2015 Golf Season in Review

For the first couple of years I wrote my blog, I did a write-up at the end of each year to put the season in to words, and to commend the courses I felt were the best that year in multiple categories.

As my site has continued to grow, this has become less academic, especially since I joined a private club a few years back and am obviously playing a much smaller sample of different courses each season.

It doesn’t hurt to write a little review, though, especially for my own pleasure to look back at in the future at what was the golf season of 2015.

The winter of 2015 extended a little longer than normal, with most golf courses opening in early April. This was a couple weeks earlier than in 2014, but months behind some years. I am already praying that 2016 will see course openings back in the February timeline again… Fingers crossed.

With last night’s first snow of the Winter, I figure this is as good a time as any to wrap things up… Not that I won’t be out there if/when the weather warms up and the grounds are healthy enough to play!

Most of my rounds this year were played at my home course of North Hills Country Club, which under the tutelage of Randy DuPont was in exceptional shape again all year round. My season was a roller coaster of sorts, starting out with an index of 12.1 and getting down to 9.0, shooting consistently for a while in the low 80’s.

Then I became a bad nine, right around September first, shooting 87-89 and losing money in my Saturday games. In games where the total monetary payout ranges from $3-5, I actually lost $45 one day. Ouch.

That is enough about my game, though – what about the courses from 2015?

2015: Best Public Golf Course Played

1. Pacific Dunes (OR)

Rated the number two public course by Golf Digest, number two modern course by GolfWeek, and number one public course in the country by Golf.com, Pacific Dunes is coastal golf at its very best. Designed by Tom Doak and opened in 2001, Pacific Dunes blends perfectly rugged Bandon landscape with ingenious hole layouts and execution.

Pacific Dunes hole 4

Pacific Dunes hole 4

Pacific Dunes Website

2. Streamsong, Red Course (FL)

Just a few years old, the Red course at Streamsong has already amassed an incredible number of accolades, including the number 18 public course in the United States.

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Golf Destination: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (OR)

It is the Mecca of the American golf world, and the formula that has inspired remote golf destination resorts across the globe.

It is the brainchild of Chicago businessman Mike Keiser, and the home of our nation’s number two, seven, twelve and fourteenth rated public golf courses and three of Golf.com’s top 100 courses in the world.

It is the only natural habitat of St. Andrews-like gorse bushes in the country, and the most true-to-form Scottish golf experience in the United States… And it is so much more.

It is Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, and it has been a bucket list trip of mine for years until it was green-lit to coincide with a business trip out to Portland this past month.

To say I was excited to finally check out Bandon Dunes is an overwhelming understatement. During the months leading up to my trip I thought about it on a daily, no hourly basis, and prayed that the actual experience would live up to my lofty expectations.

I had a two queen bed standard room booked in the Lily Pond Cottages on-site, and my friend Greg figured he’d throw out the possibility of joining in on the fun as he had a free flight available and vacation days from work – an epic buddies’ golf trip came together well.

Greg flew in to Portland on Saturday night, and we left the busy city on Sunday morning. Trip advisers say to take the long route to Bandon from Portland for the scenery, but we were not about to add more time to our already four-plus hour drive and risk getting there without time enough to settle in before our afternoon round at the country’s number two rated public golf course, Pacific Dunes.

It was 106 degrees when my flight landed in Portland the Friday before, and upper 90’s when we left on Sunday morning. The closer we got to Bandon, and to the southwest Oregon coast, the more the temperature dropped, until finally we arrived in Bandon around one in the afternoon with temperatures in the upper fifties. We drove with the windows down, anyways, and were happy to breathe in the crisp ocean air.

For at least an hour, it felt like we were on the verge of pulling in to the resort. It took a bit longer than expected, but we made it to Bandon Dunes and had enough time to both check in to our room and get to the course at Pacific Dunes with enough time to grab a drink and play a quick eighteen on the Punchbowl.

The lodging at Bandon Dunes is famous for being “Spartan” – there is no need to have lavish amenities that will keep visitors in their rooms when the entire resort is built around bringing people together outside, as well as to the many restaurants and bars located throughout the sprawling property.

The beauty of Bandon Dunes is out of doors, and while the lodging is everything visitors need, it does not promote them staying inside rather than enjoying the beauty of the resort and its courses.

That being said, our room was perfect. My bed was extremely comfortable – I melted in to it each night and literally fell asleep in seconds. Our room was spacious, the TV worked great and there was even a fireplace in the corner. The high ceilings are great, as was the view from the back balcony and the bathroom and large tiled shower (kind of dorm room like, but I liked it).

