I prefer a course with good putting surfaces more than anything else. If the fairways are rough, I will roll the ball around and get a decent lie. But I want a chance to be able to make a putt. As long as I enjoy the company of the other golfers there, I don't really mind if the clubhouse at the course has alot going for it.
It's all about the course. If a course is in great shape I could care less if it had a clubhouse or not. As long as it has a range and a starter's shack its all GTG.
I would rather have a great course. I am there for the golfing. I want a course that is in great shape and offers me a challenge for that round. I don't want to have a bad round due to bad course conditions. I know there are things out of their control but sometimes I think courses spend money on all the wrong things.
I have played some different courses thru the years and I have seen great course with beautiful club houses and I have seen beautiful club houses with crappy shape courses. I have also seen beautiful courses with just a trailer for the club house. Now don't get me wrong...I do like a good hot dog after the round!
I am so blessed that I have both. Played muni's and semi-private for years and then bought a lot in a gated community that had 7 courses that were so much better than the local muni's. The down side the gated community was 50 miles from my home and a round of golf took up the whole day. I bit the bullet and joined a private club 5 minutes from my home and is one of the highest ranked course in the state. The club house is wonderful and many weddings and other functions are booked there year around. As I said I am blessed to be able to play on a great course but even more important are the members that make this club so special .
I wanted to live near a course, so I could play it often. I only had two locations to choose from near my small town. (There were many more in the larger city nearby, but I didn't want to live there) The one I chose had the better course and lesser club/clubhouse. I have not regretted the choice.
Minimum are good greens. I've played some cow pastures in the past where my ball was lost in the middle of the fairway , not fun. Would like the complete package. I am lucky enough to live in a community with a course (I live on the 4th fairway tee box) in fairly good shape so I am happy.
@ChrisC2abd I guess I'm really lucky here in Albuquerque. We have 3 18 hole muni courses. All 3 are good routings and the city does a commendable job with maintenance. Each one also has reasonably stocked Pro Shop and decent restaurant (nothing fancy but good food and reasonable prices). Ratings from the blue tees range from 69.5 to 71.6 and from the white tees the range is 67.3 to 69.5. The course I belong to has a very active golf association. 10 - 12 weekend tournaments a year attracting 80 to 120 competitors in 5-7 flights. The association also draws up to 120 each Wednesday for a competition. Unfortunately, since I am still working full time I don't get to play on Wednesdays.
For me it's all about the condition of the greens. Nothing sucks more than showing up to play golf only to find out they just aerated the greens. A comfy clubhouse to have a beer in afterwards is a bonus.
I have to say that the club doesn't mean much if nobody goes to the course for a well played game of golf. If hte course draws people to it, then the club will flourish.