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Which Golf Course?

by Gary Lisbon from GolfSelect

Introduction

In Australia there are over 1,400 golf courses. A large number of these are keen to attract corporate business. So with such a large number how then do you choose which course is the right one for your customers to make sure they have the best time on the course and afterwards?

There are essentially four different styles of golf courses - public,private, resort and corporate. Each type of course has its own unique benefits.

The summary detailed below helps to separate one style of golf course from another and provides a template on which a course type can be chosen. A brief commentary is also provided on each type of golf course.

Public Golf Courses

Including Waverley Public (Vic), Kogarah (NSW), St.Lucia (Qld), City of Adelaide (SA)

In the scale of rankings the humble public course is at the bottom end. But before you discard this type of course consider some of the benefits including inexpensive green fees, short booking lead times and no minimum golfing numbers.

Advantages

Usually inexpensive Most days of the week available
Usually no minimum number of golfers
Lead times for booking not great
Will cater for all standards of golfers

Disadvantages

Course condition generally not as good
Facilities not as comprehensive
Lack of intimacy as often green fee players are allowed on the course at the same time
Course is often too easy and not challenging

Private Golf Courses

Including Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Vic), The Lakes Golf Club (NSW), Indooroopilly Golf Club (QLD), Kooyonga Golf Club (SA), Lake Karrinyup Country Club (WA)

A corporate golf day held at a world rated golf course such as Royal Melbourne can stick in your guest's minds for a long time. Many golfers do not get the chance to play on some of the best private courses so the choice of a private club as a venue is often a major attraction. But be prepared to pay for the privilege, as these golf courses are generally not cheap.

Advantages

Best course condition of all course types
Challenging and interesting golf course layouts
Dining facilities are amongst the best
Intimate atmosphere of club makes guests feel pampered
Guests would often be unable to play the golf course outside of your corporate day

Disadvantages

Can be expensive
Usually only one day per week made available for corporate groups
Many are not as service friendly as other courses
High minimum golf numbers usually required
Long lead times for booking - up to 18 months in advance

Resort Golf Courses

Including The Vines (WA), Hope Island (QLD), Cypress Lakes (NSW), Cape Schanck (Vic) and Wirrina (SA)

Resort styled golf courses were first seen along Queensland's Gold Coast in the early 80's however now cover all parts of the country. Known for their exceptional facilities and their ability to host golf days on most days of the week, the resort course is often frequented by interstate and overseas golfers on holidays.

Additionally an increasing market for these types of courses is the conference market where companies seek to combine a conference with a golf outing.

Advantages

All days of the week available
Good course condition
Good dining facilities
Usually no minimum number of golfers
Short lead times for booking

Disadvantages

Usually expensive
Not as intimate as a private course
Location is often not central to main business district of city

Corporate Focussed Golf Courses

Including Kingston Links (Vic), Camden Lakeside (NSW), Gainsborough Greens (QLD)

This new breed of golf course is making the other courses stand up and take notice. Focussed primarily at organisations who wish to entertain clients without the restrictions of a private golf club, an increasing number of companies are turning to this style of course for the hosting of their golf day.

Advantages

Generally moderately priced
Very good service given
All days of the week available
Good course condition
Good dining facilities
Usually no minimum number of golfers
Short lead times for booking

Disadvantages

Not as intimate as a private course
Location is often not central to main business district of city
Course layout, whilst often interesting, is not world class

Conclusion

Selecting a golf course to host your corporate day is one of the most important facets of organising a successful event. A variety of golf courses should be considered and, where appropriate, visits made to each course.

An on-site inspection often helps a company form an opinion about the atmosphere, service and facilities of a venue. If possible visit a golf course when another golf day is in progress to see how well things seem to be progressing.

Doing your homework regarding course selection will help to ensure your golf day is successful and taking the extra time to choose the most appropriate venue for your clients will also achieve this.

 "Corporate Golf" is a free series of articles presented by GolfSelect.