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Bandon Winter/Spring Reviews


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#1 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 01:18 AM

Yes. Yes. I'm loathe to start a new thread, but I really need to stop piggybacking on others, so here we are.
If others want to use this thread for throwing in their offseason reports/reviews/views/questions all the better :)

Anyways here we go, with my fifth trip in total three years and our groups second!
So our foursome's trip was an arrival day, three full days, and a leaving day over US Thanksgiving, which enabled me to get in 7 rounds (18/18/36/36/18) in quite flipping brilliant sunshine, with downright cold starts to the day and chilly endings. Ended up playing Bandon x 3, Old Mac x 2, Pacific and Trails once each.

Weather
Sun, sun, and more sun! A couple days had a few clouds, otherwise it was nothing but blue sky. Wind was negligible, 1-2 clubs, with the rare gust up to 3.
Frost delays occurred on some of the courses each day; however, they only impacted us directly once.
With the bright skies, we could play until 5:15 and not need night-vision goggles.

Course Conditions
Old Mac - as good as I've seen it in the last three years. True rolls, pacey enough for late November, fairways in good nick. Transition from fairways to greens made it really easy to do long putts.
Bandon - also as good as I've seen it. The nicest looking greens, also ran true, but could get a bump or two in the late afternoon. Apart from a couple collection areas on 1 and 10 the fairways were in good shape too. Unfortunately the transitions from fairways to greens was overly sandy and shaggy in a few spots so chip and runs or even regular 'ol pitches were the option instead of putts.
Trails - about the same as Feb, greens good; however, we did see the greens at their frozenish best for the first six holes as they didn't frost delay Trails even though the greens weren't thawed out.
Pacific - seemingly the perennial 4th choice in course conditions, due per usual the last couples years due to the spotty greens. They are simply poor.

Pace of Play
Mixed. We were the second group out as a twosome on Old Mac and finished in 3:20, but only after we finally played through the foursome in front, after waiting every shot from the 3rd tee to the 6th when we passed. We were the first group out on Bandon one morning as a foursome and after letting a threesome through who jetted off into the distance, we had a sub-4hr round. We had a couple 4 and a bit hour rounds, a fast for Trails 4hr 35min round, and then a slow 5hr 15min replay round on Bandon that we put down to the frost delay.
I do wonder when a place with a reputation like Bandon - in regard to getting around the course - cannot ensure consistent pace of play, what chance do our home courses have?

Food & Lodging
Typically no surprises. Both are solid, if unspectacular. Although I will say the turkey dinner in The Gallery for Thanksgiving was very tasty. And I see they have added some four pronged shoe dryers to the rooms since my last stay. Still apart from the convenience of being on site and have early access to teetimes, I am just as happy in town.

Golf
Yes, so how about the golf itself? Well funnily enough it is still pretty darn awesome. In a year where we also went to Kohler and I went to the UK and played 15 rounds there, the sheer joy to be had playing golf at the four courses at Bandon can hold its own with the joy found playing them game elsewhere.

I think Bandon Dunes has become my favorite course in North America over the years. Initially I preferred Pacific at the resort, but as the rounds are racked up it's definitely switched. Can three holes count as a 'stretch'? If so 4-6 is definitely among my favorite stretches of golf in the world. Turning the corner on 4, hitting your drive into the mouth of the funnel and then trying to find the green, and then that pulpit green with the amazing backdrop. Exhilarating stuff. Due to frost delays, it was playing back nine/front nine the whole time.

I look forward to starting each stay at Old Mac. I like being off in the corner of the property, with the opening tee away from the proshop and practice greens you find at the other courses. I like climbing the hill at 3 to be presented with the vast expanse of the course, with red flags as far as the eye can see. I like the sense you are playing only against your competitor and/or to your total score at the end of the round. Whether a hole is indicated as a par 3, 4, or 5 is more inconsequential here than most other courses you'll play. Frost delay led to some split tees (1 & 6)

Trails, with it's quirky, rolling start and finish, and fantastically framed holes in the trees in between, is the perfect compliment to the links golf found along the beach. The elevation changes and the rolling, heaving fairways are there in front of you, instead of the rolling, heaving waves you see in the ocean from the other courses. While quality throughout obviously, the mid-length par 4s on Trails are where it really shines.4, 6, 13, 15 could be dropped on pretty much any 'top whatever' course and that course wouldn't suffer.

