Bandon Dunes Caddies Win 2013 OGA Team Championship



Pictured from left: Brad Belletti, Kyle Crawford, Adam Araneo and Kevin Rei.

BANDON, Ore – Four Bandon Dunes caddies recently won the 2013 Oregon Golf Association Team Championship at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club outside Portland, Ore. recently sat down with the group to learn more about them and how they beat 34 other clubs in Oregon to capture the title.

What is your hometown?

Adam Araneo Born in San Francisco and raised in the redwoods of Humboldt County in Eureka, Calif.
Brad Belletti Grew up on a golf course in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Kyle Crawford Coos Bay, Ore. Pride of Marshfield High School.
Kevin Rei Born in Arcata, Calif. Spent most of my childhood in Sonora, Calif.

How long have you been a caddie at Bandon Dunes?

Araneo Since August 19, 2005. I came here on two golf trips prior to working here; first with my parents and then with a group from Haggin Oaks in Sacramento.
Belletti I’ve been at Bandon for about 13 years. I love looping here. It’s the best place in the country for what I do.
Crawford I started caddying my freshman year of high school and continued working summers throughout college. This was my 10th summer.
Rei I’ve been a caddie at Bandon for four years now. Luckily, I got the job after my sophomore year of college. I’ve come back ever since.

Do you caddie at Bandon Dunes year-round? If not, where do you go in the off-season and what do you do?

Araneo I chase the sun. I work at Bandon Dunes from June to November each year. I had the opportunity through the Bandon Dunes exchange program, The NZ Experience, to travel and work at Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand. After that I got the travel bug and caddied at Nanea Golf Club in Kona, Hawaii. Since then, I winter looping at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
Crawford  This year I'm going to Streamsong Resort in Florida to caddie and pursue a professional playing career.

What is your golf background? 

Araneo I have to thank my father, Andy, who caddied at Bethpage when he was a teen. An avid golfer, he cut down a set of clubs for me when I was four or five. He took me golfing at Eureka Golf Course and Beau Pre Golf Course. I’ve been hooked ever since. I suffered a shoulder injury snowboarding my freshman year of college, but I continued to be around golf while working at Canyon Oaks Country Club in Chico. I’ve played four amateur tournaments including the OGA Team Championship this year.I made match play at the 2013 PNGA Men’s Amateur at Bandon Dunes as the 17-seed. Also, Rei and I played in the Budweiser Tri-Cities Pro-Am on the tail end of our 1,500-mile, 12-day, 10-round, six-course golf trip through Oregon and Washington.
Crawford I started playing golf when I started caddying. I played pretty well in high school and tried walking on to the OSU team but wasn’t able to get a spot. I continued playing amateur tournaments and have had some good finishes the last few years.This summer I lost in a playoff at the Emerald Valley Open.I finished T-6 at the 2013 US Open local qualifier, and I made it to the round of 32 at the 2013 PNGA Men’s Amateur at Bandon Dunes.
Rei I played college golf at Chico State University and have played the game most of my life.Some of my major accomplishments in golf have been reaching the second round of match play in the 2011 US Amateur Public Links Championships at Bandon Dunes, placing second in the 2012 D2 National Championship as at team, and being named a 2012 D2 All-American.

How was this team assembled? 

Araneo After Ken Brooke [Bandon Dunes' director of caddie services] bestowed the ‘Captainship’ on me, I knew what I had to do. Crawford and I were locks, but we lost Adam Burlison who played well the last few years in this event. I scooped up his roommate, Kevin Rei, a first-timer to the team. Rei is a good friend and talented golfer. Last but not least I gave my boy, Brad ‘Vegas’ Belletti the nod for his motivation, desire and team spirit. It worked!

How does the team dynamic work? Does each person bring different strengths to the table? 

Araneo I think what really worked this year was our youth. Also, we are all comfortable in this format. A big strength we all brought to the table was our ability to drive it way farther than the field average. Plus, nobody wanted to lose to Brad (laughs). We are competitive and play together quite a bit. Kevin, Kyle and I were actually playing each other for beds in the hotel.
Crawford We've all played a lot of golf together so we really enjoy competing with -- and against -- each other. We definitely push each other to play better because none of us likes to lose.

