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What do YOU look for in a golf course?

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I am interesting in hearing what people really look for in a golf course, meaning what do you like? I'm seeing more and more lately that people truly have very different things that make them tick when it comes to a course.

Being from South Florida, I enjoy undulation and texture to a course merely because you don't see much of that down here. This is one of the flattest places in the world.

Some people look for good greens
Some people like lush fairways
Some people like a challenge

and on and on.

Give me the top three things you look for when evaluating a course.


1) Condition: Fairways, Tees, and Greens have grass. Not necessarily green.
2) Undulation or Elevation change: Nothing drastic, but enough to create some texture.
3) Fair but Challenging design

This is not about clubhouses or anything else, just the course. Thank you!
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The 3 things I look for and judge a course on are the following:

1). Fair design - the biggest pet peeves on courses for me are too many blind shots and too many fairways with so much side-hill slope that the ball runs into bad spots. I do not mind a couple of either of these, but hate when courses do not reward good shots or, even worse, punish good shots. I like a challenge, but find it demoralizing when I have hit a good shot only to have it roll into trouble because of side hill.

2). Well maintained fairways with consistent grass. I would prefer bent grass fairways, but as long as they are well maintained and the grass is consistent condition, length and texture through the course I don't have a problem with it.

3). General course maintenance - I'm referring to the course simply being well taken care of. Good tee boxes, well maintained bunkers (with actual 'sand' and not gravel and greens that roll smoothly and are consistent speedwise from one to the next.

BONUS: Pace of play, greens without crazy undulations, layup areas on long/difficult holes, visually attractive and a fair challenge for players of all levels, attractive cart girls, nice clubhouse.
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1) Condition. My biggest thing is the greens. I like a good fast green that rolls true.

2) Challenging. I like a course with undulation and some descent rough. I like the courses that penalize you for bad shots and rewards you for good ones.

3) Beer cart girl has to be HOT!!! LOL...okay not a must but for sure a plus!
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I'm going to go with, in no particular order:
1) Some freeking space. I hate playing courses that are crammed into too little acreage. I don't mind a few tight holes but I like to see some tee shots that leave some room for error once in a while.

2) Interesting holes. I can't stand a course with all BLAH holes. I like something I will remember. Courses I have only played once have given me some great memories just because I was so excited standing on a tee box and surveying a really unique hole.

3) Conditions. I hate playing the Munis I am forced to play in Westchester, so when I get a course with some decent conditions it makes it all the more enjoyable.
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1. course conditions are at the top of the list... the layout can be horrendous... but a well maintained course more than makes up for it most of the time
2. price has to match the worth of the course... ive played expensive courses that werent worth the price... and ive played el cheapo courses that were pristine...
3. food... hot beer cart chicks... great food... good cooks... that definately is a plus
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It's all about course condition for me. Fairways, greens, bunkers, and rough should all be well maintained.

After that, an interesting, challenging course but one that doesn't have to rely on sillines holes for the challenge. I also prefer a course that doesn't rely solely on length for the challenge. If a course has to be played from 7,000+ yds for it to play to a respectable rating/slope, then it probably isn't going to be very interesting.
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I seem to differ from most who have posted because I value an interesting design much more than perfect conditions.

Chalk it up to the "Augusta Syndrome," or whatever, our culture seems to gravitate to the pretty, without regard for substance.

Three things that make for an interesting golf course to me:

Challenges are presented in the form of a risk/reward scenario vs. the "do-or-die" penal/heroic design. I prefer courses that don't continually dictate the type of shot required, rather allowing the golfer to craft the shot that seems appropriate or offers the better chance of success, for example - courses that allow a run up vs. demanding an exclusive aerial approach.

A mix of holes of that differ in length and orientation as to the prevailing wind. Uphill and downhill. Bend to the right, bend to the left. Large greens and small greens. Greens with contour and character. A good course should make you use all of the clubs in your bag (cliche, I know...)

A walkable, core golf course without housing intrusion is preferred over the real estate development layouts that wind their way between the houses and are practically cart mandatory. A course that makes good use of the natural features of the land vs. one that has been forced into the setting with a bulldozer. A course that has a natural ebb and flow of challenging and easier holes. I also enjoy quirk and eccentricity over rote predictability.

I will make one nod to conditioning and that is that I prefer firm and fast to soft and slow. I would much rather play a scruffy but interesting course than a boring layout with perfect conditions.
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I am really attracted to tight parkland layouts that force you to think and shape your ball around the course. Nice conditions are an obvious plus.
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1.conditioning of greens have to roll true i hate my ball bouncing off line
2.all holes have differant themes dont like to see the same thing over and over
3.the more challenging the better
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in no particular order...

A tee box that plays 6000-6300 yards

I prefer old style parkland design over the TPC look, an authentic Scottish/ British links style would be excellent as well

Not too difficult, no forced carries of 200 yards over a lake, I prefer a slope in the 113-128 range

Walking allowed is a MUST and the course should have reasonably short walks between holes

As little views of houses as possible, a course surrounded on four sides is fine, each hole surrounded by houses is not

Price: walking 18 on a weekday $15-$25

Condition: I grew up on a public muni, condition isn't that big a deal to me. If the only things watered are the tees and greens, that's fine.

Variety of holes and no more than two in a row going in the same direction is a plus
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1. Greens cannot be bumpy and must roll fast,i will not play a course that has bumpy and slow greens.
2. I like tightly mowed fairways and bunkers must have good sand,if anything
like concrete i stay away.
3. I like courses where you are punished for errant shots or which leaves a bit of a challenge to get up and down.
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1) Well kept landscaping, overall just not in "bad" condition
2) Elevation changes, water, sand, trees
3) Natural setting - not just jammed into a square plain.
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