Bandon 2001

A reflection on everything I love about golf. Today – Bandon 2001.

It was about a month after 9/11 and myself, Ali and my coach Mark drove to Bandon. We stayed off property at a little motel in town. I remember the town being empty, a couple of restaurants, and not much else. At the time Bandon Dunes had two courses, Bandon (the original course) and Pacific Dunes. We played 36 on the original course the first day and it was unbelievable. Beautiful, ocean views, great holes, par 3’s on the edge of cliff’s. The first 18 holes it was blowing, maybe 10 miles an hour. In the second round it was likely blowing up to 40 miles an hour. I thought Ali might blow away. On one par four in the morning, I hit my 2nd shot with a 4 iron onto the green. In the afternoon round on the same hole, I hit driver, 3 wood, and then a 4 iron into the green. I loved the course, the views, and I had a great caddie. I wish I could remember his first name – his last name was Hilton.

The next day we played Pacific Dunes. The weather was perfect, no wind 75 degrees. Thanks to my caddie, I had a great day, he would tell me where to hit it on every hole and without thinking I would step up and hit it. I shot 67 and missed 3 short putts. I hit it good, and enjoyed every shot.

Golf with Ali was also a joy. She loved playing golf and loved playing with me. We played 100’s of rounds together and she became my 2nd favorite golf partner, behind my Dad. She had the etiquette of a tour pro, moved around a golf course gracefully, and just flat out enjoyed teeing it. I miss her. Ali was a highlight of my life.

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