HHH @ Bandon Dunes
July 4, 2012, on the mystical grounds of Bandon Dunes, a HIKE happened. A pro’s perspective reads like this: http://www.hundredholehike.com/blogs/bandon-stats#.T_XqJJ-f2-4.twitter
MY(amateur) take is as follows.(and if the Pro's pedometer registered just under 35 miles, Todd & I can easily add 10% to that total….Hah)
It’s been two weeks since our HHH - the memory still vivid. At 5 A.M. we were milling on the first tee. Fairway #1 lit by a full moon & a billion stars. The ocean’s low-tide roared gently within earshot.
With nary a practice swing we amazingly ~ for Todd & me anyway ~ hit the fairway with our tee shots. By the 2rd hole the sun found its way out of bed to join us. Our highly anticipated HIKE had begun; 100 holes the goal.
Our first round was played in giddy anticipation. The day broke bright, with only a slight breeze to push & pull us along. Our plan had been to finish 18 HOLES at Pacific Dunes, then restart the same course before the first group of the day. That plan went awry due to our(Todd & my) sluggish start. After the 15th hole we opted to jump back to #1 Pacific, and off we went in front of the first group.(which would later prove to be perfect symmetry for getting our 100 Holes completed over the five course rota)
33 HOLES behind us & we were off to the next venue.
Old Mac was a challenge. Maybe it was the wind that had picked-up? Maybe a bit of fatigue was settling in? Maybe the gravitas of a HUNDRED HOLES was registering into our now (somewhat)aching bodies? Whatever the case, after 3 hours, 51 HOLES were complete...and after a quick change of shoes, socks, shirts, & a 45 minute lunch break, we were off to Bandon Trails.
We started on #6. If you’ve played Trails you can appreciate that this would be the “make-or-break-your-spirit” round. The winds were gusting 25-30mph, and although the temperature peaked at a tepid 65 degrees, the elevation changes & sandy soil made for an exhausting trek. Midway through we realized we would be ‘pressed for time’ and fearing the worst,(NOT finishing!) the pace quickened. On the par-3 Fifth Hole, our 68th of the day, Brandon Carter ACED a beautifully struck, 133 yard pitching wedge!
The celebration was short lived because NOW we realized we were running out of time. We hustled to Bandon Dunes, checked the tee sheets, & sprinted to the first tee. We played the 1st '9' in ONE HOUR! The 2nd ‘9’ in 1.5 hours, playing through a group of caddies on #12. Once we passed them it was smooth sailing; all of us hitting fairways & greens, in complete focus.
The sun was on its home stretch to the horizon, we stood on first tee of “The Preserve.” Thirteen holes to play, 13 holes to ONE HUNDRED. Knowing we would finish in the nick of time, we paced ourselves & tried to enjoy the newest gem at Bandon. I’d be lying if I said anyone got close to making an ACE on those 13 par-3’s because at that point of our day just getting the club face on the ball was the biggest challenge. Bandon's (Guru)Grant Rodgers came out to watch the last few holes and take photos. As the last putt dropped, the sun, as if on cue, settled into an applauding ocean.
By 9:30p.m., we stumbled into the restaurant at Trails just as fireworks began exploding in the distant shore.(of course for us!) Four exhausted golfers, our sweet & gracious server, and a talented chef, it seemed like we were the only people on the property. It’s hard to express the combination of exhaustion, exhilaration, & awe that punctuated our discussion. I’ve retold this story numerous times, and SURREAL” is the word that reverberates in every telling…
What I learned & advice I’d offer:
• Don’t neglect food & water: sounds simple enough, but with a goal of 100 holes it can be easy to fall in the trap of ‘pushing the pace’ while neglecting the obvious.
• Do not STOP for lunch – you’ll just stiffen. Instead, keep moving. A steady, measured pace; eating & drinking frequently.
• Don’t try attempt the HHH with a handicap higher than 15.
• HIKE w/other golfers ~ although it slowed us down I can’t imagine NOT playing a 4-Ball. The memories made will be shared forever. Therefore, I dub the HHH a ‘team event,’ but that’s just me. (Can you imagine an ACE w/no one around?)
• Ibuprofen is your friend.
• Comfortable golf shoes (Trues) a must; especially in the early rounds when there’s dew on the ground.(I played last two rounds played in my Nike Free running shoes)
• Body Glide? A maybe.?.
• Gloves? A must!
• Socks? At least 5 pair!