(article and photo by Nick Martin)
BANDON, Ore. – Do a Google search for “golf destinations” and this is one of the top results: Golf Digest’s Top 75 golf resorts in North America. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is No. 1 on the list ahead of Pebble Beach. Unless you’re one of the 3,100 people who call Bandon, Ore. home, Bandon Dunes truly is a destination. And we think that’s a good thing. A destination is like a holiday or a birthday. It’s a celebration. A destination is something you wait for, save up for and look forward to. It’s a place away from the everyday, a break in the routine, an adventure that’s different and out of the ordinary. A destination is something way over there, out of sight, a place that exists for a time only in the imagination. The word “destination” alone evokes excitement because after all, if it’s a destination then it’s no doubt special. For a trip to any destination, arrangements are made, calendars cleared, house-sitters contacted, stories told to neighbors and excuses made to bosses. For golf destinations, specifically, clothes are dry-cleaned, new clubs tested and old ones washed in a bucket while sitting on the living room couch. Books may be read, websites consulted, movies watched and the idea of the destination grows. Reality sets in on the way the airport. There might be trepidation at the baggage check and worry about the gear. The lines and the people might stand in the way. The greater the destination, the more connections must be made. Every cab ride, every moment spent looking out the airplane window… it’s all time spent yearning for the destination. Suddenly, it’s happening. You’re not sure if you’re awake or still dreaming, but the destination is in sight, rising up slowly from the horizon like the sun at dawn. You’re here. You’ve made it. You’re standing on the first tee. You take a deep breath – a crisp, cleansing breath – and everything fades away. All the travel, all the planning, all the time spent waiting is over. This is your time. None of it matters, now. It’s just you and the game. You’ve arrived. Enjoy the walk.