Rod Whitman, Dave Axland, and Keith Cutten will build the third short course and ninth course overall at the famous Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
Announced in 2016, Bandon Dunes has planned a par 3 course near Bandon Preserve to the south and closer to the coast. Originally to be designed by Tom Doak, Beyond The Contour has acquired information that the firm of Whitman, Axland, Cutten will take on the responsibilities. In Matt Ginella’s post on the Ghost Tree for the Fire Pit Collective, he confirmed the news of an 18 hole par 3 course coming from Whitman, Axland, Cutten.
Writing about the project on Golf Club Atlas in 2016, Doak mentioned that he was at Bandon earlier in the year looking for holes, and that “Mr. Keiser liked what I found,” but in a followup post in 2019, he said:
I doubt this course will ever happen. When they realized that if they built it, they would have to turn over all the profits to charity—because it is in the same environmental preserve as Bandon Preserve—they started thinking harder about tearing up The Sheep Ranch instead.
The layout was much different than the Preserve—it had several really testing holes that would have fit on any of the big courses—so it would have had a different kind of appeal.
An update in 2021 from Golfweek confirmed Keiser’s interest in both building the golf course and having Tom Doak design it, although information changes. In that same article, Jason Lusk confirmed that the par 3 course would be the next addition to the resort before David McLay Kidd’s “River Dunes” course, which the architect teased on Twitter (right).
In recent years, the firm consisting of Canadians Rod Whitman and Keith Cutten, as well as American Dave Axland have gained traction following their merger in 2020. Notably, their résumé includes Cabot Links, The Nest at Cabot Cape Breton, Sagebrush, Blackhawk, Wild Horse, Algonquin, and more. Their portfolio continues to grow, including anticipated projects like Cabot Pacific in British Columbia, Brantford in Ontario, and The Tribute Club in Oregon set to open in the next few years.
This marks Rod Whitman’s first project directly with Keiser following the close-call for the Alberta-born architect to build Sand Valley’s followup to the Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw course he helped shape at the resort. However, Mike Keiser is one of the original investors in Cabot with Ben Cowan-Dewar, where Rod Whitman’s architecture has received Canadian and international recognition. Partner Dave Axland was on the crew for Bandon Preserve, the resort’s first par 3 course.
The project begins March 2023.