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Your Home Course - The One Thing You Would Change

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#1 citizencage

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:15 AM

In all likelihood, there's probably more than one thing that irks golfers about their home course.

I play at Smithtown Landing - a public course on Long Island.  It's a short, but extremely hilly course (you'll never find a level lie to play from).  It's fairly well maintained so I can't complain about that too much.  Slow play sucks, but that horse has been beaten to death.

My main issue with them has to do with booking tee times.  They only take reservations by phone.  So the process boils down to a first-come, first-served basis (at least in theory) and there's no way of knowing in advance of your phone call if there's a slot available.  If you call and they tell you that there isn't an opening, you're only recourse is to keep calling back at your discretion.  It doesn't matter that I've been playing there for years (albeit mostly as a single).  I don't receive any preferential treatment.  I've been known to call them just before sunrise on a Monday morning and even by then I've been told that weekend slots have been filled.

I can't understand why in this day and age they can't take online reservations - either through their own website (which is a total waste of space) or via GolfNow.  At least then I can see what's available and plan accordingly, rather than having the awkward conversation over the phone about tee times, followed by the questions about how many players in my group.

Anybody else wish their home course invested in a little better customer service?


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#2 bmellisen

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:04 AM

My "home" course is actually two 18s, so I will go with one for each.

For the first course, it hosted the public links a few years back, and they brought in new sand for all the bunkers. THe best way I can describe it is that it is very fine sand, but extremely heavy. Not like any other courses sand around here, and not the same sand as the other 18. Very tough to play out of, and I am a pretty good bunker player. And the ball buries in the lip anytime you come into one with any sort of height.

For the other 18, I would just trim a couple trees back.  On 7, it's a hard dogleg right.  From the back tees, you need to hit it at least 230, but can't hit it more than 245. If you are short, you are blocked out by the tree, long in the junk or on an extreme side hill lie in rough. Its slightly downhill, andusually into a breeze. Hard to pick a club and be that exact with yardage for that long a shot.  The tree wasn't an issue 10 years ago, you had more than a 15 yard window to land your tee shot.  Now, there is always a backup there as people have to chip their ball forward 10 yards(from the fairway), to hit to the green.

#3 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

My only wish for my home course is that either 100 new members would join this Spring or somebody's rich uncle bequeath the club a million dollars or so. In the current economic climate and living in an area absolutely overbuilt with both public and private courses we're like most other clubs. Holding our own, better off than some maybe, but with very little margin for survival if things don't look up considerably over the next couple years.

I like just about everything about the course itself and the people. Like a lot of people I'd have never envisioned five years ago that the course wouldn't be there for the rest of my lifetime and then some. How times change. If I had to make one concrete suggestion for a change it would be to cut back on the number of staff and let the members find their own way from the parking lot to the clubhouse or all eat in the same dining room instead of having two separate places to be served food. Maybe a little less "service" might translate to less financial distress.

#4 myspinonit

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:41 AM

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 08:15 AM, said:

In all likelihood, there's probably more than one thing that irks golfers about their home course.

I play at Smithtown Landing - a public course on Long Island.  It's a short, but extremely hilly course (you'll never find a level lie to play from).  It's fairly well maintained so I can't complain about that too much.  Slow play sucks, but that horse has been beaten to death.

My main issue with them has to do with booking tee times.  They only take reservations by phone.  So the process boils down to a first-come, first-served basis (at least in theory) and there's no way of knowing in advance of your phone call if there's a slot available.  If you call and they tell you that there isn't an opening, you're only recourse is to keep calling back at your discretion.  It doesn't matter that I've been playing there for years (albeit mostly as a single).  I don't receive any preferential treatment.  I've been known to call them just before sunrise on a Monday morning and even by then I've been told that weekend slots have been filled.

I can't understand why in this day and age they can't take online reservations - either through their own website (which is a total waste of space) or via GolfNow.  At least then I can see what's available and plan accordingly, rather than having the awkward conversation over the phone about tee times, followed by the questions about how many players in my group.

Anybody else wish their home course invested in a little better customer service?

