Was hesitant to head out after a buddy backed out, with much consultation(mainly Spud) and reading, was the right choice to head out solo. BLOWN AWAY. Flew into Portland from Detroit, direct. The drive down was pretty cool, very unique state I must say, and the white knuckle driving from Eugene into coos bay (lots of winding roads that appear to just drop off in you go off the road a tad). very scenic and beautiful.
Flew in a day early to drive and stay in coos bay, was planning to play Eugene Country Club on the way down but my flight had other plans , delayed a bit and missed my tee time....was bummed about that.
Day 1 was 36- Sheep/Pac....sheep is just simply amazing to me, walking up the first fairway blew me away from the start, loved it..opening hole I had an eagle putt, nice start to the trip (made bird). There were a few holes that didn't wow me but only like 2, easily the best views on the property/resort. shot 80. was satisfied. Pac in the PM was done SOLO, simply amazing. birdied the first hole as well. Also, that first tee is nothing what I was expecting from staring at the camera for a year. I could go on and on about how good pac is, 13th was favorite hole (among many). shot 79 (birdied the last). great start to the trip already. Feet were great.
Day 2 was 36 Trails/Pac - Trails is a beauty to look at, some holes more than others but favorite was the par 3 5th. Reminded me of the northern courses in Michigan, the walk was a bit rough, feel for those caddies that have to do it on a daily basis. 7th was cool walking out to it, loved 8 as well. only hole I hated was 12, shot 82. Pac in the PM in the Fog. what. an. experience. Never have done that nor do I want to again, didn't lose a ball which was a miracle, shot 82. luckily my group had a caddie in it, that helped with lines and ball watching (gave him some cash). the course didn't even seem the same with the fog, felt totally different. Onward, feet holding up.
day 3 Bandon/preserve - Bandon, holy crap, so. damn. good. you know how you get a perspective of a course before playing it? well I had the notion that it was just "OK" with a few good holes. The course just blew me away after the first hole. there wasn't a hole I didn't like and the condition was so pure, loved it. was a little windy but great weather. Fav hole 4-5-6, 16, 17, among many others. shot 77. Preserve in the PM with the wind just kicking. Holy Crap, ill never skip that when im back, so good. I loved every hole, my favorite would be the 4th as I made my first hole in one there, so epic.
day 4 last day - Old Mac/Sheep - alright, I need to play old Mac a few more times before I become to critical of it, plus the wind direction was not in my favor. long holes played long and short holes played short. I loved being able to think about your shots and create shots around the greens and from 100 yds in. design wasn't terrible, some pretty cool holes but hardly any ocean views. I felt some holes were unfair and didn't allow you any mistakes (im not a pro lol). I liked the short par 4s and the par 3 biarritz, 18 was probably my favorite hole, the creativity around that green is great. Shot 83. onward, feet have two blisters, managed with ice bath night before. Sheep, closing round of the trip. wind was brutal this time, calm the first time and picked up for this round, which I was hoping, wanted the experience. birded the first two holes and I was off and running, missed a 2 footer on the 5th. limped in with a few more bogies and shot 78 (was limping by 11 due to these damn blisters). The course is on the short side so the "long" holes into the wind was manageable and you could juts putt everything from 50yds in. BYE BANDON, So damn good.
the drive from Portland wasn't terrible, would do again
I used the Turo car rental app and saved a bunch of money, was confused about the gas station people pumping my gas, was awkward when I got out lol
I didn't spend a lot on swag, just picked up a few things but you can really drop some dimes out there
I will probably go first week of November every time, I know weather changes but it was perfect.
Lily pond was legit, loved the fireplace and shoe warmers.
I did the sock/shoe change which helped but also wearing merino wool in the morning was clutch, that material is great for dew.
I carried the whole time, no caddy. looking back, I think it was a good choice. It allowed me to think for myself and I used the yardage books which helped with lines. I seen the caddies line up everything for some of the players, did not look fun and seemed robotic at times. BUT, they were cool and I took a lot from them just by listening to them talk yardages in the wind, putts, lines, all that, even tho I didn't have a caddy, ill always remember the convos and learning just by watching/listening. I did tip one caddy at pac in the fog because he was on it, Nate, if you read this, thanks dude.
I didn't play shorties or punch bowl, I did check out the practice facility which was just insane. probably would like to hit those next time. also did not have time to hit the labyrinth, feet were screaming and was not up for searching, would like to get that next time too.
Food, I ate one dinner at Pac dunes, pork belly was awesome. had the brat one time which was massive and delish. I ordered out from mckees (pizza, was ok) and went into bandon brewery for pizza. so I can't comment much about the food, was good and no complaints. drive to bandon, its a cool town, much cooler than I was expecting.
being solo allowed me to jump up two hours early on the sheep on my last day which was clutch, able to get on the road earlier, so being solo allows so much flexibility. also, turnover from the morning tee time to the PM tee time is quick, barely any time to eat, change an whatever to get to the next course.
would recommend renting a car, driving all over the property was so convenient, waiting for a shuttle didn't look like fun but they were fast.
being from eastern standard time, the change messed me up and I didn't adjust, just went to bed at 8-9, up at 3-4 and just hung out then hit the ranges, being solo, I didn't really stay out and party like a lot of my playing partners, haha. sun rises and sets so fast, crazy....
im probably missing a lot more info, post here and we can discuss, I love that I have joined the bandon fraternity.
ALRIGHT course ranks from ME. spud says "any course he is on" well its different for me lol....sorry spud
1. Bandon - and its not really close for me, yeah pac is ranked higher, has a few better holes but Bandon wins out for me. I could play Bandon everyday and not get sick of it.
2. Sheep - I know what you're thinking, pac is the top course, well I love the playability of Sheep, the opening hole to five mile point, just amazing, only thing, routing is on the weird side but you'd expect that with a course half the size of OM lol.
3. Pac Dunes - probably with the best par set of Par 3s out of the all the courses (trails is close/bandon as well). condition was fantastic, views were great. Had an issue with the bunkers, more so the play out of em, only course with terrible sand, maybe I should just stay out of the bunkers next time :).
4. Trails - wow'd me, reminded me of home, decent layout but the walking was a bit much from green to tee.
5. Old Mac - need to play this one more, I felt, early on, that my creative side would come out and hit shots I don't normally do at home but I was punished around the greens, wish it had more ocean views.
4 bandon, 3 sheep, 2 Pac, trails ----
Thanks for reading, please discuss, as I love talking Bandon Dunes - instagram louisbeck for my pics, and future pics as I have a lot to go through.