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Bandon Dunes trip booked!


Gusset
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I'm meeting with my brother for 3 rounds between Christmas and New Year's. Sheep Ranch on Wednesday, Bandon Dunes on Thursday, and Pacific Dunes on Friday. This is the capper to my first year back playing consistently in over a decade, and it will be the first time I've ever taken a purpose-planned golf vacation. It will also be my first time on a links course.

I'm about a 5 hour drive from the resort, my brother is about 3. He's done winter trips to Bandon a number of times when the greens fees have bottomed out, and from the stories he's told me it definitely sounds like it'll be fun to join him. Pretty excited. Hopefully at least one round will be dry weather, but even if not, it's still worth doing. Only slightly dark cloud is that my right rotator cuff has been hurt since September, but I've still played a few rounds since then. I recently was finally able to get into physical therapy, and the therapist "gave me permission" to go.

My usual shots typically get up in the air more than most players, so keeping the ball down is probably going to be more difficult than I'd like, but I'm confident I'll have a great time anyway. I'm even excited about going to a driving range where the balls are stacked in a pyramid. It's the little things. 😉

 

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Hopefully, you will have great weather!!  I grew up in Corvallis and made many winter trips to the beaches.  The weather can be awful, but many times it was better than even in the summer!!  Temps are moderate and sometimes very little wind.  However, I do hope you have some wind... you need the "links" experience!  😂

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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4 hours ago, Gusset said:

I'm meeting with my brother for 3 rounds between Christmas and New Year's. Sheep Ranch on Wednesday, Bandon Dunes on Thursday, and Pacific Dunes on Friday. This is the capper to my first year back playing consistently in over a decade, and it will be the first time I've ever taken a purpose-planned golf vacation. It will also be my first time on a links course.

I'm about a 5 hour drive from the resort, my brother is about 3. He's done winter trips to Bandon a number of times when the greens fees have bottomed out, and from the stories he's told me it definitely sounds like it'll be fun to join him. Pretty excited. Hopefully at least one round will be dry weather, but even if not, it's still worth doing. Only slightly dark cloud is that my right rotator cuff has been hurt since September, but I've still played a few rounds since then. I recently was finally able to get into physical therapy, and the therapist "gave me permission" to go.

My usual shots typically get up in the air more than most players, so keeping the ball down is probably going to be more difficult than I'd like, but I'm confident I'll have a great time anyway. I'm even excited about going to a driving range where the balls are stacked in a pyramid. It's the little things. 😉

 

If you can, my FIL caddies there. His name is Jack

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Driver: :callaway-small:   Epic Max LS :Fuji:Ventus Black 6x 44.5"

2H: :callaway-small: Super Hybrid with Tensei Orange Pro Hyb 80 Stiff 

3H: :Sub70: 939X UST proforce V2 black F5 hybrid soft stepped

4-AW: th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long Unofficial Review

Wedges     :cleveland-small: Zipcore Tour Rack 54/full and 58/mid (review here)  (Backup 54*,60*: :ping-small:  S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up)

Putter: :scotty-cameron-1:2021 Phantom X5 35" (Backup: :1332069271_TommyArmour:TAIII #2  Review here: TAIII Impact #2 Putter )

Ball:  :titelist-small: proV1  (back up balls :titleist-small:ProV1 Left Dot, :Snell:MTB-X, :OnCore:Vero X1, :callaway-small:CS X LS)

 

 

 

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Was there in Nov and had a blast. We got lucky with the weather high 50's to mid 60's so it was shorts for me. Not to burst a bubble but the driving range balls are in a box that you pull out with your club sorry bud. BUT they are Pro V1's. 

Played 4 days, Trails, Sheep Ranch, Bandon, and then Pacific. Each is different and all are in excellent shape. 

 

Hope you get good weather have fun, drive safe. 

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Epic GBB driver 10.5 turned down to 9.5 Hzruds 6.5 smoke shaft. 

Titleist U15 1 iron 

Sub 70 699 Pro 4-AW 

Sub 70 3 utility 19*

Callaway 56 and 58 wedge. 

OG White Hot #1 putter

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I was there for one round earlier this year. My highlight was holes 10 and 11, the two par 3s in a row. Made par on both. 160 yard hole followed by a 130 yard hole, both playing like 180 with the wind. Had to hit a 5 iron on both. Feels nuts hitting a 5 iron on a 130 yard hole but the ball goes into the air and it seems like it hit a while because of the wind. 

