Bandon Dunes is just plain fun. Looking back on playing there I was trying to decide what design elements contributed most to my fun. I realized it was the punchbowl design of many holes.
As our friends the fried egg so well showed, showed so well, the punchbowl is just fun. When you funnel golf balls to the hole, it makes the approach shot more fun.
Bandon Preserve Hole 12
I loved the 12th hole at Bandon Preserve because it was a hole where everyone had a shot at a hole in one. As you can see above, everything funnels toward the hole. It’s only a wedge shot too, so you should be able to hit the putting surface and watch your bowl feed to the hole.
The more I read about punchbowl design, the more it makes sense to me. Not every hole should have that green shape, of course, but one or two per 18 holes makes the game more fun.
Designers like Gil Hanse, Coore & Crenshaw and Tom Doak are realizing fun golf is the best golf!