Standard 2-bed room in the Lily Pond cottages at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Standard 2-bed room in the Lily Pond cottages at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Standard 2-bed room in the Lily Pond cottages at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Standard 2-bed room in the Lily Pond cottages at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Standard 2-bed room in the Lily Pond cottages at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Standard 2-bed room in the Lily Pond cottages at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

I even spent fifteen minutes watching a beaver swimming around the lily pond outside the balcony during our first day there:

The lily pond from our balcony at the Lily Pond cottages at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

The lily pond from our balcony at the Lily Pond cottages at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Pacific Dunes (Sunday afternoon, Monday afternoon):

Pacific Dunes is the quintessential coastal links golf course, with fast running fairways that tower over the beaches and Pacific Ocean below. The winds can be extreme on the Oregon coast, and players are told to come prepared with clothing for all possible weather conditions.

We both wore long pants for our first round of the trip, and regretted it for the most part as the light winds – “This is a one in a thousand day,” we were told – and abundance of sunshine for the majority of our round would have kept us plenty warm and comfortable in shorts.

Sun and light winds on the 11th hole of our first round at Pacific Dunes

Sun and light winds on the 10th hole of our first round at Pacific Dunes

While the weather never turned bad on us during our stay, we did encounter something very characteristic to the Bandon Dunes golf complex during this round: Fog.

When the fog drifts in off the ocean from the north, it literally engulfs the courses. It crept in like a living entity during our back nine at Pacific Dunes, and eventually left us with an eerie environment where visibility left us virtually no landmarks to aim shots towards.

Hole 3: Par 5 (499/476/476/309/452)

Fog starting to roll in over the par four 13th at Pacific Dunes

“Hit over this divot with a draw,” our caddie Charlie would tell us. “Sure, I don’t see what else I’m going to aim at so I might as well aim three feet in front of my ball.”

“This is like bowling,” Greg said, “Just aim over a certain plank and trust it’ll end up in the right place.”

It was so foggy toward the end of our first round on Pacific Dunes that we could only tell when the seventeenth hole’s green was vacated because of the ghost-like outline of their caddies’ white outfits:

Hole 17: Par 3 (208/189/164/118/128)

Dense fog on the seventeenth hole of the same round at Pacific Dunes – zoom in and notice the outline of the group before ours’ caddie uniforms

“Blind tee shot” on the par five 18th at Pacific Dunes

WiscoGolfAddict golf course review of Pacific Dunes

Following a long day of travel and a walk of more than eight miles around Pacific Dunes, we were both exhausted on Sunday night but were motivated to experience as much as possible at Bandon Dunes.

Pacific Dunes’ clubhouse is home to the Pacific Grill, which is the resort’s fresh seafood and steaks restaurant. Without a reservation, we were not able to get a table so instead enjoyed a drink and perhaps the most magnificent sunset I have ever seen before heading back to the Lily Pond cottages:

Sunset over the Punch Bowl and Pacific Dunes GC outside the Pacific Grill at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Sunset over the Punch Bowl and Pacific Dunes GC outside the Pacific Grill at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Hunger had set in, and we called a free shuttle to bring us to McKee’s Pub, located just outside of the Bandon Dunes clubhouse and main lodge.

Famished, we started with a pepperoni pizza (Greg was ticked about that – I am an incredibly boring eater and there were certainly more interesting pizzas on the menu), which was served quickly while we waited for our main entrees. I got the cod fish fry, and Greg got Uncle Larry’s Burger, which consists of ground wagyu beef, bacon, grilled tomato, provolone, onion rings and fried egg.

Cod fish fry, fries and pizza at McKee's Pub

Cod fish fry, fries and pizza at McKee’s Pub

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Greg’s “Uncle Larry’s Burger” at McKee’s Pub – served with a side of fruit because he’s obviously very health-conscious

McKee’s hit the spot, and was reasonably priced. They also have an excellent selection of whiskeys, bourbons and scotches, which we would find to be a trend around the property.

McKee’s Pub Website

After dinner, we made our way next door to the Bunker Bar, located in the main lodge at Bandon Dunes. The Bunker Bar is a cigar-friendly pub in the basement with a hardcore ventilation system that makes it seem like it’s not. A free pool table is in the back of the room, and I took the opportunity to chat with some people from the East Coast about their trip while trying to “Hustle” them in games of 3-ball. Only problem is that I haven’t played in years, and lost every game. Gonna have to work on that.

