There are many factors that go into determining the quality of a golf experience, but there are strengths in the minds of golfers when assessing the merits of a course they have just played.

Seeking to understand what makes a course to be memorable, we surveyed 950 avid golfers this winter, asking them to identify the best site they’ve played on this year, including comments explaining what attributes have made this particular destination a place. so good.

Oddly enough, regardless of the course or golfer’s demographics, there was a striking consistency in what they were looking for, something that has been captured in the word cloud below.

What makes a golf course memorable?

From those comments, we’ve broken it down into five distinct categories, with a selection of survey quotes, all of which contribute to Make a golf course memorable.

Conditions, Quality, Greens, Fairways

Ultimately, golfers place more importance on the standard of presentation of a golf course than anything else. Emphasizing the importance of a staffed and resourced greenspace maintenance service, visiting golfers have high expectations for the quality of the conditioning.

Fairways, greens, tees, bunkers, if properly maintained it becomes part of the golfer’s consciousness, something special should look like this, with an immaculately dressed course the first step in delivering a memorable experience.

“Beautiful course in great condition with fantastic views.”

“Condition of the course. The setting is beautiful. Sandy base so drainage is excellent and the greens are superb.”

“Course in absolutely superb condition and greens as good as ever.”

Variety, Arrangement, Mixture

Anecdotally, when someone asks about a course you’ve played, the insight of the conversation will likely depend on how many holes are stuck in your mind. When golfers are asked to explain what makes a site exceptional, the variety and intrigue of the layout is something that comes through all the time.

The idea of ​​a “signature hole” is a marketing cliché, but the more a course has, the more it improves memorization of a course. If a course features exciting, fun, unique and varied holes throughout a round, it underscores that it is an invigorating design to play, that a visiting golfer will forever stand for.

“18 holes all completely different, a good but fair test for all levels.”

“A delicious and stimulating mix of park trails and links.”

“A very interesting and varied layout in very good condition.”

Test, challenge

Common hankley

For many golfers, the challenge offered by a course is an important characteristic of a great course. Has your game been tested in a refreshing and engaging way? Certainly, for the best level of player, going somewhere where they had to work hard for their score is a welcome feature.

Much like the variety of holes, this recurring theme points to the design of a place that goes a long way in separating the best from the rest.

“Challenging layout with super fast greens and incredible scenery. “

“Interesting course with many difficult holes, not too difficult to go, and each hole has something to test your ability to hit that little ball in the hole.”

“Great greens, challenging fairways. Made you think of club selection as you walked over to the t-shirt.”

Friendly, welcome, staff

To deliver a truly unforgettable experience, it is not enough to have the most architecturally exceptional design or the most skilled green maintenance team in the country. When reflecting on their best run from last season, the positive nature of customer service, the welcome from the staff and the friendliness of those who work on the site are also key factors.

In essence, it shows that golfers are just like any other type of consumer. You can visit the best hotel or attraction, but the enthusiasm will be dampened if the staff does not also reflect this standard. It is vital to have the right people in these positions who deal with the general public, even on golf courses.

“Friendliness of members and staff.”

“Fantastic welcome, friendly staff, magnificent view, superb course.”

“Great layout in excellent condition, very personable and a brilliant marshal who helped you around and keep up with the pace of play.”

Views, Landscapes, Landscape

Golf courses are beautiful places to spend time, but the scenery around them can enhance a visiting golfer’s outlook. When asked to describe the best course they had played this year, the views and scenery were commonly referenced.

We love walking along the fairways with a great backdrop around us, with breathtaking visuals, a feast for the eyes and your phone’s camera. It has been said that spectacular views can make up for relative shortcomings elsewhere on a course, which is probably true, but it goes a long way in making a place truly memorable. Sometimes you may not remember much of the holes, but you will remember the views.

“Well maintained and beautiful view, very well received.”

“Well maintained and immaculate greens, incredible scenery and a real golf challenge, as it should be.”

“Breathtaking views over Edinburgh to East Lothian, Fife and the Firth of Forth AND the greens were in pristine condition by the end of September.”

Key survey data

Course survey

The survey data has been outlined above, highlighting the qualities that golfers value most from an experience. But what is most interesting – when we compare to a previous survey from 2019 – is that there has been a noticeable change in three factors, reflecting changing consumption patterns, more of us are demanding the best from the start.

When classified as very important or extremely important, Layout / Design increased from 56% to 69% in two years, Home & Services from 43% to 61%, and Food and catering at 34% against 21%. These are the increasingly common expectations of visiting golfers looking for an experience that is worth their time and money.

Ultimately, when judging the best courses they have played, each golfer has their own perspective, but what is valuable about these polls is that they reflect the many areas in which we are all united. by the qualities we value the most. If a golf course is viewed as a product like any other, then those that match and exceed customer expectations will be most appreciated.

Related content

Golf courses that golfers have recommended to others

Golf courses you should have played in 2021

The best golf course you’ve played