Extortionate green fees!

Arthur Wedge

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I didn't suggest increasing fees, all I wrote was rather pay more for membership and have bigger flexibility with my tee times.
Just had a quick look on the brs and today we had 30 tee times with visitors tomorrow we have 33.
I've joined the club post covid when travelling wasn't allowed and it was milioners golf.
Last 2 summers were horrible to play 5h rounds on the course that shouldn't take longer than 3/3.5.
Because of that I will be joining Trump Aberdeen as a 2nd course, it's not so busy.
When you play 4/5 times a week you don't want to wait 5 minutes between your every shot

Always a balance - whilst you maybe willing to spend a lot more on membership to reduce green fees there will be others on the other side of the fence that if they increased membership fees they wouldn’t be able to justify the fees
 

Mandofred

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Do you not socialise with others 🤷‍♂️

We go to the pub to have a meal out, a few drinks with friends , a party , etc
Not much socializing.....no. My wife and I are mostly hermits. One of the reasons I play golf is for the socializing.....gets me out of the house. Eating out is expensive.....we can afford it, we just choose not to. Like I've said, everybody spends money on what works for them. I won't pay £50+ to play a round of golf....I don't care how nice the course is. Others, no problem spending a lot more than that. In the last couple of years I don't know how much money I've spent to keep the local trails clear for others......the brushcutter I use cost me £700.
 

mikejohnchapman

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We at Golf Monthly may be part of the problem. By identifying the Top 100 it increases focus on these courses and encourages them to raise their prices for both membership and visitors. Particularly true for overseas visitors who only want to play top courses and by comparison are often cheap and accessible in comparison. (USA, Japan, Korea, Germany, Scandinavia, etc),

There is also the concept that a rising tide floats all boats. When there is an open in the area all the local courses tend to increase their green fees to exploit the publicity. So when Royal Liverpool got the Open their green fees went north of £300 you can bet that Birkdale and Lytham went to a similar level and the final qualifying courses in the area floated up to £250+. Not just the north west - other areas do the same.
 

howbow88

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You don't need to play prestigious courses.
There are plenty of affordable courses around which provide an enjoyable test of golf.
What does playing a famous course give you, apart from a nicely manicured layout and bragging rights?
I think the big problem is that the lesser known/lesser quality venues are also putting their prices way up. There are so many bang average courses where I live that are charging double the price compared to pre-Covid.

It is what it is but when the popularity of golf inevitably wanes, a fair number of these clubs will be wondering why, and not realising that they've contributed to it.
 

Backache

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I think the big problem is that the lesser known/lesser quality venues are also putting their prices way up. There are so many bang average courses where I live that are charging double the price compared to pre-Covid.

It is what it is but when the popularity of golf inevitably wanes, a fair number of these clubs will be wondering why, and not realising that they've contributed to it.
It's an interesting point, I do suspect that pre Covid a lot of courses had very low fees just to bring in some income when they were struggling.

When I started playing golf though getting membership was very difficult with most clubs being full and multi year waiting lists where I lived and a lot of the popular clubs having closed waiting lists, however it wasn't that expensive to play even taking into account inflation.
 

sunshine

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How can you have the audacity to question how someone else chooses to spend his money or live his life????? For all you know he might have friends and family over or go and see them regularly instead

You've totally missed the point here. Feels like you're jumping in just to criticise the poster.

Personally I'd rather not shell out £8 a pint, but if I want to catch up with friends in central London or go for a drink with colleagues after work, that's how much it costs.
 

mikejohnchapman

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It's an interesting point, I do suspect that pre Covid a lot of courses had very low fees just to bring in some income when they were struggling.

When I started playing golf though getting membership was very difficult with most clubs being full and multi year waiting lists where I lived and a lot of the popular clubs having closed waiting lists, however it wasn't that expensive to play even taking into account inflation.
A very good point. With weaker courses closing we are back to the "bad old days" of full membership and joining fees. The members want to play so the number of tee time for visitors is limited and prices rise to generate revenue.
 

sunshine

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There is also the concept that a rising tide floats all boats.

This is exactly what is happening, and it's simple supply and demand. I understand why any golf course or business would want to maximise revenue. Make hay will the sun shines etc.

Inflation has been 10%, so it would make sense that green fees rise 10%. The problem is that some courses have increased fees 100% over the last couple of years, so the affordability has massively dropped off. Long term that's going to drive away new golfers and create a lack of demand in the future... but that is several years away and businesses don't think that far ahead.
 

Tashyboy

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been out for a walk with another. Ouple who did the north coast 500 a couple of weeks ago. Stayed on a site near Royal Dornoch. Said it looked gorgeous. For £300 a round, Lordy Lordy. Had a look at Castle Stewart where I played last year, another 300. What my mate did say was he was at Caharnoray point looking at the dolphins and that the course on that point looked very nice. Anyone played it as it does look very nice on Google earth.
 

