How do you assess a golf course? - What makes a good / bad course/ hole?

Doon frae Troon

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I remember being asked that question by a staff member after playing a pretty awful course.
I said that any golf course I visit I tend to come away with at least one good idea.
For example......awful course had really good, cheap, eye pleasing rubbish bins.

Re OP's good question.......
How long you got :love:
 

need_my_wedge

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I remember being asked that question by a staff member after playing a pretty awful course.
I said that any golf course I visit I tend to come away with at least one good idea.
For example......awful course had really good, cheap, eye pleasing rubbish bins.

Re OP's good question.......
How long you got :love:

As long as you like, am genuinely interested in understanding how to appraise a golf course.
 

Jigger

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I’ve been to famous course like Ganton that have been a bit scruffy in places and lots of stones in the bunkers that disappointed me.

Condition is definitely a big factor. Well drained in the winter and no bare patches in the summer.

Also well maintained off the fairway. Copses are clear at ground level, rough is fair and not overgrown.
The best courses are interesting to look at and have a real definition to the holes. I prefer to be playing on fair courses that poses a challenge. By that a mean no ridiculous greens that you hit a ball hole side and the it roles back down to a lake. I’ve actually experienced that on two courses.

Saying all that, I played a course last year in Spain and all the holes were well maintained and had features but they were all slightly over tricked up.

I also like that my club has two courses. That way I have variety and can always get a game.

The more enjoyable ones are actually shorter which is why I’m a fan of places changing their tee systems to more handicap based recommendations
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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The comments visitors to my place make when being complementary include: no two holes the same; great bunkers; lovely and subtle greens; great views; peace and quiet.

That‘ll do for me.
 

Doon frae Troon

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As long as you like, am genuinely interested in understanding how to appraise a golf course.
Ease of booking.
Advice of best route to course
Signage from main highway
Entry drive quality
Car park quality
Staffing levels and quality of service throughout your visit.
Quality of changing rooms/toilets/lounge/dining/snacks and all other clubhouse services.
Smart well stocked Pro shop and trained staff.
Design, quality and ease of playing the course
Quality of turf/sand/furniture on course.
History and 'story' of the course.
Scenic views [not important to me ie Muirfield has none, Morth Berwick has loads ]
And finally the most important one..... would you return.
 

clubchamp98

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The best courses for me you can see the sea.
I love links golf .

greens
fairways
tees
bunkers in that order.
get them right your halfway there.
holes that go both ways so you need to shape the ball.
frendly clubhouse dosnt have to be plush just inviting.
 

sunshine

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Holes with too much slope. There is one at Woodlake Park that slopes severely from right to left. In the golfing season, when the ball is running, it is almost impossible to keep the ball on the fairway. Everything seems to go left into the rough.

That’s your definition of a great golf hole?
 

Mel Smooth

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It will depend on personal taste I guess, but for me a good course has to be interesting - I don't want repetition, and I want holes that stimulate the senses.

I've played some highly rated courses when we were over in Spain and thought they were bang average, Las Colinas is rated 18th in the list of top courses in Spain, but just over the road is Las Ramblas, which personally I enjoyed playing much more.
Our course (Willow Valley), is a relentless challenge of difficult holes, easily the hardest course I've played, but I love it because of that, loads of water, too many bunkers (they are removing some in fairness), it's pretty long, there are some tight holes - it pretty much beats me up every time I play it, but I love it and know I'll never get bord of playing it. On the flip side, it's not great in winter (like most of the courses in the area), but for £1000 a year, it's still good value. Great group of members as well who are very welcoming which again, is a significant factor.
 

HeftyHacker

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Got to add to this, James Braid every single time. Whatever it was he saw, he always made the best out of the land, and his courses are always easy to know he built them, so how he built courses is how courses should be built.

I was thinking about Imurgs post about the multiple par 4s the same length etc and I thought that sounded a lot like my course.

Then I was thinking about those and no two holes play alike and all have their own character.

Then the par 3s are plentiful but, with really varied length.

James Braid did know what he was doing!
 

srixon 1

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If you meant the 2nd at Woodlake, it is silly. Funny course, the good holes are good, the weak ones are very weak!

Greens are usually good and the locals are a good bunch!
Not the 2nd, that is just bonkers? I think it is the 11th I was referring to, the par 5 with a small ditch in front of the green. Greens are always really good when we play in August.
 

Backache

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Firstly I enjoy golf and I find far more courses that I think are good courses than ones that I think are bad.

Reasons for me not enjoying a course usually center around the playing conditions a waterlogged muddy course with poor greens is seldom particularly enjoyable to play. Course useage may make a round a bit of a misery, if there are long waits throughout the round and the round is very long.

Having said that in the right circumstances even these may still not be a major problem. I often enjoy my own course in winter when it is hit and splash with winter greens and I'm wrapped up. Conversely if I'm on holiday with mates in good weather a slow round bothers me far less than it would do on my own course when I may have other things planned after a round.

Courses set in attractive scenery are almost always enjoyable to play it, is very rare that I come off a round in the highlands which I have not enjoyed for the sake of the scenery even if my golf has been poor.
Good bouncy turf tends to leave a favourable impression on me probably because I'm a short hitter. Variety amongst the holes with different lengths different views and different shapes of hole tend to leave a better impression on me. Playing a hole uphill is seldom as enjoyable as playing a hole downhill.

Having said that the converse is certainly not always true I have enjoyed courses where the scenery is a bit dull, or where there is little run on a ball or where the holes are fairly similar. Put all those features together and I may struggle but basically I think I enjoy golf.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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I think a good hole is one where, when you stand on the tee you look, think and consider the different ways you could play it. And then given your strengths and weaknesses you decide what to do.
 

Swango1980

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and still blob it ?
We had a golf trip a few years back. One of the guys, who I ended up playing with, had being going on about being so excited to play the 18th hole. I guess he had read about it, seen pictures. Talked about it all round. We got there, stunning view off the tee.

So, I decided to film his tee shot. His big moment. He fatted it about 4 yards. Potentially unplayable, not sure as I was too busy laughing, and capturing his reaction on camera. He did a little spin while screaming "ohhhhhhh noooooooooo", he was genuinely devastated
 

Pants

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Weather and ground conditions apart, for me a hole or course has to be enjoyable to play and be memorable. Even if I've played a course for the 1st time, I'll remember the good holes for quite a while. I've played over 190 different courses over the years and can still remember parts of most of them. Of course there are a few memorable for the wrong reasons.
 
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