Home, sweet home for the week. Chrome Lake cottages.
A chilly tee-off on Bandon Trails Monday morning for Butch Sheffield, Matt Crowther,
David-Dore-Smith and Matthew Tacilauskas. That was the last we saw of fog.
Dan Meersman says hey to Mia, Ken Nice's constant companion.
Bandon Trails clubhouse.
Shawn Potter (from trip sponsor Syngenta) with Mike Meersman
on Bandon Preserve par-3 course.
Matthew Tacilauskas, John Gall and David Dore-Smith
on the Bandon Dunes cour
The Bandon Dunes Agronomy staff joined us Tuesday afternoon for a round on the new 18-hole Punch Bowl putting course, which is adjacent to the Pacific Dunes clubhouse.
Jon Kiger marshals the masses.
Dan Meersman chats with Jeff Sutherland, Pacific Dunes superintendent,
while Dan's father Mike listens in.
Frank Tichenor with Ken Nice, Bandon Dunes Director of Agronomy.
A beautiful afternoon for putting competition.
Every amenity is provided.
A little ledge? N
The TurfNet group was hosted by the Bandon Dunes Agronomy staff at the main maintenance facility at 6:15 Monday morning, well before sunrise. Ken Nice, Director of Agronomy, spoke to the group about the various maintenance challenges at Bandon, the biggest one being... wind, and how it moves sand around the golf course.
The superintendents from the various Bandon courses were available for group and individual Q&A.
Breakfast was provided by trip sponsor Turf Drainage Company of Amer
While most of the TurfNet group is out playing Old Macdonald today, the two industrious TurfNet staffers are hard at work in the Pacific Dunes grille. Since this is one of the two or three times each year that Peter McCormick (l) and Jon Kiger get together face-to-face, it's time for strategizing.
That's a real Mac on the right and a fake one on the left (the computer, not the guy).
No, it wasn't our groups racing around the Old Macdonald course on Saturday and Bandon Dunes on Sunday. It was the 25 professional Speedgolfers competing in the 2013 Speedgolf World Championship.
It was insane. These guys pack up to six clubs in a feather-weight bag and then run from stroke to stroke. Most are golfers who also happen to be runners, but there were some marathoners who also took up the game to compete. There were two Olympic athletes in the field.
The winner, Rob Hog
The groups teeing off early Sunday afternoon got off to a wet start... but then the weather turned beautiful for late afternoon post-round beers.
Bill and Doug Middleton (Ocean Organics, trip sponsor), Mike Cook of Davey Tree (lunch sponsor),
and Scott Schukraft at the first tee on the Bandon Dunes course.
Superintendent of the Year Dan Meersman (l) and his dad Mike flank Dave McCormick, bro of the Maestro.
Our international contingent, Matthew Tacilauskas, David Dore-Smith a
We secured two tee times early Sunday on Bandon Preserve, the 13-hole par-3 course that opened just prior to our visit last year. This gave a couple of groups a head start on their afternoon tee times on the Bandon Dunes course, while two other groups played Pacific Dunes on Sunday.
From Bandon Preserve:
Dan Meersman contemplates his next bunker shot while his father Mike chips up.
Mike Cook, Doug and Bill Middleton, John Gall and Scott Schukraft on the Preserve.
As we've explained Bandon Dunes isn't exactly easy to get to. Most attendees flew to the North Bend/Coos Bay airport from San Francisco on Saturday.
Always trying to multi-task, I flew to San Francisco on Friday and filmed some TurfNetTV Tips and Tricks segments with 2010 TurfNet Superintendent of the Year Thomas Bastis, CGCS at the California Golf Club of San Francisco. Thomas demonstrated his drone-based camera (view from the drone shown below) for one of the segments.
Thomas Bastis and
Those arriving on Saturday afternoon played the Sheep Ranch, a little-known and quirky "golf course" abutting the north edge of the Bandon Dunes property. "Golf course" is in quotes because it is not your typical course. No specified teeing grounds, no set routing, no sign, no clubhouse. No pars or scores. Access through the swinging gate is via prior arrangement with Greg, the superintendent/gatekeeper, on behalf of the private owner.
We had the place to ourselves, on a gorgeous late afte
The sun was still low in the sky this morning as we crossed the lakeshore of Chicago on our way to O'Hare, the first leg of the seemingly interminable cross-country journey to Bandon Dunes. Yes, folks, you have to want to go there. It's a long way from anywhere. Everywhere.
The city of Chicago was just awakening, the amber glow of streetlamps yielding to the sunrise. Most of the near-endless Monopoly board of homes and businesses, schools and ballfields were in shadow, with the treetops ba