The team was four shots out of the lead after Round 1, and ended up winning by nine. Quite a turnaround. What clicked for the group in Round 2?

Araneo It was quite a turnaround but we weren’t playing in the same group so it was all individual efforts that came together for our team.After an opening round 77, ‘K-Rei’ was infuriated with himself for his back-nine performance. He said he rushed a couple shots and gave up a little bit. He rolled up his sleeves for round two in a major way.We all knew this course was ‘gettable’ as we called it, being relatively short. We weren’t afraid to lose. We had only one place to go, and that was up the leaderboard.
Belletti The second day we were behind four shots, but I knew we were going to win. I pumped up Kevin because he shot a 77 the first day. I told him he was going to shoot 68 the second day. He bogeyed the last hole for a 69.The other guys deserve all the credit; I was just there to round out the team.
Crawford We talked about our rounds after the first day and we knew that the course was playing easy. We knew we could all shoot under par the second day. That was our goal and we were able to go out there and do it.
Rei If you look at my scorecard in Round 1 [see link below], I played the front nine very well and had a poor back nine. If I had closed better, we would have been right around the lead. I think we all knew we were playing well, and it was just a matter of going out there and doing it. For me, round two was a bounce back round. I knew I could play much better than I showed the first day.

The clubs nearest your team on the leaderboard represented inland, tree-lined courses. Any aspects of the Bandon Dunes courses that gave you an advantage at The Reserve over the competition?

Araneo I would say no. However, Kyle, Kev, my dad and I did play Shadow Hills C.C. in Eugene two days prior. Shadow Hills is a very tight course. Mostly, I think it was our confidence and desire that gave us the advantage.
Rei Playing at Bandon Dunes makes most other courses seem easy. The Reserve didn’t have much wind to deal with and the greens were soft. Those were ideal conditions for us to score compared to what we’re used to.

What about winning this tournament gives you the strongest sense of accomplishment?

Araneo I am very proud of my team and our accomplishment. It’s an honor for me to have our team alongside all the other winning golf clubs in the rich 86-year history of this event. Representing Bandon Dunes and bringing the Crystal Champions Trophy back to Mr. Keiser, Hank, Ken and the caddieshack fills me with a great sense of pride. Also, the leather Jones Golf bags we were awarded will be carried with great pride.
Rei The best part about winning the event for me was bringing the trophy back to Bandon Dunes. We came in 3rd and 2nd in previous years and this was the first title the team had won. That was a pretty cool feeling.

Any upcoming tournaments on your calendar? 

Araneo Not really anything on the books yet, but I intend to try to qualify for the U.S. Open, U.S. Mid Am and perhaps the Pub Links as well. I certainly have the desire to play more tournaments and sharpen my game this winter down in Southern California.
Crawford Kevin and I will be driving down to Florida this winter to play on mini tours for a few months. This will be our first exposure to professional golf, so hopefully it will be a good experience. We will also be caddying at Streamsong which should be a lot of fun.
Rei Kyle and I are turning pro this February in Florida. Right now we are setting up our schedule but don’t have anything planned just yet.


2013 OGA Team Championship – Full-Field Scores

2013 OGA Team Championship – Individual Scores – Adam Araneo

2013 OGA Team Championship – Individual Scores – Kyle Crawford

2013 OGA Team Championship – Individual Scores – Kevin Rei  

Elite runners and golfers to compete for 2013 Speedgolf World Championship, October 26-27 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort


BANDON, Ore. – In just its second year of existence, the Speedgolf World Championship has assembled an elite field of 55 speed golfers from six different countries who will vie for the 2013 title at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on October 26-27.

The field has several marquee competitors, including two Olympic track and field athletes. Nick Willis, New Zealand, won the silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Bernard Lagat, Tucson, Ariz., won the 2007 world championship in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters.

Defending Speedgolf world champion Christopher Walker, Woodlands, Tex., returns to defend his title. The former Notre Dame golf team captain is pursuing a professional golf career through the mini-tour circuit.

