A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of spending 5 days walking the fairways of the greatest golf resort in North America with some good friends and fellow golf media types. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is located in southwest Oregon along the Pacific Ocean, about 250 miles south of Portland and 500 miles north San Francisco. It’s quite remote, but that’s all part of the Bandon experience.
We’ll be talking about this American golf mecca much more in the coming weeks, but for now, let’s have some fun with some of the numbers from my recent trip:
Bandon Dunes – By The Numbers
Miles Flown: 10,308 (Orlando to Portland, Portland to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Orlando)
Courses Played: 5 – Bandon Dunes, Bandon Trails, Bandon Preserve (Par 3 course), Pacific Dunes & Old Macdonald. Each course has its own unique character and feel, and they are all among the best layouts in the country.
Rounds Played: 6 – We were scheduled to play 36 a day, plus 18 on the first and last day of our trip, but my blister issues forced me to sit out a couple of rounds. In fact, we all decided to skip the Saturday morning round to sleep in a bit and enjoy a hearty breakfast in the main lodge.
Total Shots Hit: About 450 – To be honest, I didn’t keep score most of the time. I had a good idea of where I stood relative to par, but there’s something about walking some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll ever see on a golf course that makes people stop caring about their score.
Golf Balls Lost: 7 – Not bad considering the myriad ways to lose golf balls at Bandon Dunes.
Miles Driven: Just over 550 – Our rental car was a sweet fully loaded Volvo XC90.
Footsteps Taken: Just under 108,000 – Thanks to the orthotic insoles I bought, my plantar fasciitis didn’t act up too much.
Miles Walked: 45.5 – I haven’t walked that much since my early twenties when I spent many a weekend backpacking in the mountains of New Hampshire.
Pictures Taken: 124 – As a group, the four of us took over 1400 photos. I was shooting on my iPhone so I didn’t take as many as the others and instead decided to focus on quality over quantity. I would like to purchase a good quality point-and-shoot camera that uses the RAW format and can shoot HD video for future trips.
Longest Drive: 391 yards – 7th hole, Pacific Dunes. Yes, it was downwind! I crushed it with the new Cobra F8+ driver, and with the help of a strong tailwind it rolled out to the end of the fairway on the 464-yard par 4. I was left with just a lob wedge to the green.
Shortest Drive: About 188 Yards – 7th Hole, Old Macdonald Course into a 40 mph wind. I smoked it too, but Mother Nature doesn’t play games.
Longest Putt: 103 Yards – Tee shot to 12 feet on the Par Three 13th hole of the Bandon Preserve Course. This downhill par-3 was designed to be playable on the ground, and it’s sort of an unwritten rule that you are supposed to play the hole with a putter. Mission accomplished.
Strongest Wind Speed: 40 mph – We played Old MacDonald in the biggest winds of the week. The starter said it had been the windiest day of the summer so far, as evidenced by that 188-yard drive on the 7th hole!
Average Wind Speed: 22-28 mph – The wind always blows at Bandon, especially in the afternoon. The ability to hit a knockdown shot or “stinger” is critical if you want to score well at Bandon Dunes. Playing early in the morning helps, but it’s only a matter of time before the wind starts blowing.
Number of Holes: 85 – There are actually 94 holes if you count Shorty’s, the par 3 course attached to the practice facility.
Number of Bunkers: Too many to count! Several bunkers are so severe that they even have stairs to enter and exit.
Grandma’s Meatloaf Eaten: 2 – Don’t look for health foods here. Bandon is a meat & potatoes kind of place where weary golfers load up on carbs and protein in order to summon the energy to walk 36 holes a day.
Number of Times I Said Wow: At least a dozen times – Every course offers unforgettable views and scenic vistas.
Number of Blisters Treated: 1 – I was lucky. It’s almost unavoidable when walking this much. Take care of your feet!
Driver Shafts Broken: 1 – The bad news is it was the fantastic TPT Golf 15 LKP-MT-SW shaft that’s in my gamer Ping G400 driver. The good news is, I brought a pretty darn good backup driver – The Cobra King F8+
Pairs of Shoes Worn: 2 – I started on the first day wearing my new Puma Ignite PWRADAPT leather shoes. They look really sharp and have a good blend of style, traction, and comfort. For the rest of the trip, I switched to my FootJoy Superlites XP because they seemed to fit a bit better with the bulky orthotic insoles I had to wear.
Memories Made: Countless. Bandon Dunes is a special place, and spending a week there is a privilege I’ll not soon forget. Returning to Florida after five days of spectacular links golf on the shores of southwest Oregon is a big letdown for sure, but I’ll have great memories of time spent with good buddies playing the game the way it was meant to be played. Maybe someday I’ll get to return and make some new memories, and maybe I’ll finally figure out how to hit that hybrid-chip shot from around the greens.