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Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I have played both courses on Ft. Bragg, NC this week, and I have to say that they are the 2 worst courses I've played in my short golfing career.

At my home course, the greens are nearly perfect, especially for this time of year, and as hot as it's been this summer. They are still soft and cushiony when you walk on them, and the ball rolls fast and smooth.

These 2 rounds this week have absolutely left me with a horribly taste in my mouth about these 2 courses. Here's my thoughts about both of them:

Ryder Golf Club: Used to be the "officer's" golf course, but years ago, they opened it to everyone. The course has a great layout, and if better maintained, would be a great round of golf. The fairways are like the grass in a cow pasture. There's 18 different types of grass in every fairway, along with clover and any other weed you could think of. The rough was just as bad, it was pretty much weeds. We had to play "winter rules" in order to be able to hit off of grass in the middle of a few of the fairways. The greens were absolutely the worst I've seen. Bare spots everywhere. I don't think it was possible to actually read a putt because the ball would bounce everywhere on the way to the hole. There were so many bald spots and uneven spots on the green, I gave up trying to read them, and putted everything straight at the hole hoping for the best. There was also weeds growing on the greens. Weeds may not be the best word for it, a partner of mine who used to manage a golf course had a name for the type of grass it was, and said that the staff has to watch that stuff, because it spreads deep and has deep roots and can ruin a green. He also said that it was apparent that the staff didn't care about the greens, or else it wouldn't be there. The staff there was also pretty rude and uncaring about anything, it seems.

Payed $32 for the round with cart, and honestly feel like I got ripped off as sad as that is for cheaper golf. There's much nicer courses here for the same price. When I complained to the Pro and Assistant Pro about the greens, I was told that it's because they're Bermuda and are never good at this time of year. Kind of funny that my home course's greens are Bermuda as well, and are as perfect as you can get for this time of year and the heat we've been facing.

Played Stryker Golf Course today, and was very disappointed as well. While it was better than Ryder, many of the same complaints I had with Ryder stand here as well. While the greens were super slow, I have to give them credit, at least they were fairly smooth. There were new patches of Bermuda on many of the greens that were not smooth yet, and it looked like a checkerboard with bumps in between. Hey, but at least they were trying to fix them. The greens were oversanded, and no matter how much backspin you put on the ball, they would not stop on the greens. I hit a few high wedge shots into the greens, and never even had to repair a pitch mark all day. They were so hard, they didn't leave any marks. This made me hesitant with my wedges all day to hit for the pin, so I left so many shots short because I was scared to bounce another one off the green. The course just generally looked unkept, and dead or dying. The staff there was friendly and helpful though, and the Pro said that they were aware of the problems on the course, and are trying to correct them.

So if you're in the Fayetteville, NC area, and want to play a good round of golf, steer clear of Ft. Bragg. There are many good courses here that are the same price, but in much better shape. Anderson Creek is great, Bayonet is good (but a little more expensive), Baywood is great, King's Grant is nice and Scothurst is in great shape for a cheaper course right now.
post #2 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

I've played Fort Campbell, Fort Shafter, and Fort Sill and found the courses on those posts to be very good. Never tried Fort Bragg though.
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

When I played at Fort Sill a long time ago, there used to be 2 courses, Fort Sill Golf Club and Cedar Lakes. Fort Sill was good, but Cedar Lakes was 18 holes layed out in the middle of a field with no real elevation changes. Last time I was there, it was closed down though, but the Fort Sill Golf Club course was very nice.
post #4 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

It's still that way. The Fort Sill course has some very tight fairways and it's not very hard to slice a tee shot out in the road by the Officer's Club. Your take on Cedar Lakes is spot on. Flat as a postage stamp. Aside from that it wasn't too bad.
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

I believe Fort Sill course was the one that on either 9 or 18, the green was hugely elevated from the fairway, which was pretty cool. Hit it short and you had a severe uphill lie, hit it long and you had a severe short downhill lie, or it would hit the cart path and trickle down 30 yards from where it landed. The also have that par 3 where you tee off at the top of the hill, hitting way down in the valley. When I first started playing, I put many a shot on the next tee box from up there.
post #6 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

its because all their money goes toward buying weapons. Golf is not a priority for the Military.
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

Totally seperate funding man. MWR (the guys that operate the golf courses) work off of non-appropriated funds, which are completely seperate from the Army's funding for weapons, vehicles and development. MWR makes millions in profits each year here on Ft. Bragg, so money shouldn't be an issue at all.
post #8 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

All I can say is that Stryker was awful when I played, it was definitely overplayed and dried up.
post #9 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

