Hole No. 13 at Pacific Dunes - Most Interesting Holes Series
By Gretchen Yoder, Manager of Handicapping & Course Rating
Eighth in the OGA's series about the Most Interesting Holes is the Par 4, #13 at Pacific Dunes, one of four amazing courses at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Ore.
Breathtaking views that hopefully don’t lead to heartbreaking scores! This hole has 5 tees which range in distance from Black/444, Green/390, Gold/371, Orange/336 and Blue/250. The golfer is treated to a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean protecting the entire left side of the hole from tee to green and beyond. Off the tee there is some carry over patches of ball stealing gorse, to a fairly wide fairway landing zone. The right side of the fairway has towering natural sand dunes.
Wind is a major factor making the hole play considerably longer than its measured length. Depending on the slight changes in wind direction, ocean or dunes can come even more into play.
The shot to the green is where it gets adventurous. The green is about half as wide as it is long, not including the tricky false front. The lateral water hazard, that is the Pacific, comes virtually right up to the left edge of the green. The dunes get steeper the closer the golfer is, and the long narrow bunker on the right side makes for a harrowing shot facing the ocean, especially for those of us who don’t have the best sand game.
From a Course Rating standpoint, there are 2 features of #13 that effect the Course Rating. First, the false front of the green. When the team of trained Course Raters measures the green, we are looking for “Effective Green Diameter” to establish what the Greet Target should be. On a simple green, it is basically width + depth divided by 2. There are special procedures to deal with odd shapes and sizes. Since Green Target is the probability of hitting and holding on the green, any part of the surface where a ball, when placed, would roll off the green is then not added to the size of the green. The false front results in a smaller green which is more difficult to hit.
Most of the obstacle factors in Course Rating are assessed on a hole by hole basis. For wind, we make the changes for each nine. Many courses have one nine along the ocean with the other going inland, much like Pacific Dunes’ sister course Bandon Trails does. Each Golf Association tasked with Course Rating is responsible for attaining official wind speeds for the course being rated. OGA uses historical data from multiple sources to get an official speed. Since wind speed and direction can change from day to day or even to hour, we use an average speed.
The wind speed is factored into the final calculations and is considered an effective playing length correction, but the Course Rating Team does not change individual shot lengths. For instance, a severely downhill hole could add 20 yards to the roll of a golfer’s shot. Since a hillside does not change from day to day, we would adjust shot lengths to the green to show the effect of a downhill shot. Wind, however, could be a head, tail, or side wind at any time of the day and at the whim of Mother Nature.
When playing Pacific Dunes #13 hole, “be sure to have both your camera and your golf game ready”. Click here for more information about Pacific Dunes.
*The 13th hole at Pacific Dunes earned 116 fan votes to earn eighth place in the OGA 2017 Edition of the "18 Most Interesting Holes" contest. Throughout the year Gretchen Yoder, OGA Manger of Course Rating & Handicapping, will explain what makes each hole unique and describe the ideas behind rating these gems.
Next Up: Hole No. 1 at The Resort at the Mountain - Welches, Ore.