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What really makes golfers happy?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Golf Digest did a survey on this topic. You should note that it is a survey on golf played away from your home course.
Quote:
Same as any business, a golf course wants happy customers. Range balls stacked in pyramids, rolled towels in the cart cup-holders, a starter who embraces breath mints--but despite all these efforts great and small, there is only so much management can control. It's the nature of the game that golfers will often walk off the last green feeling a mix of regret and loathing. Just imagine the arguments if green fees were paid at the end, like bar tabs.

Of course, most golfers aren't so small-minded as to evaluate a golf experience based solely on how they play. Or are they? What makes golfers happy? Given a recent economic climate that has seen some courses scramble for ways to fill tee sheets, we thought we'd help course operators by uncovering the real reasons that keep us coming back.

http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2013-08/golfer-satisfaction-survey



Here is my list, off the top of my head.
  1. Course condition
  2. Design
  3. Weather
  4. Pace of play
  5. Cost of green fees
  6. Score
  7. Quality of practice facilities
  8. Service of staff
  9. Food & beverage
  10. Merchandise
  11. Locker room
  12. Ease of scheduling tee time
  13. Quality of carts
post #2 of 46

I saw it when it hit shelves last month. I really don't categorize what makes for enjoyable golf whether I play away or home but pace of play is always number one.

post #3 of 46

I know that article is kind of about pace of play - but it can be more / less important based on what you experienced.  I put it kind of in the middle, but it really depends. If you get into one of those 6 hour rounds I've heard about - it matters.  But if is is between 3 and 5 hours - it doesn't matter at all.

 

Course Condition
Weather
Cost of Green Fees
Score
Design
Pace of Play
Service of Staff
Ease of Scheduling tee times
Food & Beverage
Quality of Carts
Locker Room
Quality of Practice Facilities
Merchandise
post #4 of 46

Some of these are somewhat interchangable for me, but my list:

  1. Course condition
  2. Design
  3. Cost of green fees
  4. Score
  5. Weather
  6. Pace of play
  7. Quality of practice facilities
  8. Service of staff
  9. Food & beverage
  10. Ease of scheduling tee time
  11. Quality of carts
  12. Locker room
  13. Merchandise
post #5 of 46

IMO less about the actual time involved than what happens when a course bogs down. It's the frustration not the time.

post #6 of 46

I read that this morning and was surprised as well.

 

1. Quality of greens

2. Fairways and bunkers

2. Score

3. Layout

4. Drinks

5. Buffalo wings

6. Weather

post #7 of 46

1. Score

2. Weather

3. Course Condition

4. Cost of Greens Fees

5. Pace of Play

6. Design

 

None of the rest is of huge concern to me

post #8 of 46

As a beginner and first post on her take my reply with a salt shaker or two. I've only played my home course but what made me the most happy was them improving the course. Mostly the bunkers. Instead of grass filled sand bedded tick and snake traps I'm actually able to hit out of sand filled holes now...more often than id like though.
 

post #9 of 46

Hmm interesting, im going to mess around with them a bit, because i think there is some leeway

 

1) Quality of course relative to greens fees (expensive courses should be in premium condition), so i'm combining the two. If i play 25 bucks to pay 18 holes, i shouldn't expect the best course conditions

2) Conditions of the greens. A course could have beat up fairways, no sand in the bunkers, but give me good greens and i am a happy guy. I think no matter what the greens fees, at least a course can keep there greens in good condition.

3) Pin locations, you start putting them on unfair slopes, i get pissed. Make them challenging yet fair, i'm a happy guy.

4) Weather

5) How i played based my own whimsical metric

6) Design

7) Quality of the staff, customer service

 

That's about it, i'm a simple guy

post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrstianrockboy View Post

As a beginner and first post on her take my reply with a salt shaker or two. I've only played my home course but what made me the most happy was them improving the course. Mostly the bunkers. Instead of grass filled sand bedded tick and snake traps I'm actually able to hit out of sand filled holes now...more often than id like though.
 

 

As much as I hate hitting out of the sand - probably better than the tick/snake thing you had to deal with.

post #11 of 46

I am a cheap golfer, I tend to play courses that are modestly priced. 

 

So that being said, here are a few of my reactions to the list above. 

 

1. I rarely eat at the golf course.  The courses that I play will typically have your regular pub kind of food.  If I get a hot dog at the turn I am expecting ball park quality, give or take.  I am never disappointed. 

 

2. I have never set foot in a golf locker room.  I change my shoes in the parking lot, and if I came from work, I use the bathroom stall. 

 

3. Course condition is very important, but I don't expect Pebble beach on the courses that I am playing.  Given my expectation of modest green's fees give me something that is consistent from hole to hole.  Don't make the first and last holes lush, green and perfect because those are the holes the people getting ready to pay see. 

 

4. Merchandise?  It's a golf course, not a shopping mall.  Even the most rinky dink courses that I tend to play have golf balls, tees, gloves, and socks.  Everything else is a bonus. 

 

Finally, when choosing a golf course, there was a few things forgotten.  Because if this article was written to help golf course tee sheets full, here is a few things they left off.