The format of Speedgolf is simple: Total strokes plus the total minutes and seconds it takes the player to complete his or her round. At last year’s world championship Walker shot 77 in 53:29 in Round 1, and 76 in 56:59 in Round 2 for a two-day total of 263.28.

The Speedgolf world record for a single round is 109.06 (65 in 44:06), set by Christopher Smith, Portland, Ore., at the 2005 Chicago Speedgolf Classic. Smith is also in this year’s field.

“We are incredibly excited for this year's championship,” said Timothy Scott, executive director of Speedgolf International. “The quality and depth of the field this year is unprecedented in Speedgolf history. And where else would you rather contest this championship than at Bandon Dunes?”

The field is divided into two divisions: Pro/Elite (30 players, 36 holes) and Age-Groupers (25 players, 18 holes). The Pro/Elite group plays Round 1 on Saturday, October 26 on the Old Macdonald course, with Round 2 on Sunday, October 27 on the Bandon Dunes course. The Age-Groupers field plays Sunday only, on the Bandon Dunes course.

Saturday tee times are 7:55 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. PDT; Sunday tee times are 7:55 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PDT.

The championship is webcast live on at 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PDT both days. The same coverage can also be seen on


About Bandon Dunes Founded in 1999 by Chicago businessman and philanthropist Mike Keiser, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is home to four 18-hole courses and a 13-hole par-3 course. The foursome of Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old Macdonald gives the resort the distinction of being the only property with four courses ranked in the top half of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in America. Bandon Preserve is one of the most highly-acclaimed par-3 courses in America, and 100% of its net proceeds benefit the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, an organization that funds projects on the southern coast of Oregon that are committed to conservation, community and economy.

Media Contact:
Erik Peterson
Director of Communications
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Interview with Chris Walker, 2012 Speedgolf World Champion



(photo courtesy of Wood Sabold)

On October 26-27, elite speed-golfers from around the world will visit Bandon Dunes Golf Resort for the 2nd-Annual Speedgolf World Championship. The 36-hole competition is held at the resort’s Bandon Dunes and Old Macdonald courses.

The reigning champion is Chris Walker, Woodlands, Tex., a former member of the Notre Dame golf team who now plays professionally on mini-tours. At last year's championship at Bandon Dunes, Walker shot 76-77 with a total time of 1 hour, 50 minutes and 28 seconds. blogger Nick Martin recently caught up with Walker for an interview.

What sets Bandon Dunes apart from other courses at which you've competed?

I have competed at Bandon Dunes in both Speedgolf and regular golf. The thing about Bandon is there are times I don’t even feel like I am on planet Earth. Bandon is so secluded that there isn’t much distraction, besides the scenery. It’s is a special place to me, especially after winning last year’s world championship there. At Bandon, regardless of how you are playing, there is always a moment where you look out to the ocean, and for that split second you are absolutely at peace with the world. How can a moment like that not make Bandon a place unlike any other?

Do you have a favorite course at Bandon Dunes?

I have played all four 18-hole courses. Each is unique in its own way. But for me, it has to be Bandon Dunes. It’s where I won my first world title and it will always be special to me.

When you compete at a new course, do you play at a traditional pace first or is it always at speed?

Practice rounds are where we play at traditional pace. You want to make sure you collect as much information as you can before the Speedgolf event starts.

How have things changed for you professionally since winning last year?

For me, Speedgolf is an escape from the grind of playing professionally on mini-tours. I have new goals that spread across both my regular golf schedule as well as my Speedgolf. It is an exciting time for me to be coming back to Bandon.

Have you done anything differently?

My training regime is more finely tuned toward running, but really that’s about all that has changed.

How do you prepare for an event?

I like to play. Bottom line – I want to be out on the course. A quarterback can only watch so much game film and do so much strength training. They want to be out on the field where games happen. Being on the course allows you to find a rhythm leading up to an event.

Do you prefer a links style course to a different style (e.g. parkland or mountain)?

I would say a link better fits my game.

Does your strategy change based on the style of course?

