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flank67

What are the wows and not so wows of your golf club?

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What is it about your golf club, or golf clubs you've been to that made you go wow or turn your nose and cringe? Are there any things you wish your club would do different or new things you want them to add?

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Welcome to TST. You will enjoy this site. :-D

My home course is a well maintained course, that is always in year around,  great playing shape. Lots of mature trees providing shade during the summer months.   I suppose the "wow" factor would be they don't charge very much play there. . 

The club house is pretty ordinary, but has everything you need. They have an in house, pga pro for any kind on instruction needed.  Also has a qualified club fitter/builder/repair guy. Both have been there for years. Food, and drink prices seem to be lower than other courses in the area. I have not heard any complaints about employees. 

Practice facility is more than adequate. A large bucket (80+/-) of balls is only $5. The balls are in good shape. The driving range allows for hitting off real turf most of the time. 

As far as me turning my nose up at a course, I don't usually find a reason at most courses. I'm there to play the course, and conditions I'm given. Maybe one that is way over priced for the course's poorly maintained  playing conditions might give me second thoughts about returning.  

Edited by Patch

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Each golf course has its own characteristics with some stunning holes and other easily forgotten. The score we achieve on a hole also makes it more memorable. I wonder how many players could list their fantasy course made up of 18 of their most memorable holes?

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Welcome to the site @flank67.

My home course if very laid-back. No course marshal, no dress code, and on occasions, no tee time required. At the end of the season, they remove the flags and still allow me to play as long as there is no frost on the greens. Unlimited membership is only $99 per year. 

But that laid-back attitude and low membership costs cut both ways. They are a bit unorganized at times. It's a ski and golf resort in a rural part of the area. Guests are given priority - which for my $100 a year, I'm perfectly fine with. The only thing that bothers me is that tee times are not always enforced on slower days. There have been times when they've let a group who just showed up to go out just ahead of my tee time instead of asking them to wait 10 minutes. 

Other than that, the course is challenging and well maintained (with the exception of a few perpetually soggy spots on a couple fairways). The staff and groundskeepers are all very nice to me and other members. In return, most of the members take care to fix divots, ball marks (beyond just their own) and dispose of their trash properly. They know I'm not crazy about playing in crowded conditions and let me know when an upcoming weekend is going to be booked solid so I can make other plans.

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My home course is public and not real formal.  The club house has a bar which is usually manned by the person behind the  cash register in the pro shop.   The pro shop doesn't have much for sale except for a few golf balls and some odd sized shoes.   The course is old school with gold, blue, white and red tees.  Very few players play from the gold or red but too many play from the blue tees and only hit the ball about 150 yards.   There is a practice area with the putting green large and undulated.   The driving range is grass but not maintained well and the balls are recycled balls.   The sand trap is too close to the range to be safe.    

I played 80 rounds this year and more than half were with friends away from my home course.    I'll probably pass on a membership next year.

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One thing I like about our semi-private course is that everyone is very friendly and welcoming. Our seniors group is fun to play with, although they sometimes forget that I'm one of the unretired! and have to go to work most days.

The course is a Nicklaus design with lots of challenging holes. The drawback is that the developer envisioned Winged Foot Way Out West, sporting a private-equity membership with everyone living in $400,000 homes. Thus, he contracted for an extremely difficult course with lots of bunkers. Legend has it that Nicklaus cautioned the developer against going overboard on the difficulty of holes, and the complexity of the bunkering (as in high maintenance costs).

Well, much less $$ showed up than was forecast, and the developer was forced to sell. Fast forward, the greens crew has had a rough job in recent years trying to keep the bunkers in repair. A few pits have been removed as they settled out oddly, or ended up permanently flooded.  But, those remaining really keep the greens crew busy. We just don't have a Winged Foot maintenance budget.

One other drawback: the driving range is at the top of a sloping hill, so it's a bit had to determine your true club carries because you're hitting down hill.

Overall, I really like the course, the crew and the members.

Edited by WUTiger

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I no longer belong to a club, just two groups of golf buddies who love to play everywhere we can anytime we can. But I have had memberships at two. The first was very plush. Everybody who was anybody belonged there, don't you know. Not like that other club across town where "Aren't they mostly just salesmen"? It was almost impossible to break in there unless your grandparents were members. But I learned to play there and had great lessons from a pro's pro...The thin, tan, squinty-eyed cigarette-smoking guy you just knew was a pro. He turned a slicer into a guy who fought a hook for years.

Years later, I joined an old, kind of run-down club. It was very historic and had some great pro golfers associated with it in their formative years. Dues were cheap. Members were oilmen, small business guys, lawyers, carpenters, plumbers, bankers, mechanics, retired policemen, clerks and outlaws...You name it. But it never mattered what you did for a living or who you were on the course or in the 19th hole. They had 3 or 4 money games each week. You put up your money and you played. There were team scores, individual scores, points for everything under the sun. You learned to get the ball in the hole anyway you could. And you got good fast or you found yourself out a lot (well, it seemed like a lot) of cash. Certainly, the payouts were pretty good when you won. Unfortunately, the course has gone the way of real estate development and is no more.

Guess which one I miss most? Regards to all, -Marv

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It is a real shame that many really friendly character courses are forced to go by the wayside due to finantial incentives from developers. There are a couple of big name courses in UK that are being targeted by multi million pound owners who want to only offer membership once it is proven a person is worth a million! It does not matter if you play like a wally, as long as you have the money. What is more important in this very short life we have? not having experienced the true pleasure golf can bring!!!!

