Pacific Gales promises to be on par with Bandon

By Mike BaileyNovember 27, 2013, 2:07 pm

If you're a fan of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, then here's something that might excite you: There's more world-class golf being planned for the southern coast of Oregon.

The new course is called Pacific Gales, which will be located on a portion of the privately-owned Knapp Ranch in Curry County, between Cape Blanco and the town of Port Orford, about 30 miles south of Bandon.  If everything goes as planned, course construction for Pacific Gales is expected to begin next summer with a possible grand opening by 2016.

Many of the holes will be directly on the ocean with the ninth and 18th sharing a common cliff-side green. The holes will run north and south with a huge natural sand dune running the length of the property. There's rocky cliffs reminiscent of Pebble Beach, and corridors through twisted, wind-whipped pines and gorse-filled ravines that might evoke images of Pine Valley. It promises to bring every element of classic seaside golf into play, augmented by views unmatched anywhere else on the West Coast.

"I’ve been in the business for 30 years, and you know a great site when you're on it," said Jim Haley, managing partner of Elk River Property Development, LLC. "This is a great site. You don’t get them very often."

The connections to Bandon Dunes, which now has five courses, are more than geographic. Haley was the lead shaper for architect David Lay McKidd on the original Bandon Dunes links course that opened in 1999. Troy Russell, manager for the Pacific Gales project, grew up locally and was the first superintendent at Bandon Dunes. And Chicago-based architect Dave Esler, who is designing Pacific Gales, was actually one of the original finalists for Bandon Dunes.

"It’s a great opportunity, and frankly one that most architects would only dream of coming across once in a lifetime," Esler said.

Esler said he wanted the routing to take advantage of the spectacular scenery, whether you were playing golf or simply walking the course.

"On the first green at Pacific Gales, you’ll be staring at the edge of two worlds, looking into infinity. It’s drop-dead spectacular," he said.  "The routing is intentionally choreographed, constructed as theater really. We set the hook early, move away from the edge, build the drama again with long views, intimate peeks and anticipation of what’s ahead - the spectacular finish. We’d be pretty fortunate to be able to do that with one of the nines, but after a good bit of work, we’ve found a routing that provides that drama on each of the nines."

Haley first saw the property back in the late 1990s when he was working at Bandon Dunes. Jeff Knapp, one of the owners of Knapp Ranch, had worked with Haley before and invited him over for a crab feed. That's when Haley first saw the 1,100-acre stretch of oceanfront property. Not long after, Haley and his business partner, Jay Kenyon, completed a lease agreement with the Knapp family to develop 330 acres along the ocean. They then brought on Russell as project manager.

"It’s more than just the oceanfront property. You’ve got these other unique attributes, the lighthouse, Cape Blanco, the Port Orford reef just offshore and a view of the Coast Range," Russell said said. "Plus, you’re looking down onto the Elk River, one of the most beautiful on the Wild Rivers Coast. It's a cut above, a remarkable piece of property."

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Rose (64) peaking just ahead of the U.S. Open

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:40 pm

A former U.S. Open champion appears to be finding his form just three weeks ahead of the year's second major.

Justin Rose ascended to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the Fort Worth Invitational, with rounds of 66-64 pushing him to 10 under par for the week.

Through 36 at Colonial, Rose has marked 12 birdies against just two bogeys.

"Yeah, I did a lot of good things today," Rose said. "I think, you know, the end of my round got a little scrappy, but until the last three holes it was pretty flawless. I think I hit every fairway pretty much and obviously every green to that point. ...

"Yeah, the way I played through, I guess through my first 15 holes today, was about as good as I've played in a long time."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Rose won in back-to-back weeks last fall, stunning Dustin Johnson at the WGC-HSBC Championship and riding that victory right into another at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Now the 2013 U.S. Open winner at Merion feels himself once again rounding into form ahead of this year's Open at Shinnecock. A final-round 66 at The Players gave Rose something to focus on in his recent practice sessions with swing coach Sean Foley, as the two work to shore up the timing of Rose's transition into the downswing.

As for his decision to tee it up at Colonial for the first time since 2010, "It was more the run of form really," Rose explained. "I feel like if I didn't play here it was going to be a little spotty going into the U.S. Open. I felt like I wanted to play enough golf where I would have a good read on my game going into Shinnecock.

"So rather than the venue it was more the timing, but it's obviously it's just such a bonus to be on a great layout like this."

For whatever reason, Rose does tend to play his best golf at iconic venues, having won PGA Tour events at Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional.

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Koepka (63): Two wrist dislocations in two months

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:19 pm

Brook Koepka's journey back from a wrist injury that kept him out four months hasn't been totally smooth sailing, even if his play has suggested otherwise.

Koepka on Friday fired a 7-under 63 to move up the leaderboard into a tie for third, three shots behind leader Justin Rose through the end of the morning wave at the Fort Worth Invitational.

After a slow start Thursday saw him play his first 13 holes 3 over, Koepka is 10 under with 11 birdies in his last 23 holes at Colonial.

"It doesn't matter to me. I could care less. I'm still going to try as hard as I can," Koepka said. "I don't care how many over or how many under I am. Still going to fight through it."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Just like he's been fighting his wrist the last two months or so. Koepka reinjured his wrist the Wednesday of The Players when he was practicing on the range and had to halt mid-swing after a golf cart drove in front of him. He nonetheless managed to finish T-11.

And that's not the only issue he's had with that wrist during his return.

"We had a bone pop out of place. I didn't tell anybody, but, yeah, they popped it back in," Koepka admitted Friday. "Luckily enough we kind of popped it back into place right away so it wasn't stiff and I didn't have too, too many problems.

"Yeah. I mean, I've dislocated my wrist twice in the last two months. You know, different spots, but, I mean, it's fun. I'll be all right."

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below: