TravelTech: Renewed My GolfLogix Subscription, THEN They Implemented A New, Substandard Version … I’m Outta Here!


GolfLogix Application For iPhone

Suite 100A
15685 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
Phone: 877-977-0162
Fax: 480-287-8749
Email: info@golflogix.com
Price: $$$$
I used to love my GolfLogix app, then they charged my credit card $20, shortly thereafter implementing a new version that absolutely sucks!

I am canceling my “Champion Membership” after they ruined the app with their “new” version. I wrote to them, telling them about my disappointment: 

“Your new interface sucks. The font is so small I can barely see it and I can’t seem to bypass the club (yardage) tracking option, making me scroll through the numbers (instead of simply entering yardage) on the old version. Who in their infinite wisdom implemented this piece of #%$@? Bring back the old interface or I’m out of here!

To which they replied: 

“Dear Valued Member, Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately that feature was not included in the new streamlined GolfLogix App. We working to return that feature. Again we apologize for any inconvenience and hope you enjoy the New GolfLogix App.”

They did not address my concerns, sending me a “boilerplate” response with misspelled words. They don’t care, implementing a new version before it was fully functional, so I’m moving on and canceling my subscription.

CombatCritic Gives GolfLogix 2 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!
Two Bombs Equates To

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: TravelTech: Renewed My GolfLogix Subscription, THEN They Implemented A New, Substandard Version … I’m Outta Here!

Key Words: GolfLogix, golf, logix, logic, logics, app, application, iPhone, iStore, iTunes, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, service, review, Yelp, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: Tango-Uniform =  “Tits Up” 


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TravelTech: This Pill Probably Won’t Cure Your Putting Woes


The Pill Golf Single Shot Training Aid
by The Pill Golf
Available on Amazon.com
Although small and lightweight enough to easily carry while traveling, $13+ for one “ball” seems a bit excessive. It is likely made in China and probably costs less than $1.00 to manufacture, so a 1300% mark-up is pushing it based on what you get. 
Under the best conditions (a flat putting or hitting surface), the product’s design does not readily indicate where you are aiming, requiring frequent repositioning if you are aiming at a specific spot such as a golf hole. If it does what they claim it does, it will indicate whether or not you applied a square clubface to the ball at impact, but if you plan on aiming at a hole on a putting green with any break whatsoever, good luck!
I find the product useful for ensuring that the clubface is square at impact, but the lack of paper instructions (there are training videos on their website, thepillgolf, but they are commercials disguised as aids) and excessive markup make it a poor value. In the $3.95 to $5.95 range, I would rate it in the 8-10 “Bomb” range (4-5 Stars), but at nearly $13 for just one …
CombatCritic Gives The Pill Golf Single Shot Training Aid 5 Bombs Out Of 10 (Rounded Up To “3 Stars”)


Five Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!



Title:  TravelTech: This Pill Probably Won’t Cure Your Putting Woes

Key Words: The Pill, Golf, Shot, Training, Aid, Pill, Golf, Surlyn, ball, putt, chip, shot, club, Amazon.com, amazon, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review

Translation for Civilians: Charlie-Mike = “Continue Mission”

Lawrence, Kansas: Turkey Bend? Windy Bend? Eagle Bend! Nice Course, But Little Wiggle Room


Eagle Bend Golf Course
1250 East 902nd Rd
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone: (785) 748-0600

If you find yourself traveling to or through Kansas City, Topeka, or Lawrence, Eagle Bend is not the cheapest public course by far, but it is a well maintained and challenging layout. The first six holes are links-style with undulating fairways surrounded by native grasses (sorry, no gorse) with the final 12 meandering through marshy woodlands surrounding the Wakarusa River.

Prices range from $22 (walking/18 holes/M-F) to $49 (riding/18 holes/weekend) with seniors (60+) and juniors (under 18) getting a slight price break during the week. There are no military or veteran discounts and, oddly enough, no “twilight” or winter rates and “NO DISCOUNTS (PERIOD) ON WEEKENDS”. You pay full price no matter what time of year or time of day it is, no wiggle room (more on that later).


