Golfers Prefer Well-Conditioned Courses...

How about that newsflash from the city!

At the sixth annual Golf 20/20 Conference last fall, attendees heard a variety of presentations on how to deepen the connection between the game and its best customers, as well as how to further golf among the corporate community...Among the presentations was a detailed look at a survey of avid golfers presented by Jon Last, vice president of research and development for the Golf Digest Companies. According to Last, there are a number of key factors that affect participation by golf's best customers – those defined as avid and core golfers. (Avid golfers play 25 or more rounds a year, core golfers play 8 to 24 rounds.)   Among those factors, the work of golf course superintendents ranked right at the top. When these groups were asked, "Do you generally prefer to play a course that is very challenging, not top condition" or one that is "challenging but in very good condition," 88 percent of them said they'd choose the course in very good condition.   

Really? You don't say? So hard-and-lousy condition lost out to not-as-hard and in great shape. Okay.

They were also asked to rank conditioning against course design in a decision to pay 25 percent higher green fees. The two key groups selected "better course conditioning" twice as often as "better architectures and layout." 

Better architectures? 

Finally, golf's best customers ranked the factors that drive their enjoyment of the game on a scale from 1 to 7. The conditions, people and their own performance received the following mean scores:   

Well maintained greens & bunkers - 6.34
Well maintained fairways & tees - 6.28
The people you play with - 6.24
Playing well on the course - 5.84
Availability of practice facilities - 5.68
Beautiful surroundings and scenery - 5.74
Scoring well - 5.65
Challenging course - 5.65
Fast pace of play - 5.39
Knowledgeable marshals and starters - 5.38

And they forgot to ask about the design of the course...score another one for architecture(s).  

So conditioning is why everyone is going to Bandon? We know it's not because of the weather.

Thanks to reader Josh for this.