Always. The key is to keep the ball in front of you and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. Not to keep using football analogies, but it’s like when a QB uses the phrase: “I took what the defense gave me.”

In Speedgolf you have to take what the course gives you. You’ll hear golfers say things like “Oh, that’s a green light pin,” meaning it’s an opportunity to be aggressive. Each course presents its own opportunities for scoring. Some easier than others, some harder.

Are you looking forward to the Championship?

I wake up every morning excited that it is one day closer. “Looking forward” would be the understatement of the year. Haha.

What is your training regime?

My training regime consists of daily running, workouts, and golf practice. I generally will try and get Speedgolf rounds in twice a week as my schedule allows.

Do you spend more time at the range or the track?

I spend more time on the range. I am a golfer far more than I am a runner. My Speedgolf strategy will always be to outscore my opponents and gradually bring down my time.

When you go for a run, around town for example, do you carry your clubs?

I never have brought my clubs with me. There is a sports complex near my house where I will do some of my training. A few times I have taken a 10-pound dumbbell with me so I can get the feel of some extra weight in my hands.

When you're training, do you prefer to run on grass exclusively or does it matter?

I always prefer to run on grass. With Speedgolf, I will very rarely be running on anything but uneven grass surfaces.

Is there any comparison or correlation between Speedgolf and the Olympic Biathlon? (The Biathlon is a Winter Olympics event combining long distance cross-country skiing with rifle target shooting)

No doubt. To me, the principles of both are very similar. We are trying to hit a golf ball to a very specific target and a big part of that is being able to control breathing and increased heart rate. It takes very similar skills to that of the Olympic Biathlon.

Do you actively monitor your heart rate while you’re playing?

That has never really been something I watch while playing. I do wear a watch that measures time, distance, heart rate, etc. But for the most part my focus is trying to get the ball in the hole.

Do you ever slow down your pace to keep your heart rate within a certain level or is it just a constant push?

I always tend to slow down as I approach my shot, especially putting. I want to bring my heart rate down enough to be able to utilize a fluid golf swing. I would say putting is the most difficult task when it comes to having an increased heart rate.

What attracted you to speed golf?

Speedgolf is a very freeing experience for me. I have played tournament golf for 14 years now. Most of that time consists of playing in threesomes and foursomes. Rounds can last anywhere between 3.5 to 5.5 hours. For me, Speedgolf is a freeing feeling that I have not really had the opportunity to experience. It is nice to know that I am out there all alone and can go at my own pace.

Were you a runner or golfer first?

Golfer. 100%.

After you hit the ball, are you thinking about your next shot, or is it more cat and mouse?

It’s funny, for all my golf career I have heard and read about how it’s impossible to stay focused for the 4.5 hours that a round of golf can take. Sports psychologists urge golfers to take the time in between shots to let their mind wander and then refocus before the next shot. Speedgolf completely flips that notion on its head. Not only is it possible to focus for the 40-50 minutes a round of Speedgolf takes, it is a necessity. You absolutely have to be thinking constantly about the next shot. There always has to be a strategy of thinking ahead. Failure to do so, especially at a challenging course like Bandon Dunes, will result in continuous circumstances where the golfer will find themselves in troubled spots struggling to make a par or bogey. Generally, I will spend an hour or so the night before a round of Speedgolf studying a yardage book for the course and formulating a game plan that will allow me to keep the ball in the right spots on difficult holes while being in position to succeed on holes that may present an opportunity to make birdie.

From tee to green, does the hole evolve like it does for a regular round, just at a faster pace?

Yes and no. I would argue that in theory it basically evolves like a regular round. You hit it off the tee, go find it and hit it toward the green. It’s all the same, right? Well, in a regular round, I will have the time to get an exact yardage, know where I want to place the ball, and strategize a specific shot with a specific club to accomplish that goal. In Speedgolf I basically have to make an educated guess with yardage, I have only six clubs, and I am working with a lot less information such as the pin location, etc. What Speedgolf requires from me that a normal round of golf sometime doesn’t is a tremendous combination of feel and creativity. I know I am trying to get the ball close to the hole with limited information and a club that generally does not fly that distance. For me, this is where I come alive and really have a blast. I love creating something from nothing. And Speedgolf will certainly put you in situation where that is necessary.

