Friday, April 9, 2010

Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles

The Secret Golfer and Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles

One of the thoughts I had back a while ago was to have a site that was like a “Secret Shopper,” except that it would be a “Secret Player” for Golf. If the site existed, the following would have been an article on that site. (BTW if you take this idea and make any money, remember me.)

I pulled up to the entrance of Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles at 7:00 am and was greeted by a young man who actually came to the car to get my equipment out of the car, instead of me bringing my bag to him. He was most pleasant and he was and right on top of what group I was in. Ah, that is a breath of fresh air, service.

While I was experiencing the service of the golf staff at Trump I was also trying to take in the beautiful stately clubhouse, even these words seem to be an understatement describing this beautiful facility. Old world charm mixed with “Today,” makes the clubhouse a beautiful facility, and that is not even considering the panoramic ocean views. Wow, this is starting to sound like an ad for Trump National, sorry it is not, and it is all true….

On my way to check in at the pro shop I was greeted by 100 images of Donald Trump, umm, might be exaggerating, actually we counted and it was 98, and a most friendly concierge. She was there to offer her help if I lost my way, which is entirely possible, and her smiling face at 7 am was most welcomed.

Onto check in at the pro shop. I give the guys in the golf shop a 10 out of 10. Friendly, informative, interested in my needs, genuinely focused on my group and me. I may say this more than once but I wished all courses were like this. However, the fact of the reality is they are not. Therefore, with that said I wished all high-end courses were like this course, but the fact of the reality they are not, kudos to the staff so far at Trump National.

With check in completed, our group was hungry and wanted to grab breakfast before we got out to experience the course. I am not exaggerating but once again what an experience, great food, beautiful restaurant, TV is going so our group could keep up with the world before our escape and the food was excellent. Mr. Trump talks about the food at the course on the course’s web site and he is not kidding, it is a great place to eat.

All right one knock, seems like I have to find something to keep this objective. The service in the restaurant was not on par of what I had experienced so far with the other Trump staff. Our server did not have the Trump National mystic about her, as everyone else seemed to have. She came across as disinterested and almost unfriendly but you know what, everyone has a bad day and it was not enough to bring down the breakfast, nor the golf day.

I was truly disappointed in one thing for sure; breakfast was so good that I did not have time to take in the practice facilities, that according to Mr. Trump have beautiful ocean views. Oh, well next time I will get there earlier, and yes I would love to play this course again soon.

Straight to the starter for our orientation. Ya know the bla, blah, blah, stuff that golfers do not always listen to? (Similar to the same speech that flight attendants render upon take off) Well leave it to Trump National to have a starter that was so engaging. What a way to start the round by talking to the Trump starter. We chatted about life, golf, Mr. Trump and of course, we talked about what to expect for the course.

Onto the course. I am not going to review every hole, as I am not a golf course architect, but let me tell you about the highlights.

· The first hole is breath taking enough that most courses would be happy to have it as a finishing hole, what a way to start.
· Greens were in good condition, looked faster than they were but plenty fast enough. Weird the ball kept rolling where I putted. ( I hate when that happens, not way to have excuses)
· Fairways, let's put it this way, I have played golf courses who would like to
have greens as nice as the fairways at Trump National.
· WOW tall grass! Not sure, I have that shot, it is tall and gnarly, but thankfully only in limited areas.
· Hit off the fairway, which seem to be generous enough, and my advice to you is do not waste your time looking for it. (Or in the words of a some Italian “Forget Abooout It.”) Really, if you are a higher handicapper, enjoy the course, enjoy the round, keep up the pace of play, and resolve to the fact that a ball into that stuff that lines the fairways is gone forever.
· Views, every hole, every direction, need I say more?
· Playability, excellent. The course is tough but fair. My Compliment to Trump National is this. When I was done with my round, I wanted to play it again because I know I could play it better!

I know when you write a review you need to find things that are wrong or bad so you have some objectivity to the review, so here is the knock, we did not get to meet Mr. Trump. There, I said it; that was the only thing wrong with Trump National. You know what, we got to meet the assistant general manager, who made a special trip out on the course to make sure our round was going well and that shows what a first class establishment Trump National is.

Over all I would have to put Trump National Golf Club in my all-time favorite golf Experiences.

My golf bag is a little lighter due to the loss of several golf balls. My wallet is a little lighter, no explanation required. However, I would tee it up there again as soon as I can get a chance.

My hat is off to Mr. Trump, Lilli and the staff at Trump National Golf Club for making this not just a round of golf but a fine golf experience.

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars (Spoiler alert - you will be able to do this in our new UI)

Oh and if you are wondering where we booked this great golf course…


So much more to come……

Thursday, April 1, 2010

“Best Rate Guarantee”

“Best rate guarantee”, is a new trend in the golf industry for selling tee times that deserves the consumer’s attention. This marketing initiative is a takeoff from the hotel industry and seems to be catching on with certain golf courses and golf management companies.
Why do I bring it up, because GolfSigma’s commitment to displaying all tee times, retail, wholesale, packagers, canners, discount, rack, distressed, not distressed, long rage and short range, and whatever you want to call a rate, including best rate guarantee are all part of GolfSigma’s search results. (Well maybe not the “Canners”)

Do we distinguish this rate from any other rates in the tee time detail window, nope. I have stated before, see previous blogs, that price is only one small part of booking your next tee time, from what our customers have told us. As we have maintained from the launch of GolfSigma, we do not call your attention to any one particular tee time, as we realize what works for you may not work for the next golfer.
So to paraphrase a great slogan from a wonderful airline (Southwest), “You are free to move about the tee time detail window.”

Why bring up this rate issue anyway? I just wanted to let our golfers know that we are showing this new rate where we can, and are working with the technology providers where needed to expand this strategy where ever we can search it.

By the way, not that we are “Nuts about Southwest Airlines”, but golfers have to love em….Golf Bags Fly Free!!!!!! (And that is the second best golf tip I can give you)

More to come….. Oh so much more to come.
First best golf tip?