Crazy green fees?

GB72

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You get the feeling with some clubs that they do not need you there and some may not even want you there and so the green fee should be looked at as more the value the club sees in having the inconvenience of people on their course. With others, the green fee is a status symbol of where they see themselves in the local and wider golf pecking order (we are more expensive so must be better than the club down the road etc). Others are a business and want to squeeze out all the profit they can.

All reasons aside form the quality of the course and experience as to why green fees keep going up.
 

Backache

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One thing that is worth bearing in mind is that you can often get reduced green fees (though often still pricey) on many good courses by playing at less popular times or by taking on a package with other courses , sometimes course accommodation packages can offer meaningful savings if you are travelling to play.

We played the Goswick/ Dunbar/Roxburghe package this year in high season for £210 as part of a tour whose golfing cost for five courses was around £260 though we were guests on one course which would have been a lot more expensive otherwise.
 

louise_a

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I certainly think some to these "top course" green fees are eyewatering, I do play a lot of different courses but thanks to opens I normally pay a reasonable price, that said even those are going up in price, an open at Hillside next year comes out at about £160 per person, still a lot cheaper than the normal green fees, but now out of my price range, not too many years ago it was only around £70.
 

jim8flog

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There are 4 course close to me
Green fees are
£70 18 hole course £25 18 holes on the 9 hole course
£55 (£30 for late tee times when there is not enough light for 18 hoes at this time of the year
£42, £25 for a twilight round
£25

Would I pay the £70, N
£55 probably not £30 possibly after seeing the start sheet
Would I pay the £42 possibly not. The have gone from £25 to that figure. I would pay for a twilight round
Would I pay the £25 - only after a longish dry spell

As already said, to me golf is just a game on grass with some sand or water areas. As long and it is all in reasonable condition with good length I really do not mind where I play but will not pay out a high green fee.
 

Doon frae Troon

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Basic supply and demand.
About 20 years ago I attended a Scottish Tourist Board conference on the future of Scottish Golf.

The chairman opened his talk with............there are 55 million golfers in the world and most would all love to play one course, St Andrews Old.

Probably an awful lot more than 55 million now.

Edit check
There are now 66.6 million golfers on this wee planet.
 
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Swango1980

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If you buy a ticket for the World Cup final it'll probably cost more than a ticket to watch a local Conference League side in a pre season friendly. Yet both are still football matches.

Buying a Rolex will probably set you back more than buying a Casio.

World famous golf courses will cost a fortune, as they'll attract people all over the globe willing to pay the green fee for the experience. I may pay a fortune for a once in a lifetime experience, but I wouldn't play the course regularly at that price. I suspect other courses, perhaps less famous, get enough money in from members and other means, and are not overly keen to have many non-members playing and taking up tee slots. So they may significantly increase the prices to help limit the amount of visitors that play, but when they do play make a nice penny out of them.

I'm like LincolnShep. I'll play in a dozen or so local Opens throughout the year. Can't beat the value. Competitive golf, usually in a team, sometimes food included, all for anything from £10 to £30 in over 90% of cases. Some indifferent courses, but plenty of really nice ones who are simply trying to make a bit of money from an Open. I'm not really interested in spending more then £40-50 a round, even at very nice courses. I very much like my own club, so happy to play there most of the time, except for when doing the odd Open through the year. But, if the opportunity came up to play a famous course, then I'd probably pay a few hundred. Maybe. Although I remember playing all 3 courses at The Belfry, including 2 nights dinner, bed and breakfast, for about £200 all in.
 

D-S

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If you buy a ticket for the World Cup final it'll probably cost more than a ticket to watch a local Conference League side in a pre season friendly. Yet both are still football matches.

Buying a Rolex will probably set you back more than buying a Casio.

World famous golf courses will cost a fortune, as they'll attract people all over the globe willing to pay the green fee for the experience.
Agreed but there are probably only 20 or 30 world famous courses in the UK - how come courses in the 100-200 UK/Ire bracket have increased by 2/3 or 4 fold versus small % increase at normal courses - because they can for now, interesting to see if they will be post current boom. Fully understand that the proper bucket list ones will always be sought after and priced accordingly.
 

Jimaroid

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Dumbarmie (300), Kingsbarns (420) and Old Course (320).. for a grand total of £1040

Then, we realise that we could play the following three courses for around a third of that price:

Jubilee (140), Lundin (120), Scotscraig (125).. for a total of £385

However, you could also play these follwing three course for a third of that:

Burntisland (50), Aberdour (50), Kirkcaldy (30) for a total of £130

And finally, with little effort we can get three full rounds in for around half of that:

Kinghorn (20), St Michaels (20), Lochgelly (20): £60

So, what are we paying for? All these courses are highly rated, most are historic, by renowned architects... What is value in green fees?

To be honest I’m looking at all those and thinking for £1615 that would be an utterly fantastic two weeks of golf at about £134 per day.
 

