News for the Hospitality Executive
|NEW YORK, March 28, 2007 - With The Masters Tournament
right around the corner, Zagat Survey today released its 2007/08 Guide
to America's Top Golf Courses, covering 1,075 courses in the U.S., Virgin
Islands and Puerto Rico. The results reveal a nation full of opportunities
for those of us unlikely to ever play Georgia's esteemed Augusta National
course. Based on the experiences of over 6,250 avid golfers who played
560,000 rounds of golf in the last twelve months, on average, each course
in the guide was visited by at least one surveyor every day of the year.
"The 6,250 savvy, avid golfers who participated in this survey make one thing very clear," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey. "You don't have to be in the PGA or play professionally to enjoy access to a lifetime's worth of high-quality links, challenging courses and incredible natural beauty."
This year's winners include: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes (OR), which edged out Whistling Straits, Straits (WI) by a stroke to win Best Course honors. List of Top Ten courses in order, are:
Other awards go to: Greenbrier (WV) which won in both the Top Service and Top Facilities categories; Willingers (MN) as Best Budget Course ($50 and under); and, perhaps since it's located in Las Vegas, surveyors agreed that Cascata (NV) offers the Best 19th Hole around. More winners, by special feature, include:
Golfers -- Dedicated and Committed: One thing is clear about golfers in this country -- they take their sport seriously. Nearly three-quarters (72%) have been playing golf for at least 10 years and nearly half of our surveyors (44%) shoot in the 80s or better. In addition to the frequency with which they play (7.5 rounds a month), nearly two-thirds have scheduled trips specifically so they could play a famous course and 70% say they're planning to take between one and three golf-specific vacations in the next 12 months.
Going Beyond the Greens: With 49% of respondents reporting that accommodations are a key factor in choosing a golf vacation destination (after course cost and quality), many courses have taken to offering the complete resort experience. Osprey Meadows (ID), for example, is tucked away at the Tamarack Resort and offers hiking, fishing and rafting after the 19th hole. Lake of Isles (CT) is directly across the street from Foxwoods Resort & Casino, and fast on the heels of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando comes the new Ritz- Carlton Members Club near Sarasota (FL).
Playing the Kids Tees: Golf is becoming more and more of a family sport and that means the kids are starting young. Courses like Southwood (FL), the layouts at Pinehurst (NC) and the Robert Trent Jones track at Palmetto Dunes (SC) have all instituted a separate set of kids' tees. The Baytowne option at Sandestin (FL) even takes it a step further, offering a children's yardage book.
The Economics of the Game: Being a serious player these days appears to imply a willingness to seriously spend. Over the last 12 months, our surveyors spent an average of nearly $775 on equipment in order to keep their game up to par. And 54% say they are willing to spend $200 or more to play a round on a top ranked or famous course.
Taking After the Airlines: Taking a cue from the airline industry, many courses are adjusting their fees to reflect seasonal demand and preferred tee times. Troon North (AZ) changes its prices eight times throughout the year to reflect different demand based on the calendar. The Wilds (MN) runs an autumn special where green fees are pegged to the temperature outside. And all of Crystal Springs' (NJ) courses offer prime, twilight and super-twilight rate adjustments.
The Gulf Coast Comes Back: After repairing the damage from Hurricane
Katrina, the major Gulf Coast clubs are back in business. After a 2006
renovation, TPC Louisiana will once again host a PGA Tour event. Carter
Plantation near Baton Rouge (LA) is back and better than ever. And Tom
Fazio's Fallen Oak at Beau Rivage (MS) has finally made its debut.
Zagat Survey, LLC
|Also See:||2007 Zagat Survey U.S. Hotels: The Peninsula Chicago Rated No. 1 Large Hotel, the Four Seasons Big Island, Hawaii is the No. 1 Large Resort / November 2006|
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