4th Bandon Trip - 1st Bandon Report (Masters Weekend)
Here is a little background for context: 14 players from the San Francisco Bay Area. It is the fourth trip for most of the guys, but we did have a few Bandon rookies. Our flight out of SFO was delayed because of runway damage at SFO. Once in the air, we were rerouted to Eugene due to a tail wind at North Bend (OTH). Of the 50 people on the plane, 40 took Ubers into Bandon. I waited with most of our group and made it in right before the guys that drove. This is the first time we have had weather issues, but I have heard that this is common. Made us reconsider the schedule of The Preserve upon arrival. On a side note, Aviation Transportation waited at OTH for us and were awesome when we asked to stop to pick up groceries (beer). They even offered to make a purchase for us prior to arrival for next year, which we will be doing next year.
Upon arrival, we had dinner at McKee's. Make a reservation if you have a big group. Had the fish and chips, it was delicious. The chicken pot pie was also a big hit with some of our guys.
First round was Trails. You could tell that the area had been getting a lot of rain. We didn't have any rain in the morning, but there were some soggy spots in the fairways. The greens were shaggy and slow compared to the others on property but that has been well discussed based on the Poa growing in. Love the layout and routing. Big fan of Trails.
Afternoon was at Old Mac. It was windy on one and two, but was completely surprised to come over three and not have much in the way of wind. We really hit the weather lottery. Old Mac was the big beast that it is. Greens are still smooth and slick. Hardest transition on the property is going from Trails to Old Mac.
Dinner was at Pacific Grill. Had the fettuccini and crab. It was good food, but the feel of the place isn't what our group was looking for. I guess we are pub guys.
The next day brought us Pacific Dunes. We had fifteen dry holes, and three in light showers. Pacific's greens were great. Probably slower than Old Mac, but not by much. According to our caddy, the top tee for #10 is going to be closed in preparation for the US Am but have since seen it open on Twitter. I guess that it going to be a crap shoot until after the USGA is out of town. Never played the lower tee before, kind of a let down. Also, he said that lower green on #9 has been regularly closed for the past few years. I have never played it, anyone else play it recently?
We then played the Preserve once the showers let up. As I mentioned in another post, the greens are SLOW, but they only charged $50. Funny thing about the pro shop, they acted like they might not be able to fit us in when I went up to see if we could play. It's funny because we were one of only three groups on the course. I don't know, maybe they had a full tee sheet that ended up being a bunch of no-shows.
Back to McKee's and this time it was the cheeseburger. It was awesome.
Sunday brought the best treat ever...Tiger winning the Masters and our group getting to see it right before taking on the original Bandon Dunes. We had an absolutely clear and windless day. The course was "getable." Greens were very close to Pacific. Both sets of tees for #2 are still maintained. All the work done to the front is still growing in and the lines still look fresh so you can point out the old bunkers. The changes to #8 are good. I like the new bunker layout. The changes to #11 seem to make the hole much easier. Lastly, I didn't realize that the decreased the size of #15's bunker. You can go short right and find yourself on a little shelf. The cleaning up of #16 is awesome and looks like it wasn't even touched. I took the time to play from the Keiser tee on #17. It is a cool 150 yard par 3.
Ryan "Wally" Wall was an awesome caddy. He even showed up after the round at The Punchbowl and got in our skins game. If you are looking for a loop that has plenty of stories, is truly an ambassador of the resort, and willing to throw down a few with you, Ryan is your man.
I stayed at The Inn. Lots of signs saying no outside food or beverages in the Library. Don't remember seeing them from years past. Had a single with a jetted tub, which was absolutely used. Our group is already set for next year. For those thinking of putting a trip together with a large group, 12 months out is too late. Would love to answer any questions you might have. I love that place.