Swango1980

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Agreed but there are probably only 20 or 30 world famous courses in the UK - how come courses in the 100-200 UK/Ire bracket have increased by 2/3 or 4 fold versus small % increase at normal courses - because they can for now, interesting to see if they will be post current boom. Fully understand that the proper bucket list ones will always be sought after and priced accordingly.
Possibly because of the other bit I mentioned just after the bit you had in bold?

Pre Covid, I'm not sure how many clubs had booked tee times for all tee slots? Whereas now, I think most clubs have a booking system for members and visitors. This has probably given them a much better reflection, or at least documented, on how busy their course is. If there are clubs who are really busy, they are probably still wanting to make sure they look after their members and make sure they get enough prime tee times. If the course is still busy outside these periods, they may have recognized that they can significantly increase the cost of green fees and still get the same traffic. Whereas if it turned players away, and they ended up with lots of empty slots, then they may start looking at finding ways to get busier again, including lowering green fees.

If these clubs have massively increased green fees, and ended up with loads of empty tee slots, then I'd be less sure why they increased them so much. Unless they are not struggling for cash, and like enough empty slots to give their members a bit of flexibility in booking times at short notice.
 

D-S

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Possibly because of the other bit I mentioned just after the bit you had in bold?

Pre Covid, I'm not sure how many clubs had booked tee times for all tee slots? Whereas now, I think most clubs have a booking system for members and visitors.
Certainly not the case in this neck of the woods, the odd course may have an extra day of booking but most are the same as pre COVID
 
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We had this debate recently. VFM comes down to how much disposable income you have and what you consider valuable or desirable. There is no cutoff point, everyone is different.
 

SteveW86

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We had this debate recently. VFM comes down to how much disposable income you have and what you consider valuable or desirable. There is no cutoff point, everyone is different.

I cant believe that the cost of green fees has ever been discussed before and caused an argument?

Next you'll be telling me that people want to lay golf in whatever clothes they like and not respect traditional values
 

oleinone

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My son and I take a twice a year golf holiday in Spain. October saw us playing some exceptional courses on the Costa Brava, most notably PGA Catalunya that I believe is rated in Europe's top 10. Rates went from 70 to 110 euros. It looks as though the green fee savings compared with some of those on this thread could pay for a lot of flights, food and lodgings.
 

BiMGuy

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I cant believe that the cost of green fees has ever been discussed before and caused an argument?

Next you'll be telling me that people want to lay golf in whatever clothes they like and not respect traditional values
Crazy people, who doesn’t want to dress in traditional golf attire. It would be a shame if we all stopped wearing these outfits. Oh……… 🤣


IMG_6532.png
 

Jimaroid

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Going back to the OP as I’m quite familiar with many of these clubs and courses, one amusing thought hit me:

Old Course, £320 per round, is maintained by 14 fulltime greenkeepers so £22 per greenkeeper.
St Michaels, £20 per round, is maintained by 1 fulltime greenkeeper so £20 per greenkeeper.

Correlation is not causation but it amused me.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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Green fees are expensive....
I pay the best part of 2k subs each year
Playing half a dozen "top" courses a year is easily adding half of that, nearer 3/4, on top
That's a lot of coin....and it can get hard to justify.
Add into that the possibility of the weather ruining the day or, and this is my worst fear, spending 300 quid and playing like an absolute knob.
That would kill me...others may not worry about it but it pains me.
Not that I need to break course records but going to Birkdale and shooting 100 doesn't do it for me.
I'd rather play at home than do that.
You are talking about me and my situation - except I don’t do the ‘half dozen’ - for just the reasons you state. Can’t justify paying equivalent of a 2nd subs on top of the £2k I pay for my own place. We could perhaps afford it…just can’t justify it - besides the money can go towards a holiday for me and Mrs SILH…just a choice we make given I have no money of my own to spend as I like.

Besides…I am a member of a lovely club with a course that I very much enjoy playing - with every round seemingly finding me on a magical mystery tour.

I guess I would do OPs Cat 2 three. That’s my golfing treat level.
 
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rudebhoy

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Mix and match, seeking out value, is the best approach.

As mentioned on another thread yesterday, we did the St Andrews 3 day season ticket 2 years ago. We got 4 rounds in, plus a fun knock on the 9 hole course. (We are seniors, not up to playing 36 holes a day, particularly after a night on the beer!). We played Burntisland on the way up. The season ticket was £260, Burntisland was £20 as it and our home club are in the James Braid Assoc. So £280 for 5 rounds, including Jubilee, Castle and Eden.

We booked a 3 bed house in the town for £70 a night thru Airbnb, so total cost for a 4 day trip was £350 excluding beer, food and petrol. Can't knock that.
 

Klimski

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Great responses again, even some talk about proper golf attire! Just looked up the 3 day package and it's now £375 in the summer season. It does look like really good value!
 
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