Friday, May 29, 2009

Welcome - Favorite Course

Welcome to the Montgomery County Golf Blog. In addition to our recently created Facebook account,http://www.facebook.com/pages/Montgomery-County-Golf/199474540323, this blog will serve as a new format to communicate with you our customer. We will be introducing different blog topics, which will be the same as the discussions on facebook, and we hope that you share your comments. Please remember to be respectful of the other users and if you see a post that you think is inappropriate we simply ask that you notify us.





To start the discussion - what is your favorite local course and why?

22 comments:

therustysays said...

Hi Keith,

My favorite course is Little Bennett. I love LB because it's close, it's beautiful, it's tough. the practice facilities are outstanding, the staff is great and it's a great workout for walkers.

(BTW - the LB link on the right is broken - it should be montgomery with a "y" countygolf.com)

Keith Miller, Executive Director said...

Thank you for the feedback and I fixed the link.

Harold said...

Slow Play is the bane of every golf course but it seems that course personnel, especially Rangers, need a refresher on how to move people along. We intentionally play early on weekends to avoid people who are out for a round of golf with no time limits. This year (at NW Golf Course) it seems that even those who play before 7AM have been infected with the slow play virus. Can we get Rangers on the course earlier and make sure they get people moving. Perhaps everyone should receive some slow play education as they tee off?

Keith Miller, Executive Director said...

Thanks for the feedback and I agree with your concerns about slow play. It is the biggest challenge at our courses and for the golf industry. We are committed to developing a new and consistent policy at all of our facilities but we are going to need everyones help. This will be the topic of several upcoming posts and surveys but we wanted to get the blog and our facebook accounts going. So please stay tuned for more on slow play. What is your favorite course?

Rajesh said...

I would like to second what Harold said about slow play. I played Laytonsville yesterday and Needwood the day before and both rounds took over 5 hours, closer to 5.5 hours. I think it's great that MCG provides so many price options because if you play late in the day, the rounds are very affordable, which is probably a huge incentive for non-savvy golfer to play. I certainly don't begrudge those new to the game, or in need of help understanding the etiquette of the game. I think it's great, as it keeps the game alive and popular. I do believe however that for those in need of help understanding the importance of keeping up, marshalls can be of great assistance. And rather than being concerned about spoiling one's enjoyment of the round by reminding them to pick up the pace, I think a better paced round would enhance the experience not just for the slow golfers (who one day will appreciate the marshall's actions) but for all those affected by them, including the staff at the courses that have to hear complaints from patrons.
As for favorite courses, I like Hampshire Greens because it's tough, yet fair. Little Bennet is a little too much for my skill level, because there you need to drive and putt well, and as we all know, it's tough to find days where they're both working. Aesthetically, Poolesville and Rattlewood are great courses to enjoy on a beautiful day because you really feel far away from city life.

Ryan from 2 seats over said...

I second Rajesh -- Hampshire Greens is tough, but not draconian in the way that Rockville's Red Gate is w/ anyone who is not a fairway golfer. I've played HG four times in scrambles, but will try it next week in my first solo venture. We'll see if I still say the same thing.

My brother is a twice/month LB player and loves it, but it's too much for my meager skill set. I lived in DC in high school, so played Falls Rd as the closest course for a while, but haven't played it in 20 years, so can't make a fair judgement.

micastein said...

I like Northwest's inside nine... It is an easy walk, not too difficult for my son's skill level and you can't beat the price. I also like Rattlewood, most holes are wide open so if your not in the fairway it usually does not hurt too much.

Cliff said...

I'm dissatisfied with the Loyalty Membership Program. I have gone through 3 cards and lost 8 credits. No other cards with magnetic strip in my wallet has gone bad - only these MCG cards ?!

Please fix the problem or bring back the punch cards.

Ryan from 2 seats over said...

Keith,

Have you thought about doing an iPhone app? I'm sure you could run a contest with the MC-Rockville computer science department to create an app for you (offer a free iPod Touch or netbook).

I see the app as having a clickable list of all of the courses. You could click a course and it would bring up a view of each hole layout, green information, etc.

It would be great to be able to use it to card your scores throughout the round and then also store my scores for each course. I'd pay for it, so it could become a revenue generator. You could even extend to other courses eventually, like Red Gate.

I don't use an iPhone (I have the iPod Touch) so can't use any GPS- or location-based services, but I'm sure there are many other ideas along these lines that are possible.

