£270 for the Old Course?

DaveR

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I played the Old Course several times in the late 80s, early 90s - the Old is very definitely groomed, presented better than it was back then - a lot. It's not always obvious when wandering around the edges or watching on TV but when walking down the fairways/looking at bunkers etc. up close it's much more manicured than your normal decent links course.

Whether that's a good thing for a links course is of course another matter - but it's obvious that a heap of money gets spent on conditioning - much, much more than 30 years ago.
I get what you're saying but that doesn't justify the price hike. 2 or 3 junior greenkeepers on 18k a year can make a huge difference to the manicuring of a course.
 

davidy233

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I get what you're saying but that doesn't justify the price hike. 2 or 3 junior greenkeepers on 18k a year can make a huge difference to the manicuring of a course.
I've added a bit to my previous post re previous cost rises from my experience playing it a good while back.

The Links Trust is a big industry now - there's an army of greenskeepers and other staff. It would be interesting to see their employee numbers in 1988 versus now.

There's also been a fair bit of infrastructure too - there wasn't a Links clubhouse when i played it in 1992 - there are three big ones now between the courses. Plus a big practice facility etc. and they are building more stuff at the moment.
 

Foxholer

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The rise in fees is disproportionate with inflation. My uncle was at RAF Leuchars in the late 60's and used to play TOC for 7/6' (37.5p for you youngsters). There is no way that is equivalent to £270 now yet the courses were still maintained and run correctly back then.
No argument with the 'disproportianate' statement, but understandable that commercial reality overrides any 'simple allowance for inflation' concept. Just a thought. Isn't there a reduced rate at TOC for 'the armed forces', especially those at Leuchars (now an Army base)? So maybe not quite the the 'bargain' it was then.
 

davidy233

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No argument with the 'disproportianate' statement, but understandable that commercial reality overrides any 'simple allowance for inflation' concept. Just a thought. Isn't there a reduced rate at TOC for 'the armed forces', especially those at Leuchars (now an Army base)? So maybe not quite the the 'bargain' it was then.
Not sure if being stationed at Leuchars counts as St Andrews resident - but there is an RAF Leuchars Golf club which plays over St Andrews Links, first time I played the Old Course I got signed on by an RAF Leuchars member - I'm a bit surprised at the name as Leuchars is an army camp now
 

Slab

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Agree that it’s a ridiculous price, but at least it’s a once in a lifetime experience to play such a course.
What I can’t get my head around are the prices in Spain and Portugal. I go there infrequently and play maybe 2 rounds, but how do ex pats afford to play a few rounds a week?
Re expats
It's Probably similar in Spain etc as it is here.
Expats rarely/never pay the standard/full green fee rate when visiting a course
There's discounts and different rates for expats, resort tourists, members, opens, corporate events etc
 

Boomy

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I've not played the OC, played every other course in the St Andrews Links setup.

Was hoping to play the OC at some point this year, especially given the 150th open. Out of principal I won't be doing that, if ever at all now.

Disgraceful.
Bit dramatic that isn’t it. So you were hoping to play an open rota course, on the year the open is there (and a milestone open at that), at the home of golf and you are grumbling about paying the going rate? (Which even with a price rise is still cheaper than most open rota courses and way cheaper than the likes of Dumbarnie and Kingsbarns)

When we played Royal Lytham last year and paid somewhere around £240 we got chatting to 2 members and asked out of curiosity what members guest rate is… £20 we were told. Did we let that spoil our enjoyment, no, it wasn’t even a talking point - we soaked up the atmosphere, the iconic holes, talked about opens we had watched there, spent ages looking around the clubhouse at the history, and then paid more money (good lord) for a nice meal sat overlooking the 18th watching other golfers fluff it up just as I did! What a fab day, a bucket list course, lots to talk about and lots of memories.

It is frustrating when premium places charge premium prices (and increase them in line with demand) but that’s never going to change! If you want a meal cooked by a Michelin starred chef you have to pay hundreds of pounds, or you could go to a Weatherspoons and get a meal for a tenner. There’s one thing for sure, it’ll likely never be as cheap again as it is at present. No time like the present.
 

evemccc

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Bit dramatic that isn’t it. So you were hoping to play an open rota course, on the year the open is there (and a milestone open at that), at the home of golf and you are grumbling about paying the going rate? (Which even with a price rise is still cheaper than most open rota courses and way cheaper than the likes of Dumbarnie and Kingsbarns)

When we played Royal Lytham last year and paid somewhere around £240 we got chatting to 2 members and asked out of curiosity what members guest rate is… £20 we were told. Did we let that spoil our enjoyment, no, it wasn’t even a talking point - we soaked up the atmosphere, the iconic holes, talked about opens we had watched there, spent ages looking around the clubhouse at the history, and then paid more money (good lord) for a nice meal sat overlooking the 18th watching other golfers fluff it up just as I did! What a fab day, a bucket list course, lots to talk about and lots of memories.

It is frustrating when premium places charge premium prices (and increase them in line with demand) but that’s never going to change! If you want a meal cooked by a Michelin starred chef you have to pay hundreds of pounds, or you could go to a Weatherspoons and get a meal for a tenner. There’s one thing for sure, it’ll likely never be as cheap again as it is at present. No time like the present.
You can’t really compare it to Dumbarnie, Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart IMO

Kingsbarns and TOC are clearly both golf courses in Fife that are highly regarded — but that’s as far as it goes really…the whole ethos and culture is pretty far apart
 

evemccc

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There’s one thing for sure, it’ll likely never be as cheap again as it is at present. No time like the present.
100% true and my line of thinking exactly!

