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How is the overall golf experience where you live? - Page 3

post #37 of 68

How would I rate it?

 

 

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post #38 of 68

I live in a Houston suburb and we have a 12 month golf season down here.  This summer was the worst on record with 30 days out of 31 in August over 100 degrees and an all time high (tie) at 109 degrees.  The other downside to play here is the humidity.  We're 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico without the tradewinds that blow the humid air away from the coast.  As to golf, there are a lot of really good private clubs and public golf to be had.  Like a lot of the country there was a bit of overbuilding so a couple of former private layouts (one 36 hole setup of which I was once a member) are now public, and there are any number of upscale public courses with fees less than $75 (usually $50 or less) within a 50 mile drive.  Texas is one of the most affordable states for housing and we don't have a state income tax so I think that it's a great place to live, weather not withstanding.  A couple of layers of clothes in the winter are usually what's needed to play although we did have a rare Christmas snowfall last year and some temperatures in the teens, but all in all the quality and prices of the public venues make it a pretty desirable place for the golfer.

post #39 of 68
If it wasn't for our weather I'd say we'd be in the top ten places for golf ( maybe we still are? ), my username kinda gives it away a2_wink.gif..Co Dublin, Ireland.
post #40 of 68

Here in northeastern Ohio the golf season is typically May-October. While you can still play in April and November, it's really almost not even worth your time. Way too wet in the spring and too many leaves in the fall.

post #41 of 68

Quote:

Originally Posted by goblue107501 View Post

(SW Missouri) ... The weather is hit and miss. Hot and humid in the summer, bitter cold in the winter. You do get those 'nice' winter days where you can go out and play. But as soon as you do it gets cold again so it really isn't even worth it. Overall, you get about 6-7 good months and 5-6 bad months. Depending on your tolerance, that can go up or down.
 

Up in St. Louis area, weather is about the same. Early fall can have some excellent golf days, as long as the greenskeepers chop up the leaves on the ground.

 

St. Louis area has plenty of courses on both the Missouri and the Illinois side. Illinois - St. Clair and Madison Co. - saw a jump in public courses back in the 1970s, the same time a lot of the close-in St. Louis County public courses were turned into subdivisions. In the 1990s, far West St. Louis County saw several new country clubs and public courses spring up.

 

Even before the current recession, region probably had excess capacity - too many courses chasing too few rounds. Some of the courses are in sorry shape, and may get subdivided when the recession ends. Some plagued by design flaws which would be prohibitively costly to repair.

 

In 2003 (?), the St. Louis Business Journal did an article on country clubs in the area. Over the previous decade, the net loss in memberships averaged about 4 per club.  Given that certain clubs added a couple of dozen, or had waiting lists, that means that other clubs were beginning to struggle. Even before the recession hit, some clubs were starting to seriously discount their initiation fees. 

 

Walters Golf Management runs a portfolio of high-end public courses, semi-privates, and a couple of country clubs. If you have a membership at a WGM course, you can play other courses on a space-available basis for a $17 cart fee (the country clubs don't have much space-a)

 

Full-price | 18 holes | with cart for the area goes something like this:

 

 Venue Weekdays Weekends
 Country Clubs / Super Semi-P  $60 and up  $75 and up
 Semi-Private   45    60
 Midrange Public/Munie   35    45
 Low-End Public/Munie   20    30

 

 Midrange and above offer a $10 discount for "early twilight" - 1 PM and after, and for seniors, military, and other groups. Also, you can sometimes find reduced rates through online clearing sites or the individual course sites - you just have to be able to play the day when you find the low rate.

 

As far as condition, the courses tend to be in excellent shape or really bad shape - not much in between. One of the semi-private clubs has lost its greens for second year in a row, while a couple of the little 9-hole layouts are in super shape. You'll find good shape and bad shape all up and down the venue classes.

 

For those of you seeking golf vacations, give us a try. Lots of good courses, hotels nice but not too pricey, decent food. 

post #42 of 68

I live in the southern region of New Mexico and golf life out here is wonderful. My city is Las Cruces (approx. pop. 100,000) and we have 5 courses in city area. Weather is favorable from spring through fall. You can play in the winter, but only at mid-day, as the morning hours are too cold. If you really want a challenge, try playing here in April/May when the wind is howling. Average high temp in the summer is about 94 degrees, so not terribly hot.

 

My town is only a 45 minute drive to El Paso, TX, there are 20 or so tracks in and around El Paso to play. Southern New Mexico has some great tracks, but our state's best tracks are in the north, (some real beauty's).

 

Though if you make it out here to New Mexico, try some of our courses. I think you will find that the good people of New Mexico are friendly conversationalists as well.

post #43 of 68
North of Dallas, TX.

