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What makes a course your favorite?


jnharvey44
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I was in Utah this past week and I got to play at my favorite course, Hobble Creek (picture down below). It's never been in bad condition, but I've played more "pristine" courses, I even had one putt go off line because of a dead yellow patch in the green. But it's up a beautiful canyon, nearly every shot you hit you get to watch it up against the mountains, and in the fall it is ridiculously pretty. Like I said, I've played "nicer" courses, but I don't love any other like I do Hobble Creek purely because of the setting.

That got me wondering, what makes your favorite course your favorite?

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Views is the predominant factor for me. Layout is also pretty important.  I can get over less than ideal conditions as long as the price is right.

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like @den748 said, views and layout makes a course a favorite for me.  For one of my anniversaries, my wife and I played the Sedona Golf Resort.  The layout was ok but the views were stunning.  I also loved Tiera Del Sol in Aruba as well for the views.

 

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When I think back on the courses I have enjoyed the most and would consider favorites, it all comes down to (in no particular order) conditions, routing, and scenery. Conditions need to be good - not easy or tough necessarily, but green and consistent (I realize that isn't always possible). Routing... well, I just like a course has some intrigue to the way holes are laid out. I don't want every hole adjacent to each other, and I like it when a course makes good use of natural elements. I don't like a flat course and I don't want one that has drastic elevation changes on every hole either. As for scenery, the course doesn't have to be set against some picturesque backdrop like the ocean or a mountain, but if it has a few interesting features like an old clubhouse, some creeks and ponds, and a good mixture of plants and wildlife, I'm sold.

Here's a few pics from one of my top-3 courses that I've actually played since moving to DFW: Hawk's Creek - Westworth Village, TX

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IMG_1416.jpg.13642f39107b308fb0cc2a1002f9fd88.jpg

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There was a good discussion on this about 5 weeks ago FWIW 

What I said then in rank order:

 

We're all looking for the same things, we just may have different priorities. I'd say:

1) Layout-playability. I like an interesting layout with a good mix of challenging and more reasonable holes. It's nice if I can reach at least one par 5 in two, but not all of them. I'm OK with a few long or otherwise challenging par 3s, but it's nice to have at least one less so. And I like par 4's to offer a mix of approach shots, not wedges or long irons into all of them. Having a couple water holes is memorable to me. Traps should come into play on some if not all holes. I'm perfectly fine with punishing rough, that's the way it should be IMO. Same with greens, they should all present some challenges - a bunch of big, flat, featureless greens is boring - my regular course doesn't have a single flat green!

2) Condition. I look for a course to be in good condition, most of all the greens. But I don't expect a $30 for 18 muni to be in the same condition as a $300 CC. If it's a nice layout but not in good condition, I may go back and give it another try, course condition can fluctuate. But a course in great condition with a run of the mill layout won't get me back.

3) Value (not price). I'm not looking for cheap, but value. I play a $30 muni regularly, and it's stellar for the price. When I play a more expensive course I expect more, and usually get it - or I don't go back. I've played a couple world class courses at considerable expense - but they were good value as well even if I wouldn't do it regularly.

4) Practice facility & carts. As long as there's a driving range and a representative practice green, that's fine. I just want to loosen up, and have a sense of how fast the greens are - so I have a club on the first green. And while any cart will do, it is nice to have one in good condition with a touchscreen layout-GPS-food ordering features (like my regular course).

5) Staff & clubhouse. A surly staff or mediocre clubhouse detracts but I'm going to spend 4 hours give or take playing, my exposure to staff is usually minutes and the clubhouse probably about 30 minutes. So staff and clubhouse aren't going to sway my memory much...

...to me "memorable" is a combination of all the above, not an attribute in itself (unless maybe it's an ocean course). YMMV

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While I would agree with most of y'all here in that  Layout-playability, and condition are all important, for me the number one thing that makes a course a favorite is people. The lack of other players I mean. I am pretty much a solo player, I really enjoy being out there by myself.  and I really enjoy a round with little  to no other players on the course, for me  that's just about the best it can be. The quite, the solace is really something. Timing is everything for me, sometimes I have to play early in the morning, sometimes later in the day. Day of the week also factors into it.  If it's a course I haven't played before I talk to the pro shop to try to get a handle on the slow times and schedule as best as I can. 

As for my home course, I know when to go and be alone on the course and when to stay away. When I can't get to the course because of too many people, there's always the range.

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