The Bunker Bar also has card tables, a great bar with high-end booze, a ton of televisions, and small lounge areas for enjoying a Bandon Dunes branded cigar (or others) and a drink. I give this spot an easy A for ambiance and entertainment.

The Bunker Bar Website

Earlier than expected, it was time to try getting caught up on sleep before Monday morning’s 7:40 round at Bandon Dunes.

Bandon Dunes (Monday morning):

Our second round of the trip was on Monday morning at Bandon Dunes. The charter course for the resort was opened in 1999 to rave reviews, and the success of David McLay Kidd’s destination track led to the future openings of the rest of the courses and amenities onsite.

McLay Kidd’s track features some of the most exciting real estate on the entire property, both on the coast and inland including one of the world’s most acclaimed golf holes: The par four fourth, as well as the spectacular stretch from fifteen to seventeen.

The sixteenth on Bandon Dunes may be the most beautiful golf hole I have ever seen, as a drivable par four along the cliffs as shown below:

Hole 16: Par 4 (363/345/301/210/250)

Hole 16: Par 4 (363/345/301/210/250)

Coming back inland, the par four seventeenth manages to somehow be just as scenic:

Hole 17: Par 4 (389/375/329/244/324)

Hole 17: Par 4 (389/375/329/244/324)

WiscoGolfAddict golf course review of Bandon Dunes

We made reservations for the Pacific Grill on Monday night, which was probably my favorite meal of the entire trip.

White sturgeon entree at the Pacific Grill at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

My white sturgeon entree at the Pacific Grill at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Greg's meal at the Pacific Grill at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Greg’s meal at the Pacific Grill at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Pacific Grill Website

The Punchbowl (Monday afternoon):

Bandon Dunes is home to one of the most unique golfing experiences in North America: The Punchbowl. The Punchbowl is a 2.3-acre, 100,000 square foot putting surface set up differently on a daily basis.

Designed by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina, the “Course” features 18 white holes and 18 red holes. Each “Teeing area” has a tandem drink holder, and there are scorecards to promote competition.

Waitresses keep a keen eye on the Punchbowl area, and will bring drinks out to the course for players to enjoy. My favorite hole of the day during our round on the white course was a simple five-footer. Located on a plateau that had maybe six inches of level space on it, it was do or die. Greg and I were tied at the time, and he drained his first putt. Mine slipped by the left side, fell off the hill and rolled about 40 feet away. My next two tries did not get to the top of the hill, but my fourth went straight in.

Game. Set. Match.

The Punchbowl is a free amenity at Bandon Dunes, and for sure one not to be missed!

Panoramic view of the Punchbowl, and out over Pacific Dunes to the ocean

Panoramic view of the Punchbowl, and out over Pacific Dunes to the ocean

Old Macdonald (Tuesday morning):

When Doak and Urbina were awarded the bid for the Old Macdonald course design, the question was: “What would Charles Blair Macdonald have designed if he had this glorious Oregon canvas to work with?”

Similarly to the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York, Old Macdonald was developed as an homage to the greatest golf designs of probably the most legendary golf course design team in the history of the world: CB Macdonald and Seth Raynor.

While there are no true replica holes, a majority of them are based on the greatest features of some of Europe’s best golf courses. There is the “Road Hole,” for example, from St. Andrews Golf Links, “Sahara” (Royal St. Georges), “Hell Bunker” (St. Andrews) protecting the fairway on the sixth, a beautiful “Principle’s Nose” bunker fronting the first hole green, the “Strath Bunker” on the second/”Eden” hole, “Alps” (Prestwick), and of course fantastic redan, biarritz and punch bowl greens.

For having the largest average green complexes in the world, the putting surfaces at Old Macdonald are some of the hardest to hit! Huge swales, contours, false fronts and depressed collection areas, and of course intense winds make precision on approach shots key, and these greens that average nearly 15,000 square feet each are no virgin to three-, four- and more-putts.

Hole 6:

Hole 6: “Long” (Par 5, 555/520/467/354/401)

WiscoGolfAddict golf course review of Old Macdonald

Bandon Trails (Tuesday afternoon):

The final round of our trip was played at Bandon Trails. Inland from the Pacific Ocean, Bandon Trails is the perfect complement to the coastal and links courses onsite, and a terrific way to find a little shelter from the harsh coastal winds that gush across the property.

