We have a group (all retired) of 8-12 guys, and we have a "rota" of courses that we try to hit at least once a year.
As with other posters, our choices are based on: a) fun to play b) good conditions c) course layout d) cost.
We have six courses that we all agree are our "favorites," and we usually hit those about three times each per season. All the others are rated lower for some of the above reasons, and we play those only once each per year.
I can think of one I strongly dislike, simply because the back nine is UNREALISTICALLY tight.....it they'd thin out the trees on several holes, they'd have themselves a fun course to play. Another one has about six greens that are
ridiculously difficult.....a few "elephants buried" beneath the greens, if you know what I mean! Still another one
considers itself an "upscale course," b/c it was designed by a "big name" architect......we play there early in the season, before the rates go up, then don't go back. They used to REQUIRE riding carts (most of us walk), but they've relented on that policy, thankfully. Then there's the course I personally play the most, since it's
close to my home, it's under new ownership, and the management has sunk a ton of money into upgrades, course conditioning, etc. I love playing there, esp. since I worked there for about 20 summers, everybody there knows my name, and it's like coming back to an old family home. So, as others have noted, there are lots of factors that
enter into the decision of where to play.....