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 I generlly play at two clubs

Bradley Park - Nice 18 hole course, well kept mature parkland i can play for £19 on a weekend or 10 holes for a tenner. Great driving range and practice area.

Willow Valley - 3 courses. 9 hole, 18 hole intermediate and the championship course (home of the Yorkshire PGA champs). 9 holer is a tenner on the weekends and the inter course is £20.

You just cant grumble at the value for monet you get.

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I don't have a "club" per se, but I guess I would call Mill Creek my "home course" since I've played there more than anywhere else. Wow #1, 36 holes of Donald Ross designed golf. Wow #2, they just built a beautiful practice facility. Wow #3, they've assembled a terrific greenkeeping crew that has the course, especially the greens, in the best shape I've seen. Wow #4, there are plans afoot to spend a ton of money on the course in the very near future.

Which speaks to WUTiger's comments about his course. Mill Creek just spent over a quarter of a million dollars to re-do the greenside bunkers on the South 18.

All this does come with a few negatives. Mill Creek has kind of been "discovered", and it is CROWDED! It has become a golf factory. There are now people playing there who have no business on that course, it is far too hard for them. Being in demand has caused rates to go up. However, I'm a resident so I do get a little break.

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The closest course to me in Jacksonville, 10 minutes away, is Hyde Park.  It's been around a long time.  In fact, on #6, which is a short par-3, there's a little sign that says Ben Hogan once made an 11 on that hole during a tournament.  They call it "Hogan's Alley."  That's pretty cool. 

Here's a link to a video. 

Hyde Park Golf Club Jacksonville

I've played there for many many years.  

Some things I like about it are:

1) Cheap greens fees.  $25 for a senior.  Look at these rates!   $15 for 9 holes with cart after 1 PM.  How can you beat that? 

Rates

2) The layout is interesting.  The holes have some character.  They are different.  They are memorable.   I don't know much about Donald Ross, but he was the designer. 

3) It's not a housing development.  It's just a contiguous golf course. 

This course is like a lovable old dog to me.  I've played there so many times, since I was a teenager.  In fact, I'm playing there this morning. 

 

 

Edited by Marty2019

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I'll go with both my home club, as well as the public course close by I've played countless rounds at through the years.

IHCC (Home Club)
Wows:  Beautiful course, immaculately maintained; even a little Augusta-feel in some places.  Super-close to my house (less than a mile).  Private, so I can practice/play most any time without a crowd; no tee times used or required.  In a high-dollar area, so some very nice homes around (but not a housing-development course, so not boxed in...just around).  Coach Bear Bryant's former home is behind our 3rd green, so that's a cool little piece of history and trivia.  Of course he spent lots of time at the club back in the day.

No-so-wows:  It's in-town, so a little constrained in areas -- e.g., our practice range is squeezed in between holes.  Like any kinda-posh private club, I run into the occasional snob/a$$hole (they run in groups).  Nothing serious...normally just the type you smile and say hello to, and they don't bother acknowledging you (or just look annoyed you exist).  But that's just a few; plenty of nice folks around otherwise, including the staff.  Last negative (for me) is the 17th & 18th holes being lined off the tee left with some very expensive houses.  Though there are trees and reasonable spacing, my big miss is still hard-left, so it puckers the ol' rectal cavity.  No house-hits from me so far ;-).

Ol' Colony (home of Univ. of Alabama)
Wows:  Fantastic design (Jerry Pate).  Fantastic condition -- even before the UA teams set up there -- especially given it's operated by the county park board.  Also very close to my house.  Well-marshalled.  4-way range area with lots of space, and plenty of practice areas.  I hear the First Tee program is top-notch.  Very reasonably priced; especially the annual passes (relative to the area).  Just a great course, and a real gem in the area.

Not-so-wows:  Just too damn crowded.  Since its opening, a couple of other public courses in the area have shut down, and UA has doubled in enrollment.  So it's overrun with college kids (many that struggle in the etiquette department).  On top of that, lots of local middle & high schools use it as their home course, so it's covered with teams/kids on weekday afternoons.  I used to purchase the annual pass, and would walk most days after work.  But even that became virtually impossible.  Tee times on weekends -- year 'round, mind you -- are hard to get.  E.g., called on a weekday morning last February (!) when a friend came to visit on short notice; asked when we could get on.  They said "booked solid today"...couldn't even work in a twosome!  On a weekday in February!  Crazy.

Edited by BamaWade

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My home course is semi-private with the best views of any course I have played in the NY Metro area.  Another "wow" is the conditioning of the course which is equal to many private courses in North Jersey.  There are some large homes built around a portion of the course but none are in play and most of the course has a nice semi-secluded feel about it.  There are times during the week where I can almost guarantee a less than 3 hour round as a solo or with a partner and it is only 15 minutes from my home.

There are a couple of downsides to the course but no deal breakers for me:  Despite the fact that the tips are only just over 6000 yards and the middle tees where I play are 5600, the course is very difficult with some blind shots and small landing areas.  Most golfers that I take there do not want to go back after their first time after losing a couple of sleeves of balls and shooting over 100 (these are normally 80's and low 90's golfers). The course used to be empty on weekends which was great for me, but if it was not for a robust wedding business the course would not have carried itself financially.  The course has turned it around on weekends with incentives to play more than once and weekends are getting crowded (about a 4 hour round) with golfers that have learned the course.  Still tolerable but weekdays are great.  Looking forward to retirement! 

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