If it's a public course is it privately owned or municipal? If it's municipal especially I can't see how a letter to the council wouldn't be  a good idea. How they would  save salary dollars without having extra folks on hand to cover the phone bookings plus the customer service aspects. And/or call Golf Now head office. They must have folks there itching to find courses they could contract with.

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#5 citizencage

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:50 AM

View Postmyspinonit, on 04 January 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 08:15 AM, said:

In all likelihood, there's probably more than one thing that irks golfers about their home course.

I play at Smithtown Landing - a public course on Long Island.  It's a short, but extremely hilly course (you'll never find a level lie to play from).  It's fairly well maintained so I can't complain about that too much.  Slow play sucks, but that horse has been beaten to death.

My main issue with them has to do with booking tee times.  They only take reservations by phone.  So the process boils down to a first-come, first-served basis (at least in theory) and there's no way of knowing in advance of your phone call if there's a slot available.  If you call and they tell you that there isn't an opening, you're only recourse is to keep calling back at your discretion.  It doesn't matter that I've been playing there for years (albeit mostly as a single).  I don't receive any preferential treatment.  I've been known to call them just before sunrise on a Monday morning and even by then I've been told that weekend slots have been filled.

I can't understand why in this day and age they can't take online reservations - either through their own website (which is a total waste of space) or via GolfNow.  At least then I can see what's available and plan accordingly, rather than having the awkward conversation over the phone about tee times, followed by the questions about how many players in my group.

Anybody else wish their home course invested in a little better customer service?

If it's a public course is it privately owned or municipal? If it's municipal especially I can't see how a letter to the council wouldn't be  a good idea. How they would  save salary dollars without having extra folks on hand to cover the phone bookings plus the customer service aspects. And/or call Golf Now head office. They must have folks there itching to find courses they could contract with.

You're right about it being a municipal.  By the way, for giggles, check out the website for my home course:

http://www.michaelhe...ownlanding.html

Sadly, Top100 teacher Michael Hebron is the head professional there.  The lack of decent PR / Marketing of the golf course seems directly in odds with Hebron's reputation, but then again, what do I know.


#6 bmellisen

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 09:50 AM, said:

View Postmyspinonit, on 04 January 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 08:15 AM, said:

In all likelihood, there's probably more than one thing that irks golfers about their home course.

I play at Smithtown Landing - a public course on Long Island.  It's a short, but extremely hilly course (you'll never find a level lie to play from).  It's fairly well maintained so I can't complain about that too much.  Slow play sucks, but that horse has been beaten to death.

My main issue with them has to do with booking tee times.  They only take reservations by phone.  So the process boils down to a first-come, first-served basis (at least in theory) and there's no way of knowing in advance of your phone call if there's a slot available.  If you call and they tell you that there isn't an opening, you're only recourse is to keep calling back at your discretion.  It doesn't matter that I've been playing there for years (albeit mostly as a single).  I don't receive any preferential treatment.  I've been known to call them just before sunrise on a Monday morning and even by then I've been told that weekend slots have been filled.

I can't understand why in this day and age they can't take online reservations - either through their own website (which is a total waste of space) or via GolfNow.  At least then I can see what's available and plan accordingly, rather than having the awkward conversation over the phone about tee times, followed by the questions about how many players in my group.

Anybody else wish their home course invested in a little better customer service?

If it's a public course is it privately owned or municipal? If it's municipal especially I can't see how a letter to the council wouldn't be  a good idea. How they would  save salary dollars without having extra folks on hand to cover the phone bookings plus the customer service aspects. And/or call Golf Now head office. They must have folks there itching to find courses they could contract with.

You're right about it being a municipal.  By the way, for giggles, check out the website for my home course:

http://www.michaelhe...ownlanding.html

Sadly, Top100 teacher Michael Hebron is the head professional there.  The lack of decent PR / Marketing of the golf course seems directly in odds with Hebron's reputation, but then again, what do I know.

$31 cart fee seems a bit pricey. Also, what's the $2 surcharge for booking a tee time?

