The Maven

My nomad self just moved to the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A., and found a great course in Oregon. It is Ghost Creek at the Pumpkin Ridge facility in North Plains. Heavily wooded with subtlely difficult greens (they look flat darn it), this course is one of the highest ranked in the great Northwest. It looks easy from the tees but plays long and difficult. The course is conveniently located only 20 miles from Portland. Designed by Bob Cupp, it has a rating of 74.0/145 from the tips. Is that tough enough? There is a companion private course of equal reputation if membership is an interesting avenue.

MY EQUIPMENT: Adams (Tight Lies) woods-they're obsolete but play great
...............................Cleveland irons
...............................Ping sand wedge (an old Beryllium, I love it)
I wear Footjoy shoes and glove, Imperial headwear, Duckster jacket in inclement weather.
I use Titleist Pro V golf balls.
Never mind the umbrella (I have a 40 year old beauty), don't play in the rain. Play pool at the bar instead.

 Whoopee, I just purchased a nice Sun Mountain carrying bag. It's a logo bag so now everyone will know that I played the #1 public course in the U.S.A. (Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Oregon). What they won't know is how the course played me.

There is a great, novel golf venue available in Bandon, Oregon. You are going to be there anyway, playing those world famous courses in the area. "Old Bandon Golf Links", located on scenic Beach Loop Drive, has a nine hole course. They have 1890's replica golf clubs and balls available for play. It's a blast and it's a very difficult game. The fellow who runs the place, with his wife Kim (Troy Russell), knows what he is doing. He was with the Bandon Dunes Resort previously, as superintendent.They also have 1920's style clubs and balls for rent. Try it, you'll like it. Maybe the Puffins will be nesting at Elephant Rock!

I just played Crosswater in Sunriver, Oregon, which is south of Bend. It is a great design by Bob Cupp and the atmosphere reminds me of the great Colorado mountain courses. The greens weren't quite ready in June, so I recommend going a little later in the summer. I hear that they get them up to 13 or 14 on the Stimpmeter. Anyway, it's a toughie and a beauty. I couldn't even hit the last par 3 with driver. The big hitting young guys were even hitting 3 hybrid at it. Granted, we had a 25 mile-an hour wind against. The Sunriver Resort also boasts  John Fought and  Robert Trent Jones, Jr. layouts. Not shabby!

aha-I just figured out my whole golf problem. I fantasize which means I don't stay within my ability. I'll try to think of the perfect or professional shot. And then I'll try it! Like opening the blade all the way off of a pool table lie. Or I'll try to drill a 3 wood 225 out of a bunker. Or a 125 sand wedge just because there's a breeze behind me. Big number. Crooked number, because I can't recover from the fantasy shot. I can't believe that I can't play on TV.

Bandon Dunes Resort Nirvana:
Okay, when on the green hit it through the clown's mouth. Still, Old MacDonald is the cleanest, purest, biggest. Here there is no doubt that golf is the best game.
Bandon Trails is the hardest, therefor by golf criteria is the best. I've played it a hundred times and still take 45 putts. 7 great finishing holes!
Bandon Dunes, they took out the tree at 11, too bad. The course is becoming too open, but oh the 4th. and the 16th.! The best two scenics on the property.
Pacific Dunes (#4, #11 incredible views) is littered with mines for the average golfer. The toughest in wind, it squeezes one at every green when conditions are tough (as normal).
Toughest are 

BD 5, 7, 11

BT 5, 15, 16, 17

OM 4, 10, 11, 12, 16 (bogie hole), 18

PD 3, 7, 13, 16 (tricked up), 18

That is 3 par 3's and 3 par 5's for 6800+ yards and triple digits. Pacific's #13 and #18 also are on the most scenic list, as is B.D.'s #5. So devastating beauties.
So as you can see, if I want to score I go to "Dunes"   

During the bleakest (3 1/2 yr.) period of my life (except for my drunken years, which I don't remember) I was playing golf for free at Bandon Dunes. If you don't know that B.D. has now probably overtaken Pebble Beach as the go-to golf resort in the country, you haven't paid attention. So doesn't sound like it's been too bad a life to me, if that's as bad as it got. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I am a golf nut, but my cancer was diagnosed during this time. (So I missed 5 months of golf)! Gotta take the good with the bad. I wouldn't give up those nasty nasty Oregon coast weather and physically painful years for anything. I've probably played more golf at the 4 Bandon Dunes courses than anyone else on earth.

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