Dream Golf: The Making of Bandon Dunes Hardcover – 13 Jul 2006
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"This is much more than a golf book; it's the story of one man's unshakeable vision and the extraordinary people who helped him bring it to life." - George Peper, former editor-in-chief of Golf Magazine and author of 500 WORLD'S GREATEST GOLF HOLES (Artisan)"
From the Inside Flap
This is the story of a man with a dream--as well as the vision and passion to make it come true. The dream was to build a great American links course, one that would contain all the excitement of the famous golfing destinations in Scotland and Ireland, storied places like St. Andrews and Ballybunion. The man was Mike Keiser, an entrepreneur and amateur golf enthusiast, founder of the successful company Recycled Paper Greetings, and "Dream Golf" is the story of how, with the help of some of the most colorful--and occasionally controversial--men in golf, he transformed a remote area on Oregon's Pacific coast into not one, but three of the most stunning, challenging, and highly ranked courses in the world.
It began modestly, when Mike Keiser decided to build a nine-hole "dunes" course and golf club on the shore of Lake Michigan, near his home in Chicago. The experience prompted him to look further, with the goal of realizing a dream that he had harbored for some time: to bring to American golfers the same kind of experience he had enjoyed while playing some of the legendary courses of the British Isles, "links" courses that had evolved naturally to fit the rugged, heaving coastal terrain. These ancient courses were the antithesis of most modern American courses, where the features were shaped by bulldozers and all too often look sleek, manicured, and artificial.
No, Bandon Dunes would be a "pure" golf experience, pitting the golfer against the elements, allowing the land to dictate the course, banning the use of carts, making the golfer feel at one with both nature and the game. To achieve that goal would take a great amount of planning and hard work, the struggle of man againstnature in shaping the land into three courses that would become the Bandon Dunes complex. Conventional wisdom said it was impossible. And even if he built it, would anyone come to this remote Oregon outpost?
"Dream Golf" is the first complete account of how drive and determination, coupled with the best minds in the game, created a utopian golf experience in a place of breathtaking natural beauty. It is the gripping and compelling account of how one man followed his dream to its greatest conclusion. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was fascinated learning about what went on in the planning and building of the courses, the thought process of the people involved, the description of other courses, golf course architecture styles, all things that I had never thought about before. It is well written, and holds your interest well.
You probably need to be a golfer to really enjoy the book, but if you are a golfer, you will enjoy it. The author helped me realize that, as a golfer, I shouldn't be playing a course because of the architect, or where it is, or how it looks, but should be playing it because it makes me play golf, not just hit a ball around a series of 18 holes. You need to enjoy the journey, not just look forward to the score at the end. I will never look at a golf hole the same way again. I will examine it to try to determine the ways that the architect meant for the hole to be played, and there is usually more than one. A good architect designs the golf course to challenge both low and high handicap golfers.
I note that the Publishers Weekly review complained that the author didn't discuss the fact that golf courses wreak havoc with the land. I am sure that some do, but the people that purchased, designed and built Bandon Dunes obviously love the land. Without the courses and the resort, almost no one would ever see this section of the southern Oregon coast. Now, because of the resort, visitors get to experience the beauty and majesty of the area.
Starting in New Buffalo, Michigan, he through his associates finds just the landscape available in Bandon, Oregon. Then secures three architects to do three eventual courses, each of which has in common a shared approach to course design which is minimalist and takes what the land gives. Neat feature of this chronicle is that author plays each of the courses with architect and some of construction staff, so even if one hasn't played this yet, feel somewhat what it would be like. So makes one plotting to take trip west to check this out.
Result is three rising courses on places to play lists. Truly us golfers can appreciate his approach, away with frills and it's all about the golf, even in the accomodations.
How neat is it the approach that Keiser developed on his Dunes Golf in Michigan that there is set of tees with no deisgnation, and the golfer with the honors chooses the teebox, kind of golfing version of HORSE.
Keiser is certainly golfer's course owner who wants the game to be the dominant factor, not a resort catering to all wishes, just golf dominated.
Great read. Those who enjoyed this might also enjoy one of my favorites: "Driving the Green" and "Bury Me in a Pot Bunker."
Goodwin is effusive in his praise of not only Mike Keiser, the owner and developer of the Bandon Complex, but pretty much everyone who played a role in the development of the courses and the resort as a whole. The enthusiastic tone of the prose stops short of sycophancy, but only just, and it grows old long before the pages of the book run out. Keiser is painted as a visionary – a multi-millionaire (who made his money off of the creative efforts of others, in greeting cards) who eschews, for the most part, the outward signs of wealth, driving a leased Lincoln (and disparaging automotive enthusiasts as childish – go tell that to Jay Leno), a “bright, creative spirit” who hates television and offered his children financial incentives not to watch it. As I worked my way through the book, and reading it IS work, I was reminded of those Renaissance artworks – paintings, murals, sculpture – in which the faces of the patron(s) who supported the artist are seen.
Don’t get me wrong – as a golfer I would dearly love to visit Bandon and play its courses – but spare me the hero-worship of the man who paid to have them built.