My friend Ron Whitten at GOLF DIGEST wrote that Pacific Dunes was the course I was born to build, though its success has paved the way for many more. When I spent my year abroad after college studying the great links of Britain and Ireland, I never dreamed I would have the chance to build one in America, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
While the four oceanfront holes are its most photographed, it was the bowl of dunes further inland that made the property for Pacific Dunes unique, and I managed to find a routing that returns to that area at several different points in the round. The unusual scorecard means that you never know what kind of hole is coming next, but you know it will be beautiful.
Since opening, the course has hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup Matches, the USGA Public Links Championship, and the USGA Four-Ball, and the two nicest compliments my work has received came from the first two events: the chair of the Ladies’ Golf Union (England) said Pacific Dunes was “the finest links course I have ever seen,” and one of the competitors at the Public Links said that the first time she came around the corner and saw the fourth hole, she cried because it was so beautiful.