In 1993 Sandpines was ranked as the best new public course constructed in the US but soon in 1999 Bandon Dunes opened and all the golf courses on Oregon's coast got lost in Bandon's shadow. However, don't you dare sleep on Sandpines when visiting Oregon, this course can still hold its own and is a must play for me when in the area.
The front 9 stays true to the "pines" part of Sandpines' name and runs it way through multiple tree-lined holes.
Well its not as bad as the above picture, most holes actually look like this:
This area of Oregon can be "breezy" to say the least and the benefit of starting your round in the trees is that you have protection from the wind while you get your game in gear.
My favorite hole on the front side reminded me of the East Coast and it was so quiet and peaceful back in the pines.
The real superstar holes of the course is when you come out of the pines and onto the windswept rolling hills of the back 9.
Rees Jones designed this course and I could feel the effects of the bulldozers but unlike other courses shaped in this way, it just works, simply put. It is fun, you get crazy bounces off the hills, the wind kicks your butt but you laugh and enjoy it. I had an absolute blast playing this course although there were some peaks of what could have been had Jones let the course more sit in nature with some dunes sitting just beyond the fairways.
All of this cumulates to the last 3 holes which circling around a lake and when coupled with wind and just the natural toughness of the course provide a heck of a finish.
I'll admit that I was in Oregon to play Bandon and went to Sandpines as a warmup for the festivities to come but I came away super impressed by the conditions, the routing and just the all out fun that I had playing this course. Next time I am in Oregon I am definitely playing here again and suggest you do as well!
For more info on Sandpines, check out this link: http://www.sandpinesgolf.com/