Last week, we delved into one of our favorite 19th Hole discussions: golf courses vs. "golf experiences." We asked for your input on your favorite golf experiences in particular, and got a great response. Here are some comments that stood out to us:
Reader "PJ Thompson" said...
A great ‘experience’ will never make up for a lack of a great golf course but a great golf course without the amenities can still be a great ‘experience’- except when it comes to service. Nothing wrecks it quicker than bad service.
Sometimes you get both. Most memorable are the ‘comfort stations’ at Discovery Land properties like Gozzer Ranch or Yellowstone Club.
Our response: If you've ever had the opportunity to play a Discovery Land-run course, you've likely raved to your friends about their comfort stations. At Gozzer Ranch, a DL property in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, specialty items at the comfort stations include a root beer float station and four (!) different varieties of jerky.
Reader "Alex326" said...
Overall course condition – smooth greens , lush fairways, nice sand , etc
Course design, forced water carries, driveable par 5, elevated tees, island green
Staff friendliness a la Quail Lodge
Course beauty/surrounding – waterfalls, ocean , flowers , mountains
Clubhouse amenities – quality of food, view
Our response: A quick but comprehensive list. We're pleased to see Quail Lodge mentioned specifically - we believe it flies way under the radar in the Pebble Beach area and can be forgotten in favor of the big-name courses along the ocean.
Reader "pete from NH" said...
As I slowly work my way through my bucket list of courses I find it is the customer-focused people more than the pure [amenities] that make the experience most excellent. Caddies at Bandon Dunes and Kohler who make you feel so comfortable that you hire them for your whole stay, a caddy at Pebble Beach who on the 7th tee insists you “pause and look around–you want to remember when you stood here”, Kiawah Island walking up to the range, your caddy standing next to a clock set to your tee time, your name written below it, asking “which club would you like to start with”. Starters at Pinehurst and Harbor Town who sincerely welcome you. Memories that last a long time.
Our response: Well said. The golf course itself is important, but it's still the case that above-and-beyond "little things" can really help a round stand out in one's memory. Friendly and sincere people staffing the course can make a huge difference, always.
Reader "Paul Boyd" said...
Played Quivira in March and it is possibly the most scenic course I have played. The views are comparable to Pebble Beach but the significant elevation change may put it ahead of Pebble. The comfort stations provide first class food and the course condition was exceptional in March. The elevation change also makes for very interesting options on par 4s. It is a must play in Cabo and may surpass Diamante’s Dunes course in the rankings.
Reader "Mike Hyde" said...
All of the comments are super good but for me the best part of a golfing experience is standing on a tee box and looking around and seeing a magnificent view that strikes you and wants you to return. The VISTA is the greatest!
Our response: Definitely an important "golf experience element." What are some of your favorite views in golf?
Keep an eye on the site for more reader debate round-ups like this one!