The Pilgrimage: Oregon Golf Trip Recap

The trip is over. Six days, 12 rounds. Beautiful weather and great golf on some of the best courses in the world. I am a beaten man. I have played golf for 11 days in a row, logging in 19 rounds over that time frame. That’s a whole summer’s worth of golf within a week and a half. I think I’ll take a couple days off.

Bandon Dunes was everything I thought it would be and then some. Pacific Dunes is an amazing course. Mike Keiser really built something special...something that will stand up to the test of time. Plus, the guy owns a bunch of additional land. The word on the street is that the fourth course just southwest and inland of Pacific Dunes is in the initial stages (look for an announcement of the next architect soon), and the fifth course will occupy land that is further down the coast where the current ‘Sheep Ranch’ is located. That’s all I need...two more reasons to come back.

I didn’t score as well as I had hoped, especially considering I had been playing my best golf ever. Actually, I hit the ball remarkably well all week. It’s just that the holes at Bandon were so demanding. Any mis-hit and you were staring double bogey in the face. The greens were so fast and firm, it was difficult getting your approach shot close to the hole, putting a lot of pressure on your short game. Unfortunately, my short game was a C- all week. Still, I can’t complain about 21 birdies in six days.

One more might be reading this blog and asking where in the heck was this Jefe guy on the trip? Normally, Jefe is a regular on the annual golf trip, but there was really one and only one thing that could keep him away from the course. Jefe became a Dad for the first time last Tuesday and his daughter Olivia was born. Congratulations to Jefe and Natalie. It’s crazy to think that we planned this trip about a year ago and the baby was born on the exact day that we were playing Pacific Dunes and Bandon Dunes. Fatherhood is sure to put Jefe’s golf game into a tailspin, but it’ll all be worth it. And even though Jefe wasn’t with us, he was definitely there in spirit, and most of our conversations were spent making fun of him, so it’s almost like he was there. This daily blog was developed primarily to keep him in the loop.

With all of the changing dynamics of the annual golf buddy group, this might be the last trip we ever take together. Jimbo alluded to the fact that this might be his last hurrah...and later in the trip his level of frustration got to the point where he was talking about hanging it up all together (we’ve all been there). I hope it’s not true, but if it is, what a place to finish. But the fact is there’s still a bunch of courses that I need to play, and I only have so many years of good golf left in me. Maybe I should start taking application for future golf buddies...there’s a lot of golfers out there, but how many would or could keep up with the type of agenda we had this week. So if this blog really struck a chord with you, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. I’m always looking for fellow die-hards, especially if you’re in the Chicago area.

More pictures:

Jim holds his head high as the inaugural Colton Cup champion.

My nemesis...the 17th at Pacific Dunes. Impossible pin to get to with the gale-force wind. I started a 3-wood even further left than the edge of this picture and my ball sailed right over the flag.

Bunkers designed by Crenshaw, Coore...and Tang. Jimbo wants design credits for (accidentally) altering the look and feel of this bunker at the 13th at Bandon Trails. Ironically, two days later Ken hit his approach shot into Jimbo's footprint that was still there.

Jimbo shows off his Pac Dunes hat clip, proudly displayed as the President of the Fan Club.


  1. barry c said...:

    sounds like a great trip, Jim. I found myself looking forward to the daily update. I would definatly be interested in future trips.

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