Two big factors influence quality of military golf courses - the general and the economy:
* If the base Commanding General likes golf, the courses tend to get better treatment in MWR system. At Fort Sill several years ago, one general came in and decided golfers should pay more to play. This drove off several dozen retirees who went to one of the public courses in the area, causing a net drop in revenues.
* Recession. If the MWR revenues are slipping because of recession, the Fort Bragg greens crews likely haven't had a raise in awhile. If the better greens crew members have left, or the total number has been cut back, chances are necessary maintenance is simply not getting done.
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

But wasn't that around the same time that they totally redid the Ft. Sill course? I know they recently renovated out there, new clubhouse and all, I think? I would say if they made it that much nicer of a course than it used to be, that the extra price to play would be worth it. I know we still pay based on rank or rank at retirement, so the more money you make, the more you pay. Maybe they bumped it up too much to be worth it to play for the high ranking retirees, since they still pay based on their rank at retirement.

The golf options in Lawton, OK are kind of limited to begin with. I hit my very first golf ball on the Walters, OK Municipal course. No carts, you must walk. No driving range. 9 holes with 18 tee locations.

BTW: I'm a retired Artilleryman, so I've spent quite a few years at Fort Sill. I even get to go back every couple years for the Artillery conference now that I'm working for General Dynamics, so next time I head down that way, I'm going to have to play Ft. Sill course a few times.
post #11 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

Originally Posted by Bullitt5339 View Post
MWR (the guys that operate the golf courses) work off of non-appropriated funds. MWR makes millions in profits each year here on Ft. Bragg, so money shouldn't be an issue at all.
Millions in profit per year!!!! Dude, their ain't 20 public course in the county that make Millions in profit per year.
post #12 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

Originally Posted by Cornbread View Post
Millions in profit per year!!!! Dude, their ain't 20 public course in the county that make Millions in profit per year.
MWR doesn't get its revenue solely from operating golf courses. They manage everything from recreation centers to libraries to camgrounds to outdoor equipment rental facilities and everything in between. Golf course operations account for only a small part of MWR revenues. MWR operated golf courses, by the way, are also not public courses.

Bullitt5339: I'm also an ex-redleg who branch transferred to the JAG Corps a few years before retiring. Glad to see a fellow artilleryman here!
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

Yeah, I loved being Artillery. I started as a 15J, Lance Missile Fire Direction and then when Lance went away because of the ICBM treaty, I was automatically switched to 13P, Multiple Launch Rocket System Fire Direction. Decided there weren't enough options in that small MOS, so I changed to 13D and entered the Cannon Fire Direction world and never looked back.

Now I'm teaching new Fire Direction and Blue Force Tracking software to soldiers. I liked being a Soldier so much, I got a job where I could still act like one........lol
post #14 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

I was the recon survey officer at C Tab for a while, then became S-1 for the 2-2 FA, then back to C Tab as executive officer. Then went to an M101A1 unit in the Reserves and served as fire direction/TACFIRE officer for 1 year before being given command of a firing battery. The unit was deactivated and I branch-transferred to JAG Corps and became a trial counsel.
post #15 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

Never played Ft. Bragg but Ft. Huachuca is pretty nice. Also have had some good experiences with the Air Force bases in Arizona. I'm looking forward to trying out some of the Navy courses in San Diego when i get back from Iraq. I never played Ft. Sill, was just there for a short time for a course so didn't even bother to bring the clubs.

Aznando
post #16 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

My experience has been military courses are usually lacking in maintenance compared to a CC or a high-end public course. However, the price (for military is always right) and there are some damn fine courses out there! My favorites from 20 yrs in the Army and Army Reserve are:

Ft Ord Bayonet - now owned by the City of Seaside and much more expensive
Ft Jackson Old Hickory
Ft Sam Houston either course
McChord AFB
Schofield Barracks

Presidio of San Francisco wasn't a great course but had some of the best views in the city.
The Navy course on Coranado was fun. Especially the back nine along the ocean. I heard it has been remodeled.
post #17 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

We have 4 navy courses in the Norfolk/Va. Beach that are always in pretty good shape.
post #18 of 32

Re: Fort Bragg golf courses are horrible

Cornbread,

All military golf courses are run WITHOUT taxpayer money. They are run by Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR). The course can be profitable itself, but then the MWR can take their $$ for other activities and such. These ar called "non-appropriated fund" activities. They must not get much of a budget to maintain the courses.

Fort Jackson, SC has 2 courses on base, and they are in great condition!
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