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Playing a "Goat Track"?


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#31 mwmgolfx

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 10:25 AM

I played a few in Idaho and Eastern Washington where after I finished I wondered where the cows were as i thought they were nothing more than converted cow pastures.  One turned out to actually have cows on it i later saw (about 17).  

I have a couple of these wonders near me.  One almost across the street from the housing development i live in now is $15 with cart for winter and $10 in summer (includes cart).  Driving by one has a hard time telling the fairway from the greens from the rough.  I played the front nine a few years ago.  Pretty busy at times due to price.

Several others in the area are not more than 25-35 at most with cart (almost nobody walks around here),  Some in the 15-20 range.  Some of these are actually pretty interesting layouts but conditioning especially on the greens leaves a bit to be desired.  I've gotten to the point that i prefer moderately decent conditioning.  hitting off hardpan hurts my hands and isn't pleasant to play plus hard bumpy greens are no fun to putt.


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#32 finleysg

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 10:08 AM

I grew up playing the Minneapolis city courses, back when they actually put the occasional dollar into course maintenance. They were fun courses for learning to play: Hiawatha, Meadowbrook, Wirth, Gross, Columbia. Occasionally we would go across town to play Como in St. Paul.

Hiawatha at $5.50 for 18 was a great deal at that time. Now only half the course is open, pending a water study that will decide its fate.
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#33 Bigmean

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 10:54 AM

I did same thing.  Impulse played one by my dentist who is out of the way.  It was like $17, and it was great fun...I like whack tracks


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#34 GolfNuts4

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 12:11 PM

View Postfinleysg, on 22 April 2016 - 10:08 AM, said:

I grew up playing the Minneapolis city courses, back when they actually put the occasional dollar into course maintenance. They were fun courses for learning to play: Hiawatha, Meadowbrook, Wirth, Gross, Columbia. Occasionally we would go across town to play Como in St. Paul.

Hiawatha at $5.50 for 18 was a great deal at that time. Now only half the course is open, pending a water study that will decide its fate.
Wow, thanks for taking me back in time. I played those courses back in the 80's and early 90's. Moved away but playing summer twighlight golf at "shmeadowbrook" is one of my fondest memories.
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#35 LansingMI

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 04:45 PM

I like playing something "different" as opposed to pristine and familiar. Im the only one I play with who feels this way, but I also the only one who walks. In mid-Michigan all the "nice" tracks kinda mush together in my mind and they all start to seem like the same course over the course of the season. Some of the real fun rounds are when I bail on another Hawk Hollow or Moose Ridge or Timber whatever round and hit up the course we always pass on the highway and ignore. With everything there is a time and a place, but I like lower end courses with character.

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#36 Sean2

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:25 PM

I've rare play well manicured golf courses. Though I must admit I have never seen any goats on the courses I play either. I don't know if that's good or bad. I mean, if the goats are avoiding them...
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#37 chickenpotpie

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 04:33 PM

With 3 kids and very little time to play anymore, I will whore myself to any course that I can get on without a tee time.  And since I grew up playing goat tracks, there's just some natural appeal to those courses for me anyway.  I love the tiny greens that feature a simple slant design for cheap drainage (OK, not really, I'm just being nostalgic).
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#38 1puttTUT

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 09:19 PM

For those of us in Michigan, i don't feel like there are many goat tracks. Most of the muni's are super green and lush, they just may or may not have quite as good aesthetics, perfect bunkers, or great layouts.

Golf in general is pretty cheap here IMO. I'm playing Tuesday, 18 w/ cart for only $20.
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#39 Rackm007

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 07:58 PM

Goat golf courses offer a great price, friendley service, and generally cheap beer and food...
My kind of place

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#40 benno_r

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 04:41 AM

Not quite a Goat track, but was driving back to Taupo (NZ) from Cape Kidnappers, and saw a sheep paddock that was a golf course.

The greens were mown, fenced, and in decent condition. The fairways were however long the sheep had eaten them down, and you had to open a gate to get on the greens. I only played a couple of holes before dark and it cost me $5 in an honesty box, but it was one of my more memorable golf experiences.

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#41 Llortamaisey

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:06 AM

There's a course just north of downtown Atlanta in Buckhead with actual goats on the 16th hole. Talk about goat track.

