Monday, October 29, 2018

Food for Thought - A Clubhouse Menu

I was sitting in the Greystones Golf Club restaurant (my home club) recently, enjoying a fabulous Yellow Chicken Curry. The golfers around me looked like they were similarly impressed with their choices. There was a quiet contentment all round as we contemplated the successes and failures of our Saturday game of golf. 
At our club we have gone through our fair share of chefs and franchises in recent years but the current incumbent has raised the standard, and that is benefitting the club as a whole. Golfers are now far more willing to stick around after their game which ensures a greater
buzz around the place and more income for the golf club coffers.
I travel around a lot and eat in plenty of clubhouses. There always seems to be a new franchise taking over somewhere, or the club has just decided to take the restaurant back and manage it themselves. I don’t know much about the restaurant business but I do know it’s not an easy one to be in… and combining that with a clubhouse environment where demand shifts so wildly day by day and week by week just compounds the challenges.
The opening hole at Greystones GC - a par three
But, overall, the quality of clubhouse food has, in my opinion, improved considerably. A three course meal at Co. Louth was outstanding, as was a quick stop at Concra Wood, en route to this year’s Irish Open. Fota Island, Portarlington, Strandhill, Carne and Enniscrone… all superb.
Now think back. Do you remember what it was like when the new drink driving laws were introduced over a decade ago? This was around the time I was exploring Ireland in the camper van and the constant, empty car parks were a depressing sight in the evenings. Golfers who had enjoyed a customary couple of jars before heading home stopped doing so. The quality of the food, which was less important back then, was seldom good enough to encourage golfers to linger or to return with family over the weekend. I have no doubt you can remember some howlers.
But that seems to be changing and Greystones GC has proved the point with a menu that changes daily and a quality that has golfers humming with satisfaction, whatever their successes or disasters on the course.

Where was the last golf club you had a really good bite to eat? And where was the last one where you could barely eat what was served?

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