What do you do when you lose your ball?

Speedgolf has a few specific rule changes in regards to a lost ball. When a ball is lost, the player may drop the ball on the line of entry in which the golfer believes his or her ball to have crossed. The reason the rule is different from the USGA’s rule for a lost ball is because in Speedgolf, the penalty would result in stroke, distance, and time. This is almost like a 3-shot penalty. So for Speedgolf, the rule must be adapted to account for the time factor.

Do you even lose many balls?

It occurs every once in a while. I lost one ball last year in the world championship so it does happen. The key is to realize when to stop searching and move on with your round to conserve time.

How many tournaments do you compete in every year?

Speedgolf-wise, I will do three this year. Regular golf, maybe 20-25 events.

Is there a type or style of golf course layout that is better or more conducive to Speedgolf?

Not necessarily. Every golf course presents its own challenges. That’s what can make Speedgolf unique. If you want lower scores, a more straight forward, flat layout will produce lower scores and faster times. But part of Speedgolf is adapting to the course that you will have to play that week.

It seems that a links course would lend itself more to a Speedgolf style. Is that the case?

On paper, yes. And if you asked the players, they would probably prefer that style of course for Speedgolf. But generally, we’ll just play the course we are giving.

Would you like to see more people in the sport?

Yes. Speedgolf draws on people with both golf and running backgrounds. Everyone who competes brings to the table their own unique skillset that allows them to be successful.

Has Speedgolf influenced traditional style golf in any way – aside from, maybe, pace of play?

I would argue that Speedgolf has increased my ability to be creative in my normal rounds. For many, Speedgolf is proof that you do not have to take a great amount of time to hit a quality shot and shoot quality scores. At our last Speedgolf event in Portland we had rounds of 70, 72, 72, 74, and 75. Plain and simple, those are good numbers no matter what the pace.

Would you like to see golf courses dedicated exclusively to Speedgolf?


If you could design a Speedgolf course, what would it look like?

I would like to design maybe a combination course. Maybe the front nine would be up in the tree line with some narrow, shorter holes. Then once the turn is made the course really opens up into more of a links style. Longer, well-bunkered holes would make for a difficult finish. I like courses that have holes with different personalities. I don’t want to see a bunch of cookie cutter holes. I want to stand on the tee and say, “Wow, this isn’t what I expected to see this hole doing.”

What would be different?

I would make it a point to have a stretch of 3-4 very difficult holes in a row. Something like 8-11. Then right after that, have 3-4 easier holes. That way, in the mind of the golfer, they reach that 8th tee and say “Okay, here is the round right here. If I can grind out there four holes, I will have some birdie opportunities coming in that I can take advantage of.”

What would be the same?

I wouldn’t want to do anything extreme to the terrain. I have played some really hilly courses and I don’t feel like those are conducive to Speedgolf scoring.

Bandon Dunes to host 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship


USGA-United-States-Golf-Association-logo Bandon, Ore. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced Monday that Bandon Dunes Golf Resort has been chosen to host the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. The event, which will be held May 9-13, 2015 at the resort’s Bandon Dunes Course, replaces the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and is the USGA’s first new championship since 1995.

“On behalf of the staff and caddies at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, we are honored to host the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship,” said Bandon Dunes owner Mike Keiser. “The four-ball format is the most popular among our resort guests and amateurs alike, and we are excited to bring it to a USGA championship.”

Entries for the qualifier will be open to female amateur golfers with a USGA handicap index no greater than 14.4. Qualifying events will be held at multiple sites around the United States, with 64 two-woman teams advancing to Bandon Dunes. The championship format is 36 holes of best-ball stroke play, with the top 32 teams advancing to a match-play bracket.

The 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship will be the fifth USGA championship conducted at Bandon Dunes. In 2011, Bandon Dunes hosted the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship for men and women, the first time the two championships were held simultaneously at the same venue. Bandon Dunes also hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup and 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

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