The clubhouse is small with a snack bar that seems to do little business, a very limited pro shop, restrooms, a few tables and a couple TVs. I am not sure what capability to snack bar has, but I have never seen anybody sitting in the clubhouse eating a hamburger or sandwich. The pro shop has a small selection of balls and tees, a couple golf bags, and a few gloves, hats and shirts. It does not appear that Eagle Bend’s clubhouse is intended to generate much income as far as I can tell and it obviously does not.
The course is very walkable with the exception of the 300-yard treks between the clubhouse and 1st/10th tees and the 1st/10th greens and the 2nd/11th tees. Relatively flat, the only exertion you will encounter are the large gullies in front of the 17th and 18th greens.


The fairways are Zoysia grass and very well maintained. I have been told that their greenskeeper used to work for a cross-town course, Alvamar, and from what I have observed, they are lucky to have him because their fairways are in much better shape than semi-private Alvamar’s Zoysia fairways. If you hit a ball in the fairway, you should have a good lie, a ball that sits-up, and that is normally the case at Eagle Bend. The only exception, strangely enough, is the 18th fairway where the Zoysia stops at the 150 yard marker, leaving a routinely poor lie off of what looks like Perennial Rye grass for your approach shot to the final hole. 

The greens are decent and fairly fast, but few people seem to repair their pitch marks, so even the best putt can go astray from time to time. Maybe they could sell, or even give away, inexpensive pitch mark repair tools in the pro shop and post a few signs reminding people to clean up after themselves. Zoysia on the landing area of the 18th would also be a big plus.

There are not a lot of sand traps, but the few they have are strategically placed. The sand is heavy, likely river sand from the nearby Kansas River, leading to difficult shots and inconsistent results for those of us who do not carry a PGA Tour card.


With four sets of tees (gold, blue, white and red), the course is challenging for both sexes and all skill levels. Being close to sixty, I have lost some distance in recent years and find the blue tees a tad too long for my pleasure, so I normally play the whites when I want to enjoy myself. With prevailing winds from the south/southwest, all but four holes are reachable in regulation for the average golfer from the whites:

Hole #7 – From where the white tees are normally placed, hole #7 (par 4) plays close to 400 yards, normally into the wind, making it very difficult to reach the green even with two good shots. 

Hole #8 – A par 3, hole #7 normally plays between 150 and 170 yards directly into the wind with a lake running down the right and a large bunker left of the green, requiring anything from a six iron to a five wood off the tee. 

Hole #15 – Very similar to #7, this nearly 400 yard par 4 routinely plays into the wind with native grasses on the left and woods to the right as well as protecting the green on all sides.

Hole #18 – Another 400 yarder from the new, slightly elevated tees, this hole play into the teeth of the wind and has native grasses and woods lining the entire hole. There is a large gully in front of the green with a creek running under and on both sides of the fairway, narrowing to less than 20 yards for any short or errant shot.

When you are a high handicapper or senior and have difficulty hitting a drive over 220 yards with no wind, a par 4 that is 400 yards or a long, well-protected par 3 into the wind makes birdie impossible and par unlikely. From the white tees, 375-385 yards should be the longest par 4 on the course if you want to be fair to the average golfer and speed play.
Otherwise, Eagle Bend is fair and a good challenge as the wind is almost always blowing, swirling and changing directions because of the influence of the Clinton Lake Dam which towers over the west side of the course. Two of the four par 5s, #9 and #12, normally play downwind where par, even birdie, are very possible. Hole #12 is a double dogleg par 5 with trees to the right off the tee and a large lake guarding the left side of the fairway on your second and third shots. Hole #17, a short par 3 over a gully where par is achievable and wild turkeys can often be seen on the terraced slope in front of the green, is esthetically the nicest hole on the course.
Eagle Bend does not participate in GolfNow or other web-based discount green fee schemes, something a lot of courses utilize to fill empty tee times and generate additional income for the course. After all, it does not cost anything to have more people playing golf because overhead is the same while additional revenue is generated through green fees, cart rentals, pro shop and snack bar sales, and range ball fees. 

