Hacker's Guide Blows Past Its Goal Of Posting Its 1000th Golf Course And 550th Golf Course Review

Hacker’s Guide Blows Past its Goal of Posts its 1000th Golf Course Listing and 550th Golf Course Review on HackersCentralOnline.com and becomes the Midwest's largest rater and reviewer of golf courses.

Online PR News – 30-May-2012 – Minneapolis, MN – The Hacker’s Guide, a Minneapolis-based golf course rating organization and publisher of regional rating guides, had a goal of 1000 golf course listings and 550 golf course reviews by June 1, 2012. With a lot of effort, the website has achieved its stated goal and has become the Midwest’s largest rater and reviewer of golf courses along the way. The main website Hacker’s Central, the destination for golfers looking for accurate and up-to-date golf course reviews (www.hackerscentralonline.com), has even bigger plans during the rest of 2012.

In just the last year, major review websites like AngiesList.com, TripAdvisor.com and Yelp.com have all gone public, validating the interest, and value, in online reviews sites. According to a couple of 2011 surveys, 64% of consumers search for consumer or user reviews and 59% believe they influence their buying decisions. “We are apparently filling an unmet need in the golf industry,” emphasized publisher Bruce Stasch. “Golf consumers are just like anyone else and they are looking to online reviews for help when they choose which golf course to play.”

In addition to its online reviews, Hacker’s Central has also seen some major expansion with the addition of a Contributors Network of bloggers from across the country, a coupon platform, an advertising center as well as social media links, video and thousands of course photos.

“When we began this journey in 2008, one thousand courses sounded good on paper, but is a lot harder in practice. Course information and online reviews for the average golfer are amazingly hard to find and we wanted to make sure that what the golfer gets is the most valuable online ratings resources on the internet,” stated Stasch.

Unique to the golf industry, the Hacker’s Guide rates a golf course on 60 different factors in 6 different categories, taking into account how the average golfer would experience each course. More importantly, these ratings are completed by regular golfers, affectionately referred to as Team Hacker, each who have gone through a screening process before they become a “certified” rater. Stasch said, “of the 1800 people that have applied, only 12% of them have every completed a review.”

To maintain the quality level of its ratings, the Hacker’s Guide estimates that it takes its raters an average of six hours to rate and review each course. With 3,300 hours already logged, the rating team shows no sign of slowing down. “Our plan in 2012 is to expand our ratings to markets like Dallas/Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Chicago,” said Stasch. “We want to become the go-to website not just for course info, but for reviews and ratings too. That’s why we have 550 completed reviews on the site as well.”

The Hacker’s Guide proprietary ratings system assesses a course on these factors:

CONDITIONS: What are the overall conditions of the clubhouse, golf course, paths, fairways, greens, traps, tee boxes, off-course amenities, carts, pace of play, environmental sensitivity?

HOSPITALITY: How is the professionalism of the staff, the quality and speed of service, check-in, leagues, drinking water, food, website, instruction, leagues?

PLAYABILITY: Is this course suitable for a 20+ handicap golfer? What are the number of tee boxes, is it walkable, how's the scoring, design, conditioning?

FACILITY: Are on-course and off-course areas easy to use? What about common area amenities, the clubhouse, signage, parking, driving range, layout, food service, cleanliness?

VALUE: What are you getting for your money? Is the experience worth what you paid? What is pricing for tee times, cart fees, buckets of balls, food and beverages?

FORWARDS: Our female-centric category that contains an equal number of factors from the other five categories. These can include areas on conditions, hospitality, facility, playability and value with how a female would play and enjoy the course.

Even golf courses have weighed in on Hacker’s Guide reviews. “It is an excellent review if not the best of them ever, especially in regards to the personnel.” Dave Bachmann, owner & general manager of The Bull at Pinehurst Farms (#6 in Wisconsin). “It’s nice to have a review company recognize us for all the little things we do. It’s also nice that they’re honest about the shortcomings of the “big” courses. That lack of bias is refreshing.” Bob Isbell, general manager, Valley High Golf Course.

About the Hacker’s Guide & Hacker’s Central
The Hacker’s Guide® is the Midwest’s largest and most complete golf course rating platform with over 1,000 listed courses and 550 course ratings. In 2008, Hacker’s Central was launched with a proprietary rating algorithm that rates a course on 60 weighted factors across 6 categories. No one in the golf industry currently has as complete a system of golf course ratings which include in-depth narratives on the golf course experience. The Hacker’s Guide has rated courses in 13 states including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota. www.hackerscentralonline.com www.hackersguides.com

About the Publisher
Bruce Stasch, is the founder of Apex Golf Enterprises and creator of the Hacker’s Guide as well as the publisher of two printed rating guides. He has worked in the golf industry since 2001, first in e-commerce, later as a blogger and podcaster, and now is the driving force behind building North American’s largest golf course rating platform called Hacker’s Central and originator of the proprietary Hacker’s Rating System.

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