Coming from Boston, my first trip to Bandon Dunes Resort involved a travel time slightly greater than would a trip to the courses outside Edinborough; once there, however, it was immediately evident that it would be worth the wait. The resort property is gorgeous, abutting the southern Oregon coast, and the sound of the pounding surf is evident at all times, no matter which of the four beautiful links courses or equally stunning 13 hole par three track you happen to be playing. The check-in process was painless and the accommodations (we stayed at one of the Lilly Pond cottages a lob wedge from the Inn and an 8-iron from the Lodge. We had arranged our tee times by phone and are starting times were printed out and given to us at check-in. The big news, however, is not the unobtrusive but helpful service, the excellent food or the excellent bar service; it is the golf, which is like being transported to Scotland and playing on the Old Sod. Our first course was the original on the property, a David Kidd design after which the resort is named: Bandon Dunes. The first thing I noticed was the subtlety of the hole plan. Unlike most parkland courses in the U.S.d in which both the fairway and the trouble are readily apparent at first glance, the divisions between fairway and rough and the direction one's ball is likely to bounce are not immediately evident. And bounce they will! Both fairways and greens are exceedingly firm and the bump and run is a useful tool to have in your armamentarium. We played from the Green tees (6221 yards, par 72) and it was all we wanted. The course provides excellent caddies and it is a walking course. In four days, we saw one cart, which was allowed to an elderly player whose arthritis would otherwise have prohibited him from playing. The standard tariff for caddies is $80-100 and they earn their money. The other courses are Pacific Dunes (my personal favorite and arguably the most beautiful) a Tom Doak masterpiece, Bandon Trails (more inland but still clearly a links course) by Coore-Crenshaw and the newest, Old Macdonald, a Doak-Urbina design which incorporates several memorable hole designs based on C.B. Macdonald originals, including the 9th at the Yale course, the 17th at Prestwick and the 17th (Road Hole) at St. Andrew's. We were tired but content when we trudged up the 18th fairway on the last day. All in our group felt we had had one of golf's memorable eperiences.
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