Design Notes

Bandon Dunes opens Shorty’s, a Whitman, Axland & Cutten design

Jim Furyk to redesign Florida’s Glen Kernan; Greg Turner progresses with New Zealand’s Gibbston Valley Resort

Shorty's, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort's new 19-hole par-3 course, opened on May 2 and was designed by
Whitman, Axland & Cutten.

Oregon’s Bandon Dunes Golf Resort celebrated its 25th anniversary on May 2, the same day its newest course, Shorty’s, opened for play.

Named for Shorty Dow, the caretaker of the coastal property before it became Bandon Dunes, the aptly named short course consists of 19 par 3s. The holes range from 51 to 152 yards from the back tees. Bandon domo Mike Keiser insisted that every hole be puttable, so the scorecard lists putting tee yardages that range from 35 to 75 yards.

Situated on large, undulating dunes to the south of the property’s other short course, Bandon Preserve, Shorty’s was designed by the team of Rod Whitman, Dave Axland and Keith Cutten, with all three contributing to its creation. The seventh course at Bandon Dunes is the first to feature architects new to the property since Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw crafted Bandon Trails in 2005.

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"We spent a great deal of time figuring out the sequencing and placement of the holes within the undulating terrain," Cutten told "The routing itself evolved over several months, starting with a 12-hole loop — this initial sequence was through the most walkable portion of the site. We were then urged to keep going and easily added another six [holes one through six]. However, the clubhouse shifted, giving us enough room to add an additional short hole, raising the total to 19. We could have easily kept going south, but the routing as it stands today takes full advantage of the site."

Prior to the pandemic, Keiser had tabbed Tom Doak to create a short course on the Shorty’s site. Doak routed 12 somewhat longer holes, but after COVID restrictions lifted, Keiser shifted gears, hiring the newly minted firm of Whitman, Axland & Cutten to bring the course to fruition.

Axland knew Bandon well. He had assisted Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in the field on the Bandon Trails project in 2003-2004. Both Whitman and Cutten had experience with a Keiser co-owned venue, Cabot Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada. Next up for the design team is Cabot Revelstoke in British Columbia, Canada and The Tribute Club in Redmond, Oregon.

As with Bandon Preserve, all net proceeds from Shorty’s will directly fund the Bandon Dunes Charitable Foundation supporting conservation, community and economy on the Southern Oregon Coast. Bandon Preserve and Shorty’s will also protect and preserve the Silvery Phacelia, an endangered plant species whose habitat is threatened by non-native plants. By reclaiming the open sand along the golf courses, the Silvery Phacelia and other native dune plants will once again be able to flourish.


Jim Furyk has signed on to renovate Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club in Jacksonville, Florida.

The 25-year-old private course was designed by Robert Walker, and was purchased, along with the rest of the club’s assets in January 2024 by developer Corner Lot and Hampton Golf for nearly $4.9 million.

Furyk, a resident of Jacksonville, has been a member of the club for many years.

"The golf course has a lot of promise and good bones," Furyk told "Our plan is to make a few holes a little more playable for our average golfers and extend some tee boxes to lengthen the course for our better players."

One of those better players may well be another local resident — by way of Australia — Cameron Smith, the 2022 British Open winner, who is an investor in the project. Smith has joined several other clubs in the region after being excommunicated from TPC Sawgrass, due to his decision to leave the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.

Hampton Golf will manage the golf operations for Glen Kernan upon reopening, which is slated for January 2025.

New Zealand’s Gibbston Valley Resort, not far from Queenstown, is progressing on a nine-hole layout by Greg Turner. One of New Zealand’s most respected architects, with designs that include the renovation of Royal Wellington and the new course for Millbrook Resort, was also one of that nation’s best competitive golfers throughout the 1980s and ‘90s, with a dozen victories on the European and Australasia Tours.

Gibbston Valley is aligned with an upscale real estate development created by the Central Otago winery of the same name, which sits at the western edge of the Kawarau Gorge.

“Gibbston Valley Resort has been decades in the making—interrupted by such events like the global financial crash and COVID, along with certain realities in ensuring the popular Gibbston Valley Trail—soon to be extended to connect through to Bannockburn and the Dunstan Trail—is not adversely affected,” Turner told “The course lies between the main state highway and the dramatic Kawarau River, providing an extraordinary combination of river gorge and mountain views. In the mid-19th century, the valley was home to a thriving gold mining boom and consequently, there are significant relics of that period, including distinct tailings [leftover materials from the processing of mined ore].”

The longest hole on the course is expected to be in the 380-yard range, with the nine holes composed of five par 4s and four par 3s. Tees have also been positioned to where the course can be played entirely as par 3s.

“Our design concept is to create a course as an amenity for residents and guests,” said Turner. “This nine-hole layout will have all the interest, intrigue and conditioning of a full-blown course. Dramatic terrain, gold miners’ tailings and large rocks provide the main features, with no need for bunkering. Like the nearby Arrowtown Golf Club, rated by Tom Doak as among the top courses in the country, the drama of the terrain and rocky features remove the need for bunkering.”

The Gibbston Valley Resort course is expected to open in 2025.