#7 citizencage

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

View Postbmellisen, on 04 January 2013 - 10:05 AM, said:

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 09:50 AM, said:

View Postmyspinonit, on 04 January 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 08:15 AM, said:

In all likelihood, there's probably more than one thing that irks golfers about their home course.

I play at Smithtown Landing - a public course on Long Island.  It's a short, but extremely hilly course (you'll never find a level lie to play from).  It's fairly well maintained so I can't complain about that too much.  Slow play sucks, but that horse has been beaten to death.

My main issue with them has to do with booking tee times.  They only take reservations by phone.  So the process boils down to a first-come, first-served basis (at least in theory) and there's no way of knowing in advance of your phone call if there's a slot available.  If you call and they tell you that there isn't an opening, you're only recourse is to keep calling back at your discretion.  It doesn't matter that I've been playing there for years (albeit mostly as a single).  I don't receive any preferential treatment.  I've been known to call them just before sunrise on a Monday morning and even by then I've been told that weekend slots have been filled.

I can't understand why in this day and age they can't take online reservations - either through their own website (which is a total waste of space) or via GolfNow.  At least then I can see what's available and plan accordingly, rather than having the awkward conversation over the phone about tee times, followed by the questions about how many players in my group.

Anybody else wish their home course invested in a little better customer service?

If it's a public course is it privately owned or municipal? If it's municipal especially I can't see how a letter to the council wouldn't be  a good idea. How they would  save salary dollars without having extra folks on hand to cover the phone bookings plus the customer service aspects. And/or call Golf Now head office. They must have folks there itching to find courses they could contract with.

You're right about it being a municipal.  By the way, for giggles, check out the website for my home course:

http://www.michaelhe...ownlanding.html

Sadly, Top100 teacher Michael Hebron is the head professional there.  The lack of decent PR / Marketing of the golf course seems directly in odds with Hebron's reputation, but then again, what do I know.

$31 cart fee seems a bit pricey. Also, what's the $2 surcharge for booking a tee time?

Welcome to the wonderful world of New York metropolitan golf!  All things considered, the rates at my home course are considered a bargain in the region.  I pay $32 on the weekend to play (I never ride).  I can't find a course with cheaper green fees that isn't a pitch and putt.  I don't mind paying more to play a higher-end course, but I can't afford to do that and play once a week during the season.

#8 bmellisen

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 10:10 AM, said:

View Postbmellisen, on 04 January 2013 - 10:05 AM, said:

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 09:50 AM, said:

View Postmyspinonit, on 04 January 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

View Postcitizencage, on 04 January 2013 - 08:15 AM, said:

In all likelihood, there's probably more than one thing that irks golfers about their home course.

I play at Smithtown Landing - a public course on Long Island.  It's a short, but extremely hilly course (you'll never find a level lie to play from).  It's fairly well maintained so I can't complain about that too much.  Slow play sucks, but that horse has been beaten to death.

My main issue with them has to do with booking tee times.  They only take reservations by phone.  So the process boils down to a first-come, first-served basis (at least in theory) and there's no way of knowing in advance of your phone call if there's a slot available.  If you call and they tell you that there isn't an opening, you're only recourse is to keep calling back at your discretion.  It doesn't matter that I've been playing there for years (albeit mostly as a single).  I don't receive any preferential treatment.  I've been known to call them just before sunrise on a Monday morning and even by then I've been told that weekend slots have been filled.

I can't understand why in this day and age they can't take online reservations - either through their own website (which is a total waste of space) or via GolfNow.  At least then I can see what's available and plan accordingly, rather than having the awkward conversation over the phone about tee times, followed by the questions about how many players in my group.

Anybody else wish their home course invested in a little better customer service?

If it's a public course is it privately owned or municipal? If it's municipal especially I can't see how a letter to the council wouldn't be  a good idea. How they would  save salary dollars without having extra folks on hand to cover the phone bookings plus the customer service aspects. And/or call Golf Now head office. They must have folks there itching to find courses they could contract with.

You're right about it being a municipal.  By the way, for giggles, check out the website for my home course:

http://www.michaelhe...ownlanding.html

Sadly, Top100 teacher Michael Hebron is the head professional there.  The lack of decent PR / Marketing of the golf course seems directly in odds with Hebron's reputation, but then again, what do I know.

