Recently, I was invited to play a round of golf by Darwin Howard at the Seguin Valley Golf Club. Darwin offered the full Seguin Valley experience and my friend Blair and I decided to take him up on his generous offer. The trip consisted of 1 nights accommodation, supper, breakfast and a round of golf! After figuring out the final logistics, Blair and I headed out to Parry Sound in the pouring rain on Monday. We were excited to play Seguin Valley on Tuesday, but we really did not know what expect; I can assure you, we were not disappointed!
Upon our arrival, we met Anne, the wife of Mike Feldman the owner. She was waiting to give us the keys to our cabin and to feed us supper. Anne was very positive and provided fantastic service. She provided a great first impression of Seguin Valley. Our meal was very tasty and much welcomed considering the cold wet weather. During our meal, we had the opportunity to discuss the tremendous efforts Anne and Mike expended to turn Seguin Valley into a must visit golf course.
The clubhouse is massive. The first thing that caught our eye was the round stair case with a petrified log running from the bottom floor to the ceiling on the second floor. The bottom floor houses the modest sized pro shop and bathrooms. The second floor was completely open with a dining area and a bar area. It would be perfect for a wedding or large function. Anne said the building was down to the studs when they took over in 2010 and from what we saw, their labor of love sure paid off.
There are 3 cabins at the golf course. They all sit on a private lake and provide an excellent opportunity for a group of 4 or more to enjoy playing golf and then relax in the perfect getaway setting. We stayed in Cabin 3; it was the smallest of the cabins and had room for at least 4, but could accommodate as many as 8 people, depending on the make up of your group.
Our cabin afforded us the view of the 7th green, had a fire pit, a full kitchen and a very large deck facing the lake. Additionally, there was a running stream just off to the side of the cabin that added to the ambiance of the accommodations. If the other cabins are anything like Cabin 3, then they are perfect for any golf group looking for the entire golfing experience.
In the morning, while we ate a delicious breakfast, we met up with Darwin Howard. He talked about the evolution of Seguin Valley and some of the future plans to improve the course. Darwin walked us through all the courses he worked for over the years, and I have to say it was an impressive resume. He is a great fit at Seguin Valley. What impressed Blair and I the most was his willingness to take 45 minutes of his very busy day to just talk golf. He offered some great advice and as a result of our discussion, Blair and I decided to play the blue tees instead of the golds. After playing the first 3 holes, we were both glad we changed tees!
Shortly after breakfast, we met Mike Feldmen, the owner of Seguin Valley. Mike was very personable. Returning from a long trip, he still took the time to talk about the course, some of their plans and generally all things golf. It was easy to see that Mike and Anne make a great team and because of their efforts, Seguin Valley is really growing into an excellent golf destination.
The staff in the pro shop were outstanding. They provided us with a score card and yardage book (that was invaluable), talked to us about our stay so far, outlined some of the limitations of the course due to the rain, and offered some sage advice about the course itself. Of note, we met Jim McDivitt (yes, that is his real name) who is a retired head professional golfer.
Jim was full of energy and it was clear he has a passion for golf. He outlined strategy for some of the holes, offered suggestions about club selection and reaffirmed that the course plays longer than the yardage states. He said there was no roll on any shot and because of the elevation changes, taking an extra club on uphill shots was a must. We met Jim several times around the course and each time he made us feel welcome. He is a great addition to the Seguin Valley team.
Customer service is critical to my golfing experience. Whenever I plan a golf trip, it is one of the more important aspects I look for to assess the value versus cost. I have to say that Seguin Valley Golf Club has customer service in spades. From the moment we arrived, they treated us like part of their family. Additionally, as I watched the staff interact with other customers, their demeanor never changed.
Often overlooked are the maintenance staff: at Seguin Valley they were brilliant. They pulled off to the side when we were playing, waved and said hello, shut their machines off when required and never stopped working. Their efforts were obvious around the course as everything was in its place. I would attribute their interaction with the customer to Darwin; a good leader sets the tone for his team and it was clear Darwin is leading by example.
After spending 24 hours at Seguin Valley Golf Club, I would suggest that providing top notched customer service is their priority.
Later in the week, I am going to provide a review of the actual golf course. Butin the meantime, if you want to look at more pictures, click here to view them on my photo album on Facebook.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.