Bandon Dunes July 18-22, 2008

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8 players hailing from Buffalo, Cincinnati, Charleston, Houston, Salt Lake City, and Columbus GA.

Daily Routine for 5 days:
0600 get up
0700 shuttle to course and breakfast
0800 tee off
1230 lunch at the course
1330 tee off
1800 cocktails at Grove Cottage
2000 dinner
2200 go to bed

36 holes per day on same course worked well. Tee times at 8 and 8:10 with replays at 1:30 and 1:40 worked perfectly allowing an hour for lunch & recuperation.. Played BD-PD-BT-BD-PT rotation. One drawback to this rotation was that hole positions are rotated front-back-middle; so we were surprised by the same pin locations on days 4 and 5 at BD and PT. Lesson: don’t play same course 3 days later. If winds go over 35mph, play a Scramble.

Bets : $30 exposure/player/round. $20 on team bets; $10 on individual . 2 balls. Modified Stableford.

Greens are rock hard, no divot repair tools needed. Lies are very tight. Chipping and putting skill is crucial. Texas wedge and Scottish run up shots work best. Course routing is obvious and greens are straight forward with an occasional exception: Caddy isn’t essential.

Tough walks: hilly terrain with elevated tees and greens not close to each other. Rickshaw trolleys are free. Railroad tie walkways are wet and slippery in the AM: Be Careful!

Average Round: 4 & 1/2 hours — a good pace of play except for one 5 hour round stuck behind PGA wannabees. Marshalls are everywhere. Just keep up with the group ahead of you. Laser rangefinder very useful; most sprinkler heads are yardage marked.

Pacific Dunes: by far the hardest of the 3 courses. Bunkers and greens not in great condition. Windiest of the 3 courses. Most scenic course, ocean view holes are spectacular. 2 of our players ran out of balls.

Bandon Dunes: best of the 3 courses as rated by our 8 players, per summary below:

Course Rankings
Name w/handicap
Hen 5
Joe 13
Arch 4
Greg 5
Tony 10
Brad 6
Woody 4
Bob 7
Bandon Dunes
Bandon Trails
Pacific Dunes
Average Score

Bandon Trails: a pleasant surprise, an inland course with links style bunkers, with a nice variety of hard-easy golf holes and the best greens we played : a protected refuge from fierce afternoon winds.

We eschewed the black tees, and played the Greens on all 3 course. 6200 yards never played so long. A 4th course, Old MacDonald, opens in 2010.

Don’t go to Bandon Dunes unless you are a strong player. The short hitting slicer with a 20 handicap won’t enjoy the punishment. Must have a knock-down stinger in your arsenal. Trappers of the ball have much easier time here.

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4 in Lily Pond Rooms
4 in Grove Cottage

Lily Pond Rooms: upscale Holiday Inn, very comfortable, good beds, reasonable price. “We thought our rooms were great… until we saw where the Grove boys were staying”

Grove Cottage: outrageously expensive, top shelf accommodations, 4 of us deserved it!

Bottled Water is free at Lily Pond and Grove Cottage. Take a bottle in your bag. There isn’t much water on the courses. Refill your bottle at the rare water fountain to stay hydrated. Halfway house refreshments are available as well.

On site shuttle service is superb and very quick.

Practice Area: very large, but exposed to wind and not convenient to any first tee. We practiced briefly the day of our arrival. It was impractical to shuttle between practice area and golf course prior to any of our rounds.

Alaskan Air service from Portland to North Bend was excellent:: free beer, acceptable snacks and friendly staffers.

Connoisseurs Shuttle Service: 45 minute limo bus ride from North Bend to Bandon Dunes was excellent. Free beer and coffee included. Stopped for liquor and snacks in route. Grove Cottage has small refrigerator, no kitchen. Grove Cottage staff provided iced cooler for our drinks. Grove Cottage common room was perfect post round rally point for our group of 8. Taxi ride to town (Bandon) was $60.00.

3 restaurants on property: McKee’s Pub, The Gallery, and Bunker Bar all within wedge from each other. Food was good. Tasted like same chef was preparing food for all 3 restaurants. Breakfasts were the best. The 3 egg “meat lovers” omelet & 2-eggs w/ country sausage is especially recommended. Friendly, quick service was the rule.

Golfwear: Layer yourself. Very cold in AM required ski hat and windbreaker. Shorts + rain pants is a workable combo. Warms up mid first round such that if wind is down, shorts and golf shirt works. 65% wore slacks, 35% shorts. Never rained, thank GOD! It will be windier and colder than you expect..

Recommended Outfit: slacks, long sleeve undershirt (UnderArmor), golf shirt, sweater vest, and short sleeved rain shirt. Wear golf hat. Put ski hat and rain pants in your bag.

Must Bring: chapstick, sun screen, moisturizer to treat post round windburn

Overall Experience Rating: Very Good

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