So, when you spend your days searching the internet for ‘golf courses near me’ without any idea what you’re looking for, you’re bound to end up with a wide array of choices and no idea which one is best.
Keep reading for tips on how to find a golf course that will help you make the most of the beautiful game.
Cost Factors When Choosing a Golf Course
Unless you’re a recent lottery winner, you probably have an entertainment budget you need to stick to. Besides, the more you pay for one round of golf, the fewer rounds you can afford.
More isn’t always more when it comes to golf courses though. Price is no indicator of the quality and standard of a course. There are very many excellent and affordable public golf courses out there.
Another reason to consider costs is the issue of membership. Some courses only allow their members to use their facilities. So, you’d have to pay a hefty annual fee if you want to play there.
Apart from finance, this is also limiting if you’re the kind of person who enjoys varied golf experiences and it’s off-putting if you’ve never tried the course before.
These are the questions to ask regarding the cost of your game:
- What is the cost of the various tee times i.e. off-hours, prime time, or regular times?
- How much do extras like a driving range, caddy, or golf cart cost?
- Is there a membership program and does it offer any value-added perks?
- What’s the cost of the membership program?
Many golf courses allow non-members to play if they’re in the company of a member. In these cases, you’ll pay a slightly higher fee, but you will get to try out the course before you commit to a membership.
Consider the Course Conditions
There are numerous factors to consider when looking at a golf course since there’s no end to the inventiveness of golf course designers nowadays.
That, coupled with the variety of landscapes and landscaping techniques available today, means there’s no reason for a golf course to be boring.
Consider the following:
Routing of the Course
Does the course flow in one direction, or do the holes play in various directions? Some golfers don’t mind going around in circles, but you’ll enjoy the challenge of switching direction every few holes.
Variable routing lets the wind and sun come into play, which adds a new dimension to the game.
Variety of Holes
Bunkers and water holes are wonderful for testing your skills but there are other ways that course designers can add appeal to a golf course.
Consider the lie of the land too. A heavily sloping green can pose a novel challenge and a combination of long and short holes will keep you on your toes.
No golf course should pose impossible challenges, but they should take advantage of natural features to bring unique obstacles into the game.
Larger golf courses usually have more potential for variety thanks to their greater area.
There should be a clear distinction between fairways, greens, and rough areas of the course. Every golf course should undergo ongoing maintenance and cultivation to ensure that the different grasses stay in pristine condition.
Likewise, the maintenance team should ensure that pathways and facilities remain in excellent order and ready for your enjoyment during the golf season.
Read up on the history of the courses you’re interested in. Does it have a quaint backstory and interesting traditions? Well-established courses will go to great lengths to ensure you enjoy your time with them.
Find out if any esteemed golfers frequent the course and research whether the course has a reputation for being fast or slow and if there are any signature holes you simply must try.
Comparative golf course ratings are a fantastic tool for weighing up one course against another. You can find a golf course rating index on ncrdb.usga.org, golfday.us, and whs.com amongst others.
Golf Course Facilities and Amenities
It’s not all about golf when you head out for the day either. Most golf courses offer a range of onsite facilities to ensure you have an enjoyable day out.
Some even have extra amenities to keep your family busy while you’re on course. These premier destinations may offer wellness spas, children’s play areas, or games rooms.
These are some of the things to consider when looking at golf course amenities:
- Is there a Pro Shop and what does it offer?
- Can you hire any extra equipment if needed?
- Is there a golf pro available to offer instruction and guidance?
- Does the course have a driving range?
- What is the clubhouse like and what meals are on offer?
- Is the clubhouse family-friendly?
- Are there clean, well-maintained change rooms onsite?
Time spent after the game mingling with fellow golfers is one of the highlights of a great day on the course, so don’t underestimate the importance of these extra facilities.
Get Out There
Finding an awesome golf course to spend your time on is a worthy activity if you’re in search of fresh air and mild exercise. It’s also a fantastic social outing and even a networking opportunity.
If you’d like to find out about some more ways to make the most of your time, browse the Health or Entertainment sections of our blog for more ideas.
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