Pacific may make use of it's seaside real estate better than any of the other courses at the resort with 11, 4, 13 and of course it's a superb track, but it still gets the least hot supermodel award from me. I really like the loops you can make out of the first twelve holes and if someone said 13 was the single 'best' hole at the resort I wouldn't try to dissuade them. Due to frost delays they had some spit tees (1 & 8) going a couple of the days.

Highs/Lows
- Obviously being with my best mates is the most important of the high points - or so I will tell them ;)
- The looooong drive home.

Bandon
- Driver/4 Hybrid/20ft putt for birdie on #7. As a drawer of the ball, that is not an easy green for me. 38/42 fairways, yes they are big and it wasn't that windy.
- Hosel rocket, then a one hop into the ocean on #6, leading to an up/down triple bogey, when the round was looking like my low of the week.

Old Mac
- Up and downing some really long 'two' putts. It's a real hoot taking only two strokes from 45 yards and some feet of elevation.
- Foursome (with a forecaddy) not volunteering to wave us through, until all seven of us were on the tee at the same time, despite an empty course in front.

Trails
- Running my par streak on the par 3 #12 to 4 rounds. This time with a knockdown driver from 237 yds and a two putt .
- Finding the bunker on #8 for a 4th straight round. One day I will hit a good tee shot there.

Pacific
- Lots of good driver/iron GIRs on the par 4s and sticking 17th green with a 5I for a basic two putt par, after having my balls roll off the back earlier this year and last year.
- The greens.

Pics? Surely everyone knows what Bandon looks like by now, but check out those waves!
Posted ImageDSCN2481 by dkb123, on Flickr

Posted ImageDSCN2457 by dkb123, on Flickr

Edited by duffer987, 06 December 2015 - 08:39 PM.

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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#2 Edaw68

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:55 AM

Good report. How bad were the greens on pacific? I was there last year and they looked ugly and splotchy but putted fine.  

Oh, and what rooms were you in? Are the shoe dryers everywhere?

Edited by Edaw68, 03 December 2015 - 08:19 AM.


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#3 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:04 PM

I stayed 1 night in the inn and 3 nights in the lodge, while the rest of the guys had all 4 nights in the lodge and those rooms (kings and singles) all had them. Last time when we were over in the lily pond rooms they didn't have them and we sure could have used them. Obviously this time it was sun sun sun, so no concern :)
Ya they still have the competing grasses splotchy thing going on, from a looks POV I don't care; however, they are slower than the rest and the ball can twitch offline and will do as it slows.
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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#4 QMany

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:05 PM

What were the temps?
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#5 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:14 PM

 QMany, on 03 December 2015 - 12:05 PM, said:

What were the temps?

Kansas like? ;)
Overnights were low 30s feeling like 20s, during the day think we touched the upper 40s/50 a couple times.
I wore long johns and had a Rite-Aid Capsicum heat patch on my back for the morning rounds. Hitting balls at the range at 7am was flipping freezing. Would hit 7 or 8 and that was it, as without walking it was impossible to warm up. But on the plus side, it made it feel absolutely balmy after say 10am or so.
Definitely prefer 35 and clear versus pretty much any temp and raining, for golf.

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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#6 spud3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:35 PM

Good report!  Any residual damage from the fire this past summer?  Curious to learn whether the Sheep Ranch was harmed.
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#7 buzlin

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:46 PM

Great report duff!  Played into frozen Trails green during an early December trip a couple years ago, cool to hear the loud crack through the trees on approach shots.

When we stayed at Chrome Lake in April they had the dryers in each room.

Crazy that PDs greens were bad, they were fantastic in April.  And Trails greens were awful.

Wonder how they'll be in February!?!?!

P.S.  "Wind was negligible, 1-2 clubs" haha, a quote only from someone who's been to Bandon a lot!

Edited by buzlin, 03 December 2015 - 03:48 PM.

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#8 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:47 PM

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 03:35 PM, said:

Good report!  Any residual damage from the fire this past summer?  Curious to learn whether the Sheep Ranch was harmed.

