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Slippin_Jimmy

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Everything posted by Slippin_Jimmy

  1. You're going to love it, hope to see you there. Drop me a line anytime if you have any questions.
  2. Hey guys, I was lucky enough to get in for the 2nd year in a row! Seemed like it filled up even faster this year, if that's possible. I think I was done with the signup at 8:03, and even then I had to sweat it out until the confirmation came through. Definitely felt gratitude for getting in and am sorry for all of those who tried and didn't get a spot this year. I'm a 9 and will be playing with my younger brother, who is currently a 24, both from Boston. We are playing with the same twosome we (very fortunately) got grouped with last year, two buddies from Northern California, as I recall they were a 3 and a 15. We all hit it off really well and wanted to do it again. Last year I focused primarily on my physical fitness beforehand, a lot of walking and kettlebell/band work at home. I felt well prepared and the physical challenge of the Solstice wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Shackman is right about being honest with your pace, you are going to hold people up if you say you'll play one pace and can't keep it up. Some of the first groups out are flying around. We said we'd be the slowest pace last year (3:30-4 per round) and did end up playing faster than that, but we never crept up on anyone or held anyone up. As has been said, the event is incredibly well organized. Tentative plan is to fly from BOS to PDX on Sunday and stay Sunday night in Salem, OR. Arrive at Bandon in the AM Monday and play Trails, and either a 2nd Round or the Punchbowl Event. After Solstice on Tuesday, play at least one more round Wednesday AM and either fly back redeye on Wed night or Thu AM. Can't wait!
  3. I agree with dcmidnight, you can play the regular clubs you use at home. I like to bring a second hybrid as a 15th club and give myself the option of swapping it out for the 58 degree wedge, but I find that I rarely if ever do that. Obviously a lot depends on your ability, but I do think that even if you are playing bump & runs off the tight stuff, you will still find yourself using the lob wedge from time to time for different shots. Hope that is helpful, have fun next week!
  4. Having flown in from a distance (Boston) to go to BD several times, if there's one thing I've learned it's this: take the direct flight to PDX and drive down. Too much risk in connecting. If you could fly direct to Eugene, I'd say to do that but I doubt there's a St. Louis-Eugene direct. Both Eugene and North Bend are small airports, all it takes is one delayed flight to really jack up a trip you've planned for a long time with either lost golf bags or lost time at the resort. You wouldn't save any time by connecting anyway, it's just a shorter drive. It's not a bad drive at all from Portland, you are paying for a rental car (probably 2 here), but you definitely will use the car at the resort. Personally, I much prefer driving around the resort versus the shuttle service (which is fine but just not as convenient as a rental car). And pay for the full tank which will save you time/hassle on the trip home since someone has to pump your gas in Oregon and there won't be as many gas stations open if you fly out at night.
  5. Just checked, the registration date/time was November 5th last year at 7am PT.
  6. Late to the party on this thread, but I just competed for the 1st time as an individual and thought I'd share my experience. I'm 43 and started playing golf around age 27-28. Just played in a Public Links Qualifier last week. I play to an 8.7 currently and knew that I obviously had zero shot at winning, but I could qualify if I played a great round. I ended up shooting a 79 in the qualifier and missed by 3 strokes. I was very happy with how I played, but still I can look back and know I left some shots out there with some poor decisions/swings and inexperience. Certainly inspired to keep getting better. The Public Links experience was exhilarating and I can't wait to do it again. My only other previous competitions have been in 2-man events involving handicaps a couple years back, and they left a bad taste in my mouth. I was probably naive to how serious people took it, and also naive to the sandbagging aspect. I don't think there are a lot of big-time sandbaggers (there are some), but I do think there's a lot of "everyone's doing it, so I better too" fluffing of handicaps. I decided after playing with a guy who shot a Net 57 (with a triple on 18), that I would devote myself to getting better and when I did compete again it would be in gross events. Sounds like the OP got a bad group and should give it another shot. I played with 2 nice guys last week. I shared a cart with one of them and asked him directly on the 1st if he wanted to talk at all or if he preferred to focus on his game. It was definitely well-received by him and he did enjoy chatting during the round which was nice. As an aside, I parked next to the guy who won the qualifier and he was as nice as anyone, friendly/joking before the round and legitimately interested in my round and asking questions afterward. All in all a great experience and can't wait to try again. Long story short for the OP: try it again and I'm sure you will get a much better group.
