Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Special Trip to Bandon Dunes

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Bandon Dunes to be part of the WinField "Lunch and Learn" educational team. All I can say is, "what a great experience"! Really fell in love with this property! We started the day with our educational seminar for the Bandon staff. Myself, Dr. Doug Soldat, University of Wisconsin, Gary Grigg, Grigg, and Rob Garcia, Winfield United all spoke on various golf course management topics. Roger Henderson, WinField United local sales representative, put on the event and did a wonderful job. It's the first time I have ever been in a conference room that used a wireless signal from my laptop to the projector. Who knows, maybe the days of all those cables will be over soon. It was a great morning of education and the Bandon staff was very interactive.

Dr. Doug Soldat, University of Wisconsin, talking Iron Management in turf.
The group then enjoyed a fabulous lunch prepared by the staff at the Bandon Dunes clubhouse facility. After the great lunch, we headed out on the course to get a private tour of the facility by Jeff Wilson, superintendent of the Bandon Dunes course. I met Jeff just over a year ago at the 2016 Ryder Cup, where we enjoyed the week together. So we piled in the truck and off we went.

Jeff Wilson, second from left explains their natural sand topdressing pile.
One of the first stops that Jeff wanted us to see was the topdressing pile. The greens construction at Bandon used the natural sand on site. With the native sand greens construction, they are also able to use on-site sand deposits for topdressing. The area above was designated to save as their topdressing sand. We were all amazed at the sheer size and volume of sand stash for future use. Let's just say they won't need to purchase any sand for a while. Pretty neat stuff, having your own deposit of topdressing sand on-site.

It was a big treat to spend some time with my Ryder Cup friend and Bandon Dunes course superintendent, Jeff Wilson.
Next up we stopped to look at and discuss the gorse issue at Bandon. Jeff had been chatting in the truck about gorse and educating us about what a difficult plant this truly is. When we stopped to check it out, we knew right away Jeff wasn't kidding about what a tough plant this is. Very invasive and difficult to control is a bad combination.

Gorse, as tough of a plant as there is! If you hit it in there, leave it!

After our Gorse education, we returned to the truck and concentrated the rest of our day on seeing the various golf courses. For myself, it was a golf course junkie's dream. The setting, topography, and great architects truly make this place special. I can't wait to return to Bandon and bring my clubs someday. I want to thank WinField United, Roger Henderson, the educational team, and the folks at Bandon Dunes for a spectacular visit! Enjoy a few of my favorite photos.

The Team checking out some of the greens contours.

As rugged as its gets!
Love this stuff...who said bunkers had to be manicured?
Spectacular Stuff!
Nothing to say here except...WOW!
The Punch Bowl, a 2.7 acre putting extravaganza!
Bandon Preserve, a Par 3, 13 hole course by Coore/Crenshaw.
What a way to end a spectacular trip!

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