Obviously, you’re not going to give yourself a name like “golfcourseraterguy” if you’re not going to write about some golf courses you’ve played. Over my lifetime, I have been able to play some pretty amazing places and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunities to travel and play different places. Getting to see the changes in landscape from place to place, while taking in the beauty of each track, makes it all worth the experience.
The first course(s) I chose to write about is Bandon Dunes. I was fortunate to be able to take a trip there with some friends, and it was easily one of the best golfing experiences of my life. The Bandon Courses fall along Oregon’s coastline of the Pacific Ocean, and replicate the links style of golf from Scotland. Five courses, but all different in style. Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Old Macdonald, Bandon Trails, and The Preserve. The resort offers so much and is a true one of kind getaway destination to enjoy views, sunsets, beers, fellowship, and golf.
During my time at Bandon I enjoyed each course so much. A funny observation that I have found out after the trip is that each person has their favorite course, and different reasons why. It seems you hardly get the same answer from people about which course is their favorite. My personal favorite was Old Macdonald. People seem to love it, or hate it, but I loved every bit of it. I’ve never been to Europe to play true links golf, but the feeling I got from being at Old Mac was like I was walking alongside Old Tom Morris. The natural flowing hills seem to flow right into each green, which gives you the option to be so creative with different shots and shapes going into each green. My caddie even had me putt my ball into the heather up a hill on the 18th hole to use the architecture that was created by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina. It’s truly an enjoyable course to play and makes you think and debate shots that you never would have on a normal setup.
Each course seems to have its own personal experience. From the ocean holes on Bandon, to the par 3’s on Pacific, to the Pine Valley/Pinehurst styles of the Trails. They all impressed me, and I felt like I was walking on air the whole trip. Of course you can’t forget about the Punchbowl, which may be the craziest putting green you’ve ever been on, but it a great spot to end the day with some of your friends.
One thing I couldn’t recommend more on a trip to Bandon is using caddies. I realize it’s another added expense, but the experience a local caddie creates is so important to taking in the full experience of the courses. Whether you want them to read your putts or not, the knowledge they have of the surroundings and the courses is incredible, and that’s why they’re there, to help make your trip memorable.
The Resort at Bandon Dunes is special, and I’m sure if you met someone who has been there you, and they’ve talked about their experience with you, then you know. If you get the opportunity to visit Bandon, then do it. It’s a golfing experience of a lifetime, and for sure something you will never forget.