Mystery shop golf courses

Here's what to look for in a private golf course.

Mystery shoppers examine nearly every kind of product and service. From restaurants to nursing homes, mystery shopping services provide you with reliable information about almost anything, including private golf courses.

Choosing a private golf course to join is a big decision. Not only will it cost you a nice chunk of change every year, it will also be a place you spend a fair amount of leisure time. It's a good idea to do a little research before arriving at a decision. Here are six things to look for in a private golf club:

1. Condition of the course
If you're going to be shelling out the big bucks to play on a private golf course, it had better be in good condition. Mystery shoppers will check to ensure the greens and fairways are well kept, divots are repaired and the yardage markers are accurate. Although these may seem like trivial factors in making a decision, avid golfers will be the first to remind you that conditions of the course can dictate your ability to score well.

Check the conditions of the course before you sign on as a member.Check the conditions of the course before you sign on as a member.

2. The staff
The attitude of the staff should factor heavily into your decision. Every employee you come across at the country club should be friendly. It's not important if they're required to dress in formal attire or wear more casual clothing, the key is that they are helpful and available. If you're thinking of bringing friends or family to the country club, you'd like them to be treated well while they're your guest. 

3. Dining options
Most country club-style golf courses have restaurants on the grounds. Mystery shoppers can easily check on the state of the cuisine and service in such an eatery. If you're planning on taking clients or business associates there for an outing and lunch, it's even more important to make sure you have an acceptable place to take them. 

4. Other amenities
Similar to offering dining options, many private golf clubs have other amenities that are included with membership. If you're also looking to join a gym, be sure to search for country clubs with weight rooms and cardiovascular equipment on the premises. In the same vein, it's also worth exploring whether clubs have spa features like hot tubs and saunas.

5. Family options
If you're searching for an experience for your entire family, it's important to take note of what options a country club has for kids. Often you will find some clubs offer golf programs for kids or have an area on site for your little ones and other family members to enjoy while you hit the links. On the other side of the spectrum, you may be searching for a golf course that only allows adults onto the course. 

6. Social aspect
Another important thing to remember is that joining a private golf course is essentially joining a club. That said, it's always a good idea to find out what the existing members are like. Many join private clubs like these to be in a certain social circle. Whether it's to make new business connections or just for personal enjoyment, you want to be be sure the golf course is what you're looking for socially.