It's an old axiom that as much business gets done on the golf course as in the boardroom. A round with a client at a top quality course can help your bottom line. These quality, publicly accessible venues mixing geographic locations are the ideal places to seal your negotiations.
Grayhawk Golf Club
Classic rock is piped into faux-stone speakers on the driving range, the beverage cart girls are famous for their hospitality and efficiency and there are pre- and post-round libations to be had in Phil's (as in Mickelson) Grill. Toss in two solid desert tracks, Talon and Raptor, the latter a Tom Fazio design that hosts a PGA tour event in October, and you've got the ingredients for an instant business relationship.
Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
The Donald's public-access layout perched on bluffs above the Pacific has a cluster of terrific holes and endless views of the ocean. Critics harp that the front nine is cramped, but they can't argue with the service or the private club ambience of the clubhouse, locker rooms and especially restaurants, which dish out food that's as flawless as the scenery. Plus, it's only half an hour from LAX.
Boulder City, Nev.
Thirty minutes south of the Strip, this secretive showstopper soars 3,200 feet above the desert valley in utter isolation. The $500 price tag keeps most curiosity-seekers away, while the immaculately maintained Rees Jones design, Tour-quality caddies, Bighorn sheep sightings and a clubhouse with a river running through it will have your client in "Where do I sign?" mode in no time. Don't miss the restaurant and cigar room for some added bonding time.
Pinehills Golf Club
This 36-hole retreat 40 miles south of Boston will impress any client. For wayward hitters, the Rees Jones course is the slightly tougher of the two, while the Jack Nicklaus II design is a bit friendlier. Guaranteed to please are the superb clubhouse and the amazing practice facility, which has no equal among public-access New England layouts.
Havre de Grace, Md.
Doing business in Baltimore? There's no better place to entertain than Bulle Rock. The annual site of the LPGA Championship is kept in tournament condition year-round and while the Pete Dye design is tougher than old beef jerky, it's plenty wide and there's eye-candy everywhere you look. Off-the-charts service right from the start will ensure a favorable first impression.