The Perfect Golf Course Experience
Golf courses are our home away from home.
It’s where we can let our love of the game show, hang out with friends, and play the best sport ever. But as you know, not all golf courses are created equal.
Sometimes the course conditions are good, but the service sucks and they aren’t very welcoming. Other times the food and drink specials are the only good part of the course.
I’ve been playing this stupid game for 25 years and been lucky enough to play some epic courses. But I’ve still yet to find one that “has it all.”
But here is what I imagine the perfect golf course experience would look like…
Service makes any experience better – whether you’re at a restaurant or a golf course.
For an epic golf experience, we’re looking for:
– Friendly outside service staff to welcome you to the course.
– Friendly attendants in the pro-shop. Not ones that are condescending and act like it’s a privilege for you to be there.
– A marshal who actually keeps the pace of play moving but is friendly and gives you some course tips.
– A cart girl who is attractive, friendly, and isn’t afraid to over serve with a good tip.
Once the service is dialed, let’s get into the practice facility.
Epic Practice Facility
Why is it so hard to make great practice facilities? I play all over Arizona and most courses have an okay warm up facility, at best. Is it that much to ask for a good place to practice and warm up?
Here’s what a good practice facility looks like:
– Huge driving range. Golfers don’t need much to be happy, just great grass and no mats.
– Targets on the driving range. Some courses have optimal hitting conditions but forget to give us anything to aim at. How are we supposed to get better without good targets? Especially ones inside 100 yards?
– Fairway bunker next to the driving range. Most golfers suck at fairway bunker shots because we never get to practice them. A few courses have this and I love it – install a fairway bunker to the side of the driving range, so golfers can hit full shots from the sand.
– Huge chipping green. Kind of like fairway bunkers, most courses don’t have much of a chipping area either. Each course should include a great short game area to work on shots from inside 50 yards.
– Two putting greens. One should be a large green where most people practice and a smaller one by the first tee to hit some putts before heading out.
True rolling greens should be the number one priority for greenskeepers. Even if the fairways and tee boxes aren’t perfect, players want greens that roll true.
Make them a 10 on the stimpmeter, roll them a few times a week, and repair divots regularly. Not asking for a lot here, just want to see the ball roll like it’s supposed to on the greens.
Phenomenal Pace of Play
Even the best courses suffer from slow golf, which is a plague of this great game. A perfect golf course would have marshals that actually do their jobs and speed up the pace of play.
It would also clearly communicate to players when they book a tee time what the expectations are for pace. The more signage the better!
Cameras on Par 3’s
A few years ago I was playing with my family when my mom, who is five feet tall, made an ace from 111 yards… with a driver. Seriously, it was epic as our whole family was playing and witnessed it.
As we got to the green, it hit me… this course has cameras installed behind the green and actually pays players for aces! So not only did she get a hole in one, they made her a fully edited video of the ball hitting the green and going in plus all of us celebrating.
But the best part? They paid her $1,000 since there was video proof. More golf courses need to invest in this technology because it makes a great experience even better!
Automated Noise Machines
How cool would it be to play a par 3 and feel what it feels like for the PGA Tour players at the WM Open? Fans screaming and cheering you on?
I’ve always thought it would be so cool to hit a button on the tee box and have a speaker right there. Then, a golf clap would happen when you hit the green. Might as well dream big right?
Better Food At The Turn
Finally, the perfect golf experience would have better food after nine holes. At most courses you have to call ahead and get a full meal or settle for hot dogs and chips. While I’m not better than a fully loaded dog, I think we can do better.
There should be a sort of “grab and go” setup where things are pre-made and ready to take. Specifically, I’m thinking of pizza slices that are individually boxed. It’s easy to eat in the cart and way less likely to ruin your golf polo than mustard/ketchup of a hot dog.
Plus, a slice of pizza has never made a day worse, am I right?
I’m sure I could make this list twice as long but here’s what I think would make the perfect golf experience.
What would you add to this list?
Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Michael Leonard