Crazy green fees?

Genu9

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Hi all, winter is coming and it's making me a keyboard golfer.

I am inviting you all to discuss green fee value. What are we getting if we pay more - or less - for a round of golf? Where is the sweet spot? Are green fees too high?

Let's fantasize about a June/July Fife visit with time for three rounds of 18 holes:

First, let's go full American tourist:

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?
OMG. When I lived in Dunfermline and worked in Burntisland, I played Aberdour, Burntisland, Kinghorn & Kirkcaldy for £5.50 - £6.00 a round. Mind that was 1976.......
 

Albo

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See for me I will happily pay that kind of green fee for a one off round, it is a lot of money, but I see the value.
I saw on the bargains thread the other day a lot of people jumping in spending money on the HoF sale, some probably spend upwards of £50/£100, for me that’s a good chunk of one of these green fees, or 20% of a new driver.
Different strokes for different folks I suppose
 

BiMGuy

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See for me I will happily pay that kind of green fee for a one off round, it is a lot of money, but I see the value.
I saw on the bargains thread the other day a lot of people jumping in spending money on the HoF sale, some probably spend upwards of £50/£100, for me that’s a good chunk of one of these green fees, or 20% of a new driver.
Different strokes for different folks I suppose
It does baffle me that people will happily spend money on buying cheap seconds from Mike Ashley, or County Golf multiple times per year, probably on items they already have. But, won’t spend a similar amount on green fees at a decent place.

I’d much rather play a nice golf course than buy another couple of polo shirts.
 

woofers

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Given the other W's are £180 and £185 it seems odd that West Hill is over £200.

Overall, this list could be renamed as "100 reasons to make me cry"
From the West Hill website:
Summer Casual Green Fees
Apr 2024 to Oct 2024
Rates
One round Monday - Thursday inc range token£160
All day Monday - Thursday inc range token£230
Fridays - 18 holes only inc range token£180
Twilight after 3.00pm - Monday to Thursday ONLY£100
Weekends after 2:00pm inc range token£210
 

AussieKB

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It does baffle me that people will happily spend money on buying cheap seconds from Mike Ashley, or County Golf multiple times per year, probably on items they already have. But, won’t spend a similar amount on green fees at a decent place.

I’d much rather play a nice golf course than buy another couple of polo shirts.
I go to Thailand each year to play golf and buy quality shirts for less then 10 quid, still have some that are over 10 years old and been worn over 150 times and still feel and look good, just a rip off at some of these clubs, sure they sell to visitors who want a memento.
 

Golfnut1957

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I don't get the fascination with playing "elite" golf courses. Paying £100, £200+ just to play golf. It's just hitting a ball with a stick. But then again, I don't pay for a first class ticket on a plane either....I'm sure it's nice....but it's not THAT nice. But....if that is what makes you happy....blow your money however you wish. There are things I spend money on that others wouldn't.
Side-saddle putters?
 

need_my_wedge

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Whilst the top 100 and other elite clubs have some eye watering green fees, I don't think it's all just about making money. For some, sure it is, but with the top courses, they get rammed with visitors throughout the season. Since Brexit, covid and the Ukraine invasion, costs for many of the things required to keep a golf course in shape have soared and these costs are passed on. Additionally, if you're playing a top course, you want it to be in tip top nick, you don't want to play a goat track. That means having a large greens team, not the 4 or 5 as seen at many clubs, but maybe upwards of 20, otherwise they won't be able to keep the course to meet expectation. As an example, I know Kingsbarns has in excess of 200 players a day throughout the main season, that's a lot of wear and tear on the track which needs to be looked after, which it is. The likes of Turnberry, St Andrews, Dornoch etc. will be similar if not more. additionally, some of these courses will be looking to make money of the visitor fees in order to subsidise the members club, catering, bar etc. For others, it's a business of which the idea is to turn a profit. Then there's the clubs that don't care about visitors, they'll hike the prices in order to deter players because they're not interested in the revenue.

