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Bandon Dunes [Chelsea (Taylor’s Version)]

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Written by Chelsea Kalt There have been many articles written about this magical, dreamy place called Bandon Dunes. But have you ever read a piece that compares each course to a Taylor Swift album? I didn’t think so.

Bandon Dunes - Red

The course that started it all, Bandon Dunes. Mike Keiser took a risk on a young, unknown Scotsman named David McClay Kidd and the rest is history! Prior to my visit, I read Dream Golf by Stephan Goodwin and learned that a photo of the 12th green was the postcard “press release” announcing Bandon Dunes. Similar to Pacific Dunes, Bandon Dunes has stunning views of the ocean alongside the course. You know, I drool for natural bodies of water alongside a golf course. Even though I had a personal meltdown with my irons on 16, it was still one of my favorites amongst all the courses on the property. I had a really fun time, try 2x times, getting out of the bunker on 11 (which can be seen on my Instagram).

The Red album is what made Taylor Swift, TAYLOR SWIFT, and that’s why it’s the Bandon Dunes. Note, this is not Taylor’s Version. We’re trekking back to the original Red album because it’s the album that put her on the global map and it separated herself from her country style. We’re not in Teardrops on my Guitar / Tim McGraw territory anymore. This is Treacherous.

Put your lips close to mine

As long as they don't touch

Out of focus, eye to eye

'Til the gravity's too much

And I'll do anything you say

If you say it with your hands

And I'd be smart to walk away

But you're quicksand

This slope is treacherous

This path is reckless

This slope is treacherous

And I, I, I like it

Pacific Dunes - Reputation

When we all played Pac Dunes it was the Fore The Ladies group’s first (and only) day of playing 36 holes. As I approached the first tee, I could hear inside me the first three seconds of Ready For It. You know that beat? It pounds outside of your ears, and it could get nasty if an angsty teen has the ability to mess with the base. I also couldn’t get out of my head the hype Neil from No Laying Up described in their Tourist Sauce series. After repeatedly watching their videos as a part of my Bandon content soup, I was most intimidated by this course. I mean, all golf is hard for me, but I thought this was going to be the toughest challenge. And have you seen the wind we conquered? It practically lifted up my Bill Belichick Zero Restriction jacket on the 11th hole!

The connection to Taylor Swift and Pac Dunes is found within the beat and base of this album. I wasn’t pulled in by any specific set of lyrics but rather the overall sound. There’s a certain boldness in the Reputation album, songs like King of My Heart, Look What You Made Me Do, End Game and ….Ready for It, and they perfectly suit the energy of Pacific Dunes.

Bandon Trails - Evermore

Bandon Trails was the third course built on the property, and Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw faced a difficult challenge: How do you make a dynamite course that doesn’t have the breathtaking ocean views? Challenge accepted. The Fore the Ladies golf community swooned over Trails. My caddy Coop told me that one of the reasons why Coore & Crenshaw are so successful and economically efficient, is that they don’t move sand so much compared to other architects. They have a vision and work with the ground that the earth gave them. I loved playing Trails as the last course on the trip and we were spoiled with a crisp, clear morning. It’s not my number one course on the property, but it’s my number one Forest Course I’ve ever played.

Identifying Bandon Trails as Evermore is what started this article, so thank you, Trails. I literally said to Sara Hutchins that I feel like I’m walking through a Taylor Swift music video. Metaphorically, I could see the Stella McCartney down coat she’s wearing on the album cover in corners of the course. I went with ivy to find some scenic lyrics and added a quick edit to the end.

Clover blooms in the fields

Spring breaks loose, the time is near

What would he do if he found us out?

Crescent moon, coast is clear

Spring breaks loose, but so does fear

He's gonna burn this house to the ground

How's one to know?

I'd live and die for moments that we stole

On begged and borrowed time

So tell me to run

Or dare to sit and watch what we'll become

And drink my husband's caddy’s wine

Old MacDonald - Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

The approach that Tom Doak and Jim Urbina took for designing Old Mac is to pay respect to architect Charles Blair MacDonald, who is known for his template holes. Some of the template holes at Old Mac that stood out to me were the Biarritz (No. 8), the Alps (No. 16), and the Punchbowl (No. 18). As the four of us approached 18 green, we collectively agreed we all love a punchbowl. It’s Kristen Fox’s favorite hole at Watchung Valley, it’s one of my favorites at Diamante, so just trust me, it’s a lot of fun to play.