A static menu of courses and layouts would be a good start. If one app for all courses is too difficult or large, then you could always start with one course and a scorecard.

Keith Miller, Executive Director said...

Cliff, I am sorry to hear about the loyalty card program. Can you contact Wayne Roahuer in the office at 301-762-9080 to discuss what is happening. I can assure you that you will not lose any points. If you prefer us to contact you then simply provide that information.

Keith Miller, Executive Director said...

Ryan from 2 seats over - I am interested in your idea can you provide me any further information on how to get started?

Ryan from 2 seats over said...

I'll email you on Monday.

Jim said...

Great courses all around. I just got done making my first tee time with the new and improved website. Bring back the old one, it was much more user friendly and easier to read.

Jim said...

One more thing, if the new website is cheaper to run and results in ultimately cheaper golf for me, ignore my last post, I will learn to live with it. Thanks for your hard work.

phil said...

The comments about speed of play all ring true for me and I am surprised that this is not considered a factor in the polls for "decision to play" and "what a course can charge".
Thanks.

Jason said...

My favorite course is Rattlewood. It's a fair but challenging course. It's been my experience that the pace of play is usually the best here. The staff is always helpful. The starters are friendly and willing to interact. It's in great shape early in the season. But the dry summers take a toll on this course due to the lack of rain and breeze that drys the course out by july.

I'm a big fan of poolesville as well and the all you can play days they had in summer's past. I haven't seen any emails for all you can play days yet...will these be offered this summer?

Keith Miller, Executive Director said...

Jim - Thanks for the feedback regarding the new system. We realize it is different and we look forward to making improvements as we continue to develop it. The feedback is appreciated.

Phil - We will be doing discussions specifically dealing with Pace of Play. It is our goal to develop a new system wide policy for pace of play and we will be conducting the discussions to get feedback directly from all of patrons.

Jason - Thanks for your votes for Rattlewood and Poolesville. We are reviewing the all you can play days at Poolesville so stay tuned.

Harry said...

Keith,

I planned to play my first early morning round today to judge pace of play. As I sit at my computer at 5:30am, I enter single player, 7am, and the course name in the reservation system. I receive ONLY ONE morning tee time, that of 7am. I get same result with other early time entries. However, when I enter 2-3-4 players and 7am, I receive multiple tee times between 7-8am. I'm confused! Why only one tee time for me? I have no choice but to stay awake and call the pro shop to ask if other times are actually available for me as a single. Please explain this situation.

Keith Miller, Executive Director said...

Harry, the system takes reservations for 2, 3, or 4 players and therefore singles can book when there is a 2some or 3some already on the sheet. This is why you were only seeing the one tee time. It prevents multiple times being booked by single players. You can call the golf shop ay anytime to book a single which enables the staff to pair up single players. If you searched 2 or 3 player spots and received multiple times available early this morning then that is a very good indicator that you will not have a problem getting out. Please let me know if you have any further questions. My email is kmiller@mcra-md.com.

A.J. said...

NW is my favorite because it is fair and very straight forward, except when the greens keepers get Open fever and grow the rough too high and narrow.
Rattlewood tends to have the nicest greens and has a nice open feel.
HG is a nice course but it has a few quirky holes and unreasonable OB around several greens.
LB is poorly designed. It has a number of unintuitive holes that require blind shots, and several forced carries with unobvious lay-up locations.

A.J. said...

NW is my favorite MC course because it is tough but fair and straight forward. Except when the greens keeper gets Open fever and grows the rough too high and narrow.

Rattlewood has a nice, open feel, with very true greens.

HG is a nice course, but has a few quirky holes and unreasonable OB around a few greens.

LB is a poorly designed course--it's too often unclear where you need to hit the next shot. Have not played it in a long time.

co-creator said...

I recommend advertising Sligo as a place for beginners, families, and slower players to enjoy a round of golf. Rather than close Sligo, use it as a 9 hole facility where pace of play is not an issue. This way, slower players have a 9 hole challenging course without the pressure of keeping up - and relieves the 18 hole courses of some of the pace of play impediments.

Montgomery County golf is undertaking 3 important goals that usually produce conflicting outcomes. First is to encourage family participation, the second is to offer lessons for beginner/intermediate golfers, and the third is to keep up the pace of play for the citizens just attracted to golf by the first 2 initiatives. Why not merge the 3 initiatives at Sligo?