You ever sit around after playing a wonderful golf course for the first time wondering how cool it would be to play this gem with the course designer so you could understand what was going through his mind. Well if that course was Old Macdonald at Bandon Dunes then your wish has come true.
With the considerable filmmaking skills at work of Los Angeles producer Michael Robin, the DVD “A Journey to Golf’s Past: Creating Old Macdonald” is packed with intimate goodies on the conception, planning, and creation of the latest links offering at Mike Keiser’s Bandon Dunes resort. For the golf junkie and armchair course architect this is like manna from heaven.
Old Macdonald was the brain child of Mike Keiser who wanted to build a little bit of Scotland in America and honor the genius of C.B. Macdonald the father of golf architecture in America. With the help of the foremost American expert in links design Tom Doak and his valued associate Jim Urbina they set about gathering characteristics of holes that C.B. had done through his career and composed the best of them into the glistening collection holes that make up Old Macdonald.
The feature presentation is over an hour of interviews with all the protagonists of the project covering the processes of planning, design, and execution of the course construction. The interviews with Mike Keiser give you real insight into his thinking as he has stewarded ambitious golf projects like Bandon Dunes. It also includes vivid footage of the holes at Old Macdonald as well as their counterparts at St. Andrews, North Berwick, Prestwick, Yale Golf Course, and The National Golf Links. Doak walks through the characteristics of the original holes at these venues and his interpretation of them in the new holes in Bandon.
There is also detail about construction challenges and techniques when it comes to building a links golf course. Whether it is hand raking fairways to get them just right, feathering the final contours of the massive greens, or building a sod wall bunker one row at a time this is fascinating to watch.
As is the case with all these DVDs there are some extras to add value to your purchase in the form of “special features”. The coolest extra is a hole-by-hole tour of the 18 at Old Mac with Tom Doak as your guide. This is like having a video yardage book with the designer as narrator. If you have played the course you will find this feature very enlightening.
For ten bucks plus shipping you can find this DVD on the shopping portal of the Bandon Dunes website. The quality of Robin’s video and production along with the ethereal Scottish sound track by Mason Daring make for a very enjoyable and informative walk through the creation of Old Macdonald.
A Journey To Golf’s Past
Creating Old Macdonald
Michael Robin (2011)