Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bandon Perspective

Enjoying my Nespresso Ristreto this morning, I was thinking ...

As the season winds down and we get to thinking retrospectively about play this past several months, the most glaring point that comes to me from this year is that I made a trip to Bandon Resort and I also made a trip to Scotland. The Bandon trip included a classic NW US course with evergreen-lined fairways and a Consensus "Golf Digest Top 100" course (Eugene CC) in addition to a family visit, The Willamette Valley Pinot experience, a Portland City stay and a comprehensive tour of the Bandon offerings. The Scotland trip included some extremely good modern offerings from Scottish and American architects, some old favorite courses such as Prestwick!, Ailsa and North Berwick as well as a new old favorite (profiling is still in the works).

Several things stand out:
-Getting to Bandon is far, far more difficult from East of the Mississippi (no less the Eastern Seaboard) than anywhere in Europe. Getting to Scotland is a slam dunk, one-flight affair. Bandon is a tortuous nightmare. Heck, getting on and off Long Island is harder than getting to Scotland some days!

-Driving in Scotland I passed much more interesting alternatives than I did once on the ground in Oregon. More variety in courses, scenery, culture, you name it.

-Driving in Scotland I covered less ground to play more better golf courses.

-Lodging values were better in Scotland

-Golf costs are either less in Scotland or a wash, Bandon is not a frugal trip!

-Scotland's weather is less extreme, yes LESS extreme.

-Pundits are in a tither deciding whether or not Pacific and Bandon and Old Macdonald are "better than" the Pebble Beach Rota. It is moot, both are $$$$$.

-Scotland has real links golf, not what passes for links golf, but both have gorse.

For my money, send me to Scotland, England, Ireland, France and Portugal for a golf trip. My horizons are expanded daily, I play faster because the Swedes are only a small slow play problem vs. a pervasive four-ball slooooooow play problem rampant in America. Bandon for me is not a trip I am itching to do any time soon, but Ayrshire, Fife and East Lothian dominate my daily thoughts these days as I fantasize about the past months.

Recent Bandon-related threads for new readers. Be sure to read #3

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