Synopses & Reviews
On a wild, windblown bluff high above the Pacific sits one of America's premier golfing destinations, Bandon Dunes. Golf enthusiast Mike Keiser had the dream of building this British-style "links" course on a stretch of Oregon's rugged coast, and Dream Golf
is the first all-inclusive account of how he turned his passion into a reality.
Now, in this updated and expanded edition, golf writer Stephen Goodwin revisits Bandon Dunes and introduces readers to Keiser's latest effort there, a new course named Old Macdonald that will present golfers with a more rugged, untamed version of the game. This "new" approach to the sport is, in fact, a return to the game's origins, with a very deep bow to Charles Blair Macdonald (1856 -1939), the father of American golf course architecture and one of the founders of the U.S. Golf Association. This highly anticipated fourth course, designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Doak along with Jim Urbina -- as detailed in Dream Golf -- will further enhance Bandon Dunes' reputation as a place where golf really does seem to capture the ancient magic of the game.
"This is much more than a golf book; it's the story of one man's unshakable vision and the extraordinary people who helped him bring it to life."
—George Peper, former editor in chief, Golf Magazine
"Mike Keiser followed his instincts to build courses that speak to golf as a rugged adventure. Steve Goodwin's spirited book will speak to the golfing soul in you and make you want to leave—immediately, whether or not you've already been there—to experience what Keiser and his band of inspired architects have wrought at Bandon Dunes."
—Lorne Rubenstein, columnist for The Globe and Mail (Canada) and author of A Season in Dornoch
Goodwin (Breaking Her Fall) brings a passion for golf and a fluid narrative style to his account of one man's quest to create a British-style links course on a gorse-choked, craggy expanse of land on the Oregon coast. Mike Keiser was a successful entrepreneur whose company, Recycled Paper Greetings, afforded him the possibility of laying out $2.4 million in cash for what most people viewed as a dubious project at best. Goodwin deftly breaks down the differences between traditional, modern and postmodern golf course architecture, and relays the revelatory experiences in Great Britain that gave Keiser a love of rolling, sandy, seaside courses. He portrays Keiser as visionary, humble, generous and dynamic, though readers may wonder if he's too reverent or close to his subject (for instance, Goodwin makes no mention of Keiser's thoughts on golf courses' tendency to wreak havoc on the land, which is strange considering Keiser founded an environmentally friendly greeting-card company). Although chapters on the intricacies of development might be of interest only to businesspeople and planners, Goodwin's lively writing and clear descriptions make for an apt chronicle for golf fans of the making of Bandon Dunes, which, since its 1999 opening, has been considered one of the world's premier courses Poets - & - Writers
Bandon Dunes is a golf resort on the remote southern Oregon coast, a region that defies all common assumptions about where to build both golf courses and resorts: It's sparsely populated and relatively inaccessible from any large urban areas (five hours from Portland and more from San Francisco). The story of how Mike Keiser, a golf-loving, greeting-card millionaire from Chicago, fell in love with the rugged, windblown site (it reminded him of Scottish and Irish linksland) and transformed it into not one but three world-class golf courses will appeal to golfers and lovers of golf history on multiple levels: as a crash course in golf-course architecture; as an insider's look at how golf holes are designed and constructed; and as a surprisingly inspirational account of how a golf course built the old-fashioned way can inspire a "sense of the sublime" in all who trod its fairways. Author Goodwin compares Keiser to Jay Gatsby and claims that, in Bandon Dunes, Keiser found something "commensurate to his capacity for wonder." Readers with a passion for golf will share that wonder as they read this very special book. Bill Ott
"A fascinating study of Keiser's evolution as a golf entrepreneur . . . any golfer interested in how things work will find it a worthy read. This, one suspects, is how the West was truly won."
—Travel & Leisure Golf
"Fascinating . . . Any golfer interested in how things work will find it a worthy read." --Travel and Leisure Golf
"What a pleasure when a good story lands in the hands of a good storyteller." --Golfweek
"Go buy the book--it will make you go to Bandon for sure." --Golf Today
Motivated by the simple desire to create the best and purest golf experience possible, one man sets out to build a world-class golf course on the Oregon coast--and succeeds beyond all his dreams.
Mike Keiser, entrepreneur, amateur golf enthusiast, and founder of the successful company Recycled Paper Greetings, turned his unlikely dream of creating a British-style links course on Oregon’s rugged coast into one of America’s most extraordinary golf destinations. Working against the odds, and making decisions that seemed counterintuitive to most outsiders, Keiser surprised the skeptics and charmed the critics with the result of his efforts. When it opened in 1999, Bandon Dunes was instantly acclaimed one of the best courses in the world.
This book, written with Keiser’s full cooperation, is the first all-inclusive account of how he translated his passion into a reality. It reveals the difficulties he had to overcome, the personalities he encountered—most notably two of golf architecture’s most controversial figures, Scotsman David Kidd and American Tom Doak—and the goal he has achieved in creating a true golfing utopia in an astonishingly short period of time on a wild, windblown bluff high above the Pacific.
About the Author
Stephen Goodwin is the author of four other books, including the critically acclaimed Breaking Her Fall
. He lives in Virginia and teaches at George Mason University.