At Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, caddies not only enhance the experience but aid in shooting lower scores. When battling the additional elements of wind and rain, local knowledge is invaluable to shooting lower scores. We were lucky to be paired up with Bucky Deters, a 16-year Bandon Dunes veteran, who shared “[he]can’t imagine a better place to caddie in the world.” His insights below go far beyond yardages and breaks on the greens.
If you could only give a guest one on-course tip, what would it be?
It would be to have fun with your rounds at Bandon. Links golf is meant to be creative, and luck always plays a role. When it is windy, bring your expectations down a notch and enjoy the challenge. Even the best players in the world struggle in the wind. It is the knock down 6 iron you hit from 110 yards to 3 feet you will remember, not the 84 that you carded.
How would you set tee times for your buddies?
Old McDonald and Sheep Ranch are very exposed to the elements. Early AM tee times are more enjoyable, it’s fun to experience the wind but not for 4 hours straight.
Day 1: Bandon Preserve on arrival
Day 2: Old Mac in the morning; Pacific Dunes in the afternoon
Day 3: morning round on Pacific Trails; afternoon at Sheep Ranch
Day 3: Bandon Dunes before you leave
Best kept secret at Bandon Dunes?
In my opinion, the best kept secret would be playing Bandon Trails in the afternoon during the summer months. It can be a nice break from the big north wind that frequents between April and October.
What is the one item people commonly forget to bring?
One thing that guests forget to bring is either gold bond or water. Guests are doing an extreme amount of walking and either become dehydrated or very uncomfortable. I would add that comfortable golf shoes is a must or just bring a pair of good walking shoes.
Anything else you want to add?
I have learned over the years the 10-16 handicaps can enjoy and experience the best golf of their lives. Many factors make this true. Average golfers tend to listen more to their caddies, they revel in their caddie’s wisdom and have no other option but to listen. I have had many average golfers shoot their lowest rounds at Bandon Dunes. When a low handicapper thinks chipping is the best option, the average golfer putts it all day. Elite golfers rely on what they have been doing to get to their elite level, and average golfers are open to trying something new. 12 handicappers are dangerous with me on their bag, they rarely will lose a match with strokes given. Links golf evens the playing field, Tom Watson almost winning the Open at 59, no way he competes in any other major. It goes back to the imagination needed for links golf, keeping the ball on the ground, flighting shots down and of course the extra distance gained from the firm, sand-based turf.
For more information on Bandon Dunes, visit www.bandondunesgolf.com.