Traversing the Links
TITLEIST iron, $175; titleist.com
G/FORE sweater, $195, polo, $125, and hat, $35; gfore.com
Mark Twain is widely given credit for once opining that “golf is a good walk spoiled.” Were the American author still alive to see the Garia Via, he might have changed his mind. Built upon a lightweight aluminum chassis, this street-legal low-speed vehicle (LSV) flashes custom, 12-inch aluminum wheels; a premium instrument cluster; sport seats; and a built-in, dash-mounted refrigerator. An optional Masonry package further enhances the interior with clear-coated, carbon-fiber accents, and the brand’s signature, angled golf bag compartment at the rear provides players with easy access to clubs.
For purists who like to walk, the Vessel Player 2.0 Stand Bag is the best choice. As the golf bag manufacturer for some of the PGA Tour’s top players (including Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood, and Jordan Spieth), the San Diego company has established an almost-decade-long reputation for crafting premium, understated products. The Player 2.0 is configured in either a 6-way or 14-way top and made from a microsuede-backed synthetic leather that is both durable and easy to clean. This latest version of Vessel’s top-selling bag now features reverse tape-coated waterproof zippers, interchangeable straps, genuine leather handles, and carbon-fiber legs.
Also appealing to walkers are TRUE OG Premium shoes. Featuring a breathable, waterproof construction and made from soft, supple full-grain leather, the edition (as the name suggests) is the most luxurious made by TRUE linkswear, a Tacoma, Washington–based company co-founded by PGA Tour pro Ryan Moore in 2009. A pair weighs less than 13 ounces and sports a natural-width toe box and a zero-drop platform, which replicates the sensation of standing and walking barefoot. As the brand’s slogan suggests, “enjoy the walk.” —Shaun Tolson
GARIA Via, from $19,682; garia.com
GALVIN GREEN vest, $199; galvingreen.com
J.LINDEBERG polo, $95; jlindebergusa.com
HUGO BOSS pants, $158, and hat, $78; hugoboss.com
PUMA belt, $50; pumagolf.com
TRUE OG Premium shoes, $179; truelinkswear.com
G/FORE glove, $35; gfore.com
VESSEL Player 2.0 Stand Bag, from $345; vesselbags.com
TITLEIST clubs, $1,399 for a set of eight; titleist.com
G/FORE polo, $125, trousers, $165, shoes, $225, and glove, $35; gfore.com
A Walker’s Paradise
Check into this coastal retreat where the game of golf is played as it was originally intended.
Since its grand opening 21 years ago, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (bandondunesgolf.com)—set along the sandy dunes of Oregon’s southern coast—has delivered an ever-growing lineup of authentic links courses that reflect developer Mike Keiser’s vision of the sport. That includes the resort’s commitment to being a walking-only golf destination, one that allows golfers to experience the game in all possible conditions.
During his first week at the resort in 2005, Steven Borror, the director of golf, had to help a group of four friends buy the appropriate gear to play in the rain, but then felt badly a couple of hours later when the weather really turned for the worse, raining harder than he had ever seen. Borror went out to meet the group on the 18th green and was ready to apologize for sending them out in such extreme conditions, but before he could even utter an “I’m sorry,” the golfers gushed about how much fun the experience was and asked if they could play nine more holes.
“It was in that moment that I realized I was in a completely different place,” he says. “When guests gear up and go out and play, that’s what they tend to talk about and remember the most. “There’s more intimacy and there’s greater camaraderie when you’re walking a golf course with your friends,” he adds. “It gives you that time to really enjoy each other and every moment as you go along. That’s the Bandon experience and why it’s so magical.”
Scottish course architect David McLay Kidd, who designed Bandon Dunes’ first eponymous 18-hole course, shares Borror’s beliefs. “We’re all striving for authenticity and experience,” Kidd says, “and when you play golf in a beautiful place without walking, you’re getting neither. You don’t get to take in the fresh air or see the view or laugh with your buddies as you walk the fairways.
“Want to play golf the way it was meant to be?” Kidd asks. “Put on some comfortable shoes, put an extra pair of socks in your bag, and go walk.” —S.T.