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The Loop

Old Macdonald: A Tour Of The Front 9

On Wednesday night I went to a dinner at Bandon Dunes, sponsored by the Western Golf Association. (Yes, I was back at Bandon Dunes.) In attendance: Bandon owner, Mike Keiser, Pacific Dunes designer and Old Mac co-designer, Tom Doak, Bandon Trails co-designer Bill Coore and Ron Whitten, the Golf Digest architecture editor.

After dinner Whitten lead a discussion with Doak and Coore and then they answered questions from members of the WGA, who, oh by the way, raised $200,000 that week for the Evans Scholarship Foundation. (That's the foundation that awards hundreds of scholarships to caddies every year.)

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As much as I've been to Bandon lately (three times since September), I've never played all 18 at Old Mac. On Thursday I tweeted a live hole-by-hole tour via my cell phone (twitter.com/wheresmattyg), but I also promised some pictures.

Under a blue sky in the face of a three- to four-club wind, with nothing but Danny V the caddie and a camera, I played one of the few new courses in this country for a long time. Here's a visual tour of the front nine of Bandon's fourth course, scheduled to officially open on June 1. (The back nine tour and some final thoughts will post on Monday.)

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This is the first hole (pictured above). Double Plateau is only 304 yards but it generally plays directly into the wind.

It's obvious Doak and co-designer, Jim Urbina, took great care to factor in the prevailing wind when they laid this course out. All short holes played into the wind -- all long holes played directly downwind. (What a concept.) [#image: /photos/55ad724cadd713143b423b92]|||Mac_2.jpg|||Sorry, the flat holes don't photograph so well. It didn't help that the sun was so high, that I was using my little Leica camera and that I'm not a great photographer. This is No. 2 (pictured above): The Eden, 162 yards.

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So that's the front nine of Old Mac. The par is 34, I shot a very sloppy 42. As I tweeted, "I'm scratch at mediocrity." Again, I'll post the back nine and some overall thoughts on Old Mac on Monday. Have a great weekend.

--Matty G.