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#42 br61

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 07:31 AM

As a member of a private club but I do enjoy playing some muni courses that golfers around here calls as "goat track". I'm playing on one today in a tournament. It's actually fun to play that course even though it's conditioning is so-so.
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#43 Argonne69

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:54 AM

 Sean2, on 30 April 2016 - 05:25 PM, said:

I've rare play well manicured golf courses. Though I must admit I have never seen any goats on the courses I play either. I don't know if that's good or bad. I mean, if the goats are avoiding them...

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#44 ryu123

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 07:29 PM

at $240 per round, Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz, CA is not your typical 'goat track', but in 2010 for several months it brought in 150 goats to graze the vegetation in some treacherous terrain.

photo of 'Henry' and the Pasatiempo head superintendent, Paul Chojnacky, from Golf Conversations.com July 23, 2012 interview

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#45 feedlotdoc

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 08:09 PM

 Loki, on 18 April 2016 - 06:29 PM, said:

 596, on 18 April 2016 - 03:50 PM, said:

Our Super. was at Augusta and took a few pictures you'd never catch on television......weeds.........in the fairways!!!  You won't see that on TV, but they are there.

How did your super get in the middle of a fairway at The Masters?

Our pro was there and said the same thing. Beautiful, but not perfect.


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#46 golfer1388

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 10:50 PM

I don't care how much charm or character a crappy course might have, if the greens are rolling slower than 8.5 it just isn't fun

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#47 br61

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:08 AM

 golfer1388, on 11 May 2016 - 10:50 PM, said:

I don't care how much charm or character a crappy course might have, if the greens are rolling slower than 8.5 it just isn't fun

That's plenty fast enough for everyday play. Lot of golfers overestimate the speed of fast greens. USGA considers slow greens at around 4.5 on stimpmeter and 8.5 as fast greens. Anything at or over 11-12 would be in Holy Sh!t territory.

Edited by br61, 12 May 2016 - 09:10 AM.

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#48 dlygrisse

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:14 AM

The state of KS is full of small town courses that generally were laid out on a small budget on some land that was available on the edge of town.  A lot of these tended to spend their money watering the greens so they were in good shape but often did not have irrigation for the fairways.  Some of my favorite rounds ever.
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#49 R Hagan

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:26 AM

This thread makes me want to have a pet goat

The way I see it, if I its not sopping wet I'll play it. As long as I can get out and swing I'm happy
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#50 JohnNeffDe

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 08:16 PM

I'm a proud member of a goat track club. Private, 9 holes, dues under a grand per year, and 56 members total. It's not fancy, but it's impeccability maintained.

For a guy with a wife and kids it doesn't get any better.


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#51 cane700

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 09:57 PM

Had this happen to me at the local 9 hole. More of a cow pasture than a goat track.

Yes that is fairway.

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#52 Argonne69

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 10:49 AM

The weather was simply awful this past Saturday. Temps in the mid-40's, 20+ mph winds, and extremely wet conditions from the recent rains. I didn't feel like paying prime summer rates on a better course in such conditions, so I visited a local "goat track" that is built on an old landfill. For $26 to walk, it met my low expectations. Standing water. Giant, muddy cart ruts. Flooded bunkers. Half-healed aerated greens. I played through a threesome at the turn, and didn't see another group after that. I can't say it was fun, but I certainly got my money's worth. I'm never going to complain about a 2:20 round on a Saturday morning in May.

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#53 cardoustie

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 11:02 AM

I love me some goat tracks

Grew up on a municipal one as a kid. Dropped off at 6am and picked up at 6pm
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#54 jewofgolf

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 11:30 AM

View PostArgonne69, on 16 May 2016 - 10:49 AM, said:

The weather was simply awful this past Saturday. Temps in the mid-40's, 20+ mph winds, and extremely wet conditions from the recent rains. I didn't feel like paying prime summer rates on a better course in such conditions, so I visited a local "goat track" that is built on an old landfill. For $26 to walk, it met my low expectations. Standing water. Giant, muddy cart ruts. Flooded bunkers. Half-healed aerated greens. I played through a threesome at the turn, and didn't see another group after that. I can't say it was fun, but I certainly got my money's worth. I'm never going to complain about a 2:20 round on a Saturday morning in May.

