North by Northwest — On to Bandon

By |  June 13, 2015 0 Comments

Crashed out after my abysmal (and yet, amazing) round at the Olympic Club after driving to Redding, Calif., last night. Woke up, and hope sprang eternal: I was on my way to Bandon Dunes Resort, my first trip there.

What a drive! Mt. Shasta, yes, but the winding roads of Oregon’s I-5, dodging logger trucks and managing elevation changes, was a treat for this Kansas kid. My only regret was that I didn’t rent a Corvette or a Camaro, and that I waited until after one series of major twists to turn my Pandora channel from “The XX” channel to “White Zombie”….

Ken Nice and his crew* met me upon arriving at the course. Very cool of them considering it was a Friday afternoon** as well as the Friday before the U.S. Open, which a handful of them were about to leave for so they could work as volunteers***.

I got the “25-cent” tour from Nice, who was kind**** enough to stick around and show me the place… which is massive.

We talked about a lot, from maintenance challenges (the sand blows out of the bunkers when the wind is like this) to basketball (Nice coaches the Bandon varsity boys team).

Oh, and by the way — it was a 30 mph sustained wind during my visit today. These courses look tough enough as it is… with a big wind like that? I’m dumbfounded. A “four-club wind” just doesn’t register… and I’m from KANSAS.

More about this trip, more photos, and more footnotes later. For now… McKee’s Pub***** calls!

And another thanks to Nice and his team, for their time today. It’s superintendents giving me some of their time that makes Golfdom what it is.

* Grounds superintendent Tom Jefferson was the only one of the key staff missing. With a presidential name like Tom Jefferson, I have to admit, I was hoping to meet him.

** By superintendent standards, that is. In most professions, 1:15 infringes on lunch. In the profession of supers? You’re messing with the time they clock out. After all, they’ve been at the course for 10 hours by then…

*** Seems like an oxymoron — work as a volunteer. But as you well know, the people who volunteer for the maintenance crew don’t compare to the folks who are directing foot traffic, or signaling which way a drive is headed. Sorry, it’s true.

**** Notice how I ducked the Nice/nice pun there? Leave the obvious puns to lesser journalists… if there is such a thing.

***** OK, McKee’s Pub was where most of this post was written. But stay tuned, I’ll be writing from Chambers Bay next week!

This article is tagged with and posted in Columns, People

About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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