Golf Blog

A Bandon Dunes Wedding.

Over the last several years, golf has taken me to some pretty sweet ass places. From the cliffs of Old Head in Ireland to the crashing waves of Cypress Point in California, this golfer has gotten around. Even though I have been spoiled rotten with the destinations, it is the people that have been the magic ingredient. One of those people that brought the magic has been Kenzie O’Connell.

The first time that I meant Kenzie O Connell was at a Starbucks in the Calgary airport. She was ordering some sort of advanced triple macchiato with double iced espresso beans, with zero fat and zero calories. “Oh lord, here we go,” I remember muttering in my head. It’s a good thing that I didn’t say those words out loud as I would have been forced to eat them several days later. As it turns out, my new friend Kenzie O’Connell was the real deal.

My second favorite shot of Kenzie from our Canadian Rockies trip

My second favorite shot of Kenzie from our Canadian Rockies trip

My favorite shot of Kenzie from our Canadian Rockies trip.

My favorite shot of Kenzie from our Canadian Rockies trip.

Countless adventures and golf trips later, Kenzie was scheduled to arrive at the altar with the man of her dreams, Jimmy. I was selected as the photographer of choice and the destination of choice was Bandon Dunes. It was a real best in class type situation. If anything, the photographer was the weak link.

I warned Kenzie that this was my first official wedding shoot and that all of her wedding photos were going to turn out blurry and overexposed. She paid little attention to my pleas and paid me anyways. The pressure was on and I needed to deliver. Fortunately, I didn’t have to jump right into '“capturing the magic of love” right away, I had time to warm up with a practice round at Bandon Preserve. Nothing warms up a camera lens faster than Bandon Preserve.

Jimmy, the groom, hits one in tight on #6

Jimmy, the groom, hits one in tight on #6

#7 on Bandon Preserve with Bandon Dunes in the distance

#7 on Bandon Preserve with Bandon Dunes in the distance

Looking back on 17 at Bandon Dunes from #11 on Bandon Preserve

Looking back on 17 at Bandon Dunes from #11 on Bandon Preserve

When I first met Kenzie, she couldn’t high kick past her knee.

When I first met Kenzie, she couldn’t high kick past her knee.

Devastation over a short missed putt for birdie on #5.

Devastation over a short missed putt for birdie on #5.

The emotion of the missed putt strikes the faces of the wedding crew.

The emotion of the missed putt strikes the faces of the wedding crew.

There a few things as satisfying as the sun setting over Bandon Dunes.

There a few things as satisfying as the sun setting over Bandon Dunes.

With the warmup photo session and golf complete at Bandon Preserve, it was time for Jimmy and Kenzie’s big day. First up, I was tasked with photographing the ‘getting ready phase.’ This phase can last anywhere from 1 to 17 hours and involves a lot of high stakes hair fixing, makeup, and garment arranging. I just tried to get out of the way as the girls rushed to meet their deadline.

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Keeping with the golf theme Jimmy’s groomsmen and best man were outfitted in caddie attire.

Keeping with the golf theme Jimmy’s groomsmen and best man were outfitted in caddie attire.

With 4 wedding caddies and just 1 groom, Jimmy was fully prepared for success at the ceremony.

With 4 wedding caddies and just 1 groom, Jimmy was fully prepared for success at the ceremony.

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Jimmy and Kenzie decided to drive one into the Pacific to finalize their wedding vows to each other.

Jimmy and Kenzie decided to drive one into the Pacific to finalize their wedding vows to each other.

Jimmy was excited to marry Kenzie.

Jimmy was excited to marry Kenzie.

Some of the most boss bridesmaids that I have ever seen.

Some of the most boss bridesmaids that I have ever seen.

Kenzie did not actually hit this golf ball off of her brother’s face. Golfing in a wedding dress is hard.

Kenzie did not actually hit this golf ball off of her brother’s face. Golfing in a wedding dress is hard.

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After Jimmy and Kenzie were officially married, it was time to head to the reception. That reception was held at Bandon Dunes’ Punch Bowl. The 100,000 square foot putting surface was the perfect place to have some drinks and celebrate two great people and families joining their lives together. There was also a fierce putting duel, in which Jimmy The Groom emerged victorious. I am not gonna say everyone let him win… but everyone let him win.