While on the topic of range ball fees, Eagle Bend’s are some of the highest in the area at $5 for 25 balls and $400 for an annual pass (unlimited balls). I get 75 balls for $8 at a crosstown range and paid a little over $100/year for unlimited balls while a member at Alvamar, so Eagle Bend’s prices are “out of range”, pun intended. High range ball prices are another phenomena I do not understand. The investments (balls, facility, personnel, equipment) have already been made, so why not get as many people hitting range balls as possible by lowering fees to a more reasonable level? I refuse to pay $5-$15 for a bucket of balls as do many others I know, so instead of generating some income, they generate little. Penny wise and dollar foolish in my opinion.


I play Eagle Bend several days a week and would think that with all of the empty slots I see, that the city would be clamoring for income, but the City of Lawrence and their employees do not seem to be very interested in profit. Maybe if the course had more play and a more enticing clubhouse, they could lower green fees, offer military/veteran discounts, extend junior/senior discounts to the weekend, and have twilight rates, adding even more revenue from those who would have played elsewhere. As an example, I play most of the winter at Alvamar because they reduce green fees to $15 (18 holes/walking/7 days a week) in the winter, several dollars lower than Eagle Bend’s “unbending” fees. 

The City of Lawrence government seems eager to maintain the status quo in this city of around 90,000. They stifle competition in favor of their friends (not a decent chain restaurant or selection of retailers in town) and are stuck in the 20th Century when it comes to managing their only golf course. Eagle Bend could be the premier golf destination in eastern Kansas, but backward thinking and poor management make it an average, underutilized entity likely on the brink of obsolescence and ultimate closure to become another park or free Frisbee/soccer golf complex.


If you play a lot like I do, they do not have an annual membership, but they do offer punch cards for 10, 20, 50 or 100 rounds (good for more than a year) with savings ranging from 25% to 60%, bringing green fees down to as low as $11 per round (walking) for a 100-round card … if you are willng to pay $1,100 in advance.

Eagle Bend is a fun, challenging course in desperate need of innovation, creative marketing, and management that embraces thinking “outside box” rather than maintaining the status quo. Golf courses are losing business and thousands are going bankrupt across the nation, a path I hope Eagle Bend is not headed down because the only other options in town are private and very expensive.

CombatCritic Gives Eagle Bend 7 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!

Seven Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Turkey Bend? Windy Bend? Eagle Bend! Nice Course, But Little “Wiggle Room”

Key Words: Eagle Bend Golf Course, eagle, bend, golf, course, links, City of Lawrence, Lawrence, Kansas, university, KU, Jayhawks, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Translation for Civilians: S&G = “Shits & Grins”


TravelTech: Overpriced + Poor Design + No Instructions = Not A Great Value


Golf Putting Alignment Mirror Training Aid – Practice Your Putting Alignment Tool
by B&T Golf
Available on Amazon.com


Although small and lightweight enough to easily carry while traveling, $29+ for this product seems excessive. It is likely made in China and probably costs less than $5 to manufacture, so a 600% mark-up is pushing it based on its somewhat flimsy and flawed product. 


A reflective surface with red and black lines (and logo) mounted on a very thin plastic base, it comes with a protective cover but no instructions. There are four holes in the rear which I assume are used to anchor it on the green with tees and/or limit your backstroke based on distance required for a putt … I assume … and you know what happens when you “ASSUME”: you make an ASS of U and ME. The holes are too big for golf tees, so even with two tees anchoring the mirror it moves if touched (nearly impossible based on its purpose), requiring frequent repositioning if you are aiming at a golf hole.


I find the product useful for alignment and ensuring that eyes are positioned over the ball, but the design flaws, lack of instructions (paper or web-based – there is no B&T Golf Products website that I could find), and excessive markup make it a poor value. In the $9.95 to $12.95 range, I would rate it in the 8-10 “Bomb” range (4-5 Stars), but at nearly $30 …

CombatCritic Gives The B&T Putting Alignment Mirror 5 Bombs Out Of 10 (Rounded Up To “3 Stars”)


Five Bombs Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title:  TravelTech: Overpriced + Poor Design + No Instructions = Not A Great Value

Key Words: Golf Putting Alignment Mirror, mirror, training, aid, practice, putting, alignment, tool, B&T Golf, B&T, golf, Amazon.com, amazon, China, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review

Translation for Civilians: Charlie-Mike = “Continue Mission”

Inexpensive Portable In-Home Putting Green Not Bad For The Price


Grassroots Par Three Putting Green
by B&T Golf
$32 on Amazon.com 

The Grassroots Par Three Putting Green is a portable putting green small and lightweight enough to take with you on your next trip, golf or otherwise.

