Director of Outside Happiness

By Matt Ginella

So many aspects and people of Bandon Dunes link the land and the resort to the town, in part, making this a collection of true links golf. But by being there from the beginning, and nearly every workday since, no one has been there longer, no one has spent more time on property, than Bob Gaspar. The former teamster and member of the Coast Guard is now affectionately known as “Shoe” because there’s a striking resemblance to the great jockey Bill Shoemaker. This is the story of how Gaspar discovered the Bandon Dunes development before it opened and why this Shoe was such a great fit from the start. From fetching sandwiches, caddie, caddie master, weather reviewer, social media sensation and ultimately the “Director of Outside Happiness,” this is a short celebration of how one committed, hard-working loyal local can have such a significant impact on so many global golfers descending upon the Southwest Coast of Oregon. In his daily weather ratings, on a scale of 1 to 10, he has never handed out a perfect score. “There’s always room for improvement,” Shoe says. Which might be true as it relates to the weather, but this guy is forever a 10.

—Matt

Outside Happiness

More from Bandon Dunes

With 13 upcoming USGA championships and more new courses, Mike Keiser can’t stop growing his resort and the game

July of 2021, roughly 25 years into the development of Bandon, and news just broke that not only is Mike Keiser looking to develop a sixth 18-hole course, another short course and a putting course, but that the USGA will be bringing 13 amateur championships in the next 24 years, which includes a Walker Cup, two more U.S. Amateurs, three Women’s Amateurs, a Curtis Cup and four U.S. Juniors, two boy’s and two girl’s. 

“I never dreamed Bandon Dunes would be as popular as it is,” Keiser said on Tuesday evening, just before he sat down to dinner with one of his granddaughters. “That popularity enables us to have these tournaments.” And it also frees him up to build more courses and lodging. 

In this episode, Matt Ginella, Alan Shipnuck and Colt Knedler discuss all that’s on the horizon for one of the greatest pure golf destinations in the world. 

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1 thought on “Director of Outside Happiness”

  1. I and three of my long time golfing buddies, Andy Kerr, Bob Powell and Blair Henderson, had the opportunity to play Bandon Dunes before the course was open to the public. The clubhouse was under construction, and There were no distance markers on the tees or anywhere on the course. “Shoe” who I believe was the caddy master-to-be at the time, and three of his caddies-in-training took us out for one of the most memorable rounds of golf of our lives. We were literally the only players on the course. In subsequent years when we returned, Shoe was always a most gracious and hospitable host. He is a true gentleman and a wonderful representative of the resort. Please say “hi” to him for me.

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