Bandon Dunes revisited; SVGC, SMGA registration
Last year at this time, I wrote about how my wife thought I was crazy. I had driven eight hours in treacherous weather to a remote part of the Oregon coast to play golf.
As it turned out, the weather was worse than you can imagine and not only did I get ridiculously wet, but the last round of the tournament was washed out because the resort had no power and it was too dangerous to go out on the golf course.
So, when the invitation for this year’s tournament came in late September, I had to think back to what it was like last year and how difficult the conditions were, and I decided that there was no way I was going to miss this year’s event.
Once again, my wife thought I was crazy, but to me it was worth it. This year was going to be different.
First of all, it was the 10th anniversary of the event, and this would only be my sixth trip to the fantastic Bandon Dunes Resort for the event affectionately called “The Mayor’s Cup.” Secondly, I knew the weather this year was going to be totally different. Why?
Well, every year but one the weather here has been really bad – what do you expect from the Oregon coast in mid-January – but I always remembered the one fantastic year of weather, which just happened to be the last time I bought a new rain suit.
The rain suit I had the last couple of years was more like a sieve.
This year, I decided it was time to upgrade.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with this idea, as about 30 percent of the guys that go on the trip had also invested in new duds to keep them dry.
As it turned out, 10 days before departure I checked the weather website and, low and behold, the weather report showed dry conditions.
Now, having grown up in Northern Ireland, where the weather changes hour-to-hour, I knew not to get too excited about this potential tropical forecast. But, as the week drew closer, it really did look like things were going to hold out.
The eight-hour drive up had everything from fog to light mist to snow, but by the time we reached Bandon, the few clouds that were out had disappeared and the glorious blue sky was out.
Our first practice day went off without a hitch, but when we awoke on our second day, the ground was white.
Rain had been replaced with a very severe frost. How could this be, we were on the coast?
As I sat, waiting for our group to hear the latest update on when we were going to get to tee off, one member of the group said, “Well, at least it’s not raining.” But it was almost worse.
Here we were, sitting under perfectly blue skies without a cloud, or rain, in sight, and we still couldn’t play golf. Minutes became hours, and our original 9:30 a.m. starting time was now 1 p.m.
Now we were going to have to fight a completely different battle, one against the sun. Sunset was scheduled for shortly after 5 p.m.; we might be able to squeeze a little more out of that, but we were definitely behind the eight-ball.
Despite the frustration, everything changed when we ventured out on the golf course.
In the last few years, with the foul weather, it was really impossible to truly appreciate the stunning surroundings – the Pacific Ocean and the wooded links-land that separated the mainland to the sandy beaches – all views that make you stop and remember exactly why you get up at 1:30 a.m., drive through the night to get to a place that you and 36 other “Bandonistas” hold in a very special place.
Rather than spending 80 percent of the time fighting the elements and trying to make it through the round, this year’s Mayor’s Cup will be remembered for the stunning scenery, great comradery and for reminding you that there are very few places that are as beautiful and serene as a golf course under perfect conditions. Each of the six rounds were the type of days you don’t want to end. But alas, the sun set and the moon rose, and a good meal was followed by some tall stories.
It was only a matter of time before we could do it all over again. My wife may still think I’m crazy, and she’s probably somewhat right, but if this is what being crazy is all about, I’m more than happy to have that label.
Anyone interested in being a member of the Sonoma Valley Golf Club can contact Jack Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org, while for new membership in the Sonoma Men’s Golf Association, contact Tom Martin at email@example.com.