Made of thin, green outdoor carpet with a tapered foam ramp leading up to the three holes at one end, the green is 9 feet long and about three feet wide at each end. It is tapered in the middle, why I am not sure, and around 2.5 feet wide, making it look something like an actual putting green which I assume was the reason for the design.
The “green” lies flat out of the box, but is thin enough to magnify any underlying imperfections in the floor you put it on. I placed it on an oriental rug and it rolls true until the thin, green outdoor carpet bunches up when the green is jarred or stepped on too abruptly.
The holes are deep enough to catch a golf ball with the center cup being about 1″ deep and the two outer cups at about 1/2″ in depth. There are also two deep bunkers (1″ deep) behind the holes to catch errant shots, but some balls roll over, through or between them and off across the room.
For the price, it works well enough and as advertised. I do not imagine it lasting for several years due to the thinness of the carpet. If it were double the thickness, it would likely roll truer on diverse surfaces, last longer and not bunch up quite so easily. I believe a base with a material that clings to carpet and hard floors, possibly something like rubber, would enhance the product immensely as well as adding to durability, even in the $50-$60 range.

The only other thing missing is a storage or carry bag for when you want it out of the way or to take on trips. A simple, nylon bag with a handle and drawstring would cost next to nothing to manufacture and would enhance the product significantly.

CombatCritic Gives Grassroots Par Three Putting Green 6 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!







Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Inexpensive In-Home Putting Green Not BAd For The Price

Key Words: Grassroots Par Three Putting Green, grassroots, par, three, putting, green, putt, putter, B&T, Golf, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review, Amazon.com, Amazon

Translation for Civilians: 

United States Air Force Academy … Enough Said!


After having worked at USAFA as an assistant professor and counselor, and being a retired Air Force officer, I must admit that I am a bit biased. BUT … the Academy IS THE BOMB!

The most majestic location of any of our service academies (sorry West Point and Annapolis), the scenery is awe inspiring. The iconic Cadet Chapel with its towering spires and modern design is the centerpiece, but there is so much more to see.

The Eisenhower Golf Courses (Blue and Silver) are top-notch, abutting the Rampart Range and challenging even the best golfers, particularly the Robert Trent Jones designed 7,200+ yard Blue Course. I have seen a 12-point buck (deer) and his harem standing next to the tee munching on an early morning breakfast of grass and, just the other day, a group of wild turkeys foraging through the thickets surrounding the par 5 5th hole (Blue).

Enter through the North Gate off of I-25 and follow the signs to the Visitor’s Center where you can see many exhibits and take a short walk to the overlook and an up close view of the Cadet Chapel and “The Terrazo” where you can view cadets marching to and from classes, lunch, and appointments during the school year.

CombatCritic Gives the United States Air Force Academy 10 Bombs Out of 10




Key Words: USAFA, United States Air Force Academy, US, air, force, Air Force, academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Springs, military, service, cadet, cadets, Eisenhower, golf, course, Robert Trent Jones, CombatCritic

Finally … A Full Service, Full Size Sporting Goods Store In Lawrence (KS)!


Finally … Lawrence needed a full service, full size sporting goods store! 

I went to three different “sporting goods” stores on Massachusetts Street (downtown) a couple months back to buy a simple yoga mat, but two did not have them and the other (a yoga studio) was closed in the middle of the day. I realize this is not the BIG CITY, but for a city of close to 100,000, you should be able to buy a yoga mat anytime you want. Now you can!

The store is new, clean, well laid-out (same as other Dick’s), and the staff friendly and helpful even though I found that being newly open, they did not have the knowledge of a well seasoned staff. They made up for what they did not know with vast enthusiasm and my questions were eventually answered to my satisfaction. Growing pains!

