Modern classics Pacific Dunes

By Links MagazineJune 27, 2008, 4:00 pm

Pacific Dunes

When it comes to golf course architecture, opinions run rampant and absolutes are few. That said, there is no debating the single Most Important Decision in the annals of American course design. It happened in 1917, when Samuel F.B. Morse tore up a subdivision plan for the waterfront acreage where Pebble Beach Golf Links now sits.
Morse's spiritual descendant, Mike Keiser, took a similarly enlightened path at Bandon Dunes Resort on the Oregon coast. Ignore the short-term business plan; try to build a little something for the ages.
In lieu of publicity, Keiser let himself reach higher-toward the lofty realm of myth. His original Bandon Dunes 18 attained that starry status, and now there's another course alongside it: Pacific Dunes.
'I've been to a lot of great golf courses and I'm amazed at how few really sing,' says Keiser, a soft-spoken visionary who amassed a fortune in the recycled greeting card business before turning to golf. 'Most of the truly wonderful courses-outside of Scotland and Ireland-are expensive or inaccessible. But the spirit of golf abides with the public golfer. I wanted to build a great golf course for the avid public golfer that would truly sing.'
Keiser entrusted the first layout to an architect David MacLay Kidd, who had never even designed a golf course on his own before. For Pacific Dunes, Keiser chose Tom Doak, author of two books on course design, architect of a dozen carefully crafted layouts, and widely unpopular in the business for his outspoken criticisms of other course designers.
Although the new course resides adjacent to Bandon Dunes, it's entirely different, not only in architectural style but in topography, as well. While seven holes play along the ocean, a number of inland holes journey in and around humongous dunes clad in gorse and beach grasses.
Dunes define this course the way they distinguish Pete Dye's work at Whistling Straits. (Doak, along with his extraordinarily talented shaper Jim Urbina, trained under Dye.) But Bandon's dunes weren't trucked in from Idaho; they've lain here for centuries, bearing the brunt of countless winds and storms.
If Bandon Dunes keens the woof and whorl of a true Scottish links, Pacificis its Irish cousin: deep and rich as the perfect pint of Guinness, sweet as Irish cream, lively as a fiddle jig played in the back room of a warm tavern.
The course opens amid pines and inland dunes. The sinuous 1st fairway rises in cresting green humps, then folds down toward a flattish green tucked into a dune that flows like a lava dome. Movements throughout the course are liquid-alternately as sweeping and forceful as whitewater and as slow as Yorkshire pudding.
On the first two holes, drives toward the left side of the fairway allow clear views of the greens, an early reminder that accurate positioning will remain important throughout the round. By the 3rd hole, the topography spills wide to reveal a sylvan valley marked by bunkers anchored in the emerald rivers of fairway that flow to and from the sea.
The 4th, the first oceanside hole, frolics for 460 yards along cliffs 100 feet above crashing surf to a green that totters on the precipice, as if one more golf ball might send the whole thing tumbling to the beach below. At the 316-yard 6th, the fairway licks between high mounds to a narrow, elevated green that drops steeply on both sides.
The back nine begins with two oceanside par 3s-205 yards threaded downhill toward the Pacific, then 145 yards along seaside bluffs to a green camouflaged in dune-colored grasses. Number 13 may be Pac Dunes' best hole. Here you tee off across cliffs toward a green that lies 440 treacherous yards away. At the 345-yard, risk-reward 16th, green moguls roll like some fantastically skewed ski run. The finishing hole, which can play as long as 660 yards, is a puzzlement of angles and prodigious bunkers defending both fairway and green.
by Jeff Wallach, LINKS Magazine
All Courses & Travel

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.