  7. I think they are still allowing cancellations up to 7 days before because of COVID (it's usually 30). So you can book as early as you can and you have a large window to cancel. The other positive to this is that things will open up, so just keep calling periodically if your preferred dates aren't available. Like others are saying, it depends a lot on your group size and dates. I've done trips with both 4 and 2 golfers and it's significantly more flexible with a twosome. The golf is usually really easy with 2, just having the room available at the resort is usually the hardest part.
  8. Personally, I think if you can do Solstice you should do it. There are only 124 spots and it sells out in an instant. If you can get in, jump on it. Duffer is right that your friend will soak it in more on a regular trip. For me, it was my 8th trip and other than Sheep Ranch I had played them all before, so I knew the courses well and where to hit it, for the most part. One thing I would add though, it wasn’t as much “speed golf” as I thought it would be. We walked with pace and played very ready golf, but still it was much like a regular round in many ways. I think on a lot of the YouTube Solstice videos they are sort of hamming it up. We took warmup swings, and no one was lying down or anything near the end. It’s very doable if you are in decent shape.
  9. Got back from Bandon on Friday, the Solstice was a spectacular event and my brother and I were both really glad that we were able to take part in it this year. Spud3 really hit all of the high notes with his trip report, but I'll add a few thoughts here myself after a few days to reflect on it. - We arrived at PDX from BOS on Sunday night late and drove to Salem to stay for one night. Monday AM we got up early, drove another 45 minutes to an Elmer's for our big "day before" breakfast, then got to Bandon around 10am. Enough time to change and hit balls before an 11:50 warmup round at Trails. Great way to break up the long drive, our best travel itinerary to date. - Met up with Spud3 and WishIPlayedMore at the Punchbowl event on Monday afternoon. This will come as little surprise to anyone who reads this board, but they were great guys and it was really nice to meet up in person, share a meal, and talk about Bandon, golf, and life. Definitely a highlight! - We were the 6th (and last) group to tee off the Bandon Back 9 at 6:10am. We were a little worried that the 1st group that went off Bandon #1 would be right on us, but thankfully we never saw them until late in the round at Old Mac (We went BD #10, BT, OM, SR, BD #1). - We hit the lottery with playing partners, the random twosome you get paired with could make or break your Solstice. We lucked out with 2 great guys, buddies from Northern CA. My brother is a 20+ handicap and was nervous about who we'd play with, they put him at ease right away and he ended up playing his best golf of the trip during the Solstice. - My scores ranged from 77 to 85 during the 4 rounds. We were very liberal with gimmes and the occasional 2nd drive, so take that for what it's worth. I don't think I will post them. I got tired on the 2nd 9 of Sheep Ranch and was leaving every drive way right, but thankfully it's so wide open you can get away with it there. It would have been an ugly round at Trails. - Switched socks and put Chamois Butt'r on my feet between rounds and had zero blisters. My brother only switched the socks and ended up with a couple of blisters at the end. - We stayed an extra 2 days after. The plan was to stay one extra but JetBlue changed our return flight so we got an extra night and round at Trails. We played 36 the day after the Solstice (Sheep & BD) and felt great. - We would 1000% do it again. Already talking with our playing partners about next year if one of us manages to get a spot, we'd book for 4 and go as a group again. I get why Spud3 wouldn't want to, he's local and can pop down more often. For me, it's a great way to get a bunch of golf played in a short window and play at a time that's pretty close to guaranteed great weather. - I wouldn't stay the extra days next time. I'd just do an extra round on the front and back end and play 6 rounds over 3 days. The resort really 180'd after the Solstice players (more regular guys IMO) left and the peak season crowd arrived (older group, families, etc). Not saying that was good or bad or knocking anyone, but it was just a very noticeable change in golfers. - If anyone is interested in playing Solstice, I would tell you that you can absolutely do it and physically it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I was well prepared for the walk and felt good throughout, and was ready to golf again the next day, albeit with a later start at 10:30.
  10. Hey Shackman, my group is last off on the Bandon Back 9. We paced ourselves in the slowest group (3.5-4). Conceivably we could have those first groups off of BD #1 somewhat close to us when we tee off if they are rabbits, it will be 50 minutes after the 1st tee time when we start. I’m assuming they’ve got this really well planned out and we’ll just go as fast as we can. Can’t wait, heading West tomorrow afternoon!
  11. It really depends on your fitness level, so it's hard to answer that. Since anything after 36 is free, you can do a short loop or just play a few holes and head back if you aren't feeling it.
  12. This sums up my feelings on OM. If it were a 1-2 hour drive from me, I would play it all the time. I’ve enjoyed every round I’ve played there (even one in rain, wind, and hail). Would never skip it on a visit. It’s just 4th out of 4 (haven’t played SR yet, though I assume OM will be 5 out of 5 after that). I can certainly understand people having buyer’s remorse playing a round at OM when they could have played one of the others, but I personally have never felt that way.