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Probably talking joint banking accounts and mutual funds.

Probably talking joint banking accounts and mutual funds.

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Jimmy’s father and best man exudes confidence and joy.

Jimmy’s father and best man exudes confidence and joy.

Easily in my top 5 wedding photos. Kenzie did not know that I was taking this picture. She is legitimately angry about her new husband beating her at golf.

Easily in my top 5 wedding photos. Kenzie did not know that I was taking this picture. She is legitimately angry about her new husband beating her at golf.

Nikki B is a talented golfer… but it is just one of her many talents.

Nikki B is a talented golfer… but it is just one of her many talents.

Tisha  and  Chelsea  did not approve the posting of this picture.

Tisha and Chelsea did not approve the posting of this picture.

My favorite shot out of the 3 million photos I took.

My favorite shot out of the 3 million photos I took.

After the sun went down on an amazing day, we didn’t just give up and go to sleep. We grabbed our golf clubs and headed out for some golf… Night golf that is.

The staff at Bandon Dunes provided all of the night golf supplies that we needed. They set up the course, provided the glow balls (Glow V1’s) and even had the staff walk with us to make sure we didn’t get lost. All that was required of us was to show up with our clubs once it got nice and dark.

Anyone can set up night golf if you have a group of 8 or more. Just inquire when booking. The routing is holes 1,2,3, and then you play back into the Bandon Dunes main clubhouse on the 9th hole.

The staff even left a special glow in the dark message for Jimmy and Kenzie.

The staff even left a special glow in the dark message for Jimmy and Kenzie.

Like a true Bandon bride and groom, Jimmy and Kenzie decided to wake up the next morning and play more golf. The agenda for the following day… more golf. It was a true Bandon Dunes honeymoon, or maybe we just call it a Bandon Honeydunes.

I take this picture every time that I arrive on the 6th tee box at Bandon Dunes, it’s always wonderfully different looking back down the 5th fairway.

I take this picture every time that I arrive on the 6th tee box at Bandon Dunes, it’s always wonderfully different looking back down the 5th fairway.

Tisha Alyn deals with one of the newly renovated bunkers on #9 at Bandon Dunes.

Tisha Alyn deals with one of the newly renovated bunkers on #9 at Bandon Dunes.

Since this was the first time playing Bandon Dunes for Nikki, Chelsea, and Tisha, I played the role of Golf Tour Guide. Golf Tour Guide is great because you get to tell all of your old stories and feel real important and knowledgable.

Nikki, Chelsea, and Tisha stroll hard on the 16th at Bandon Dunes.

Nikki, Chelsea, and Tisha stroll hard on the 16th at Bandon Dunes.

The view looking towards the green on the 6th tee box at Bandon Dunes.

The view looking towards the green on the 6th tee box at Bandon Dunes.

The gorse (bottom left) blooms twice a year at Bandon.

The gorse (bottom left) blooms twice a year at Bandon.

the 11th hole at Pacific Dunes is a popular selection for favorite golf hole at Bandon.

the 11th hole at Pacific Dunes is a popular selection for favorite golf hole at Bandon.

Although I knew it was going to be a special weekend, I couldn’t have imagined the outpouring of joy and love from this fantastic group of friends and family. Here’s to a long and fulfilling life together for the new bride and groom. Golf and love on!

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Golf Digest Think Young Play Hard Invitational - 2017

Every year, the fine folks over at Golf Digest throw a big golf tournament party and they call it the Think Young Play Hard Invitational, or TYPHI for short.  The tournament is so much fun, that it is one of the few tournaments T Rex attends every year.  As it turns out, the 65 million year old creature is a total golf nut.

For the tournament's inaugural 2 years, it has been hosted in Las Vegas.  Sensing that the TYPHI needed a change of pace, the tournament organizers consulted the ancient golf scrolls and moved the venue to Bandon Dunes.  From hot desert terrain to sea side wind storms, the tournament was on the move to the Pacific coast. 

When in doubt, go to Bandon Dunes
— Ancient Proverb

There are 2 acceptable options for any golfer arriving at Bandon Dunes without enough time for a full 18: Hone your putting game on the Punch Bowl or go to Bandon Preserve and warm up your wedges.  We had time for both.