Availability: A

Lots of courses around here. Within about a 20 mile radius of where I live there is 1 club with 2 private 18-hole courses, 4 public 18-hole courses, 1 public 9-hole course, and 1 private 18-hole and 9-hole course, and 1 private 18-hole course. And that's just from memory, I think I've missed one. I've not really ventured very far away to play, but there are golf courses everywhere you go, some public some private. Most of them are reasonably nice, but a lot are woven amongst housing developments.

Also, 2 of the 4 nationwide Top Golf locations are here, one 20 minutes away and one 40 minutes away.

Weather: B

There are a lot of pros and cons, weather-wise.

You can play almost year round, but the winter extremes fluctuate and can be very cold. The harsher winters will give you is, on average, a few weeks below freezing, but that's only during a couple of months a year; the rest of winter/late fall/early spring is open for those who play in the high 40s or 50s. But the summer will give you highs of 107 with 60% humidity. Playing in the afternoon in the summer can be brutal, as you break a sweat just walking from the clubhouse to the first teebox. Waiting for twilight doesn't give you much of a break, all that happens is you lose the direct line of site with the sun and the temperature drops a few degrees, but it's still high humidity and ~104*. Be prepared for a lot of heat anywhere from June to September. Keep your grips clean.

So there's really only a few months a year that are pleasant to play golf. You get about 2 in the spring and 2 in the fall, for a total of 4ish pleasant golfing months. It's great while it lasts, and if you don't mind some slight discomfort you can play another 2ish months, and if you're a die-hard you can keep playing for another 4 or 5 months.

Pricing: B

There are a few cheap-ish public places to play around me, and I gravitate toward those. But you can spend a lot on green fees if you want to.

Public availability: C+

A lot of private clubs, especially the nicer courses. Not sure what the normal ratio is, nation-wide, but roughly 2/5 of the courses in this general area seem to be private. If I see a nice course from the road, odds are decent I can't get in.

Scenicness: B-

Not a lot of terrain or trees to work with. Sure there is some, but the average course doesn't have much by way of interesting elements. The courses are pleasant, but you rarely feel like you're battling the natural defenses of the land. To compensate, water is sometimes over-used. My local course has water touching 9 out of 18 holes with forced carries on 8 of them.

Shopping: A+

Two PGA Superstores (out of only what, 9 nation-wide?) within 20 minutes of each other. 3 Dicks Sporting Goods, 2 Edwin Watts, a couple Golf Galaxies and GolfSmiths, and one or two other odd-ball golf stores, all within 30 minutes of my place. I can't imagine more golf shopping being available. I never ask if a specific store is near-by, I ask which one is closest.

Golfers: A-

It seems like most golfers in the area are respectable and courteous. I don't think I've run into but one rude player in a couple years. The pro shops are run by courteous people, the marshals are nice, and even the smokers and drinkers are as pleasant as you could expect. That said, it seems like most people I encounter on the course take the game casually, I rarely meet a player who seems like they could be under, say, a 10 HDCP, but that could just be the courses / times I play.

Overall: A-

There is plenty of course selection, a decent number of reasonable fees to be found, and the ability to play almost all year. And you can find anything you could possibly want to buy. The primary drawbacks are extreme heat and a lack of interesting terrain to work with.
post #44 of 68
Here in Chattanooga, Tn we are certainly blessed with an abundence of golf courses. We also have a wide variety of courses to choose from and the green fees are very reasonable to down right cheap at some places. From where I sit right now I can count 20 courses within a 25 mile radius, 10 of them are public, 7 pivate, and 3 are muni's. Open it up to a 50 mile radius and that number doubles. Of the seventeen, 3 are par 3 courses, 2 are 9 hole courses, and the remainder 18 hole courses. Greens fees will start at $18 for 18 holes on the low end and go to $60 per 18 holes on the high end of the public courses. the average green fee for the public courses is very near to 38 dollars. we do play year round here although only the die hards make it in January and Febuary. And we are very fortunate here in Chattanooga as well to have Golf Soup. It is a 30 minute tv program that airs on Fox hosted by a dude named James Leeth. This guys is fun to watch, but even better is that he goes to a different golf course every week and previews it for all of us to see. It is great to know the conditions of a golf course before we go out and spend our money and like I say he is a hoot to watch. All in all golf is great here in Chattanooga, TN, come see us if you get a chance. And if you want to see some of our courses, I think Golf Soup has some episodes on youtube.
post #45 of 68

Lets see, Jersey golf....

 

I love it except for a few unfortunate downsides.

 

1) Winter stinks, although it's not as bad in some spots the more south you get.

 

2) Shopping for golf stuff in my area stinks. Most of the places around here went out business in 2008-09.

 

 

I love it though.

 

This isn't a problem for me at all, but in my experience, most people around here tend to not be that great at golf. Not sure why that is, but usually when I get thrown in a random group, no one is any good. That being said, everyone I've been grouped with-- save for a couple bad seeds -- has been a nice person.

 

Also, I've never once been randomly grouped with a female player. All dudes. It'd be a nice change-up for once. Though I'd imagine this is true for golf anywhere you go.