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Follow my golf journey to break into the 80s

Tester for the Titleist TSi Driver

Spring 2020 MGS Tester for the Fujikura Motore X Shaft

Updated 11/13/2021
Driver:titelist-small: TSi 2 - Autoflex
Fairway Woods:titelist-small: TSi2 3 wood, 5 wood - Aldila Ascent 60 S
Irons:titelist-small: T300 5 to SW - LAGP AXS Red 85 Stiff double soft stepped
Wedges:Miura: K-grind 2.0 58 wedge - Xcaliber RT Spin Wedge 100
Putter:  SIK DW Armlock - LAGP 180 armlock shaft

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Was there a few years ago in April of 2019.  Played Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, and Bandon Preserve.  Do not sleep on the Par 3 Preserve course!  I did not see it on your list, but it was well worth it and I had as much fun on that course as I did on the other two.  Had cooler weather during my trip in upper 40's with sideways rain coming in at us and still had a blast.  Played really tough due to conditions, but am trying to find a way back as soon as possible.  For reference I was clubbing up nearly 3 clubs at times.   Usually a 155 shot is a 9 iron for me, but I was routinely hitting a 7 and even a 6 iron.

 

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Driver:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngMavrik Sub Zero 9* (Set to 10) Ventus Blue 6X

2 Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSI3 Hybrid Tensei Blue 80 X (17.25*)

3 Hybrid :titelist-small: 818 H2 Hybrid Hzrdus RDX Black 6.5 (20.5*)

4 Iron -  :titelist-small: T200 4 Iron Graphite Design Tour AD IZ X Hybrid Shaft

Irons 5-PW:  :titelist-small: T100-S 5 - GW KBS Tour 130 X

Gap/Sand Wedge:  :titelist-small: Vokey SM6 49*  SM8 54* 

Lob Wedge:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngJaws 5 Wedge 58* DG Tour Issue Stiff

Putter:   :scotty-small: Phantom 5.5 34"      Pro Platinum Newport 2 35"      Taylormade Tour Black Spider 34"

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  • 3 weeks later...

(full disclosure: I know that none of what I'm about to say is news to most of the folks here, and I wasn't surprised by what I experienced, either, having read up and watched any number of videos about this place...but this was my first time playing this sort of golf, so please indulge me. 🙂. )

Just arrived home a couple of days ago. Wow, what an amazing time! I played about like I expected: some good shots and holes, some that I'm anxious to play again, and some outright whiffs. Overall scores I won't be bragging about. But the truth is that the beautiful courses, amazing views, the experience of playing links golf, and the overall vibe here couldn't be overshadowed by some poor shots and scores. I really liked having to approach things differently than on my usual inland courses.

It's such a different game. I expected that, though I could not really internalize it until experiencing it. The tight fairways really magnify contact issues on both the approach and short game, and wearing a shoulder brace to limit my backswing and follow through the whole time didn't help (right rotator cuff issue). Plus the courses are just tough- so many blind tee shots, undulated fairways and greens, the wind, etc. But while my approach and short games weren't always up to the challenge, at least my tee shot game on most of the par 4 & 5 holes was pretty reliable...I think I only put two balls into the gorse, and hit just one fairway bunker the whole trip, so I'm calling that a win.

On a lot of approach shots and chips, though, when I managed to correctly select a club that would get the distance I was targeting (the brace made distance regulation difficult), I simply couldn't hold the green. Then there was Pacific Dunes #17, when we had a one-hole monsoon roll in just as we walked up to the tee. Went from calm to pouring rain and 30+mph wind left to right and slightly in our faces, about 190 to the pin. Couldn't play under the wind there, so we all ended up attempting 50-yard wind-slices. Great fun!

A few highlights:

Bandon Dunes #15: Par 3, ~140 yards dead into the wind, bunker of death right of the green and ocean to the left. I managed to bounce a low 3/4 4-iron off the hill running down the left side of the "fairway" and run it up on the green.

Pacific Dunes #13: Par 4, #2 handicap hole, dead into a 30mph wind, so too long for me to reach in regulation. Good tee shot, if a little short. On the second shot I managed to keep a 3-hybrid low, to within 40 yards in front and maybe 15-20 feet below the green. 8-iron bump/run under the wind to within 20', two putt for bogey. Sounds weird to say this about a bogey, but this might have been the most satisfying hole I played throughout the whole trip.

Pacific Dunes #14: short par 3. I hit my tee shot fat. It went maybe 60 yards and ended up on the "cart" path. Dropped next to the path, tried for a chip to land on the front of the green. I pulled it off and leveraged a bit of luck on top of that- landed up front and released toward the hole, stopped 2' short for an "easy" par.

Sheep Ranch #18: short par 5. I had a string of bad shots going when I stepped up to the tee. I turned things around with a good tee shot. For the second shot, the pin placement and bunkers scared me, so I laid up with a 6 iron. Ended up about 55 from the pin, slightly off the fairway in the right rough. The ball was on a lie that's pretty similar to what I'm used to playing, and I have a 50 yard shot in my repertoire with my 52-degree wedge. I executed it well. The ball still rolled out to 20 feet past the pin, but the 2-putt par was a nice finish to the round.

