Should clubs offer reduced green fees for UK golfers ?

sunshine

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
4,929
Visit site
They could cut their outgoings to match reduced income…I doubt any would go under.

Strikes me that too many top clubs - especially the older great clubs, not just championship clubs - have entered into a pact with the golfer (perhaps most often from US/Japan) who has the money, and expects the course to be in immaculate condition - with fairways like Axminster carpets and greens like billiard tables. These things are not necessary, but having gone down that route the clubs then have to charge what they do to maintain that standard - it is a self-perpetuating cycle of increasing cost leading to increased expectations leading to increased costs.

And it is not necessary.

When I have played great (and the better) courses I am looking for what the course architect and nature has set me as a challenge. I do not need perfect fairways and greens to enjoy the glory of Perthshire when playing the challenge Braid set for us at Gleneagles, or the beauty and challenges of the links landscapes of Ayrshire or East Lothian. I quite simply do not.

Reduce visitor greens fees; accept reduced income; cut costs; let the course evolve and return back to what it was even just 30-40yrs ago, a time when green fees for the championship courses were relatively high…but they were also relatively affordable.

How would you feel if the board of your club announced that they were going to make the course worse and go backwards? No more investment in drainage etc. You love posting about the improvement projects at your club but above you’re suggesting other clubs shouldn’t try to improve.
 

sunshine

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
4,929
Visit site
I played football at The Valley once, does that count?
What league were they in at the time?

I went to Charlton v Arsenal invincibles and got to go on the pitch before kick off, it felt pretty special standing next to Henry and Vieira (both much taller than I expected). I then played at the Valley the following week. I’ve lived the dream 🤣
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,195
Visit site
How would you feel if the board of your club announced that they were going to make the course worse and go backwards? No more investment in drainage etc. You love posting about the improvement projects at your club but above you’re suggesting other clubs shouldn’t try to improve.
I totally accept that this is true, and I know that my club has to continue to develop and improve our offering - both to provide vfm for visitors and also, and more importantly, to keep us an attractive proposition for prospective and existing members in a very competitive local area market. I am not sure that the very top clubs, and it is these clubs we are talking about here, face quite the same membership pressures - maybe they do.
 

sunshine

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
4,929
Visit site
Almost all of these courses are privately owned. Can’t blame the owners for maximising revenue. Why would you charge someone £100 when someone else is prepared to pay £200 for the same thing. There’s only a finite number of tee times available.

The exception is St Andrews, which is effectively a charity if my understanding is correct. As the historical home of golf I feel they have an obligation to remain more accessible to the world instead of trying to maximise tourist revenue to keep fees cheap for the members.

They should focus on maximising commercial revenue eg merchandise. However I get the impression that the Trust that run the courses are selfishly ramping up green fees to keep golf cheap for themselves and their pals.
 

sunshine

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
4,929
Visit site
I totally accept that this is true, and I know that my club has to continue to develop and improve our offering - both to provide vfm for visitors and also, and more importantly, to keep us an attractive proposition for prospective and existing members in a very competitive local area market. I am not sure that the very top clubs, and it is these clubs we are talking about here, face quite the same membership pressures - maybe they do.
Of course they face the same pressure. They need to be at the very top condition to host the Open and other tournaments
 

Orikoru

Tour Winner
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
24,800
Location
Watford
Visit site
What league were they in at the time?

I went to Charlton v Arsenal invincibles and got to go on the pitch before kick off, it felt pretty special standing next to Henry and Vieira (both much taller than I expected). I then played at the Valley the following week. I’ve lived the dream 🤣
I can't recall the exact date, it was around 2007 to 2008 so they were either just about still in the Prem or recently relegated to the Championship. It was a charity match organised by my work against another company we worked with. We got absolutely battered, sure it was 8-0 or something. 😂
 

Jigger

Club Champion
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
1,760
Visit site
Argument 1. Clubs are a business and they will charge what they can get away with to stay profitable.
Argument 2. These high fees are driven by rich foreigners wanting the experience and putting the courses out of reach for most golfers.

I’ve been lucky enough to play royal Lytham for £50 members guest and Hoylake on a £40 members guest this year whereas they’re both go up to around £350 as a visitor. I would definitely like to see a UK wide club member/country card scheme that found a middle ground between these fees, even if it was limited to certain tee times and balloted.
 

RedEyes

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2023
Messages
30
Location
Liverpool
Visit site
Any members of Royal Liverpool or Birkdale on here who can sign me in? :cool::ROFLMAO:
I might treat myself to one of the above when the big 50 comes around in 3 years time...or I could have a week away in the Algarve instead 🙃
 

Banchory Buddha

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
2,001
Visit site
Argument 1. Clubs are a business and they will charge what they can get away with to stay profitable.
Argument 2. These high fees are driven by rich foreigners wanting the experience and putting the courses out of reach for most golfers.

I’ve been lucky enough to play royal Lytham for £50 members guest and Hoylake on a £40 members guest this year whereas they’re both go up to around £350 as a visitor. I would definitely like to see a UK wide club member/country card scheme that found a middle ground between these fees, even if it was limited to certain tee times and balloted.
Why?

