The Old MacDonald Course at Bandon Dunes is the response of Tom Doak and Jim Urbina to the question: What would classic golf architect Charles Blair MacDonald have created on the Oregon Coast.
Routed largely around a treeless plain between two immense dunes, Old MacDonald is pure links joy. The ground is hard-and-fast. The bunker are threatening. The ground has as many waves as the sea. And the wind — the wind charges in from the sea, crests the first dune, wreaks havoc on balls in the plain, then bounds over the second dune to threaten players on the remaining holes.
The result is a course that is a supreme test of golf imagination. None of the usual calculus works at Old MacDonald. Rather than scientifically choosing a club based on yardage, elevation and wind, a successful player imagines the path of the ball, and then chooses a club to get the job done. A 150 yard shot might be a driver, or a six iron, or a putter. A 250 yard shot could be a driver … or a nine iron.
I wanted to play this course again and again. It was unmitigated golf joy.