The 2nd hole at  Bandon Preserve  gets the golf juices flowing.

The 2nd hole at Bandon Preserve gets the golf juices flowing.

With holes like the 6th,  Bandon Preserve  is easily one of the country's best short courses.

With holes like the 6th, Bandon Preserve is easily one of the country's best short courses.

For those new to Bandon, the Punch Bowl is a 100,000 square foot putting course designed by Jim Urbina and Tom Doak. It just had it's 3rd birthday and is a terrific way to spend hours putting.

You will find every kind of putt you can imagine out there, and probably a few you’ve never dreamed of.
— Tom Doak

With the tournament preparation taken care of, it was time to set our sites on the first round.  My partner?  Why It was none other than Smooderoo.  She's a doctor in Canada and wears hats that say "Pray for Birdies"  What could go wrong?  As it turns out in golf, lots of things can go wrong. 

Things that remained high during Round 1 of the 2017 TYPHI

  • Spirits
  • Temperatures
  • Our golf scores
In one of our team's first round highlights, we made a 4 footer for par on the relatively easy 17th hole at Bandon Trails.  The highlight reel was sparse, the aerial footage was plentiful.

In one of our team's first round highlights, we made a 4 footer for par on the relatively easy 17th hole at Bandon Trails.  The highlight reel was sparse, the aerial footage was plentiful.

The popular 5th hole at  Bandon Trails.

The popular 5th hole at Bandon Trails.

This is where we would drop out of the lead.  #2 at  Bandon Trails .

This is where we would drop out of the lead.  #2 at Bandon Trails.

So naturally, after a tough outing at Bandon Trails, I headed over to Pacific Dunes to hone my wind game.  I was fortunate enough to tee it up with the guys from ShipSticks and a good time was had flying drones, taking photos, and also playing some golf.  In perfect weather, with the sun setting over the ocean, Pacific Dunes is a visual assault on the golfing senses.  I tried to capture the magic from the ground and from the air.

A look back on the short 16th at  Pacific Dunes .

A look back on the short 16th at Pacific Dunes.

The golf party really starts on the 3rd hole at  Pacific Dunes .

The golf party really starts on the 3rd hole at Pacific Dunes.

With round 1 in the books, we found our 2 man team 4 shots out of the TYPHI flight lead.  Unfortunately, we would do little to help ourselves up the leader board during the second round at Bandon Dunes.  However, Sarah did help herself to some scotch at Bandon's secret stash.

The difficult 5th at  Bandon Dune s is one of the best holes on the property.

The difficult 5th at Bandon Dunes is one of the best holes on the property.

A different view of the 16th green at Bandon Dunes.

A different view of the 16th green at Bandon Dunes.

In the end it was the folks from Jones Golf that totally dominated the field with stellar play both rounds.  Congratulations fellas!!  I highly suggest that you honor their victory by picking up a Jones bag.

 Just when the awards were about to be handed out, T Rex came in hot and crashed the party.  He immediately started roaring and pounding Bud Lights.  He then proceeded  to pass out as he took in a classic Bandon Dunes sunset.

After spending some time in the Bunker Bar and telling stories of missed putts and chunked chips, it was time for an early morning send off round at Old Macdonald and just like that the TYPHI had come to a close.

A big thanks to Luan and the team at Golf Digest, the staff at Bandon Dunes, and all of the sponsors for putting on another fantastic tournament.  

What your golf ball sees at it descends onto the 11th green.

What your golf ball sees at it descends onto the 11th green.

The view from behind and above #13.

The view from behind and above #13.

Leave a ball, take a pull on the scotch, and go make some birdies.

Leave a ball, take a pull on the scotch, and go make some birdies.

Any time you use the same club 5 times in a row, it’s a bad thing.
— Patrick Koenig
Our final round pairing featured Instagram standout  Kasia Kay .  This girl can golf her ball.

Our final round pairing featured Instagram standout Kasia Kay.  This girl can golf her ball.

After calling in 6 rules violations, an angry and drunken T Rex demands a recount of all scores.

After calling in 6 rules violations, an angry and drunken T Rex demands a recount of all scores.

Personally, I am a big fan of railroad ties in bunkers.

Personally, I am a big fan of railroad ties in bunkers.