$31 cart fee seems a bit pricey. Also, what's the $2 surcharge for booking a tee time?

Welcome to the wonderful world of New York metropolitan golf!  All things considered, the rates at my home course are considered a bargain in the region.  I pay $32 on the weekend to play (I never ride).  I can't find a course with cheaper green fees that isn't a pitch and putt.  I don't mind paying more to play a higher-end course, but I can't afford to do that and play once a week during the season.

Yeah, that course rate vs the cart fee just seems off, but I am lucky enough to live in NC where there is a lot of good inexpensive golf.  Don't know if I ever have paid more than around $12 for a cart. You all must use high end gasoline for your carts.  

I did live outside DC for a few years. I found one course that was "only" $50 to play. It was essentially tufts of weeds between trees, with shorter weeds for greens. Only played there once.

#9 duffer987

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

My local is a public course, so it sees a ton of play and there is nothing I can do about that. Join a private club if I worry about 5hr rounds, so for the course itself...

3 of the 4 par threes play in the same direction and for a course that's routing is otherwise very good, it was definitely an oversight/mistake by the designers. For a course that gets very windy it's doubly annoying. If I could change one thing it would be to rotate one of them 45/90 degrees to offer up some more variety.
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#10 CheckJV

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

I am a member of a small private club with 18 holes.  It was built in the 1950's and the members did a lot of tree planting in the early days.  Well all the trees are grown up now.  Some overhang tee boxes, fairways, and are just in the way.  Many compete for water with the turf grass.  The tree roots also destroy the cart paths in some areas.  Maintenance is also an issue with dead limbs, leaves, and sweet gum balls.

Problem is that it is really hard to get the "old timers" to realize we need not only to thin the trees but also to completely remove some.


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#11 duffer987

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

That's a great point Check.
I was playing a course (Indian Valley GC in Novato, CA) for the first time on New Years Day with one of the locals.
It is a course from the 50s too and he was pointing out some of the main offenders - as far as trees were concerned - and said there is a lot of hand wringing over whether to cut them down. Around the greens they need to clear some out as well to let some sun in, otherwise a number of greens barely see any sunlight for 1/3 of the year.
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#12 highergr0und

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

Prisms on the flags!!!!!  Actually, my club had these, but now that I've moved and I'm back to public courses I cannot stand it when they're not there.  It really can't cost much money and it speeds up pace of play since the laser guys can get a reading in a second.

#13 Big L

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

Semi Private course that is also the home of the high school team I coach.  I'm not a full fledged member, but it's basically my home course.  We need better sand in our bunkers, it's nothing but a baked, hard substance that resembles sand.  The GM has started to put some new stuff in one or two bunkers here or there, but he can't do anything else because of the cost.  If anything, I'd wish he would let some of these bunkers grow into collection sites instead, this way he doesn't need as much sand.
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#14 slocagolfer

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

Like Big L's course, mine needs to work on the sand in its bunkers. Some have very little. There can be only a half inch of sand before the hardpan in a lot of spots - and no way of knowing if you're in that spot.

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#15 sporto98

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

flat tee boxes with grass... that would be nice!


#16 jt_

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

3 things for my home course:

1) Pace of play. When the economy tanked, they cut back on the help. No ranger on the course.
2) Bunkers. Very inconsistent from bunker to bunker. Some are hard pan, some are mud, some actually have sand.
3) Drainage. A couple of holes need drainage work badly. It can barely rain and those holes will be very soggy for a couple of days.

#17 cbehan

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

I wish I could change my home course to Augusta National, Pine Valley, or Cypress Point.

#18 citizencage

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

View Postcbehan, on 04 January 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

I wish I could change my home course to Augusta National, Pine Valley, or Cypress Point.
Sounds like a contest submission in the making, LOL

#19 GoStars

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

I am fortunate enough to be a member of a very old established club in Dallas where we recently built an almost embarrassingly large clubhouse.  Course is kept in top shape, and was very successfully renovated two years ago.

