Sunday, April 24, 2005

The hype for Bandon Trails builds....first round of the year...to Pine Valley I will go!

  • The buzz around Bandon Trails , the third course at the amazing Bandon Dunes resort near Bandon, Oregon, is being heard louder and louder every day.
    While the course, a design by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, has yet to officially open, they've had tons of reporters through already, including the likes of Golfweek's cantankerous Brad Klein. He apparently approves. The photos make the place look like a nice compliment to the two existing courses -- Tom Doak's Pacific Dunes and David McLay-Kidd's Bandon Dunes. The main difference is that the Coore/Crenshaw course doesn't touch the coastline the way the other two do. For the third course, an inland one at that, it is amazing to hear the hype. Maybe Bandon Trails will be that good. Time will tell -- it officially opens at the start of June.
  • Off to Pine Valley! A very, very kind golf loving associate has offered me a return visit to see Philly's wonderful Merion and then head the next day to see Pine Valley for a second time. I went to both places a couple of years ago with my good friends from Carrick Associates , Ian Andrew and Cam Tyers. The return visit is in June and the difference is that, instead of playing on maintenance Monday and having to avoid the clubhouse, I assume I'll get a chance to actually see the whole property. Should be amazing!
  • Played my first full round of golf on Friday at Eagles Nest Golf Club. In fact, I played 36 holes -- 18 of which were pretty good and 18 of which showed that I can't putt or chip at the moment. On the positive side, I made a bunch of birdies, including back to back on the final nine. I also had a chance to play Callaway's newly revamped Hex ball, which I really enjoyed, and nine holes with Nike's much-hyped Platinum Ball. I can't say I was really that impressed with the Platinum ball, though it surely travels a long way off the clubface. I hit one shot almost 340 yards with it, slinging a high draw around the corner of the 14th hole. However, I didn't think the ball had great feel around the greens. I also played a couple of holes with Maxfli's new BlackMax ball, but didn't really get a sense of it.

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