 

Keep in mind when I went on a golf trip to Florida for the first time, I thought that place was golf heaven. So, it may be difficult to come here if you're used to that kind of golf world.

post #46 of 68

I would love to complain about the playing conditions here in Southern California, but a comparison to my hometown in Michigan makes it easy to see why we have it so great here in CA!

 

Even on a chilly day I can throw on a sweater and play a quick round. No complaints!

post #47 of 68
Live in the same area as B-Con, and I like his breakdown.

Availability: A+
By my count, there are about sixty public courses in the Dallas Metroplex alone (this does not include Ft. Worth)
The Dallas Metroplex is really spread out--probably sixty miles in diameter.
http://thesandtrap.com/a/public-courses-dallas-texas

Weather: B+
Agree with B-Con, there are four really good months. October, November, April, May. There is only a 30 day span that is difficult for me: mid January-Valentines day (especially if Jerry Jones is hosting a Super Bowl). mid June to Mid September is very hot and can be humid and the best time to play is sunrise to 10am.

Pricing: A-
The munis are really good. Tennison, Cedar Crest, and just this year, Steven's Park have been redesigned and significantly improved. Twilight walking at the munis is under $20. The most expensive public course in the metroplex is Cowboys $190 (includes cart and all non alcoholic beverages and food)

Public availability: overall A

Just north of Dallas is private country club dominated. There must be ten private clubs in that area and only a handful of public, but the rest of the metroplex has lots of public courses.

Terrain: C+

DFW is a flat, dry landlocked pancake (no mountains, no big rivers, no ocean) They call the SMU campus the "hilltop" because it is at 200ft above sea level--the highest point in the city of Dallas. However, there are nice elevation change courses just north and south of the city.

Shopping: A+

agree with B-Con. DFW was built on credit and credit cards.

Golfers: A

Lots of pros live in the DFW area (central US location with large major airport)

Overall: A

I believe one of the major golf publications recently ranked DFW as #1 for golf.
post #48 of 68

I grew up in northern England, and now live in Southern California. As you can imagine there are great golf courses in both these areas, both they are extremely different. In the UK I played links golf almost exclusively, I lived on the ocean and very near to Royal Lytham, St Annes - the British Open course. Amazing, tough, inspiring course that is a pleasure to play. Other than it being a links course the thing that separates it from the LA area courses is that i usually got a round in under 4 hours. There is though the big issue of weather. Very few places can match the year round climate of Southern CA, which is perfect for golf. There courses are really good and there is a huge selection. The biggest issue with playing here is the slowness. i have yet to play a round on the weekend here in under 5 hours, they are often over 6!

post #49 of 68

I could explain it, but Lauren Thompson already did a good job showing my city off on Golfnow: Ottawa this week! a3_biggrin.gif

http://www.golfchannel.com/tv/golfnow/

post #50 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by brit-rob View Post

...The biggest issue with playing here is the slowness. i have yet to play a round on the weekend here in under 5 hours, they are often over 6!


When I played in the UK, I watched closely how other players pace themselves since I knew rounds were much shorter there.

 

There is a conscious effort to move on that I just do not see in Americans.

 

People know how to move along in the UK, Many Americans are terribly slow players, especially in big cities, which is ironic. They linger, they dawdle, they don't think ahead, take too much time to look for balls, etc..

 

post #51 of 68

Yea the slow play is pretty bad in NJ, in my experience. I've learned to easily stomach a 5 hour round, even 5:30. When it starts to take around 6 hours, it's tough to deal with, but I'm getting used to it at this point. I know there's nothing I can do to change it, so I just try to learn to accept it and not let it affect my shots. My home course usually has good marshalls out there to keep the pace up, but sometimes they don't, and on those days it can get pretty bad.

post #52 of 68

My solution, if you can call it that, is to play more nine hole rounds. But even a 2.5 to 3 hour nine hole round is frustrating.

post #53 of 68

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post

My solution, if you can call it that, is to play more nine hole rounds. But even a 2.5 to 3 hour nine hole round is frustrating.



I used to play 3 or 4 weeknights a week until I finally grew tired of trying to work around the leagues. The course didn't care that they were taking 3 hours to play 9 holes on a short, easy course. Worst part was they allowed the league players to continue playing extra holes after they finished their league play. I guess that's where they make their money but damn do they tear up the course and make it unplayable on weeknights. They have 3 different 9's so it would have been nice if a few nigths a week they left 1 of the 9's open for non-league play.

 

Then again I can see from the courses perspective why they jam in the leagues. $$$. I think half the guys pay as much for drinks as they do for the golf.

 

post #54 of 68

I really can't see slow play ever going away in the US. It's not like it never existed and I just don't see what could ever change the attitudes of golfers and those who run courses. Sorry for being so cynical, but I'd be very open to being convinced the other way.

 

Maybe if every amateur golfer was a true 18 handicap or better, I could maybe see it.

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