Bandon Dunes – Golf As It Was Meant To Be

Bandon Dunes now has a history worthy of its place in the golf world: Bandon Dunes Golf As It Was Meant To Be. As fellow golf book collector and golf course architect Ben Crenshaw writes in the introduction to the book, “When I try to find words for the feeling inspired by the environment of Bandon Dunes, I keep coming back to the same phrase – lonely beauty. It’s links golf, yes, but it’s rugged golf.”

Mike Keiser, the founder and owner of the Bandon Resort wanted to create “dream golf”. As Crenshaw describes him, “he had the pioneer’s drive to go where other’s hadn’t, and to do what other wouldn’t dare. I don’t think it’s a stretch to describe Mike as the classic American type, the rugged individualist.” The book tells the story of the evolution of Bandon as a world-class golf destination.

The 208 page book contains pictures of all 85 holes at the Bandon Resort – from the Bandon Dunes course (designed by David McLay Kidd), Pacific Dunes (Tom Doak), Bandon Trails (Coore & Crenshaw), Old MacDonald (Doak and Urbana) and from the thirteen hole par three course: Bandon Preserve (Coore & Crenshaw). The photography was done by Bandon based photography Wood Sabold, whose previous works have appeared in various golf magazines and books.

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The text of the book is written by Stephen Goodwin who wrote the first book about Bandon Dunes titled Dream Golf. The book is organized into separate chapters that describe each course and give an extended photo tour of each course and its rugged terrain, gorse and coastline. The book was issued in a standard trade edition with a dustjacket, pictured above. It was also issued in a Collector’s Edition, limited to 500 copies. The Collector’s Edition was issued with a clam shell case seen below.

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The Collector’s Edition is signed by Mike Keiser, David McLay Kidd, Tom Doak, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The book also comes with five medallions, each an inch and a half in diameter. The medallions have a special place they are inserted into the clam shell box and each highlights one of the five courses. The Collector’s Edition also comes with five hand signed prints, one of each course, hand signed by the photography and suitable for framing, one of which is pictured below.

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Goodwin relays some interesting stories about the building of the resort. Mike Keiser is a real student of the game and as the first course was being built, Bandon Dunes, he told the assembled crew that if they built the course right, it would last for 500 years. The man is a visionary and a true lover of the game. Keiser describes my golf heroes as Old Tom Morris, Charles B. Macdonald, William Fownes and George Crump.

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Certainly the last three of his heroes fit the benevolent dictator model at National Golf Links, Oakmont and Pine Valley. Keiser seems like a benevolent dictator himself, with the one big exception that his empire was built for the public and is available to all. His vision of walking only in a pure environment seems like a no-brainer now. I’m sure building golf courses so difficult to get to in such a windy area was initially thought to be madness. Thank heavens he did it.

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Valuable Book Group specializes in rare, collectible and valuable golf books. We are avid collectors ourselves obsessed not only with playing the game, but also its history and the literature of the game.
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