Our morning round at Old Macdonald was played in extreme winds, and they only picked up as the day wore on. Our scheduling was perfect, as the mature forests that surround the Trails made playing this mature, eight year old gem a pleasure without gale force winds.

When asking fellow golf writers about their “Rankings” of the four championship courses at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon Trails collected the most number ones, by far. It is easy to see why, too: It is what it is… Flawlessly.

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed this course to provide a world-class inland golf experience, and delivered it exceptionally.

Bandon Trails stands in stark contrast to the coastal links courses at Bandon Dunes, and stands alongside them in quality and playability.

Hole 5: Par 3 (133/124/114/104/104)

Hole 5: Par 3 (133/124/114/104/104)

WiscoGolfAddict golf course review of Bandon Trails

Following our round at Bandon Trails on Tuesday afternoon, we had one more piece of property at the resort to check out: It’s world-class par three course, Bandon Preserve.

Bandon Preserve uses some of the most prime real estate on the entire property in a 13-hole executive layout like nothing I’d ever seen before.

Coore/Crenshaw designed this course that opened in 2012 to have massive greens, and to provide a variety of one-shot challenges for settling bets and enjoying a leisurely walk with just a few clubs in hand. The views are breathtaking, and the quality of the golf on Bandon Preserve is wonderful.

This par three course has probably the best conditioned putting surfaces on the property, as I assume they are used less than the others and are well within ten years of the time they were laid down.

As Bandon Dunes’ Director of Communications, Michael Chupka, told us over lunch, at around ten years fescue greens start becoming more and more susceptible to attack by the poa annua that thrives so well in this type of coastal environment.

Evidence of this war against poa annua infestation can be seen a little on the other courses, and the staff works hard to stave it off and keep the wonderful fine fescue conditions that Bandon Dunes is so well known for.

The greens on Bandon Preserve roll magnificently, and the sand blowouts and visual lines were developed with great care.

The Preserve also plays a significant roll in the local economy and environment, as all of the course’s profits go to the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance to support conservation, the community and economy of the southern Oregon Coast.

I will admit that I expected the par three holes on the Preserve to be a little more varied in length – specifically, I was expecting there to be 175-225 yard holes. While this parcel of land does not allow for that kind of length, players can tee off from virtually anywhere (sans the greens, themselves), and can therefore make holes as short or long as they desire.

Bandon Preserve Hole 1

Bandon Preserve Hole 1

Bandon Preserve Hole 2

Bandon Preserve Hole 2

Bandon Preserve Hole 2

Bandon Preserve Hole 2

Bandon Preserve Hole 3

Bandon Preserve Hole 3

Bandon Preserve Hole 4

Bandon Preserve Hole 4

Bandon Preserve Hole 5

Bandon Preserve Hole 5

Bandon Preserve Hole 5

Bandon Preserve Hole 5

Bandon Preserve Hole 6

Bandon Preserve Hole 6

Bandon Preserve Hole 7

Bandon Preserve Hole 7

Bandon Preserve Hole 8

Bandon Preserve Hole 8

Bandon Preserve Hole 9

Bandon Preserve Hole 9

Bandon Preserve Hole 9

Bandon Preserve Hole 9

Bandon Preserve Hole 10

Bandon Preserve Hole 10

Bandon Preserve Hole 10

Bandon Preserve Hole 10

Bandon Preserve Hole 10

Bandon Preserve Hole 10

Bandon Preserve Hole 11

Bandon Preserve Hole 11

Bandon Preserve Hole 12

Bandon Preserve Hole 12

Bandon Preserve Hole 12

Bandon Preserve Hole 12

Bandon Preserve Hole 13

Bandon Preserve Hole 13

As a side note, make sure to get to each course a little early to check out the pro shops. All pro shops have different clothing manufacturers, so while one course will carry Adidas and Peter Millar, another will carry Ashworth and Nike, another Cutter & Buck and Oakley, etc. The logoed merchandise at all of them is great.

Golf enthusiasts the world over know Bandon Dunes as “The remote golf destination that is tough to get to but well worth the travel.” While that is true, significant measures have been taken recently to start cutting down on travel time, and in particular the amount of driving necessary after flying in.

United Airlines now offers direct flights from Denver International Airport to nearby Southwest Oregon Regional Airport (OTH in North Bend), which is just an easy 30-minute shuttle to the Bandon Dunes complex.

