b'N ine of the Bandon Brothers confronted the what makes question as the sun was setting at the close of three sunny rounds at Bandon in late February of 2021.The Brothers are a loose group of around 25 golfers who have been going, on and off, to Bandon almost every February since 2001, two years after the resort opened in 1999.Some have visited only once, others nearly every year. The 2021 group ranged in age from late 40s to late 70s, and brought well over 100 Bandon rounds of experience to the discussion.At first no one spoke, then someone paraphrased the question, So, what makes it special? A retired doctor who still carries his clubs and who brings considerable international golfing experience with him finally jumped in. I can tell you what makes it special, he slowly began. Bandon is the closest attainable thing in the U.S. comparable to playing inTwo of the consistent Bandon Brothers, Ralph Robinson and Bill Ireland or Scotland, at a fraction of the cost. Collins (author of this article). The two were brothers-in-law, One Brother who had played Scottish coursesprior to Robinsons passing. remembered his first impression of Bandon. Its just like Scotland, except the ocean is on the wrong side.Some may say Bandon is too far off the beatenthe lack thereof. Pretentiousness may be a hallmark track, but, turning that complaint on its head, theof some high-end golf resorts, but not Bandon. doctor argued that Bandons remoteness is a virtue,The buildings dont overpower the landscape, they because it is distraction free. You play golf, eat, andblend quietly into it. Food options range from hearty drink with your friends.(Grandmas meatloaf at McKees Pub) to elegant (the Cajun spiced steelhead at the Gallery), all reasonably Heads nodded in affirmance.Its all golf. priced and served in casual settings. Conversations at Bandon are about golf and not, forOver dinner, anticipation builds for the next days example, politics. adventure, each Brother certain that tomorrows The doctor also observed that Bandon has golfround will be the one where he tames (insert name of year-round, unlike destination coursestomorrows course).that may be unappealing or evenThe rooms are large and comfortable, closed during parts of the year. Butwith lots of wood trim, large showers, what about the Pacific Northwestsand big comfy leather chairs that invite reputation for rainy winteryou to collapse into them. Most have a weather? (More on weather later,fireplace. Ending a winter round with but weather is something that helpsa long, hot shower and sitting by the make Bandon Bandon.) fire with your comrades and favorite Someone brought upbeverage is the ideal close to a day, with pretentiousness or, more correctly,stories retold from that days round or a DEC 2021 |PACIFIC NORTHWEST GOLFER27'