As I wrote earlier this week, TaylorMade invited about a dozen media members to the “TaylorMade Short Game Experience” at Bandon Dunes for the launch of its ATV wedges and Manta putters. We were lucky enough to preview the new 13-hole par-3 course, Bandon Preserve, which opens to the public on May 1st. I could play that track all day long. It’s challenging, scenic and just downright amazing.
On Tuesday we played Bandon Trails, one of the four famed courses at proprietor Mike Keiser’s golfing mecca. Trails takes you through massive sand dunes, rolling meadows and a coastal forest. Basically, you get a little bit of everything and it’s a beast (the yardage is deceiving) and it’s the only track at Bandon that’s not links-style (and that’s according to Keiser).
I had arguably the best group. I played with Brian Katrek, host extraordinaire, including Sirius/XM PGA Tour radio, Mike McAllister, managing editor at PGATour.com, and Sean Toulon, TaylorMade’s Executive Vice President of Product Marketing. We decided to stage a friendly match. Sean was my partner. I thought we were going to kick booty, but instead we stunk it up. Of course, we still had an awesome time. For the record, Katrek clowned on me (as you’ll hear in one of the videos below) for hitting from the “girls’ tees, which measured 5,731 yards, but ask him which tees he played from. *cough6,260cough*
As I mentioned, we had fun. Katrek called a few of my drives and does a darn good Dan Hicks impression He’s a dead-on ringer — at least his voice. Katrek is sneaky funny, as you’ll see in these videos.
Let’s start with my favorite. Here now, he calls my drive on No. 9 and I toss in some rambling, grumpy critiques of my game.
Next, Katrek clowns on me on No. 6 and throws in a TaylorMade plug. Toulon makes a cameo, too.
Finally, Katrek shows off his smooth swing on the par-3 17th. He hit what appeared to be a dart at the flag, but it rolled off the back of the green into the collection area. I wasn’t sorry he caught a bad break.
How did it turn out? Well, Katrek is so good that he got up-and-down from a really, really tough spot. I think he shot two-over, but again, from the 18-handicapper tees. C’mon, 6,260 yards, Katrek! You should be ashamed of yourself, you weenie!