Bandon Dunes in Oregon is an architectural wonder. An icon of excellence for golfers.

Bandon Dunes in Oregon is an architectural wonder. An icon of excellence for golfers.

Carnegie Hall. The Mona Lisa. Bandon Dunes on the Oregon Coast.

True masterpieces inspire pilgrimage, because the allure of excellence is too magnetic to resist. And we’re intrigued by the idea that lingering in the presence of greatness might change our soul.

Last week I walked the fairways of a golfing mecca: Bandon Dunes.  She’s a masterpiece, crafted by visionaries who transported the mystique of ancient Scottish golf to the southern Oregon coast. Like Carnegie Hall, I’m dreaming of going back again. Like the Mona Lisa, she’s very, very difficult to describe with words.

What makes Bandon Dunes so special?

Our foursome of friends stopped counting how many times we said: "isn't this spectacular?"

Our foursome of friends stopped counting how many times we said: “Isn’t this spectacular?” about the marriage of Mother Nature and Bandon Dunes.

Most golf destinations have one fine golf course. A handful of resorts have two worth the trip. But Bandon Dunes has four polished diamonds in a surreal coastal venue. The setting is so special I didn’t really care about my score.

Perhaps the difficulty of the journey adds to her mystique: from Minneapolis, I could have flown to St. Andrews in Scotland faster. Eleven hours of planes, trains and automobiles erased the stress of earning a living and fueled my anticipation for the masterpiece.

In reflection, I think it’s the walking that moves people so deeply – golf carts are not allowed. Consistent with ancient tradition, Bandon Dunes golfers are required to walk.

Walking anywhere with an ocean crashing against the senses is special (especially when living in the Midwest). But strolling wind-sculpted fairways breathing sea-salted air at Bandon Dunes transported me into a very happy place. There was goodness everywhere.

Like my honeymoon, I didn't want this romantic adventure to end.

Like my honeymoon, I didn’t want this romantic adventure to end. Waiting for the group ahead gave me a chance to soak in the excellence.

So how does a golfing pilgrimage enhance good leadership?  The obvious answer is how effectively this Seven Fs experience created mental, spiritual and physical rejuvenation. It was a clean sweep of satisfaction on faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun and future.

But what I’m thinking about today is a renewed appreciation for how rarely we experience true excellence in our lives. The news media numbs our senses by spewing hyperbole for sport. I’m grateful Bandon Dunes reminded me of the Carnegie Hall and Mona Lisa aura.  So now, I’m wondering: when will I find it again? And what will my masterpiece be?

Good leaders make a habit of succumbing to the magnetic pull of excellence. And they invest themselves in the idea someday they will create their own masterpiece.

 

Our readers will appreciate learning from you: What masterpiece have you enjoyed lately?