Old Tom Morris' Ghosts Haunts These Hallowed Grounds! A review of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
My three adult sons and I just returned from 4 days at the Bandon Dunes/Pacific Dunes complex of golf courses (2 days of each course).
The accomodations were fantastic (Lily Pond), the food superb, Mulligans pub a delight (especially with the lovely Karla) and the entire staff fantastic! "Fast Eddie" in the pro shop, the "Shoe" in the bag room and "John The Baptist" my caddy made it very memorable. First of all, leave your 3 wood and 60 degree wedge in your room because not one person in a hundred can hit either club correctly even 50% of the time. Very tough and "tight" lies, bring your 5 wood and a 54 degree wedge. The soil is perfect for divots with it's firm sandy mix. Greens are a little bumpy and not so fast (in the Scottish/Irish flavor) they don't have the lush grass that you may be used to at home. I promise you at least 3-4 putts in two days that will scare the hell out of you in length (75-100 ft.) Three putting is not a sin here, it's a right of passage! Second, GET A CADDY! Don't try to play these courses on your own or you'll be very sorry. Lots of dips, bumps and grinds to bounce off of and they'll tell you where to hit it. We played the "black" tees and got a full dose of every club in the bag. Not sure how anyone would play the "grey" tournament tees behind us and keep their sanity. Most people who are not totally disfuncational will play from the "green" tees. The walking is fairly strenuous even for a links course, lots of ups and downs even if you hit it right down the sprinkler system. Bring your most comfortable and broke in golf shoes. Dare I also say maybe a pair of running shoes if you play 3 or 4 days. Your feet, lower legs and back will let you know when after the first day no matter how much you walk at home. Don't forget maybe a pair of gel insoles, not one pair could be found within 100 miles. Sounds tough? Ha! I've played all over the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii, nothing even comes close to the difficulty and shot making that you will find at these courses. We are all single digit to low double digit handicaps and we were whipped when we finished but ecstatic and overwhelmed at the beauty of the courses and setting. DON'T foget your camera and several rolls of film, assuming you have the energy to snap the shot.
Weather was beautiful, 3 days of glorious sunshine/wind and one day of North Sea mist (blowing, raining and cold); loved that day the best. I now know why it is so difficult to win the British Open!!!! Better learn how to "knock down" shots or the gorse will eat you alive.
Brilliantly yellow and very pretty but if the balls goes in just let it go and drop with the local lateral hazard rule. Sand, good luck, it's powdery and soft, if you get in the Devil's A--hole or Double Duzzy leave a farewell note to your family! You'll figure it out when you see them and their 30-40 steep faces. This is far and away the best golf experience that my sons and I could have shared together. It truly is a right of passage and when you go back to your local course, it will seem like a pussy cat! If this is not golf Heaven, well you can at least see it from here. One last thing, the Crenshaw course will be finished next year and they tell us that it will be more difficult than Bandon or Pacific! Can't wait for next Spring Break and getting beat up again! If I died today it would take the mortician two weeks to get the smile off of my face!!!!
Larry Rook Coeur d' Alene, Idaho