Let’s Be Frank about Golf Course Food

frank bonanno

By: John Lehndorff

Frank Bonanno has spent a lot of time and money playing and eating at golf courses and isn’t shy about expressing his opinion. “The food at most public courses is mediocre at best – a hot dog, a pre-wrapped sandwich, but some have good restaurants,” he says.

Country clubs are a different story. “You would think private golf clubs would have great food. The country clubs that have great food hire really good chefs and give them autonomy. Country clubs that have terrible food are run by committee. You have people sitting on a board who think they understand food and hospitality and there could be nothing further from the truth,” Bonanno says.

Have you ever wondered why the menus at country clubs never change? “You have an accountant who is 70 who happens to love a dish and he is the only person who ever orders the dish. You can’t take it off the menu because he’s on the board. It occupies a menu spot and the cooks have to make this terrible food,” Bonanno says.

Bonanno knows what it’s like to operate a golf course restaurant. “When the Ballyneal Golf Course was opening I was hired to do the restaurant. I picked every bottle of wine we had, the menu and trained the staff. It was really difficult because it was seasonal, four hours away from home and hard to get deliveries. I was super proud of it, but I did not get to play a lot of golf,” he says. 

This article was also featured in the Spring Issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.

Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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