This new flight service (started in July, 2015) operates on Sundays and Wednesdays between July 1 and October 18, with arrival times in North Bend that allow for same-day golfing.

Bandon Dunes: Getting Here

Along with world-class golf, the customer service at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is tremendous. Every single person I spoke with onsite was a golfer, from the caddies to the bartenders, waitresses and shuttle drivers.

“What do you like best about working at Bandon Dunes?” I would ask them. “I get to play as much free golf as I want,” was a consistent answer, and also that Mike Keiser is a tremendous person to work for.

Unassuming and kind, he is well known to show up at the resort and sit at a table in one of the many restaurants while reading the paper and chatting with anyone who engages him. That’s a great kind of boss to work for, and I am sure a key element that has played in to the success of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and the happiness of his employees there.

A trip to Bandon Dunes is not cheap, as I am sure all golf enthusiasts already know, but it is a true bucket list golfing destination that does not disappoint.

One more present for you all: A surprise video journal of sorts that showed up on my computer when I got home and loaded everything to my laptop from my camera’s memory cards – this hodge podge of photos/videos works nicely to walk viewers through the Bandon experience:

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort Experience: A Video Journal

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort Website

The Bandon Dunes Golf Experience: Video Journal

Last night, I was looking through pictures of my trip from Bandon while putting together my golf destination review, and I came across two massive video files: One from Monday and one from Tuesday of my buddy Greg and my recent golf trip to Bandon Dunes.

Curious about what these could be (one was almost 4 gb and the other almost 2 gb), I clicked on the first one and was so excited to find out what it is: My Canon SX610HS digital camera, when in automatic mode, automatically creates a “Daily journal” that includes up to four seconds before each picture taken.

There has been no better way that I have seen to relive the moments of our epic golf trip than through these video files, and I thought it was so enjoyable that I converted both files to smaller videos so I can post them here. It does not include EVERY picture I took, I’m sure, as I took well over 200 per course, but it does provide a really interesting look at a walk-through of the four championship courses, as well as Bandon Preserve, at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Enjoy!

-Paul

Monday: Bandon Dunes (morning), followed by Pacific Dunes (afternoon):

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If the above video does not load, please use this link via YouTube

Tuesday: Old Macdonald (morning), Bandon Trails (afternoon), Bandon Preserve:

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If the above video does not load, please use this link via YouTube

My reviews for each of the Bandon courses can be found here:

Bandon Dunes

Bandon Trails

Old Macdonald

Pacific Dunes

Golf Course Review: Bandon Trails (OR)

Bandon Trails Course Rankings:

Golf Digest: #14 US public, #74 US top 100, #4 Oregon
GolfWeek: #21 US modern, #9 US resort, #4 Oregon
Golf.com: #13 US public, #49 US top 100, #4 Oregon

Designer: Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw (2005)

Bandon Trails, a consensus top 25 course in the country, is the perfect inland complement to the mecca of oceanfront golf courses at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

While it consistently is ranked slightly lower than the other three championship courses on the property (even though top 25 is certainly in an esteemed air!), it tends to rank very highly on property when discussed with golf enthusiasts who visit the resort.

“It’s like, ‘How many holes can you possibly walk along the Pacific Ocean?'” one golf writer told me. “It’s so nice to get out of the wind for a change,” another one said.

Certainly, as any staff member at Bandon Dunes will tell you, the ideal time to play the course at Bandon Trails is during the afternoon, when the winds are at their highest and the rich forests provide some shelter that is nowhere to be found on Pacific Dunes, Bandon Dunes or Old Macdonald.

“Bandon Trails was my favorite course at Bandon Dunes,” another writer told me, “Because it does what it does so extremely well. It is as good of a woodlands course as there is in the entire country!”

The world’s best golf course design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw knocked Bandon Trails out of the park. The canvas they were provided for this project featured massive rolling dunes, vast oceans of fescue-covered meadows and deep, dense forests.

Coore/Crenshaw designed Bandon Trails with exceptional hole variety, too, and managed to create a playing experience that is equal parts Streamsong, Pinehurst No. 2 and Sand Hills golf. The result of their creativity and expertise is simply stunning.

Bandon Trails leads off with an intimidating tee shot that is as exposed as any other hole on the course to the extreme winds that blow over the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. A slight leftward leaning par four with fescue everywhere, the first hole takes place on one of the highest points on the property, just outside the Bandon Trails clubhouse.

