A lot of golfers tell us they use Golf Advisor as a travel tool, looking for the best places to play when they're away from home.
But the community can be useful even for your games at home, where you know all the course layouts in and out.
As we all know, course conditions, green fees and management can vary greatly throughout the year. Sometimes, they can receive a capital infusion and make improvements to once-neglected areas.
In any case, if there are a handful of courses you like to choose between in your hometown, we have some tools you can use to help better make your next tee times decision.
On each course page, there is a "follow my course" link. Signing up means you'll receive an alert in your e-mail whenever there is a new review posted. Reviewers, and particularly those who play the course regularly, often mention abnormalities in their review (from course conditions to deteriorating or enhanced customer service), so you can get an idea of which courses are trending upwards and downwards. More and more courses are also responding to reviews and can sometimes offer insight as to why their course may have failed to deliver at some point.
It's not just course conditions. Reviewers also shed some light on how pace of play is currently being monitored. Some notice new enhancements to the clubhouse. Others sometimes give us tips on new management, new ownership or an upcoming renovation -- all valuable news items a regular golfer would surely like to know about ASAP.
Speaking of trending, you can also see which courses are doing well by visiting our homepage, scrolling down to the "Courses near me" tab and making sure your location is correct. Click on the "Most improved" tab to get an idea of which courses are on the upward trend.
I've noticed that in my home town of Austin, Texas the local courses all tend to fluctuate a lot based on weather, maintenance schedules other factors. There always seems to be a course on the rise and another that is suffering. In my review of Bluebonnet Hill this summer, I bemoaned the fact that they don't seem to be monitoring pace of play on the weekends like they used to, and other recent reviews around that time agreed. But according to some newer reviews, pace seems to be back on track. So perhaps the course got the message.
You can also seek out Local Golf Advisors, our growing network of trusted, avid golfers in metro areas across North America, to see if they've played anywhere recently.
And as a reminder, just because you've reviewed a course once, doesn't mean you can't again. If an element of the experience has drastically changed, you can re-review the course by visiting the course page and clicking on the "write review" link. Many courses on our site have a link to view tee times, so you can browse right here or compare to the course website or other companies. So, try it out, and your fellow local golfers should come through with some valuable tips.