Oh ya, I should have taken a pic of it. You can see how it ran up the hill and towards the snack shack and 16th tee on Old Mac. It ran right up to the back of the tee on either side of the dirt road they use to drive out to the shack. It was interesting to see how the line of burnt gorse went right along bits that didn't burn at all.

I can see why they closed the course. The leftover damage runs all the way down the side of 16th fairway. Sheep Ranch looked fine, but obviously that is from the vantage point of no closer than 16.
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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#9 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:55 PM

 buzlin, on 03 December 2015 - 03:46 PM, said:

Great report duff!  Played into frozen Trails green during an early December trip a couple years ago, cool to hear the loud crack through the trees on approach shots.

When we stayed at Chrome Lake in April they had the dryers in each room.

Crazy that PDs greens were bad, they were fantastic in April.  And Trails greens were awful.

Wonder how they'll be in February!?!?!

P.S.  "Wind was negligible, 1-2 clubs" haha, a quote only from someone who's been to Bandon a lot!

Ha! On 6th tee, we all used the same tee peg hole previous groups had used (we were the 5th group out), like off mats at a driving range. 2nd green, 3rd - 5th were pretty much frozen. 5 is such a tricky green at the best of times, wedges were running out like approaches to par 5s in two :)

Pacific's aren't bad as such, but poor, says the pedant, when others ask what's the diff ;)
Playing on public greens where foot draggers, drought, and the like takes their toll, I always look forward to nice greens, so it's just a shame that one of the best courses we get to play, doesn't run true like the other 3. Some people are more gripey about it than others there, but it's interesting than most people you talk to while there have the same POV, that they are disappointing relative to the other 3. I reckon replay round players notice it more, than those who go out early.

Even with the greens caveat, I'd have liked to play Pacific a second time on our trip, but their setup for the frost delay made it tricky, as you had to wait for the 'nomads' who started on 8, to come back around and to play 1-7 before replay rounds could go out.

Edited by duffer987, 03 December 2015 - 04:01 PM.

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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#10 spud3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 04:07 PM

Also read that the Trails clubhouse has dropped the fish tacos from the menu.  True?

Hope not...

"take that, you miserable
little white swine!"

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#11 buzlin

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:02 PM

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 04:07 PM, said:

Also read that the Trails clubhouse has dropped the fish tacos from the menu.  True?

Hope not...
It's not on the current menu on their website.  They dropped their fish and chips too.................
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#12 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:02 PM

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 04:07 PM, said:

Also read that the Trails clubhouse has dropped the fish tacos from the menu.  True?

Hope not...

Oh! IDK. I saw them preparing the slider buns/patties on the grill, so I'd assume the tacos would be part of that same type of appies/shared plates food? Hmm, but maybe not anymore? I scooted off to replay Bandon, I know my friends were thumbs up for the tuna melt.
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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#13 Chris_NH

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:04 PM

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 04:07 PM, said:

Also read that the Trails clubhouse has dropped the fish tacos from the menu.  True?

Hope not...

That would be terrible, although not as bad as the main lodge's pub getting rid of the Dungeoness Crab Po'Boy I had my first trip there.

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#14 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:09 PM

 Chris_NH, on 03 December 2015 - 05:04 PM, said:

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 04:07 PM, said:

Also read that the Trails clubhouse has dropped the fish tacos from the menu.  True?

Hope not...

That would be terrible, although not as bad as the main lodge's pub getting rid of the Dungeoness Crab Po'Boy I had my first trip there.

I think the tainted crab in the Pacific this season has stuffed that option, as much as the restaurant's choice?
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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#15 buzlin

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:34 PM

This is a picture of 18 at BD from in front of the Gallery.  It was during that cold spell in December 2013.  We had frost delays until almost 11am each morning.

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Edited by buzlin, 03 December 2015 - 05:35 PM.

