Coping with calm, feeling out the fog on peaceful Pacific Dunes at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
BANDON, OR – It doesn’t matter what links golf course you’re on, no matter how bad the weather is, a local will tell you, “Oh, this is nothing. Not like this one time…”
In Scotland, I’ve played in wind so bad my face went numb and I was hitting drives about 200 yards, and have been told in the clubhouse it’s actually kind of calm out, perfect scoring conditions, really.
Though Bandon Dunes has a couple hundred years of catching up to do, those who have been here since the first golf course opened in 1999 already have their tall tales. Director of Instruction Grant Rogers, infamous for his thirst to golf in borderline dangerous conditions, told one of his weather legends to me today:
Rogers recalls sitting in the Bandon Trails clubhouse, looking out the window and observing ferocious winds. He then told his friend as soon as the 18th hole’s flagstick flew out of the cup, it was a signal that it was time to tee it up.
“Sure enough, the pin shot straight out of the flagstick and flew into the green side bunker,” Rogers said, much to his delight. Within minutes, they were out on the first tee (it’s about now Bandon Dunes probably wants a disclaimer listed that in no way would they encourage their guests to emulate Rogers, much like I wouldn’t recommend anyone try and hit their putter 150 yards like he so often does, either).
Now, Rogers’ foul weather golf approach isn’t for everyone. In fact, he went on to say that after the round, his partner said he’d never play golf with him again.
In two days at Bandon Dunes, we haven’t seen the winds pick up yet, which is strange, because I’m told the summer is a windier time of year versus the spring or fall.
But instead of wind this week, what we witnessed on Wednesday was creepier. The fog rolled in. It began to settle in off the coast around the 9th hole on Pacific Dunes, and soon enough, you couldn’t see more than about 150 yards. On the 15th hole, I didn’t go for the green from 240 yards because I simply had no clue where it was.
I was hitting 9-irons into greens and having no idea where it landed.
As for talking playing conditions with locals, whether it’s in Bandon or Scotland, it’s probably a lost cause trying to impress anyone. Here’s my advice: never tell a member, especially in the UK, that you faced high winds on their golf course. They will almost guaranteed reply it was nothing but a light breeze.
I’m so sure of this, the next time I’m talking with some Scots, I’m going to tell them I played Royal Aberdeen in winds so strong that sheep from the neighboring farm were flying over my head and into the North Sea.
And their reply to me will be that they a few years back they witnessed a similar occurrence on their golf course - except they were bulls.
You can follow Brandon Tucker’s golf blog and more on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brandontucker or follow WorldGolf.com at Twitter.com/worldgolf . Have a golf travel question for Brandon? Email him by clicking here
|« Sneak peak at Bandon Dunes Resort's 4th golf course, Old MacDonald||A year later, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is a little different, a little better »|