It’s an early start and a long drive, but that doesn’t matter, come Saturday morning I’ll be heading back to one of my favorite places, Bandon Dunes, Ore.
Yes, it’s been a year since my last pilgrimage to the resort which now boasts four 18-hole tracks and a 13-hole par-3 course, and I’ve been thinking about it daily for months.
One of the great things about the resort is its webcam, so when you start daydreaming about playing up there, all you need to do is go onto their site and you can see what it’s like at that specific minute. Lately, surprisingly, it has been sunny. I’ve spotted guys in shorts, not a rain-suit in sight.
Of course, that will change, right now the weather forecast is calling for rain the day of arrival; so heavy that they have issued a warning.
Still, 2012 was the year when it rained so hard and the wind blew so strongly that the resort lost power and had to close the courses. I’m hopeful it doesn’t get to that stage this year; in fact, after that initial deluge of rain, it’s looking promising right now (fingers crossed).
As I think about heading back up there, and I speak about it with friends and family, they ask what it is that makes it so special? What makes me, and others, hold it in such high regard?
First off, whenever you arrive at the resort, in my case after that eight-hour drive, you park your car and you never have to get in it again for the remainder of your time there. Shuttle busses run 24/7 and they’re only a phone call and a couple of minutes away. Heading to the driving range, the shuttle will take you. How about dinner; the shuttle will take you to one of the many fantastic restaurants onsite.
There’s no issue getting back to your room after a few late night drinks, the shuttle will make sure you are returned safely. Speaking of drinks and food, the resort has you covered. It’s an amazing place to sit down, chat with your friends and discuss the shots that were hit that day.
There’s really only one reason to go to Bandon Dunes and that’s to play golf; there’s no spa or fancy shopping malls, the people that are there are there to play golf.
You hear the, “You should have seen the shot I hit on number four,” or, “How about the wind when you got out to the ocean on No. 5.”
Key holes are spoken about over a glass of wine and a comforting meal. It also has one of the most fantastic practice facilities around; you can go out to the range and hit practice balls until your heart’s content, or your hands start to bleed.
It’s one of the few places that regardless of weather, the driving range is always busy. Grab that raingear, put on your stocking cap and jump on a shuttle, you’re sure to find others up there that are just enjoying being outside searching for that perfect golf shot.