I got a real kick out of putting from 30 yards off the green at times. Tough greens! I managed to sink a number 8-15 footers, but I also had a lot of 3-putts as well. I somehow avoided having any putts roll off a ridge and end up 20 yards off the green, though my playing partners did on a couple of occasions.

It's an opinion that will probably change with future visits, because there are sooooo many beautiful holes and views to be had here, but my favorite holes might have been Sheep Ranch #6 (pic below, my brother teeing off), and Bandon Dunes #16 (pic below, me on the tee), just based on the view...turns out I'm a sucker for a hole that follows the coastline/cliff.

I can't wait to go back and do it again.

 

Bandon Dunes 16- Victor.JPG

Sheep Ranch 6 - Eric live.JPG

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3 hours ago, Gusset said:

(full disclosure: I know that none of what I'm about to say is news to most of the folks here, and I wasn't surprised by what I experienced, either, having read up and watched any number of videos about this place...but this was my first time playing this sort of golf, so please indulge me. 🙂. )

Just arrived home a couple of days ago. Wow, what an amazing time! I played about like I expected: some good shots and holes, some that I'm anxious to play again, and some outright whiffs. Overall scores I won't be bragging about. But the truth is that the beautiful courses, amazing views, the experience of playing links golf, and the overall vibe here couldn't be overshadowed by some poor shots and scores. I really liked having to approach things differently than on my usual inland courses.

It's such a different game. I expected that, though I could not really internalize it until experiencing it. The tight fairways really magnify contact issues on both the approach and short game, and wearing a shoulder brace to limit my backswing and follow through the whole time didn't help (right rotator cuff issue). Plus the courses are just tough- so many blind tee shots, undulated fairways and greens, the wind, etc. But while my approach and short games weren't always up to the challenge, at least my tee shot game on most of the par 4 & 5 holes was pretty reliable...I think I only put two balls into the gorse, and hit just one fairway bunker the whole trip, so I'm calling that a win.

On a lot of approach shots and chips, though, when I managed to correctly select a club that would get the distance I was targeting (the brace made distance regulation difficult), I simply couldn't hold the green. Then there was Pacific Dunes #17, when we had a one-hole monsoon roll in just as we walked up to the tee. Went from calm to pouring rain and 30+mph wind left to right and slightly in our faces, about 190 to the pin. Couldn't play under the wind there, so we all ended up attempting 50-yard wind-slices. Great fun!

A few highlights:

Bandon Dunes #15: Par 3, ~140 yards dead into the wind, bunker of death right of the green and ocean to the left. I managed to bounce a low 3/4 4-iron off the hill running down the left side of the "fairway" and run it up on the green.

Pacific Dunes #13: Par 4, #2 handicap hole, dead into a 30mph wind, so too long for me to reach in regulation. Good tee shot, if a little short. On the second shot I managed to keep a 3-hybrid low, to within 40 yards in front and maybe 15-20 feet below the green. 8-iron bump/run under the wind to within 20', two putt for bogey. Sounds weird to say this about a bogey, but this might have been the most satisfying hole I played throughout the whole trip.

Pacific Dunes #14: short par 3. I hit my tee shot fat. It went maybe 60 yards and ended up on the "cart" path. Dropped next to the path, tried for a chip to land on the front of the green. I pulled it off and leveraged a bit of luck on top of that- landed up front and released toward the hole, stopped 2' short for an "easy" par.

Sheep Ranch #18: short par 5. I had a string of bad shots going when I stepped up to the tee. I turned things around with a good tee shot. For the second shot, the pin placement and bunkers scared me, so I laid up with a 6 iron. Ended up about 55 from the pin, slightly off the fairway in the right rough. The ball was on a lie that's pretty similar to what I'm used to playing, and I have a 50 yard shot in my repertoire with my 52-degree wedge. I executed it well. The ball still rolled out to 20 feet past the pin, but the 2-putt par was a nice finish to the round.

I got a real kick out of putting from 30 yards off the green at times. Tough greens! I managed to sink a number 8-15 footers, but I also had a lot of 3-putts as well. I somehow avoided having any putts roll off a ridge and end up 20 yards off the green, though my playing partners did on a couple of occasions.

It's an opinion that will probably change with future visits, because there are sooooo many beautiful holes and views to be had here, but my favorite holes might have been Sheep Ranch #6 (pic below, my brother teeing off), and Bandon Dunes #16 (pic below, me on the tee), just based on the view...turns out I'm a sucker for a hole that follows the coastline/cliff.

I can't wait to go back and do it again.

 

Bandon Dunes 16- Victor.JPG

Sheep Ranch 6 - Eric live.JPG

Congratulations!!  Wonderful memories were made.  It's a special place... I have to go back.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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