I would have thought that there would be more ON SALE being the GRAND OPENING and all, but prices were high (mostly suggested retail), hence the missing three bombs. I did find a nice Columbia waterproof jacket for $60 (regular $90) and it came in handy during the monsoon rains at yesterday’s Cottonwood Classic Gold Tournament at Alvamar Country Club. My shorts were soaked, but my core was dry as a bone after over four hours in a downpour … HOOAH!

The store was packed having been open just a few days, so I think Lawrencian’s feel pretty much the same way I do. The line was extremely long, probably 75 people in front of me, but I made it to the register in 15 minutes. Not bad. Do not forget to sign up for their loyalty card and get an EXTRA 10% DISCOUNT at the register, a particularly good idea if you are making a large purchase.

CombatCritic Gives Dick’s Sporting Goods (Lawrence, Kansas) 7 Bombs Out of 10 … BOMBS ARE GOOD!




Key Words: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dick’s, Sporting, goods, sporting goods, Lawrence, Kansas, golf, baseball, hunting, guns, bikes, bike, bicycle, tennis, running, shoes, CombatCritic, TravelValue

Alvamar Golf and Country Club … Mostly Friendly Faces, Fair Prices, Decent Facilities


Alvamar Golf and Country Club
    1809 Crossgate Drive
    Lawrence, KS 66047
    (785) 842-1907
    http://www.alvamar.com

    Having been unable to play much golf in recent years due to bad knees, now that arthroscopic surgery has given me the ability to walk long distances with less pain (note that I did not say “painlessly”) it was time to join a club.

    View of 18th Hole (Member’s Course) from Clubhouse

    We moved to Lawrence, Kansas last August and I gathered information on local golf and country clubs in order to make an informed decision. After visiting the top-3 last Autumn, I narrowed down the field to two after I received an unwelcoming introduction to Lawrence’s city course, Eagle Bend:

    It was a blustery day in October when I dropped by Eagle Bend to inquire about annual memberships. I was hoping to play the course as a “single”, never having had ANY DIFFICULTY getting on even the most popular courses in the world last minute, including St. Andrews and Carnoustie (Scotland), Cog Hill (Chicago), Torrey Pines (San Diego), and Princeville (Kauai) to name just a few.

    The two men behind the counter acted as if I were an alien, grudgingly taking the time to answer my questions about spending close to $1500 per year to play golf on their course. When I asked about getting out as a single that day, the course was busy but not overwhelmed, I was told it would be “impossible”. “Really” I said, thinking they were joking, but they were as serious as heart attacks. I asked if it was always so difficult getting on as a single and they confirmed that it was, something I had not heard in 50 years of playing golf as a single, so I left, never to return.

    I stopped by Alvamar Golf and Country Club on my way home and was impressed by their friendly, easygoing nature and welcoming attitude. The Head Pro, Paul Hooser, answered all of my questions and told me that getting on as a single at Alvamar is NEVER A PROBLEM. Their pricing was better than Eagle Bend and practice facilities as good as I have seen anywhere, so I waited for Spring to finalize my decision.

    I contacted Alvamar and Lawrence Country Club ($220 per month – golf/social/pool/tennis membership) via email in mid-March, inquiring about a possible tour and opportunity to play the courses. Alvamar’s Ryan Spencer (Director of Golf Membership) was quick to get back to me, Lawrence Country Club never did.

    Enjoying Sunday Brunch

    Brian Minnis, Director of Operations and one of the owners, met me when I arrived and personally gave me a tour of the facilities and introduced me to the staff. I was very impressed with the facilities and staff, but even more so with the University of Kansas (KU) Affiliate Membership. Normally $240 per month ($2,880 per year) plus a $300 initiation fee, Brian told me that KU Staff and their families get a golf/dining/social membership for just $150 per month ($1,800 per year, a savings of over $1000) with no initiation fee and access to all of the facilities for my wife included … SOLD!


    I joined Alvamar on March 13, 2014 and played my first round that day, 10/18ths of a round anyway. As I putted-out on the 10th green of the Member’s Course, a tight, tree-lined  layout that meanders through large custom homes and gently rolling hills, I turned to return to my golf cart … BUT IT WAS GONE! While just 30 yards away putting, it turned out that three teenagers drove off with my electric cart along with my new iPhone and golf clubs valued at over $1700. I recovered my iPhone, which they tossed from the cart as they drove down the 13th fairway, using Find My iPhone in the Pro Shop. I also found two of my golf clubs in the bushes across the street from the 13th green where witnesses had seen the boys fleeing the scene but everything else was lost.