Backache

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been out for a walk with another. Ouple who did the north coast 500 a couple of weeks ago. Stayed on a site near Royal Dornoch. Said it looked gorgeous. For £300 a round, Lordy Lordy. Had a look at Castle Stewart where I played last year, another 300. What my mate did say was he was at Caharnoray point looking at the dolphins and that the course on that point looked very nice. Anyone played it as it does look very nice on Google earth.
Think that will be Fortrose &Rosemarkie, I played it around 35 yrs ago at £5 a round, which was great value, it's a very pleasant links course and is now £95 for a round.
 

rulie

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Maybe these high prices for visitors are protecting tee times for members? Or the revenue from the green fees will help keep subscription increases lower?
Or is it that's what they can and will charge because some will pay it?
 

Wabinez

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revenue from the green fees will help keep subscription increases lower?
Or is it that's what they can and will charge because some will pay it?
Little of option A, little of option B.

If clubs had no visitors, membership prices would go up pretty substantially.
With visitors, if you can charge more money and not lose income, then absolutely you will.

If you ran your own business, you’d want to charge more for your product to make more money
 

howbow88

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This is exactly what is happening, and it's simple supply and demand. I understand why any golf course or business would want to maximise revenue. Make hay will the sun shines etc.

Inflation has been 10%, so it would make sense that green fees rise 10%. The problem is that some courses have increased fees 100% over the last couple of years, so the affordability has massively dropped off. Long term that's going to drive away new golfers and create a lack of demand in the future... but that is several years away and businesses don't think that far ahead.
I could not agree with this more.

Yes golf clubs should make money, but they should do their best to think about 12 years down the line instead of 12 months.
 
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I could not agree with this more.

Yes golf clubs should make money, but they should do their best to think about 12 years down the line instead of 12 months.
The read I take from my club is energy prices have shot up so much - way above 10% - and they need to do what they can right now to keep the lights on (literally).
To save the membership subs going through the roof they have put up green fees substantially. This is short term thinking, but it is the right now they need to get past. If they left green fees and upped membership fees by a lot then they would likely lose a lot of members and would be in a net worse position.
I’m not saying it’s the same for some courses but not all courses are profiteering
 

VVega

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Hot take: visitor fees do not cover much expenditure of the club, therefore are driven up by other factors.

E.g. at our club the visitor fee income is about 10% of the clubs expenditure.

Also by raising the membership rates by 12% we can cover all of visitors income and have the course just for members. I’d imagine quite a few members would be more than happy with this option.
 

D-S

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Hot take: visitor fees do not cover much expenditure of the club, therefore are driven up by other factors.

E.g. at our club the visitor fee income is about 10% of the clubs expenditure.

Also by raising the membership rates by 12% we can cover all of visitors income and have the course just for members. I’d imagine quite a few members would be more than happy with this option.
It entirely depends on the number of members and price of green fees.
A very small number of members allows a lot more time for visitors (Rolls of Monmouth springs to mind).
Very high green fees or a high proportion of visitor to member tee times will contribute a significant slice of revenue.
Every club has a different business model from pay and play (100% visitor fee income) to member’s guest only (visitor income a tiny fraction of revenue).
Clubs with more than one course have different models again and frequently due to larger availability of tee times visitor income is a larger share of overall income than one course clubs.
 

moogie

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Hot take: visitor fees do not cover much expenditure of the club, therefore are driven up by other factors.

E.g. at our club the visitor fee income is about 10% of the clubs expenditure.

Also by raising the membership rates by 12% we can cover all of visitors income and have the course just for members. I’d imagine quite a few members would be more than happy with this option.

I'd happily pay more, at my current club, to have less or indeed zero visitors.

Large membership, and plenty visitors, busiest course I've ever been a member at.....😏
Busy last year, but busier this year

Something gotta change
Or a rethink ( for me )
 

VVega

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Clubs with more than one course have different models again and frequently due to larger availability of tee times visitor income is a larger share of overall income than one course clubs.
Of course, every club has a different ratio of visitor income/expenditure, but I’d imagine a lot would be close to the numbers I quoted.

Also, FWIW these are from a club with two courses 🙃 While two courses allow more visitors in theory they do require more maintenance/ expenditure.
 

sunshine

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There is also the concept that a rising tide floats all boats.

This is exactly what is happening, and it's simple supply and demand. I understand why any golf course or business would want to maximise revenue. Make hay will the sun shines etc.

Inflation has been 10%, so it would make sense that green fees rise 10%. The problem is that some courses have increased fees 100% over the last couple of years, so the affordability has massively dropped off. Long term that's going to drive away new golfers and create a lack of demand in the future... but that is several years away and businesses don't think that far ahead.
Hot take: visitor fees do not cover much expenditure of the club, therefore are driven up by other factors.

E.g. at our club the visitor fee income is about 10% of the clubs expenditure.

Also by raising the membership rates by 12% we can cover all of visitors income and have the course just for members. I’d imagine quite a few members would be more than happy with this option.

Somewhere like Troon, one 4 ball of visitors probably pays more than the annual subscription for members. Set aside 2 hours per day Monday to Friday for visitors and that probably covers all expenditure of the club.
 
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