Just waffling thoughts but as I said, I don't think it's just one thing that causes a course to charge those sorts of fees. Ultiimately, if someone has the money to play them and they're getting what they want out of it, then so be it. I'll pay what I want/ can depending on the course I want to play. There are other means to get on, societies, opens, meeting members, FB groups etc. The car analogy was spot on, I don't have the money for an Aston Martin instead I'll buy a Volvo or a Merc, and if I can't afford that a Ford or a Vauxhall........ I can always go for a race day in the Aston.
 

Mandofred

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Side-saddle putters?
Yep, and may sell that before too long. Going to give it one more try this Spring....if it goes as badly as earlier this year it's a goner. I still can't believe I was putting as badly as I was with that thing....it makes sense in theory since you are facing the target. I try to spend money on things I will use for a while.....a one time £200 shot to play on a golf course and 4 hours later it is over with....not for me.
 

Golfnut1957

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Yep, and may sell that before too long. Going to give it one more try this Spring....if it goes as badly as earlier this year it's a goner. I still can't believe I was putting as badly as I was with that thing....it makes sense in theory since you are facing the target. I try to spend money on things I will use for a while.....a one time £200 shot to play on a golf course and 4 hours later it is over with....not for me.
I'm with you. I know for a fact that I can get on to some fabulous courses for less than a quarter of that, courses that will satisfy my every need.

Or I could.
 

HeftyHacker

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It's a bit of an mixed one for me - if I break down golf at a top course into £/hour then it isn't really that bad value at circa £50 an hour. There are plenty of other activities I enjoy doing that cost similar as a one off.

However, there are also a lot of things that I enjoy doing that just cost the fuel it takes me to get there - such as a walk in the lakes etc.

Personally I think the most I've paid for a round is £120 and I played so horribly and was nearly in tears by the end of the round 😂. I think it put me off really shelling out big bucks!
 

The Lion

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I played RCD for £165 + caddy fee (£100) in late-April 22. This was well below their advertised rate online, but I phoned up and the lady was very accommodating.

It’s worth every penny of that, and if someone phoned me now and said there’s a 9am slot going tomorrow, I’d pay much more than that to take them up on the offer!
How did you get a reduced rate for RCD? I’m curious…
 

The Lion

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The higher the prices, the more American tourists show up! Seriously!

Check the websites for shoulder season rates and twilight prices. (Eg Saunton has various late deals through the year after 2.30 and 4pm)

Some places have a friendly members who'll sign you on😊
Going there Saturday for the first time in case you’re around. I’ve booked the morning round, but not yet the afternoon one.
 

IanM

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Are you 9.30 on West? Or later on East.

I'm meant to be playing somewhere else on Saturday. If that's cancelled, there's a possibility I could get down to sign you in for the afternoon one. But I won't know till Friday night or Saturday first thing.

Message me your info and I'll let you know. Guest rate is £50. Bit better than full whack!
 
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How did you get a reduced rate for RCD? I’m curious…

I was going to NI for a family wedding, I initially phoned them up about 3-4 months before my visit and the lady basically laughed at me and said - not a chance - we’re fully booked way beyond your visit!

The day before I travelled, I was listening to a news report on BBC which suggested Covid was on the rise again, and NI was a hotspot! I thought to myself… “what are the chances” and “why not give them a call”

So I phoned and asked if they had any cancellations for the following day - she said “how does 9.30am sound?” 😍😍😍

Then when she asked for payment, I was surprised when she asked for only £165!
I think I played on 29th April - the rate goes up on May 1st to summer rates and would have been around £300.
 

Marshy77

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Played Hollins Hall last week for £15. Looking tomorrow and it's £35. Another local course The Manor near Bradford is £37-£60!! It's never a plus £25 course!! Some ridiculous prices now the sun's come out.

Are golf clubs going to out price themselves?
 

larmen

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Played Hollins Hall last week for £15. Looking tomorrow and it's £35. Another local course The Manor near Bradford is £37-£60!! It's never a plus £25 course!! Some ridiculous prices now the sun's come out.

Are golf clubs going to out price themselves?
Maybe surge pricing to get the average to make it work out over the year?

I always thought they try to break even and make money in the range and bar.
 
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