Bandon Dunes Trip Report - April 2019
Three of us joined a Carolina Golf Association trip to Bandon Dunes the first week of April 2019. It was the first time any of us three traveled to Bandon and the first time many of the larger group made the trip. All in all it was a great trip despite the lousy weather we had. We played in order - Bandon Dunes, Old MacDonald, Bandon Trails and Pacific Dunes. Thanks to many of you on the forum who shared tips on your experiences which made the trip that much more fun.
Golf & weather - upon arrival we were greeted by Shoe which was a pleasure, no wonder he is a legend.
- Bandon Dunes - Friday morning we drove out to the Coquille River Lighthouse in the state park next to the resort and it was raining sideways but somehow the weather cleared that afternoon, although it was breezy we had partly cloudy conditions for the afternoon round. Mixed feelings about the course - 4,5 and 6 might be the best stretch of holes I've ever played but some of the inland holes were bland. The gorse canyon on 16 is spectacular as is the tee shot on 12.
Old Macdonald - the starter thought we were idiots to play on Saturday morning, drizzling, constant 25 mph winds with gusts to 40 mph and he said they recorded a gust on the dune at 60 mph earlier that morning. The famous hole #3 begins with a drive over the dune with the bare tree, we did not play that tee. Our caddies had us move up to the gold tee because there was no way all three of us could have driven over the dune. Instead we played the gold tee - driver, 7 iron on a downhill hole less than 300 yards (I'm a short hitting old man but almost drove the first green with the wind). Once we crossed the dune the middle 14 holes were a jumble to me and I'm glad we had a caddy for this course. The view from the 7th green was awesome.
Bandon Trails - we were the first group out on Sunday morning and four of us played in 3:26. It was really raining and I know that everyone writes this but this is what my buddy found in the (Eugene?) newspaper, “More than 4.3 inches of rain has fallen since Thursday, with a record-breaking 2.34 inches on Sunday alone. That's the most precipitation there in a single calendar day in more than seven years, and it breaks the mark for the wettest April day on record.” On Sunday and Monday at PD we moved our balls around the greens so that we didn't putt through rivers despite the pins being set "high and dry". BT was the best laid out track I've ever played since it moves so well through the spectacular terrain (e.g., the lookout by the tee on 14).
- Pacific Dunes - and then we played PD on Monday. PD was f^&%g spectacular as it routed between the dunes and alongside the cliffs. The blooming gorse surrounding the fairways was amazing. Good golf shots were rewarded and bad shots were penalized. Some holes were really long (#4 along side the cliff) and some holes were really short (#11 in the opposite direction by the cliff). It is no wonder that this is the #2 public course in America.
- Punchbowl - somehow the rain broke Monday evening and we played the PB. Really fun, once the green cleared we chose holes 70 yards away.
If we had 10 rounds again we'd play: PD 4, BT 3, BD 2 and OM 1.
Caddy - my friend Chuck and I walked with Chris Cline for all four rounds. He was GREAT - professional, courteous, friendly and knowledgeable. Highest recommendation. Glad we did it.
Clothing - thanks to you guys and the blogger and writer David Owens (my usual game) my clothing choices were better than my golf. My suggestions - Gore-Tex rain jacket, rain pants, rain hat; rain gloves. I had a ZR jacket and Marmot pants. Outdoor Research Gore Tex hat from REI, $29 on sale, on-line. Rain pants invariably slip, best $9 I spent was for suspenders off eBay to prevent slippage. Taking a cue from the caddies wore a toboggan under the rain hat to keep the ears warm.
Lodging - we stayed in the Chrome Lakes cabins. Maybe a five minute walk to the lodge. Two of us shared a room while the third one of us had a single. The rooms were fine, as written many times before nothing fancy just solid, attractive furnishings. The shoe dryers were the bomb, very helpful drying out shoes, gloves, head covers and any other soggy thing. The best thing about the lodging was the two separate rooms for the shower and the toilet, each room with its own sink, very helpful for two old, fat men. Figure I'd attach a picture of the cottage since I've rarely seen a photo of one here, three living spaces in the building, two on the first floor and one suite (?) on the second floor.
Food - we received vouchers for buffet breakfast every morning in the lodge restaurant. Two words - breakfast burritos. Three of the four dinners were buffet with all of the CGA attendees, standard buffet dinners with cash bar. Two of the meals were in the large room above McKees and the third meal was in the Garden Room which overlooks the 18th at BD. On our off night had the excellent lamb stew at McKee's Pub while we watched the national championship game between Texas Tech and UVA.
Exercise room - needed to stretch every morning to play (see old and fat above) and found the exercise room to be the only substandard part of the resort. Too many underutilized machines, not enough mats, only one roller ball and no stretch bands.
Other - flew into Eugene and drove to Reedsport the night before our first round, the BW was fine; we dried our soggy clothes at the laundrymat near Ray's Food Place.
I'm grateful to the CGA for organizing the event, it was a bucket list trip. Thanks to you all for posting your BD insights and thanks for reading.
Titleist 915F 4 wood
Titleist 913H, 24*
Titleist H1, 27*
Titleist 913H, 27*
Callaway CF16 6 - GW
Callaway MD4, 56* & 60*