    Alvamar staff reacted immediately and superbly, doing everything they could to help me, including wading through knee deep sludge in a drainage ditch and combing the woods for any sign of my possessions. They was absolutely nothing they could have done to prevent this bazaar theft and went above and beyond after, a testament to the commitment to outstanding customer service I have witnessed so far.

    Eggs Benedict, Quiche Lorraine, Hash Browns, Biscuit and Gravy


    I have since had a chance to play both courses and have been impressed with the layouts and conditions even though the grass is still dormant. With the exception of a few holes, the courses are both very walkable. The Member’s Course is much tighter than the Championship (public) Course, a 7,000+ yard test which reminds me of the Robert Trent Jones designed “Blue” Course at the U.S. Air Force Academy where I was a member while on the faculty from 1988 to 1993.

    Brunch: We attended the Sunday Brunch last week early on and enjoyed our meal. At $16.50 per person (coffee $1.50 extra), the brunch was a decent value. Along with the expected breakfast fare (eggs, a great omelet station, bacon, potatoes, biscuits, gravy, waffles, and pancakes), you can choose from Prime Rib (which looked more like roast beef to me), a fish casserole, assorted vegetables, Au Gratin potatoes, and an assortment of fruit and store-bought muffins and pastries.

    Pete’s Omelet and Bacon


    Pete, the chef at the omelet bar, does an excellent job and the omelet was superb. Beside fresh eggs, you can choose from bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Everything else was fresh and flavorful with a few exceptions. The English muffins in the eggs Benedict had obviously been there all morning and were so difficult to cut with my butter knife that I finally gave up. The “Prime Rib” was actually pre-sliced roast beef (no carving station) in a Bordelaise sauce, tender and flavorful, but not Prime Rib. My only other suggestion would be a dew more dessert options other than slides fruit and store-bought muffins and breakfast pastries, possibly homemade cheesecake, chocolate cake, or pie/cobbler ala mode.

    Alvabar

    19th Hole: The Alvabar and Grill is a large, well-appointed, cozy environment with wood paneling and numerous TVs for viewing sports while enjoying a post-round beverage. A nice selection of draught beers, including Guinness and local craft beers, daily specials, full menu, and reasonable prices make the Alvabar a great place to wind down after a round of golf.

    Food: The menu is eclectic and so far I have tried the Reuben sandwich (corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing on marbled rye with choice of side – seasoned French fries, cottage fries, mashed potatoes, etc – $9), the original mel’t (4 cheese grilled cheese sandwich with melted cheese on top, accompanied by choice of side – $8), the chicken fried steak (flaky, breaded, grilled beef with mashed potatoes and veggie 0 $12.50), the blackened burger ($9), and the taco special (Thursdays – 2 tacos for $3).

    Taco Special – 2 for $3

    The Reuben was good, but not any better than any I have had at a coffee shop for $6-$8 and nowhere near a true Kosher deli sandwich piled high with corned beef. The french and cottage fries are good, but likely frozen. The original mel’t is super cheesy, but in a good way and if you love cheese, this is the sandwich for you. The chicken fried steak has been the highlight so far, a crunchy, flaky, perfectly grilled piece of breaded meat about the size and shape of a Kansas City strip, but half the thickness.

    The blackened burger was “OK”, nothing special. And the tacos were a huge disappointment, even at a buck-fifty a piece. On prefab, store bought corn taco shells, a smattering of overly greasy, seasoned beef, very little (melted) cheese, and a wisp of lettuce barely filled the shells (not the large variety) halfway. The salsa appeared to be Pace or some other commercial variety, not homemade and the big cup of sour cream was wasted on a taco aficionado who would never think of putting sour cream on anything, well maybe a baked potato, much less a taco. I can walk to Fuzzy’s Tacos on Massachusetts Street and get a top-notch taco with shredded beef (ground beed, pork, and chicken available), abundant cheese, lettuce, and fresh tomato on a crispy handmade corn shell for only $2, so these were very disappointing.

