Published: October 19th 2008October 19th 2008
Golf As It Was Meant To Be
That is the theme here, and it is TRUE!!!!!
Another trip for golfers on the must do list are the fairly new golf courses in Bandon, Oregon. The resort and golf complex is owned by and developed by the American Greeting Card owner, from Chicago. In fact, we can see him fly in from Portland on his private helicopter when he visits Bandon. There are three courses here now, with a fourth being planned. The two courses on the ocean, Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes are the jewels of the Oregon coast. Both are already listed in the top 50 courses in the U.S.
My faithful friend Mike and I drove up to Bandon in his new Corvette. It is an 8 hour drive, up Interstate 5, then across to the city of Bandon. The other option is to fly to Portland, and take a puddle jumper to a city called North Bend, not far from Coos Bay. Coos Bay is the home of the late Olympic distance runner, Steve Prefontaine. I hear they are starting direct flights on Alaska Airlines from SFO soon.
We checked into the Lily Pond condos, basically two bedrooms with a sitting room and fireplace. The lodge also has rooms in
We had a two bedroom cottage off of the Lake.
the main building, much like a hotel, or condos that will handle an entire foursome or families. Little did we know what a good meal we had in store. Since Mike drove, I suggested and bought dinner at the Gallery Restaurant in the main lodge. When it was described as the finest in northwest cuisine, we thought it was all hype. But it turned out to be one of the best meals we have ever had. The rack of lamb was superb. The wine list was memorable, and the waitress a real delight.
We started out the next day with a tee time at Pacific Dunes, my favorite of the two. When they built the course, very little sand was moved. It is a very natural, links style course on the ocean, very much like those in Scotland. In fact, the gourse, a green. spiny, shrub that grabs golf balls like velcro, grows wild here, and in greater abundance than Scotland. Plus, golfers must walk and take a caddie. This is more like Scotland each minute!!!!
The round contained alot of good shots for both of us. Mike even birdied the first hole. It also contained a few
The dinig room was FANtastic!!!!!
that we have long since forgotten. But it was enjoyable, our caddie was a real treat, and 18 holes went by way too quickly. It is amazing what can happen in the right environment. We made some shots that just seemed impossible. And we made alot of one putts. It must have been the negative ions at the beach.
After this great round of golf, and a few beers in the clubhouse, we headed back to our condo and got ready for dinner. We were headed into the small fishing village of Bandon for a seafood dinner. The town is mostly a one street town with souvenir shops, and a few odd businesses. There are maybe a dozen seafood places dotting the shore. It is not a place to spend more than 30-45 minutes browsing or walking. The town closes up early.
After a very disappointing seafood dinner, we headed out for the proverbial ice cream cone, much like we did in Wisconsin. Bandon is not Sheboygan, and Oregon is not the dairy state of Wisconsin. The best we could do was a small grocery store with some ice cream bars. Two tired golfers made their way back to the resort.
The Bandon Dunes, original course, was on our schedule for the 2nd day. We arranged for the same caddy. They actually do help. I made alot of one putts that I would not normally make. It was worth the $50 each day for this advice. I also think walking the course provides a better feel for the course. Somehow, I am able to focus a little more than when I ride a cart.
Again, we had our moments in the spotlight, or as I say, a few moments in the penthouse vs the outhouse. It was a little easier course than Pacific, not that we scored that much better. But it had to end, gloriously as the day neared an end. We had to drive all the way back to California that night.
As we traced our journey back to I-5, we both realized what a special treat these golf courses presented. Their theme is "golf as it was meant to be". There are only 160 true links courses in the world. We just played two of the best. I would go back anytime.
If you think the trip is over, you must be kidding. A brand new red Corvette on I-5 must have a story or two in it. It goes this way. We are headed down a long downhill run on I-5 in Oregon, at about 100 mph, along with everybody else. As I doze off, Mike gives a yell. Oh xxxx, the highway patrol is right behind us. About 6 or 7 cars immediately slow down and begin to expect the worst. All of a sudden, the patrol car makes a U turn in the middle of I-5, and heads back north. When you live right, it pays off.
Another good place to stop on the way up or back is the Black Bear Diner. It is somewhere near Redding I think. We also have a new one in Walnut Creek, and we have been to one in Reno near the Nugget. They serve a very hearty breakfast (on the way up), and a gigantic burger (on the way back). Other than a stop for gas, eight hours later we were home. Another noteworthy golf trip in the books for all time.