Same here. If the weather sucks I'm playing the cheapest place I can find that is 6000 yards or more.

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#55 mark m

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 06:36 PM

Just a minor point: we called these courses either a Goat Ranch or a Dog Track - but whatever. Played quite a few!

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#56 driveandputtmachine

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 12:37 PM

In Atlanta we have a couple of goat tracks.  None of them are Greatest Of All Time, they literally suck.

North Fulton Golf Course is a Muni.  There are some holes quite close together, the greens are still the same shape from when they were first built when greens ran 5 on the stimp.  They now run in the 8 range and have too much slope.  The actual layout isn't bad, but the fact that they did absolutely no shaping make some of the fairways and green complexes unfair.  With the location and probably 1.5 million you could turn that down trodden golf course into an awesome course that would command and get top dollar.  All greens need to be re-done.  Some shaping around the green at 1, fairway on 2, three since it has been redone could still use a little working in the fairway.  4 and 5 could use some water clean-up(cleaning up of the streams and drainage ditches.  5 could use work around the green.  6,7, and 8 could use some minor work.  Nine Fairway and the ditch across the fairway need some work, or the giant tree needs to come down.

10, could stand to have the whole fairway lowered and then widened out a little bit.  11 is good, work around 12 green.  13 and 14 are good.  15 needs some fairway work as does 16.  17 is fine with a little clean-up in the fairway.  18 needs to be graded and the fairway fixed.  You have to hit a 10 yard wide fairway with a cut to not roll down in the rough.  

Our company weekly golf league is there, so I still play it, because it is free.  I do not play it any other time.

The saving grace is the scenery around the course.
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#57 frequency

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 08:26 PM

I've played some nice ones usually out in rural areas of TX. loved most of them
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#58 Tcann32

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 10:15 AM

I've experienced the opposite more often than not.. As in a course that looks nice on the homepage or whatever, but is secretly an actual dog track. Generally it's a city course.

The disadvantage here with judging a book by it's cover is that we have really nice natural landscaping all around in MN, and it's not that hard to get a good pic on a course fly over lol.

Greens are all that I really care about as long as I'm not paying a premium price. I don't expect them to be perfect, but when they are chewed up beyond belief and you can't make a straight putt because of it, I get a little agitated.
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#59 Tcann32

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 10:24 AM

View Postfinleysg, on 22 April 2016 - 10:08 AM, said:

I grew up playing the Minneapolis city courses, back when they actually put the occasional dollar into course maintenance. They were fun courses for learning to play: Hiawatha, Meadowbrook, Wirth, Gross, Columbia. Occasionally we would go across town to play Como in St. Paul.

Hiawatha at $5.50 for 18 was a great deal at that time. Now only half the course is open, pending a water study that will decide its fate.

Never played Como.. always wanted to, just because.

My whole family is from the east side st.paul (when it was a working class neighborhood, now it's just dangerous so my parents moved me out when I was young) so anytime I get a chance to walk in my grandfathers foot steps I take it.

My home office is in fridley, so when I'm not on a job site, I head to Columbia during lunch to hit balls. It was also a fun course to play!

I went to college with the daughter of old guy in the club house at Wirth's par 3. We would play there after class sometimes. I've only played the regulation course once.. It wasn't bad, just easy to find a better deal a bit closer.

Some of the courses you mentioned have gotten a bit heavy in the price category. Keller comes to mind as well as it got REAL spendy after the remodel, for what it is.. I guess I might just be picky, but if it's over $50 to walk, it better be a little better than it was lol. I'd go back this year though as I assume it's only going to get better as the course has time to settle in.
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#60 bangabain

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 12:02 PM

Some of my best memories of golfing when I was a teenager were at goat tracks - we had one that was close to the town I grew up in, and on Mondays and Tuesdays it was $5 for under 18's to golf all day...just under 6000 yards, postage stamp greens, dirt for rough, but couldn't beat that as a poor student who still wanted to golf as much as possible :P lots of 36 and 54 and "just 9 more" hole matches played there over the years :P

Ha, I just looked at their website, and in 10 years it's gone up to a whopping $10 for juniors to golf all day...and it's $85 for a full year junior membership, up to the grand total of $500 for a 7 day membership...great stuff :P

Wish we had something like that here in Edmonton to just go and play for peanuts, different business over here unfortunately...

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