    I was talked in to trying the baked Ziti ($14) by Pauly, who as a Bostonian should know good Italian food. I have to say that the dish was not bad, probably a bit overpriced (it should come with garlic bread or a salad for that price). The mozzarella cheese on top was baked to perfection (see photo). The store bought pasta was al dente as it should be and the accompanying peppers, onions, and sausage were tasty although there was a bit too much sauce. Overall, the dish was decent, not great.

    A new veal dish, Veal Scaloppini Francesca ($22.00),  parmesan battered veal with gnocchi dressed in boursin cream and served with a vegetable medley recently caught my attention. Being a lover of all things veal, I had to try it. The photo is deceiving, but there were more vegetables than either veal or gnocchi on the plate. Maybe 3-4 ounces of veal max, it was lightly battered. tender, but appeared and tasted frozen. The gnocchi, all seven of them, were hidden under the sauce and mushy, overcooked. The sauce was tasty enough, but drenched the plate and obscured what little veal and gnocchi were on the plate. At $22, the dish was disappointing. A price in the $14 range or a few more ounces of veal and gnocchi would make the dish more palatable.

    Golf: The golf courses are challenging although not as well maintained as I would expect from a “country club”. The fairways are mowed too tightly, offering poor lies in many places where a fairway shot should be rewarded. The local “muni” also has zoysia fairways, but they are much more plush and forgiving than Alvamar’s at this point in the season. Alvamar’s greens are challenging and in good shape except for the dozens of ball marks on each green from the (too) many tournaments held weekly and self-centered people whom obviously care less about anybody but themselves.  

    The member’s driving range is an utter disappointment. Very large with plenty of room to move the tees around, the grass is so poorly maintained that it is difficult to find a decent lie to practice from. On the other hand, the “public” range is well kept and plush, having recently been verticut and reseeded, telling me that members are not as appreciated or respected as well as non-members. 

    Original Mel’t – $8

    Staff: Management, who are mostly indifferent to me as a whole and cater to the more affluent and influential members, aside, staff at Alvamar are wonderful. Valerie in the front office is very nice and helpful anytime it comes to sorting out the discrepancies on my bill. Travis, the Alvabar Manager, and his staff, including Hillary, Libby, Lizzie, Carena, Troy, Tatania, and Pauly are all friendly and customer oriented, making spending my money there almost a pleasure. Sammy, Cody, Eric (Clemson), Larry, and many of the other golf course staff are also very customer service oriented and helpful. THANK YOU ALVAMAR STAFF!

    Conclusion: Early on in our membership, I can say that Alvamar Golf and Country Club is a pretty good value, providing good customer service and individualized attention from most employees. The food is adequate, fairly reasonable in price, but for what you would expect from a “country club” … a bit “below par”. 

    Having joined Alvamar to meet people in a new town, I have to say that management does not practice what they preached during my initial tour, catering mostly to the more affluent, socially connected, better golfers at the club. They rarely have a word to say to me, talking at length to those sitting beside me while ignoring me for the most part. The Alvamar Ambassadors, those key members tasked with making new members feel welcome, dropped the ball after our first Bounty Night (Friday night cash and prize drawings), virtually ignoring my wife and I ever since. Members, while mostly pleasant on the surface, are cliquish and isolationists, avoiding talking, much less asking new members to join them for golf, or otherwise interacting with those they deem cool enough for their attention. A few key members, one who staff and members refer to as “Lord” SoAndSo, are apparently so impressed with their golf acumen and/or social status that they have refuse to even acknowledge my existence after several attempts to interact with them by simply saying “hello”. It would have been nice to feel included for the hundreds of dollars a month we have been sacrificing to try to meet people in a new town, but after six months we have no more friends than when we joined in March. We will be taking that into consideration when our membership is up for renewal next March.

    CombatCritic Gives Alvamar Country Club 6 Out of 10 Bombs … BOMBS ARE GOOD!


    Key Words: Alvamar Golf and Country Club, Alvamar, Golf, Country, Club, Lawrence, Kansas, 66047, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value