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#16 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:40 PM

That view looks awfully familiar :)
11am really would have been crap, we only had 90min delay till 10am.
Certainly not fun times for the pro shop staff when there's a frost delay - some me-more-important-than-you dude decided to let them know how the frost was ruining their plans to play 36 and wanted to know what they were going to do to fix it (facepalm)
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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#17 buzlin

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:43 PM

 duffer987, on 03 December 2015 - 05:40 PM, said:

That view looks awfully familiar :)
11am really would have been crap, we only had 90min delay till 10am.
Certainly not fun times for the pro shop staff when there's a frost delay - some me-more-important-than-you dude decided to let them know how the frost was ruining their plans to play 36 and wanted to know what they were going to do to fix it (facepalm)
That's the one thing you see at places like Bandon, the "i'm high powered, rich, and successful, and i'm used to telling people what to do and they listen" guy does show his face occasionally.
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#18 spud3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:47 PM

buzlin said:

This is a picture of 18 at BD from in front of the Gallery.  It was during that cold spell in December 2013.  We had frost delays until almost 11am each morning.

And, to me, this is the true risk of going to Bandon in the off-season.  As I've mentioned in other threads, frost delays at Bandon are not like frost delays at home.  When that happens here, half the tee sheet just cancels and they run everyone out on a shotgun start at 11.

At Bandon, no one cancels...

What I have thought of doing is making tee times a little later in the morning, like 10 AM, then checking the likelihood of a frost delay.  If it looks clear, I'll try to jockey my tee time earlier so I have enough time to get 36 in.  If there's much of a delay at all, there won't be enough time to get 36 in, and sometimes it's a close call to get 18 in.  And this obviously only works if you're going as a single.
"take that, you miserable
little white swine!"

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#19 spud3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:50 PM

 buzlin, on 03 December 2015 - 05:43 PM, said:

 duffer987, on 03 December 2015 - 05:40 PM, said:

That view looks awfully familiar :)
11am really would have been crap, we only had 90min delay till 10am.
Certainly not fun times for the pro shop staff when there's a frost delay - some me-more-important-than-you dude decided to let them know how the frost was ruining their plans to play 36 and wanted to know what they were going to do to fix it (facepalm)
That's the one thing you see at places like Bandon, the "i'm high powered, rich, and successful, and i'm used to telling people what to do and they listen" guy does show his face occasionally.

I haven't seen as much at Bandon as at other places.  I would think Pebble Beach would be the home of that kind of dick-ness...
"take that, you miserable
little white swine!"

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#20 spud3

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 06:13 PM

Is the practice area/range open during the frost delays?

"take that, you miserable
little white swine!"

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#21 buzlin

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 06:18 PM

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 06:13 PM, said:

Is the practice area/range open during the frost delays?
it definitely opens before the courses because it gets more sun, and they were willing to let you start hitting before it totally thawed, but it was for sure closed early in the morning.  you'll have time to warm up, but don't think we had more than 30-40 mins if I recall correctly.
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#22 duffer987

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 06:24 PM

 buzlin, on 03 December 2015 - 06:18 PM, said:

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 06:13 PM, said:

Is the practice area/range open during the frost delays?
it definitely opens before the courses because it gets more sun, and they were willing to let you start hitting before it totally thawed, but it was for sure closed early in the morning.  you'll have time to warm up, but don't think we had more than 30-40 mins if I recall correctly.

For us last week, it was always open from 7am at the latest (meaning we were never there earlier than 7), but they kept the practice green closed until someone on the grounds crew gave it the thumbs up. That range gets the crap kicked out of it, so I'm sure they are not that concerned and it's also somewhere to direct the traffic, as people waited for their rescheduled tee time.

Edited by duffer987, 03 December 2015 - 06:25 PM.

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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#23 Chris_NH

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 07:44 PM

 duffer987, on 03 December 2015 - 05:02 PM, said:

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 04:07 PM, said:

Also read that the Trails clubhouse has dropped the fish tacos from the menu.  True?

Hope not...

Oh! IDK. I saw them preparing the slider buns/patties on the grill, so I'd assume the tacos would be part of that same type of appies/shared plates food? Hmm, but maybe not anymore? I scooted off to replay Bandon, I know my friends were thumbs up for the tuna melt.

Looks like they're gone

http://www.bandondun...ch 10192015.pdf

http://www.bandondun...ch 10192015.pdf

I could still find at least four things to make me a VERY happy boy.  Mmmmm-poke!

