You probably know or have heard that Oregon's Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is a very special place.
I tell people all the time: "You need to go to truly understand it."
But I'm going to help everyone understand it...right here, right now.
I've put together a list of 10 things that make Bandon Dunes, well, Bandon Dunes.
If you've been there, you'll totally relate to these.
And if you haven't been, you'll instantly understand what everyone is raving about.
1. Meatloaf is a delicacy. You don't go to Bandon Dunes and fail to order Grandma's Meatloaf at McKee's Pub. It's just not done.
2. Rolling a pull cart across a green does not cause the Earth to explode. In fact, it's encouraged here. The pull carts at Bandon Dunes are equipped with wide wheels, which not only do no harm to the hardy fescue greens, they can actually help smooth them out.
3. You can literally use *any club* off the tee on par threes. Yes that includes your putter...
...and your driver.
4. Getting there is half the battle...and half the fun. From the East Coast, flying to Bandon via the small nearby North Bend Airport usually involves at least two stops on the way. But the last leg of the journey by air, your plane is bound to be full of fellow Bandon visitors, so the golf chatter and camaraderie gets started early. To the relief of many, United will start offering nonstop flights from Denver to North Bend starting July 1, 2015.
5. Band-Aids aren't for wimps...they're for warriors. Some resorts project a feeling of "all golf, all the time," but Bandon takes it to another level. With replay rounds costing approximately half-price (and any rounds beyond that being free), walking 36 a day here is the rule, not the exception. And with sunset as late as 9 pm in June, even 72 holes in a day is possible.
6. Short is sweet. Unlike many "short" courses that are pooh-poohed, the 13-hole par-3 Bandon Preserve gets much love and respect, partly because it was designed by the respected team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (who also designed Bandon Trails). Likewise, the Punchbowl putting course was designed by none other than Tom Doak, who also designed the celebrated Pacific Dunes.
7. You're going to get very familiar with the likes of "Foxy," "Juggy" and "Tour Rich." Many members of Bandon's vast caddie corps have nicknames, and standard practice is for a group staying multiple days to use the same caddie(s) for the entire trip. Some guests even tee it up with their caddies on their off-days over at the nearby (but unaffiliated) Bandon Crossings Golf Course.
8. One of the only reasons to leave...is for more pure golf "The Sheep Ranch," as it's called, is an absolute must-see and must-play. It is a rugged complex of 13 greens and numerous sprawling fairways, littered with bunkers, where it is customary to play golf in "HORSE" fashion - win a hole and pick the green you'll play to next. Six of those greens sit against the coastline itself.
9a. It's the only place in America where you've ever worn your rainsuit. Even the fairest "fair-weather golfers" make concessions at Bandon Dunes because the golf is just that good. Fifty degrees and raining sideways? Let's play 36.
9b. ...and it's the only place where you need a sweater in summer and shorts in winter. Strong summer winds can really cool things down. And in between winter's predictably gloomy and chilly stretches, the area sees its fair share of sunny days when the temperatures can reach into the 60s and beyond. Those are the days when playing here -- at significantly reduced rates -- feels like stealing.
10. Mike Keiser has ruined a lot of other golf destinations for you. The greeting card magnate succeeded in creating "golf as it was meant to be." So, when you go to other golf resorts, you naturally compare them to Bandon Dunes...and few measure up.
Have you been to Bandon Dunes and have other ideas for, "Things Only Bandon Dunes Golfers Would Understand"?
Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.