Why should someone from Truro expect a discount at Thurso?

I should point out I'm not a member of one of these destination courses, but if I was I'd be a bit pee'd off if someone came the length of the UK and got on cheaply. I do however think local postcode discounts are fair enough, but there seems no appetite from these clubs generally, which is not surprising
 

sunshine

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
4,929
Visit site
Why?

Why should someone from Truro expect a discount at Thurso?

I should point out I'm not a member of one of these destination courses, but if I was I'd be a bit pee'd off if someone came the length of the UK and got on cheaply. I do however think local postcode discounts are fair enough, but there seems no appetite from these clubs generally, which is not surprising

Why?

Why should someone paying thousands to be a member at Loch Lomond (for example) feel the need to let other people have a discount just because they live nearby?
 

KenL

Tour Rookie
Joined
Dec 3, 2014
Messages
6,445
Location
East Lothian
Visit site
Why?

Why should someone paying thousands to be a member at Loch Lomond (for example) feel the need to let other people have a discount just because they live nearby?
Because it is good for the game?

I lived in Hawaii for a bit in the late 90s. Over there, there is a locals rate for lots of things, not just golf. Hotel rates was a big one we used.
It keeps local people interested in using local facilities, such as golf courses.
To those who don't agree, it is not like people are getting on for nothing.
Kings Barns Scottish resident rate is about £165, still a lot to pay and you can only book 2 weeks in advance. No doubt most of the times are booked out so you are unlikely to get on in the summmer
 

GB72

Money List Winner
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
14,344
Location
Rutland
Visit site
Why?

Why should someone paying thousands to be a member at Loch Lomond (for example) feel the need to let other people have a discount just because they live nearby?

I would not be so worried about places like Loch Lomond but as being able to play the same courses as the greats is a selling point of golf there is an argument to be had that Open venues perhaps should have a local rate
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 23270

Guest
One thing I would like to see is the qualification for county cards being changed. In my county everyone gets one as part of their county subs but most of the top clubs don't accept them. Seems unfair to me that members of clubs that don't accept county cards can still get one and play other peoples courses.

If your club doesn't accept them then you can't get one either.
 

Banchory Buddha

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
2,001
Visit site
Why?

Why should someone paying thousands to be a member at Loch Lomond (for example) feel the need to let other people have a discount just because they live nearby?
I admit this one is coming from a Scottish viewpoint as my time in England I found golf very different, but generally local clubs up here help each other out, support each other, certyianly I can equally see your argument that discounts are basically bad for club members.

As someone who only ever plays other clubs in opens or matches, I don't have a dog in the fight either way
 

sunshine

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
4,929
Visit site
I admit this one is coming from a Scottish viewpoint as my time in England I found golf very different, but generally local clubs up here help each other out, support each other, certyianly I can equally see your argument that discounts are basically bad for club members.

As someone who only ever plays other clubs in opens or matches, I don't have a dog in the fight either way

I would love it if the top courses offered discounts for UK golfers, I think current price escalation is nuts. But I can't see any rationale why they should.

It's a bit like the county card scheme. Fantastic deal if you are a member at a muni and can get on Muirfield for a guest rate, not much reciprocol benefit to Muirfield members receiving a discount at the local muni.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,195
Visit site
Leisure time comparison…as a mate is going on Thursday with his daughter…tickets for Madonna at the O2 going for £47-£432. You choose the seat - you choose the course.
 

Crazyface

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
6,930
Location
Cheshire
Visit site
Not only that. The comments you read from some of these yanks are in line with "and it's not very expensive either". I clearly live on another planet as these folks! :ROFLMAO:
I've always wondered about the pay scales in the USA. If you watch old sit coms when they mention money it's usually can you lend me / I'll bet you / or whatever 50 dollars. And that years ago would still equate to 25 quid. Where as we would bet / lend a fiver. Now these are from years ago. So now there is parity in the dollar v pound, so increase the 50 to say 75 for inflation and now 75 dollars is the same as 75 quid, so the yanks think 75 quid is loose change.
Well, that how I see it, and it maybe confirms it with the yanks thinking our top courses are cheap to play.
 
D

Deleted member 23270

Guest
I've always wondered about the pay scales in the USA. If you watch old sit coms when they mention money it's usually can you lend me / I'll bet you / or whatever 50 dollars. And that years ago would still equate to 25 quid. Where as we would bet / lend a fiver. Now these are from years ago. So now there is parity in the dollar v pound, so increase the 50 to say 75 for inflation and now 75 dollars is the same as 75 quid, so the yanks think 75 quid is loose change.
Well, that how I see it, and it maybe confirms it with the yanks thinking our top courses are cheap to play.
I don't think as a general rule Americans earn more than us but those working as bankers/doctors/dentists/lawyers all seem to have much more disposable income than over here. I've played with many Americans over the years and for them to come over and spend $5-10k on a week long trip is often no big deal. I looked at a job in IT over there and the salary was a bit higher but nothing significant.
 
Top