Among the novel amenities that Mike Keiser came up with for his Bandon Dunes Resort right from the get go was a very neat Approach and Putt Course called Shorty’s. Designed by David McLay Kidd, the guy who did the Bandon Dunes Course, this is a full feature short track with architectural detail commensurate with it’s big brother.
Built on the back side of the South Practice Range, it is convenient, practical and fun. Holes from 92 to 177 yards with plenty of options in between on each hole, it is a great place to acquaint yourself with long pitch and run shots you will need across the links style and wind blown Bandon Dunes courses.
Shorty’s is open from Thursday through Sunday, when the North Range is in use. Truth is you can play the Mini Shorty’s Routing of 1, 2, and 9 any day since they are safely out of the range of fire of the South Practice Tees.
The full 9-hole walk is probably less than an hour depending on how much trash talking you do. Best part is that playing Shorty’s costs you nothing at all, it is free to all comers. Just another perfect happy hour activity for you and your buds.
The photos below will give you an idea of the architectural interest of this layout as well as the challenge it presents.
The distances on each hole are the official yardage plates, though you can pretty much drop the ball anywhere you like on each hole to fit what you are working on. Note that the hole names are based upon my impression and totally the fabrication of this author, not sanctioned by the folks who run this place.
#1 The Devils Trap Door 86 Yards
Brings to mind the 10th at Pine Valley where the front bunker earned the moniker of the Devil’s A-hole. You have to flight something with grip into the right center of this green and hope it hold’s on. As you can see in this reality TV ground level look, recovery from the Devil’s orifice is unlikely.
#2 The Uprights 113 Yards
Garo Yepremian would love the look of this one, just split the uprights for 3. This is a good one for working on a 100 yard seven iron pitch and run shot. Just trundle one up the front ramp and let it work to the pin.
#3 Cape 177 Yards
The Cape Hole was a classic Golden Age design configuration where the green was nestled behind a large body of water not sand. Here you have to work your approach from right to left to avoid the cavernous bunkers and let the slope of the green bring it toward the flag.
#4 Pine Valley 126 Yards
The name seemed like natural to me. Shallow green with a tiny opening between fierce bunkers and a pine tree squeezing you from the right for good measure. The pines behind just complete the full George Crump look.
#5 Potchy 145 Yards
One of the longer carries over this lone pot to a long green that falls away from you. It gets its name from the fact that this green is the closest to the South Range Tees so it is fully potched from ball marks making it resemble the rutty face of a pimply 13 year old boy.
#6 Dome 111 Yards
You can see how the right half of the green resembles the hood of a VW Beetle making really hard to hold a high approach. Once again this is a good place to work on your long pitch and run out shot, letting the ground do the work.
#7 Gully-Vers Travel 108 Yards
The shot here must travel across a deep gully to this perched green behind another pot bunker. The bank left of the flag can be dexterously used to feed a shot onto the green avoiding the bunker. Links golf requires forethought.
#8 Misty May and Kerri 92 Yards
This green complex of this one honors the Gold Medal accomplishments that dynamic Olympic Beach Volleyball Duo Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh. You may find yourself volleying pitch shots back and forth across this raised shallow table top green.
# Homeward Bound 146 Yards
The final hole has all the architectural features bundled into it. The layered, ragged edge bunkering from the right reminds me of some of the fairway bunkers on Bandon Dunes. Mounding from the right masks the playing surface from clear view.
The green emanates from the hill on the right and has a deep low behind the front mound that will shove timid approaches away from a flag in the back right. Putting this green is an adventure all it’s own.
The Back Door
The look from behind shows you the mound that hides the front and the collar bunkering that rings the back waiting to catch an approach with too much enthusiasm. Great holes are often kool looking from either direction.
Shorty’s Course Map