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#24 Chris_NH

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 07:46 PM

 duffer987, on 03 December 2015 - 05:09 PM, said:

 Chris_NH, on 03 December 2015 - 05:04 PM, said:

 spud3, on 03 December 2015 - 04:07 PM, said:

Also read that the Trails clubhouse has dropped the fish tacos from the menu.  True?

Hope not...

That would be terrible, although not as bad as the main lodge's pub getting rid of the Dungeoness Crab Po'Boy I had my first trip there.

I think the tainted crab in the Pacific this season has stuffed that option, as much as the restaurant's choice?

Possibly, although it was there in March 2013, and not 2014 or 2015 - and I just noticed Trails' menu includes a different dish that includes Dungeness Crab.

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#25 mallrat

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 11:22 PM

When I was there last Feb, my caddy said there had been talk of letting the greens at Pac go full Poa because it has been a losing battle. Does it look like they still are losing the fight or in the process of letting them go full Poa?


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#26 duffer987

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 11:53 AM

 mallrat, on 03 December 2015 - 11:22 PM, said:

When I was there last Feb, my caddy said there had been talk of letting the greens at Pac go full Poa because it has been a losing battle. Does it look like they still are losing the fight or in the process of letting them go full Poa?

I couldn't say TBH - it still looked like too much of a mix to think they're still not trying to combat it - but they did remind me of the greens at Harding Park, before they ripped them up and replaced them.
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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#27 duffer987

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 12:21 PM

Had my first post-Bandon round this weekend... it can really take the shine off playing 'normal' courses.
Had an excellent start through 8, but then the lack of an ocean, bump & running, firm fairways etc... took their toll on my interest (or lack there of).
But post round looking for a pick-me-up coffee, I stumbled upon one of these! Sadly it made my day :)

I could pretend I was in Florence or Crescent City and on my way to Bandon:

Edited by duffer987, 07 December 2015 - 12:46 PM.

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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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#28 buzlin

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 01:12 PM

I feel you Duff.  There's something inspiring about the game when you're at Bandon.  It all feels flat afterward when you get back on your home course/s.  

Love that you even thought of posting this picture, you're a true bandon addict/romantic.  hahaha.

Edited by buzlin, 07 December 2015 - 01:15 PM.

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#29 Edaw68

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 05:00 PM

 duffer987, on 04 December 2015 - 11:53 AM, said:

 mallrat, on 03 December 2015 - 11:22 PM, said:

When I was there last Feb, my caddy said there had been talk of letting the greens at Pac go full Poa because it has been a losing battle. Does it look like they still are losing the fight or in the process of letting them go full Poa?

I couldn't say TBH - it still looked like too much of a mix to think they're still not trying to combat it - but they did remind me of the greens at Harding Park, before they ripped them up and replaced them.

I just got done playing Pacific Dunes, the greens weren't too bad other than a couple of cliffside ones. 11 and 12 had noticeable poa issues. I honestly didn't pay that much attention though since it was in the middle of an epic wind/rain storm...

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#30 duffer987

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 05:09 PM

 Edaw68, on 07 December 2015 - 05:00 PM, said:

 duffer987, on 04 December 2015 - 11:53 AM, said:

 mallrat, on 03 December 2015 - 11:22 PM, said:

When I was there last Feb, my caddy said there had been talk of letting the greens at Pac go full Poa because it has been a losing battle. Does it look like they still are losing the fight or in the process of letting them go full Poa?

I couldn't say TBH - it still looked like too much of a mix to think they're still not trying to combat it - but they did remind me of the greens at Harding Park, before they ripped them up and replaced them.

I just got done playing Pacific Dunes, the greens weren't too bad other than a couple of cliffside ones. 11 and 12 had noticeable poa issues. I honestly didn't pay that much attention though since it was in the middle of an epic wind/rain storm...

I got the warnings on my phone - Weatherbug app - 60mph gusts?!!!!

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"I don't agree 100% with your analysis.  Yes, it's nice to hole out, which I did twice during last weeks game, but didn't need either to win those holes or the match.   All that was needed was a tap in to win each hole.  Of course, I was aiming from 20yds and 15yds with the intent to put the ball in the hole, but the expectation was tap-ins." PT

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