TurfNet SOY trip Bandon 2016

I was honored to be a finalist for the TurfNet Superintendent of the Year in 2015. As a finalist I was awarded a spot on the TurfNet Members Trip this year at Bandon Dunes golf resort in Oregon by the generous sponsor Syngenta. Thank-you Trip Trotter, Stephanie Schwenke and everyone at Syngenta. Last year's trip which Cheryl and I both went on in Ireland was truly special and some of the same people on that one went again this year. It was a reunion of sorts where a few of us met at the first Bandon trip in 2012 and have stayed in touch ever since. That was my first experience with links golf and also playing 36 holes. Many of us went again in 2013 and have forged strong bonds and even stronger grudge matches while enjoying the scenery, camaraderie and maybe even a few pints. That first year ended in chaos with hurricane Sandy battering the east coast and making return flights a nightmare. We had a planned stop at Eugene CC but I stayed at the resort and took in the Northwest Turfgrass Assoc seminar taking place. So when the chance came to play it this year before the ride into Bandon I jumped all over it. The course is over 100 yrs old and the trees close to 300.
wider than a golf cart

just a maple dwarfing Mike Cook

pictures do not do it justice

stunning

Mammoth

Sky Rocket
The bus ride from Eugene to Bandon is always a nice one with some great scenery. This year it was an ominous foretelling of the weather ahead. Each mile closer to the coast the rain became steadier. When you travel that far rain is not really an issue. You have prepared and brought the right gear so you suit up and charge on. My roommate did not have a great rain jacket and only lasted 3 holes before being drenched and going in. The other two in the group made it through 7 which left just me and my caddie Matt to muck through the rest of the round. We occasionally saw other groups but were often all alone reenacting a scene from Caddyshack.
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It turned out to be a great week with only drizzle on the last day where 8 of us played the 13 hole par three Preserve. It may have rained overnight and been chilly in the morning but most afternoons were shorts weather and simply stunning.
Last day

Me and the face of the resort Shoe
Peter McCormick, TurfNet founder and Maestro visited us one morning on the 9th tee of Bandon Dunes. Click the link for a Video of yours truly teeing off. As I stated above, the weather turned out perfect. The first day set a bottom weather standard but did  help forge a bond with your caddie if you plodded through. I played 3 days of 36 holes and for two of the afternoons changed into shorts and a golf shirt. The total for the trip was 157 holes. The videos below cannot do the resort justice.
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Caddie Matt Parise, Doug Middleton, Jorge Croda, Mass Golf Assoc's Mark Gagne

Me being reminded to stay out of the bunkers
I would be remiss in not thanking Mink Meadows, the people who nominated me and all the sponsors: Syngenta, The Care of Trees, Sandtrapper & Ocean Organics. I thought the first trip in 2012 was a once in a lifetime. You assume a repeat will never live up to the first but each time it is the same and possibly better which is truly amazing.

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