Hole 1: Par 4 (392/356/288/212/212)

Hole 1: Par 4 (392/356/288/212/212)

The natural swales of the first hole fairway at Bandon Trails:

Hole 1: Par 4 (392/356/288/212/212)

Hole 1: Par 4 (392/356/288/212/212)

A look back from beyond the pin on one:

Hole 1: Par 4 (392/356/288/212/212)

Hole 1: Par 4 (392/356/288/212/212)

The second hole provides the first “Wow” moment at Bandon Trails, with a highly elevated tee box that plays to a slightly hidden green downhill. The left side of the green is invisible from the tees, and expands a bit farther than expected in that direction.

Hole 2: Par 3 (214/166/142/84/84)

Hole 2: Par 3 (214/166/142/84/84)

Hole 2: Par 3 (214/166/142/84/84)

Hole 2: Par 3 (214/166/142/84/84)

The view back uphill from the second hole green:

Hole 2: Par 3 (214/166/142/84/84)

Hole 2: Par 3 (214/166/142/84/84)

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw did a fantastic job building a world-class inland course at a facility that is best known for its coastal golf, and the third hole is a terrific example of their handiwork.

Clearing the first traps is job one off the tee on three, and the best line is toward the right side of the fairway.

Hole 3: Par 5 (549/532/513/346/455)

Hole 3: Par 5 (549/532/513/346/455)

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Upcoming Golf Trip: Bandon Dunes (OR)

Bandon. Dunes.

For years, I have looked at the website (Bandon Dunes website) and dreamed of the day when I can get there and play golf at the Mecca of American public golf courses.

A lot of the guys at my home course North Hills Country Club have been to Bandon, and they all rave about how incredible the golf and resort is. I will get my opportunity to go there someday, I kept telling myself.

In a month and a half, I will finally have the chance to play and experience all that Bandon Dunes has to offer, and whoa am I excited!

Home to four of Golf Digest’s top fourteen tracks in the country, as well as arguably the greatest [13-hole] par three course anywhere, Bandon Dunes has built a massive reputation in the golf world since Mike Keiser introduced his original masterpiece in 1999. Bandon Dunes, in fact, beat out the Straits course at Whistling Straits for the best new upscale course in the country that year.

Home to the second-rated (behind only Pebble Beach) Pacific Dunes, seventh-rated Bandon Dunes, twelfth-rated Old MacDonald and fourteenth-rated Bandon Trails, it was the success that Keiser saw in this unbelievably remote destination on the southwestern Oregon coast that led him to create a similar upscale destination on the East Coast in Nova Scotia (Cabot Links), and next right here in my home state of Wisconsin with the highly talked-about Sand Valley project.

Pacific Dunes:
Designer: Tom Doak (2001)
Ranked #2 in Golf Digest’s 2015-16 America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses (#1: Pebble Beach Golf Links)
Ranked #2 in GolfWeek’s 2015 Best Modern Courses (#1: Sand Hills Golf Club)

13th hole at Pacific Dunes (courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

13th hole at Pacific Dunes (photo courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

Bandon Dunes:
Designer: David McLay Kidd (1999)
Ranked #7 in Golf Digest’s 2015-16 America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses
Ranked #8 in GolfWeek’s 2015 Best Modern Courses

15th hole at Bandon Dunes (courtesy of website)

15th hole at Bandon Dunes (photo courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

Old MacDonald:
Designers: Tom Doak, Jim Urbina (2010)
Ranked #12 in Golf Digest’s 2015-16 America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses
Ranked #5 in GolfWeek’s 2015 Best Modern Courses

6th hole at Old MacDonald (photo courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

6th hole at Old MacDonald (photo courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

Bandon Trails:
Designers: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (2005)
Ranked #14 in Golf Digest’s 2015-16 America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses
Ranked #21 in GolfWeek’s Best Modern Courses

14th hole at Bandon Trails (photo courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

14th hole at Bandon Trails (photo courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

Bandon Preserve:
Designer: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (2012)

2nd hole on the Bandon Preserve 13-hole par 3 course (photo courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

2nd hole on the Bandon Preserve 13-hole par 3 course (photo courtesy of Bandon Dunes website)

Sand Valley is slated to open to members (his 155 investors who contributed $50,000 apiece) in 2016, and to the general public in 2017. Keiser’s winning recipe of a steady dose of Coore/Crenshaw and McLay Kidd is the plan for the first two courses at this highly anticipated site with enough land for five to six world-class tracks.

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