What Makes Golfers Happy
By mustang6560 on 8/22/13


As a golfer, what makes you happy when you play a new course?

Is it playing an inexpensive round? Or pace of play? Or how well you shot?

According to the golfers surveyed by GolfDigest, pace of play is number one on their "happiness list". However, according to the experts who studied the golfers, pace of play is actually on the bottom of the "happiness list". The most important aspect is course condition.
The contradiction between what people say and do has long served much of that wide field of study called the humanities. In this instance, respondents said pace of play was their top driver of satisfaction, when in actuality it was the least. "It's possible the great majority of people who took the survey happened to have a last round where they felt neither impatient or rushed," Sachau says, "but more likely, this is an aspect that assumes great importance only when others are constant." In other words, pace of play matters a lot at your home course because you already know exactly what to expect in the other areas. When you're a regular, it's more likely the foursome ahead or the kitchen staff comes under your cross hairs than the superintendent.

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Image via GolfDigest


[ comments ]
sjduffers says:
Note that this survey is about courses away from home, i.e. while vacationing. The criteria then are totally different than from one's typical weekend round. Just sayin'...
8/22/13
 
slimpks1850 says:
I've played on vacation once. Thinking back - I liked the course set up & was paired with a great two-some. Those probably contributed to my shooting a nice score & it was the 1st time I had 2 birdies in a round. I paid more than normal, but also booked off a discount website. Pace wasn't an issue. The course was pretty empty.

It's hard to tell what contributed most - but I know I enjoyed myself.
8/22/13
 
Torleif Sorenson says:
he last "vacation golf" I played was in 2003 on the Snow Mountain course at Las Vegas Paiute Resort. Thinking back on that excellent experience, I am very surprised that pay-of-play ranked dead last.

BTW, the pace of play there was absolutely fine, so if the money and opportunity are ever there, I would have no problem going back to Paiute.
8/22/13
 
jasonfish11 says:
sj hit the nail on the head. Bad data produced bad results.

If they were asking what makes us happy at our home course the results might be stageringly different.
8/22/13
 
Matt McGee says:
It's not bad data. It tells you exactly what the criteria are for the study, and gives results based on those criteria.
8/22/13
 
snkli says:
I agree w/ sjduffers, when your vacationing it's a completely different dynamic. When you're playing at a resort, the concept of pace of play doesn't factor in. If anything you're probable lingering to enjoy the entire experience.
8/22/13
 
jasonfish11 says:
Matt you're right its good data and good results for a relativly useless question.

So these are the factors most important to golfers when they are playing a vacation round. Lets assume that 3% of all golf rounds are played while vacationing. Then this article tells you what 3% of golfers want.
8/22/13
 
Kurt the Knife says:
The only vacation golf I do is Ka'anapali. Must say its always a well kept course, excellent surfaces, staff really take care of you. Beautiful location. Downside... poopy practice facility
8/22/13
 
sjduffers says:
Jasonfish has it right. Good data about a bad question. The title of the article should be changed immediately to "What Makes Vacationing Golfers Happy". This is the perfect example of bad reporting: associate one headline to something entirely different and let the (bad) association linger in people's mind.
8/22/13
 
Matt McGee says:
I would guess that the original study may have been intended for someone willing to pay for the information. A resort with a golf course that relies mostly on tourism, for instance.
The name of the article is sort of misleading, I guess.
8/22/13
 
Bryan K says:
I fear that this survey might make some courses decide that pace of play doesn't matter. What I do know is this. The courses I have played while On vacation have been the nicest courses I've ever played. I'm so enamored by the scene, that pace of play is certainly diminished. But with the vast majority of the rounds I play, pace of play is absolutely the most important factor. However, there is a huge leniency involved here. If I can get my round in under 4 and a half hours, I'm satisfied. There really is no sliding scale after that. But if the round takes more than 4 hours, I'm dissatisfied. And there is a huge sliding scale going the other way. If I play a six hour round somewhere, I'm never going back. Period.

This is the reason why I rated the Hideout Golf Club in the rinky dink town of Monticell, UT as being better than the nationally reknowned Bully Pulpit golf course at the Teddy Roosevelt National Park. I played a 3 hour round at Hideout. My round at Bully Pulpit took 6 hours.
8/22/13
 
Sparker1969 says:
All the surveys were conducted at Pebble Beach.
8/22/13
 
GBogey says:
I find the fact that score is high on the list is interesting. I always hear guys talking about wanting to play hard courses but my opinion is that they enjoy themselves more when the course is less torturous and they play better.
8/22/13
 
Bryan K says:
I agree, GBogey. I don't want to play hard courses. I want to play interesting courses that are forgiving off the tee and don't involve target golf on any shot.
8/22/13
 
lcgolfer64 says:
Tor - Have to agree with you on Pauite, I've played there three years running now and it hasn't changed. Great course, pace was never an issue. Played several course out there including Primm, Rio Secco, Piaute, Coyote Springs, Wolf Creek - all have been fantastic as far as pace goes. So defintely the scenery and challenge of the course.

Even locally here pace hasn't seemed to be a big issue that I've seen - save for maybe a few of the city Muni's - Phalen, Como, Highland, but I would say it's expected with the number of rounds they see. But then these aren't higher-end courses.
8/23/13
 
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