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Postcard from the road: Bandon Dunes

I spent a crazy day heading across country to get to the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort this afternoon. Crazy as in Toronto, San Fran, North Bend, half hour drive. But it is worth it. The late afternoon saw me wander around with Jim Urbina, part of the design team with Tom Doak at Pacific Dunes and now at Old Macdonald, which will open 10 holes to some preview play on Wednesday.

Too tired to say too much other than Urbina is an intriguing, fascinating character and Old Macdonald looks like a fun course to play. Oh, and no, it isn’t a CB Macdonald replica course, but holes created in Macdonald’s style if he had been working on a piece of property on the West Coast of the U.S.

The Holes that Remain: With most of Old Macdonald finished, a handful of holes remain.

The Holes that Remain: With most of Old Macdonald finished, a handful of holes remain.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hey Robert

    Maybe you could clear something up for me. I was caddying at Bandon Dunes last year, and one of the othe caddies (a bit of a traditionalist) was spouting off to me (while he was drunk at the bar) about how one of CB MacDonald’s trademarks was that from the tee box you could never see a bunker…even though they were out there.

    He was pissed that apparently this was not going to be the case with the new course that was going to bear his name.

    After you’ve checked the course out maybe you could fill me in on this little design trait was actually one of CB’s and whether it’s been incorporated on Old Macdonald – I’m probably not going to be able to get back there myself to check it out this year.

    Enjoy your trip…which of the courses do you prefer by the way.

  • craig: your caddy buddy was wrong. #2 @ NGLA (Sahara).

    and you WILL be able to see bunkers from all sorts of places at Old Mac… including the Sahara (#3 @ OM)

  • Your travel adventure is why I haven’t been to Bandon – from Toronto you can be in Scotland quicker than Bandon and although Bandon has wonderful courses it doesn’t have the history and character of the Auld Country.

  • Craig: can’t say I have that much experience with Macdonald, aside from walking around National Golf Links. But I don’t think what you were told is true. The course, BTW, was very cool and is great for a debate on whether it was the best use of the property.

  • Robert:

    In regards to your comment above: “..and is great for a debate on whether it was the best use of the property.”

    Certainly, I wouldn’t read this as a ringing endorsement of Old MacDonald. Are you saying that the “concept” is flawed? or that perhaps the design isn’t as good as it could have been?

    Perhaps I am interpolating a bit too much into your post, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t read too much debate about Doak’s Pacific Dunes.

    I guess what I really want to hear is MORE about your visit!
    Cheers. MTP.

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