The trouble is it means 2021/22 gets expensive in terms of £££ and holidays taken from work 😜
 

GreiginFife

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You can’t really compare it to Dumbarnie, Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart IMO

Kingsbarns and TOC are clearly both golf courses in Fife that are highly regarded — but that’s as far as it goes really…the whole ethos and culture is pretty far apart
Dumbarnie is also well regarded. At least by everyone that I know or have spoken to that has played it. Myself included. It's a fantastic course, will it mature and get better? Yes. That doesn't detract from how good it is already.
 

KenL

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Don't get me wrong. I also love the New as well. But the difference is that I can play like a sack of spuds on the Jubilee and still come off smiling. I just really like the course, it's layout and how challenging it can be even in a "slight" breeze.
Interesting that I didn't find the Jube harder than the New. I played to my hcp there, it was calm but that's the only time I can play to my hcp!
 

GreiginFife

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Interesting that I didn't find the Jube harder than the New. I played to my hcp there, it was calm but that's the only time I can play to my hcp!
I find any of the trust courses to be a bit benign when it's calm. I wouldn't say the Jubilee is harder, just that I find it more enjoyable for some reason. I think I've only played it a few times when it's been a "calm" day.
 

Jimaroid

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I find any of the trust courses to be a bit benign when it's calm. I wouldn't say the Jubilee is harder, just that I find it more enjoyable for some reason. I think I've only played it a few times when it's been a "calm" day.
How do you feel about them pricing the New and Jube the same now?

I really like the Jube, it has some holes I really love and I have a fond memory of it being the course where I've scored my best medal round on the Links. It can be tight and tough when the wind is up and it can be made harder with some long tee positions. Off the blues it's nothing to fear and is quite enjoyable provided we don't talk about the 17th. :D

However, the conditioning has never quite matched the New. In recent years they've pulled out a LOT of gorse which has opened things up a bit but I still feel like it gets treated as a second child to the New and it's gotten a little shabby in places. What I hope for then is, now they're pricing the New and Jube equivalently they'll maintain them to an equivalent standard. If they don't I think it's very difficult to justify the increase in fees for the Jube.
 

GreiginFife

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How do you feel about them pricing the New and Jube the same now?

I really like the Jube, it has some holes I really love and I have a fond memory of it being the course where I've scored my best medal round on the Links. It can be tight and tough when the wind is up and it can be made harder with some long tee positions. Off the blues it's nothing to fear and is quite enjoyable provided we don't talk about the 17th. :D

However, the conditioning has never quite matched the New. In recent years they've pulled out a LOT of gorse which has opened things up a bit but I still feel like it gets treated as a second child to the New and it's gotten a little shabby in places. What I hope for then is, now they're pricing the New and Jube equivalently they'll maintain them to an equivalent standard. If they don't I think it's very difficult to justify the increase in fees for the Jube.
I don't mind it as I find them to be two different courses in terms of challenge/playability but of equal standing (in my eyes). I agree that conditioning has been down on recent years but I've never really found it to be shabby per-se. Gorse seems to be going from a lot of links courses just now, is this a fashionable thing?
You're spot on though, if the cost has been brough in to line with the New then I'd expect (hope) that the attention to condition and maintenance is also aligned.
 

CliveW

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The removal of gorse seems to be an effort to speed up play. The Eden in particular is now almost gorse free and almost unrecognizable from a few years ago.
 

TigerBear

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Bit dramatic that isn’t it. So you were hoping to play an open rota course, on the year the open is there (and a milestone open at that), at the home of golf and you are grumbling about paying the going rate? (Which even with a price rise is still cheaper than most open rota courses and way cheaper than the likes of Dumbarnie and Kingsbarns)

When we played Royal Lytham last year and paid somewhere around £240 we got chatting to 2 members and asked out of curiosity what members guest rate is… £20 we were told. Did we let that spoil our enjoyment, no, it wasn’t even a talking point - we soaked up the atmosphere, the iconic holes, talked about opens we had watched there, spent ages looking around the clubhouse at the history, and then paid more money (good lord) for a nice meal sat overlooking the 18th watching other golfers fluff it up just as I did! What a fab day, a bucket list course, lots to talk about and lots of memories.

It is frustrating when premium places charge premium prices (and increase them in line with demand) but that’s never going to change! If you want a meal cooked by a Michelin starred chef you have to pay hundreds of pounds, or you could go to a Weatherspoons and get a meal for a tenner. There’s one thing for sure, it’ll likely never be as cheap again as it is at present. No time like the present.
If I went to a Michelin or Weatherspoons restaurant one week for a steak, whatever the price, then came back the next week and the price was inflated by over 40%, the front windows would be getting put in with my 6i :ROFLMAO:

Thank goodness the Home of Golf is a national treasure, its windows are safe for now:p

Its a poor decision imo, flies in the face of the roots and history of the game and pricing a section of golfers out of playing the hallowed turf does nothing for the game except increase the coffers at the Trust, and that goes for the rest of open rota courses!

Can I afford to pay it, yes. Do I want to, now, for that price, no. simples!
 

GreiginFife

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If I went to a Michelin or Weatherspoons restaurant one week for a steak, whatever the price, then came back the next week and the price was inflated by over 40%, the front windows would be getting put in with my 6i :ROFLMAO:

Thank goodness the Home of Golf is a national treasure, its windows are safe for now:p

Its a poor decision imo, flies in the face of the roots and history of the game and pricing a section of golfers out of playing the hallowed turf does nothing for the game except increase the coffers at the Trust, and that goes for the rest of open rota courses!

Can I afford to pay it, yes. Do I want to, now, for that price, no. simples!
What? You mean the roots and history that golf was originally only played by the social and economical elite. Where the poor were mere caddies or greensfolk? Those roots and history?
 
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