Dartmouth College




2009 Golf Trip - Final Report


Class of '68





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This is the second half of the Bandon Dunes trip report, the first having been sent to you from on-site on November 3.

On Wednesday morning, we were up and out early in order to make our early (8:10 am +) tee times, made early so that we can get a second 18 in later in the day. The weather is again clear, sunny and warm this morning, playing in shirtsleeve weather-what a treat we have had here so far. We play the Bandon Dunes course, which is excellent again. The first tee is right in front of the Lodge and Pro Shop, so there is an audience watching your first stroke of the round-always a bit unnerving, to say the least. We make it around in a bit over 4 hours, finishing around 12:30.

We have arranged to pick up pre-made sandwiches and a beverage at the snack window at the Lodge, just off the 18th green, then head to the parking lot to hop onto a special shuttle to take us to the Old MacDonald course at one end of the property. On the way there, our caddies tell us what they know about the new course, with only one of them having played the full 18. They all say the best holes are the final four (15-18), and they are as excited as we are to see the full course. We get off the shuttle and it is as is we are in another world. During the short ride over, the weather has changed from sunny, calm and warm to grey, cloudy, windy and quite chilly. The time is now a bit after 1pm, and sunset comes at 4:30, so we have a bit of a challenge to make it around the full 18. I rally our foursome by saying we are going to play haul-ass golf, as there is NO WAY I am not going to play the full 18, especially the last four holes. We charge around the course, and it is both visually and strategically phenomenal-making you think about golf while admiring the layout of each hole. This round will live in memory as being more than special, as the 12 of us had the course to ourselves-a bit of Heaven! And, trust me, the final four holes are that spectacular, unique to say the least.

After this day of golf, the hot shower felt great, and we then gathered back at the McKee’s pub for another wonderful meal again watching the world series. Sleep was very easy to find this night.

Thursday proved the weather point for this trip. There has been a cold front sitting far off shore all week, and it finally has made the move toward us, but with a supposed lead time of about 4 hours before things deteriorate. We are to play the Pacific Dunes course this morning, with early tee times again. As we approach the starter, he mentions that the last weather he heard says we may have just enough time to get the 18 in, but sprinkles begin as we tee off. Over the next three holes, the wind picks up significantly, the skies darken considerably and the threat comes closer. As we finish the third green my caddy points south to a rock formation sticking out from shore near the town of Bandon, and states “When the rocks disappear, we have five minutes before we get hit.” Making the walk to the fourth tee box, the rocks ominously disappear. Sure enough, almost five minutes later, the wind is blowing 40 miles per hour, the temperature has dropped and the rain is coming sideways and heavy. Within three minutes we are soaked. Our caddies say they have not seen conditions like this in over a year. We work our way through a few more holes, but finally, on the seventh tee, we ask where is the hole closest to the clubhouse. We are told that the seventh green is as close as we will be for the rest of the round. So, as we individually stop and think for a minute, we compare cold, heavy rain, heavy wind and soaked to a warm fire in a leather chair in a sheltered room-easy decision to make!

The group shrinks significantly today, as, following golf (or what we called golf today), eight of us head off on the journey home. The four of us who remain make plans to head into the town of Bandon, to a delightful Italian bistro and wine bar called Alloro, where we have a wonderful meal, all while watching the rain pour down in sheets outside.

Friday morning we are up and off to begin the journey home, having wrapped up an outstanding week of golf. Any trip like this ends with a whimper, as we know we must head home but are reluctant to leave-the sign of a great time.

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Last updated: Monday, September 26, 2011