(Photos courtesy of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort)

The most distinctive characteristic of the massive, 2+ acre putting green/course at Pacific Dunes is the soundtrack: the raucous bursts and deep groans that alternate and grow louder as the afternoon wanes into evening and the beverage service does it’s job. You can hear the soundtrack as Pac Dunes winds nearby on the seventh hole, and again as you’re finishing up on 18. Our experience was slightly different than that enjoyed by most during the warm summer months, as our evening spent at the Punchbowl was foggy and cool, which added an element of surrealism. After playing a skins game on the 18-hole putting course (which changes its holes daily), we elected to create cross country holes, some of which were 60 yards long.

Another memory of the punchbowl that will stick with me came from our lunch after our first loop around Pacific. As we sat there nibbling a dozen members of the grounds staff was hard at work below, mowing, cutting new holes, trimming surrounds, etc. It was a symphonic performance that serves as a good analogy for the resort as a whole – a chorus of individuals coming together to create and sustain something you’d never be able to dream up if you tried.