Aside from being longer (which will never happen given land values surrounding the club), I just wish it was cheaper.... We have two kinds of members.. ones for whom price increases mean nothing, and then others (like me).

#20 subrosa

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

The one thing I would change about my home course, is to find a home course. I am a commuter, so I guess Skywest in Hayward, CA is as close as I can get. I would make it a bit more interesting, it is a long, very normal course.  The driving range could use an overhaul, as it is quite the eye sore.


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#21 TheDarkOne

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

I would ban smoking.

Edited by TheDarkOne, 04 January 2013 - 04:21 PM.


#22 harleydavis

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

View Postsporto98, on 04 January 2013 - 01:13 PM, said:

flat tee boxes with grass... that would be nice!

+1

#23 citizencage

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

By the way, why is it just about every public course I've ever visited, the starter resembles Archie Bunker in both appearance and demeanor?  How about giving a high school kid a job?

#24 blink3665

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

My home course has done quite a bit over the last year and half.  It used to be the laughing stock of all the other courses around.  It was marshy (really bad) during the fall, winter, and spring (and even still a bit in the summer).  The greens looked like fairways at other clubs, and the fairways and rough.... well.  So over the last year they have put in quite a few things to help with drainage.  They have REALLY done a great job with the greens.  The roll fast and smooth now.  I would still tighten up the fairways on grass length.  The biggest thing is the sand in the bunkers.  I don't know if there is anything to be done in our horrid NW weather about the fact that they are hard as concrete.  But they can do something about the amount of rocks.  There are rocks that size anywhere between a pencil eraser size to silver dollar size.  I refuse to use my normal clubs out of the sand there.  I have damaged too many wedges AND it hurts like a b*$% when you hit a rock the size of a silver dollar...
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#25 farmer

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:34 PM

My club is infested with Old World Bluestem grass, introduced as part of the original Conservation Reserve Program.  This is a program to put highly erodible farm land back into grass.  Bluestem is super competitive and is gradually choking out our native grass.  If I could make one change, I would eliminate the bluestem.


#26 MCCA

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:58 PM

Fire all the starters they do nothing with speed of play. Just drive around wasting gas.

#27 Arizonalefty59

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:04 AM

1) Get rid of all of the grouchy members that hate us teenagers.
2) Get new sand in the bunkers instead of the cement with a layer of cat littler over them.
3) Make it an AZ resident only course so all of the snowbirds will stop killing the pace of play.
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#28 joeshmo

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:53 AM

My course is a Graham Marsh designed resort course. It's a good test of golf since the wind blows
an average of 15 + year round.
  My complaint is the amount of OB on the course. I guess it is to keep up the slope and rating.
There is OB on all but 2 holes. Some of the OB is within the course property. I would love to replace
a majority of the white stakes with red stakes.
Talent is the desire to practice

#29 duffer987

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

^That is such a simple fix. I've played a few courses this year, where they have marked out some boundaries as lateral hazards instead of OB and it can only help the pace of play and frustration factor of those who find it.

A quality player who shoots in the 70s will still be penalised a stroke for a random snap hook and end up with a bogey where they'd expect par, while helping out the player who shoots around 100 to limit the damage to a double instead of a quad.
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#30 Cobras7

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

Well first I would like to say that we have been playing at the same course for as long as I can remember. But now very recently as a family we have been looking into joining a private country club. It is vary nice and in our price range. So with that said I will list a change for my usual public course.

My home course is public but privately owned by a company called CourseCo. The number one problem used to be the bunkers, but last year they added new sand to almost all of them and in fact they added too much sand. Now everyone is faced with plugged lies and unraked bunkers. That is one of the niceties we found when playing the country club last week! The staff is all very nice and personable, we are often given discounts and free rounds because of how often we play there! If I could take them with me to the country club I would!

However the main issue is the groundskeepers. We play almost 3 times a week and even in prime time they are mowing and raking while we are hitting into the greens! They have no manners and I am so afraid that I will nail someone with my approach that we as the customers almost have to wait for them to be done working! It should be the other way around. Which is also why we are looking at the country club. So if I could I would change the working time to keep up the grounds for early Monday mornings while nobody is on the course!


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