Bandon Dunes, which had not one, but all five of its 18-hole layouts in the top 10.

The top course on the list was Pebble Beach, but starting with No. 2, Bandon Dunes courses alternated with other resorts to fill out the top 10.

Pacific Dunes was at No. 2, Old Macdonald at No. 4, Bandon Dunes at No. 6, Sheep Ranch at No. 8 and Bandon Trails at No. 10.

The rest of the top 10 was Pinehurst No. 2 (North Carolina) at No. 3, The Straits course at Whistling Straits (Wisconsin) at No. 5, Shadow Creek (Las Vegas) at No. 7 and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (South Carolina) at No. 9.

The resort somewhat surprisingly was left off another recent list, Golf Digest’s ranking of the best 18 holes built since 2000.

But a further examination of the list showed why Bandon’s courses were left out.

Even though four of the five courses at Bandon Dunes were built after 2000, the rules for the list required that designers could only be on the list once.

Tom Doak, who designed both Pacific Dunes and Old Macdonald with Jim Urbina, was on the list for the seventh hole at Ballyneal in Holyoke, Colorado.

And Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, who built both Bandon Trails and Sheep Ranch, were listed for the 10th hole at Friar’s Head in New York.

Even though the Bandon Dunes course opened in 1999, its designer, David McLay Kidd also was included, with the second hole at Gamble Sands in Brewster, Wash.


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