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Play Bandon!

The Golfing Machine - Friday, September 14, 2012

Play Bandon!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you love golf, if you love a challenge, if you want a golf experience that is beyond compare, go to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. It’s not a question of IF, but WHEN you should go. My recommendation: Do not put it off until ‘someday,’ but go as soon as possible and play Bandon.

Resort owner Mr. Mike Keizer has done everything right. The golf courses are a challenge for any level. Although the courses look friendly and open they can be very fickle and devious. Leave your ego at home and bring an extra order of patience; not patience for slow play, but patience for yourself because most golfers have a difficult time hitting exact spots on the golf course. Sometimes you need to be surgically precise or else your golf ball follows the law of gravity, and then you can be in a disastrous predicament where ordinary skills are not enough to extricate yourself from impending doom – and a double bogey or worse is quickly earned.

These four golf courses: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old MacDonald are individually unique. Each with its own personality and flavor, I enjoyed all of them. Each requires a different skill set to play them well. If you are looking for a leisurely round or a walk in the park these are not the courses to play. They are demanding and every shot must be planned, this is not a grip it and rip it facility. The beauty of these golf courses is unsurpassed however, it can be distracting standing on a bluff overlooking the untamed Pacific Ocean or seeing the Oregon coast range of mountains blanketed in low silvery fog. Don’t forget you are here to play golf so refocus your attention, listen carefully to your caddie and make the best stroke you can.

Caddie? Take a caddie! There are many reasons to take a caddie at the quadrillo of courses at Bandon, the least of the reasons is you won’t get lost. Lost! Yes, there are a few tee complexes that have multiple tees for multiple holes and as you stand on one you see multiple greens. It’s a good idea to know which one is your target. Plus, the caddies know these courses and their idiosyncrasies intimately. For example, I was looking a putt which I thought broke two feet left only to discuss it with my caddie to find it actually broke three feet right. I saved a few strokes there. Plus many of the demanding tee shots must be placed accurately between bunkers or to a specific side of the fairway so as not to roll into the hazard. Again for the love of the game, to assure proper direction and choice of clubs, take a caddie – it is the best money ever spent.

Lastly, but assuredly not least, the accommodations are immaculate and practical. You can wear your soft spiked shoes anywhere at Bandon. Before your round in the morning breakfast is great and the dinner meals are as good as any fine restaurant in the world. Mr. Keizer knows how to treat his guests and I felt like I was his personal friend and that he himself had invited me to play. Everyone on the Bandon staff is courteous, kind, compassionate and at your service.

My experience was extraordinary and beyond my expectation. I will return to Bandon!