I had a hard time coming up with the proper TSwift label but once it hit, it clicked. Of course we would assign Fearless to Old Mac, because for Doak and Urbina it’s all about the Love Story.

It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes.'

Bandon Preserve - Lover

The Preserve is the 13 hole short course (all par 3s) and it’s the most delicious way to begin a trip to Bandon Dunes. We were very privileged to experience this round in golden hour weather, where two transfusion cocktails truly felt like six. There was a sparkle in the air, it was rare, I remember it all too well. We teed off as a six-some, and Sara’s Spotify playlist was perfect for our round. It was a hit-and-giggle, play-for-ace-or-nothing, kind of evening. We were all caught up in the energy and the magic of the week to come.

The lyrics of It’s Nice To Have A Friend coupled with the light and airiness of the song makes the perfect connection to the Preserve.

Lost my gloves, you give me one

"Wanna hang out?"

Yeah, sounds like fun

Did Taylor lose a suede glove? A FootJoy glove? The world may never know.

Light pink sky up on the roof

Sun sinks down, no curfew

Twenty questions, we tell the truth

You've been stressed out lately? Yeah, me too

Something gave you the nerve

To touch my hand

It's nice to have a friend


It's nice to have a friend


The Punchbowl - I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)

The Punchbowl is a 36 hole putting course at Bandon Dunes. The foursome arrived a day early and with an hour to kill before dinner, the girls made a quick stop at the Punchbowl to kill some time. This is where I had my first taste of the Bandon Ale and the real ones know I’m a sucker for a local brew. So this comparison might be a little bit of a stretch, but play with me here. For the purpose of this theme, I didn’t want to ignore the Punchbowl, so I decided to compare it to a song that's by Taylor Swift but not on an album. So Alas, we went fifty shades darker.

I'm sitting eyes wide open, and I got one thing stuck in my mind.

Sheep Ranch - Folklore (deluxe version)

Sheep Ranch is the newest golf course at Bandon Dunes, and it’s famous for having grass filled bunkers instead of sand. Just like the course logo, it appears simple from far away but the closer you get, the more intricacies you’ll see. Compared to Old Mac, Pac Dunes and Bandon Dunes, this walkaround felt more peaceful. Despite the rain, I loved the greenery. The ladies walked Sheep Ranch on a day when Shoe tweeted a weather score of 1. A ONE. I kept telling myself, if I saw this on a perfect day I would love this course. Let’s be real, I don’t have a single digit handicap and Sheep Ranch can be forgiving for a player like me.

Honesty is the best policy here and I know this is a safe space. We called it quits at the 11th hole. My feet and Emily’s feet were soaking, and even the four-ball scramble couldn’t save us. Coop assured me that I saw the gist of the course and something tells me this won’t be my last Sheep Ranch experience.

Did you know that Folklore and Sheep Ranch both came out in 2020? How romantic. But that’s not the reason Sheep Ranch can best be described by Taylor Swift’s Folklore album. Sheep Ranch has the Folklore (yes the deluxe version, I freakin’ love The Lakes) energy because of the slow rhythm of the walk and the wide open spaces. And this verse from Hoax perfectly depicts what every FTL gal was thinking that fateful round.

Stood on the cliffside

Screaming "Give me a reason"

Your faithless love's the only hoax

I believe in

Don't want no other shade of blue

Other honorable one liner from Hoax:

You knew you won, so what's the point of keeping score?

And when we called it quits on the 11th hole, I felt a sense of guilt that could be perfectly described from the first verse of illicit affairs

Make sure nobody sees you leave

Hood over your head, keep your eyes down

Ironically, my favorite album was not included in this article so I can only hope the upcoming sixth course that David McClay Kidd (will most likely work on) will reflect 1989. Dave, I’ve got some notes for ya!

About the Author: Chelsea Taylor Kalt is an Account Manager for an ad tech company that rhymes with smick-smock. She currently resides in her childhood bedroom in Westport, Conn., because the elevator in her NYC apartment is under construction. Her favorite course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is Pacific Dunes and she has a dog named Parker.


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