 

a decent website - at the least, it should have the score card, the rating slope and tee distance, rates, a few pictures, and contact information.  As a bonus, have a link to online tee bookings.  If you don't have a website, I am likely to pick a different course.

 

positive reviews online - we live in a society that EVERY other industry has embrased social marketing.  If you are the course superintendant and you have not heard of yelp or golfnow's review system, you are likely going to have an uphill struggle to get my money.  Not every review will be positive, but if you are conscience of those systems, you will likely at the very least respond to those reviews. 

 

finally - offer some deals, offer 9 hole rates for twilight.  If I can't get in 18 holes, give me the option to pay a little less for 9.  ie, if the course charges $30 to walk 18 holes for twilight, give me the option to play for $20~$22 for 9 holes. 

post #12 of 46
My list would be
1. Green fees. Some of the local courses around here are ridiculous for the shape the course is in.
2. A course that allows walking. I hate it when I course doesn't allow you to walk and forces you to pay 14 dollars for a cart
3. Course condition. Nice greens come first then tee boxes (odd I know but I like a level tee box). Fairways I don't really care about would be nice if there was grass though haha. Bunkers are hit or miss around here.
4. Pace of play. Anything over 5 hours I will not come back too. It just doesn't make sense.
5. Design. I don't really like flat courses. I would like a course not to have a 240 yard par 3. A tough but fair course is premium. I want to be challenged and punished for bad shots and rewarded with good shots.
post #13 of 46
I call BS. Pace of play is my number one metric and it isn't close. Of all the least enjoyable rounds of golf I have played (and there aren't many), slow pace of play has been a contributing - if not the primary - factor.
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post

Golf Digest did a survey on this topic. You should note that it is a survey on golf played away from your home course.
Quote:
Same as any business, a golf course wants happy customers. Range balls stacked in pyramids, rolled towels in the cart cup-holders, a starter who embraces breath mints--but despite all these efforts great and small, there is only so much management can control. It's the nature of the game that golfers will often walk off the last green feeling a mix of regret and loathing. Just imagine the arguments if green fees were paid at the end, like bar tabs.

Of course, most golfers aren't so small-minded as to evaluate a golf experience based solely on how they play. Or are they? What makes golfers happy? Given a recent economic climate that has seen some courses scramble for ways to fill tee sheets, we thought we'd help course operators by uncovering the real reasons that keep us coming back.

http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2013-08/golfer-satisfaction-survey



Here is my list, off the top of my head.
  1. Course condition
  2. Design
  3. Weather
  4. Pace of play
  5. Cost of green fees
  6. Score
  7. Quality of practice facilities
  8. Service of staff
  9. Food & beverage
  10. Merchandise
  11. Locker room
  12. Ease of scheduling tee time
  13. Quality of carts

 

 

Honestly, it's not really a valid comparison in my opinion.  It's only natural that golfers will have different priorities when they are on a golf vacation (which seems to be what most of those rankings on the right side come from).  When you have nothing better to do all day than play golf, pace of play isn't going to be as important as it is when you are home and your wife is expecting you to work on the Honey-do list.  You aren't as concerned with practicing, but more with the creature comforts.  You are on vacation, you want to be catered to.  You want a relaxing round with a readily available beverage service, a nice meal before or after the round, and a staff that appears to appreciate your business.  It wouldn't matter whether it was golf or most any other vacation activity. 

 

When you are at your home course, you are more likely to want a good practice area.  YOu aren't as concerned with staff and service, because they probably know you and treat you well anyway.  Scheduling is more important because you have more going on and don't want golf to intrude more than it has to.  Weather is a factor because that Saturday morning may be your only chance all week to play.  And when you are playing, it's about the golf - the hitting of the golf ball.  The rest is extraneous. 

 

Just goes to show how easily they can influence a poll to trend in a certain direction just by how they ask the questions.

post #15 of 46

#1 Course condition

#2 Score

#3 Pace

#4 Value

# Pin Placements

 

The rest is kind of a wash.  I mean it's nice if the staff is friendly, but if they aren't it's kind of an in and out thing. 

post #16 of 46
My happiness comes from trying a new course. If you don`t play a regular course all the time, you have no expectations.
post #17 of 46
1. All par 5's are reachable in 2.
2. All fairways have a level stance.
3. Fairways are 50 yards wide.
4. No water or lateral hazards or out of bounds.
5. All greens are set up to funnel into the hole.
6. No green side bunkers or all are puttable.
7. The rough is the same as the greens first cut (apron).
This would make me happy!💃
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillR View Post

My happiness comes from trying a new course. If you don`t play a regular course all the time, you have no expectations.

Good point.  This study (if we can call it that) seemed to focus on golfers playing away from home.  I couldn't see pace of play as that big of a deal.  If I have to wait a minute or two on the tee box it makes for nice time to discuss the course and the impressions we're getting etc.  Plus, being an "away course" means that I;ve probably allotted a good portion of my time to playing it and having a drink or bite afterwards.  Not like a weekday tee time where I am trying to finish up after work but before dinner is served.

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