Golf’s best restaurants

The business of golf is changing. Food and beverage was once an often-ignored part of the business, largely because it was not seen as a profit center. Private clubs were trapped in the days of formal restaurants that lost money, and many daily-fee courses had reduced their offerings to basic grills.

But the paradigm is shifting. Following the lead of successful operations like Topgolf, golf courses are using quality food and well-designed spaces to create a more vibrant scene that helps pull in golfers and members.

Golf Inc. Magazine, which has long praised the architects and developers in our other competitions, thought it was time to acknowledge the time, money and hard work put into new and improved dining facilities. We honor them with our inaugural Golden Fork award.

Consider Terrace Grille at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. A $2.1 million renovation led to more dining space for its growing membership, with an atmosphere they wanted. In the first five months after it reopened, revenue increased 50 percent.

“The new renovation has resulted in a new buzz about our historic club, which soon led to a wait-list position in all membership categories for the club,” said General Manager Mike Rushing.

It earned second place in the Most Improved category for private clubs.

Editors judged more than 50 entries from golf clubs and courses worldwide based on a number of factors, including improvements in revenue, traffic, guest satisfaction, aesthetics, service, menus and capital investment.

The following 12 dining facilities at courses and clubs throughout the world know that the way to golfers’ hearts is often through their stomachs. Owners and operators invested millions of dollars, months of time and an abundance of creativity in their menus, designs and social programming. Now, they’re busy reaping the benefits.

New Private

First Place

The Club Restaurant

The Club at Seven Canyons

Sedona, Ariz.

After 10 years of anticipation, the members of The Club at Seven Canyons finally have a new place to eat, and it is off with a bang.

Since the new $9 million clubhouse opened in April 2015, there have been 4,400 additional covers, a 66 percent increase compared to dining in the old building. Revenue is up $172,094, a 71 percent increase year-to-date compared to the old facility in 2014.

Space is up too. The previous clubhouse was less than 2,000 square feet. The restaurant alone is bigger with 1,700 square feet of interior space and an adjacent 2,400-square-foot member terrace with unmatched views of the course and Sedona’s red rocks in the distance. The rustic ranch-style architecture draws on a combination of reclaimed weathered wood, natural stones and iron trim accents.

“The restaurant also attracts guests from the acclaimed Enchantment Resort and Mii amo Spa, who have exclusive access to golf, shopping and dining as a resort amenity,” said Club Manager Chris Williams.

The menu offers classic club favorites such as meatloaf, tuna melts and the wedge salads. For dinner, which is served three nights a week, the most popular appetizers are deviled eggs, arancini and roasted baby beet salad. Dinner entrees include loch etive steelhead trout and beef tenderloin served with bacon-potato hash, kale, cipollini and a cherry reduction.

Second Place

The Nest

Laguna National Golf & Country Club


Laguna National Golf & Country Club’s new restaurant, The Nest, opened in April 2015. Within six months, Executive Director Kevin Kwee was ready for another change. He made the radical decision to revamp the entire menu and introduce a European brasserie concept. It was quickly transformed from a causal dining outlet to a modish, elegant restaurant that caters to the surrounding area.

The entire cost of the concept, design and execution of the new restaurant was about $4.2 million ($6 million SGD). An additional $12,000 was spent on rolling out the new dining concept.

In its first six months of operations its average lunch covers reached 110, with an average spend of $28 per person. Dinner covers increased from 40 to 60, and the average spend rose from $32 to $48 per person.

The Nest has two main purposes: It is a 19th hole experience with a sports bar for daily use and a VIP venue for watching tournaments and attending launch parties. Its menu combines Western and Japanese favorites using locally sourced ingredients.

“The Nest encapsulates the essence of golf, which can be seen in its interior decoration and menu, through to the unique plus-fours uniforms and ambiance,” Kwee said.

To find out which other golf restaurants earned Golf Inc.'s inaugural Golden Fork award, read the free Jan/Feb digital issue of Golf Inc. Magazine here. 


How do we submit our restaurant for consideration in next year's awards?

Hi Leanne, Email me at and I will make sure you are on our mailing list for next year. Best, Laira Martin Associate Editor

Hello Laira, my name is Ken Blidy and I am the Food and Beverage Director at Mountain Meadows Golf Course in Pomona, CA. We are a LA County public golf course managed by American Golf. We recently completed a renovation of our snack bar and made it a really nice sports bar. I know last year, you had an article of how Food and Beverage is changing in our industry and your best restaurants in the business. I would like to invite you to view our bar, The Meadows Bar and Grill, online at My email is We just got awarded LA County Golf Course of the year and the Sports Bar remodel truly assisted in that decision. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon!

Add new comment

If you enjoyed this article and would like to sign up for a FREE digital subscription, click here!