Book review: Dream Golf

Book cover for Dream Golf by Stephen Goodwin

For our annual golf trip this year, Brad and I went to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. It was a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, which I documented here. It’s hard to put into words what an amazing trip it was. If you’re considering a golf trip there, my simple advice is to go. Now. You won’t regret it.

While we were there, Our caddie Eddie suggested I read Dream Golf by Stephen Goodwin. It delves into the inspiration for the resort and covers the building of the first four courses – Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, and Old MacDonald. Given how much I enjoyed the experience, Eddie didn’t have to mention it twice. I purchased the book from the gift shop the day we left the resort.

Dream Golf is a tough book to review. If you’ve been to Bandon Dunes or plan to go there, then you definitely want to read the book. The stories behind the founding of the resort and building of the courses are fascinating. I found Mike Keiser’s dedication and vision not only to the building of the resort but also to the game of golf to be inspiring. Certainly, Bandon Dunes has become a smashing success, but its success is not manufactured or artificial. Its success comes from Keiser’s desire to preserve the traditions of the game of golf. To put it in plain words, the resort and the courses are a true reflection of the way golf is meant to be played and enjoyed. And that is why people go there, keep coming back, and keep telling others about it.

If you’re planning a trip to the resort, the book will help take your journey to another level, if that’s even possible. You’ll have a better sense for the history of the resort, the courses, and the surrounding area, and even some of the people who still work there (yes – I’m looking at you Shoe). The best part, Goodwin plays a round of golf with the golf architects at Bandon Dunes and Pacific Dunes. To hear how the golf architects shaped the courses gave me insight I wish I would have had while playing them. I’m not sure it would have made a difference in my scores, but I like to think it would have helped.

If you’re not a golfer, the book may still be interesting. The golf parts might not keep your attention, but seeing Keiser’s dedication, attention to detail, and true passion for the game may give you the motivation to go the extra mile in whatever projects you are working on. It may even inspire you to take on that project or start that business you’ve always wanted to.

Because the book is specific to golf, I’m not going to recommend in my Must Reads or Fun Reads category. However, if you’ve been to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort or plan to visit, then put this book at the top of our reading list. Just like going there, you won’t regret reading it.

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