  13. I should add that I’m a 9 myself, not exactly Tiger Woods here. Hopefully the 3:30-4 time is the right one for us. I just wanted to heed the advice not to be overly aggressive with the time estimates.
  14. I opted for the longest one (3:30-4 hours). My playing partner is a high handicapper and I didn't think it was reasonable or right to go with one of the faster times. We should hopefully be able to keep up at that pace and get all four rounds in. Obviously a lot depends on who we get paired with as well.
  15. Fired up, can't believe it's a week away! Hoping my back holds up and also fingers crossed on flights. Meeting up in person sounds great. My playing partner and I have an 11:50am tee time on Trails on Monday, but we should be able to get to the reception before 4:30pm. I'll be wearing a blue Jackie Robinson hat with a big #42 on it, can't miss me. Safe and smooth travels to all.
  16. +1 on the ball, good stuff. Lacrosse ball works as well.
  17. Looks like an amazing agenda. I'll be there for the Solstice myself so perhaps we may meet up along with the other WRXers. My #1 "don't leave home without it" item would be some type of Body Glide/Chamois Butt'r to avoid chafing and blisters on your feet. That's one item that (to my knowledge) they don't sell at the resort. Some of the other stuff like lip balm/sunscreen/Advil/etc. you can buy there. My feet especially blistered up bad on my first trip. Also I bring a Brazyn packable foam roller. I do think they have foam rollers in the gym at BD but I like the convenience of having it in the room. Also this is totally random but they only have Pepsi products on site. Not an issue for me but one of my buddies has picked up a 12-pack of Coke on the way to each subsequent trip.
  18. I've always done $120/round and $250 total if I play 36 in a day. This would be my portion of a double bag. Typically the caddie has preferred that we just pay for both rounds at the end of the day. This figure has always been greeted with thanks and my typical caddie accepts my requests when I visit, so I assume he's fine with it. I've given an extra $20 on days when I've really slapped it around out there. I don't know that I answered your question BG5 but I hope that is helpful.
  19. +1 on Alloro. Place was fantastic. Reservation recommended, they only have a couple of tables.
  20. Sounds great! Would definitely enjoy meeting up in person.
  21. Thanks bdt, great info! Can't believe it's less than 3 weeks away, fired up. First Solstice for my playing partner and I. I'm always a big Chamois Butt'r advocate at Bandon and will be well-stocked on that and Aleve/etc., last thing I want is any chafing, blisters or pain. Question for you as a repeat attendee: about what time is the "Welcome Reception" the night before? I've asked a couple of times and no one at the resort seemed to have the answer. We have a tee time at Trails about 12pm on Monday and just don't want to miss the reception & punchbowl event.
  22. I hear you Roody. It all depends how much you would use it. Harmon in MA is close to my office and I probably come pretty close to breaking even vs. paying by the bucket for range balls. Also, I don't have the hassle of buying the bucket/getting balls each time. Doesn't seem like much but it saves probably 5-10 minutes every visit.
  23. A little late to the party on this, but I've done the Chambers/Bandon combo twice and would definitely recommend it. Pacific Dunes is a better course than Chambers IMO, but there's something about playing a course that hosted a US Open (especially a pretty memorable one) that makes for a pretty big thrill. And it really is a great course in it's own right. Decided on a whim to take a caddie the second time I played Chambers and he was fantastic, a really positive guy who definitely made an enjoyable round even better. Did the drive once (pretty brutal) and the flight from SeaTac to Eugene on Alaska the other time, which was a total breeze (and inexpensive). Well worth it if your schedule allows.
  24. Harmon Golf outside of Boston (Rockland, MA) is very similar to what the OP suggests. There is a 9-hole course, but as crcraig mentioned it's a total slog (especially during COVID) and I personally have never paid the additional membership fee to have the use of the course, it's not worth it IMO. Harmon has a grass range, heated covered bays for bad weather/winter, a short course, wedge range, putting greens, and a gym. A really good value, but COVID has definitely made the place much more crowded: the range in particular gets really chewed up quickly these days. Also, several years ago they experimented with having higher-end balls at the range, but they began "disappearing" and they went back to the regular range balls. Really disappointing (but sadly not surprising) that some selfish people had to wreck that for everyone else.
  25. It’s the same price per bag ($100+tip) whether you have a single or double bag caddie. Many of the more experienced caddies will only double bag, especially during peak season.
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