Should clubs offer reduced green fees for UK golfers ?

williamalex1

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If inflation averaged 5% each year, £12 35 years ago would now be £66.19
Back in 1981 when British Rail owned them, we only paid £14 for 2 rounds at Gleneagles 1 round on the King's 1 round on the old Glendevon course, but morning roll on sausage or bacon cost an eye-watering £5.
St Andrews only cost £14.
 

The Lion

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With all the discussion on this thread and others about the cost of playing a green fee to play the recognised better, never mind the best and championship courses, I had cause to pause and ponder when going through a couple of boxes of old score cards and course planners this weekend.

There in amongst it all was my receipt for a round at Blairgowrie Rosemount - 22nd August 1988. It was £12. It’s now £140. I can’t remember back then whether I felt £12 was a lot or not. That said I balk at paying £140, and when I finished work couple of years back I most certainly was not earning near 12x salary of back then.

But would I pay £140. Prrrrrobably, but certainly not definitely.

It’s appalling the level of greed of these clubs. Golf has become so expensive in the mid range and above brackets that you wonder how much the sport will suffer in the next downturn.

Even many average clubs charge £50-70 a round rack rate in summer now too.
 

KenL

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It’s appalling the level of greed of these clubs. Golf has become so expensive in the mid range and above brackets that you wonder how much the sport will suffer in the next downturn.

Even many average clubs charge £50-70 a round rack rate in summer now too.
Is it greed or are they keeping their fees low for their members?
 

HomerJSimpson

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Is it greed or are they keeping their fees low for their members?
Bit of both. We are looking at trying to increase green fee traffic and society bookings for the revenue they bring and have increased green fees. It's a balancing act trying to be competitive without being too expensive and not attracting the visitor numbers intended and also trying to fit them into booking slots and not upsetting too many members. If they get it right then we're keeping fees down as we're getting enough additional revenue. If not then of course the members will have to pay more if they want the quality of course
 

The Lion

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Is it greed or are they keeping their fees low for their members?
I’d respectfully disagree here; except in Scotland, North Wales, Cumbria and the North East, membership fees are largely rather high across the board.
 
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The higher the price the more likely the Septics are to play it.
So getting more people on at a higher price. Simple economics.
 

The Lion

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Bit of both. We are looking at trying to increase green fee traffic and society bookings for the revenue they bring and have increased green fees. It's a balancing act trying to be competitive without being too expensive and not attracting the visitor numbers intended and also trying to fit them into booking slots and not upsetting too many members. If they get it right then we're keeping fees down as we're getting enough additional revenue. If not then of course the members will have to pay more if they want the quality of course

Surely increasing green fees well above already high inflation (as so many have done) during the hardest times for decades is not the best way to attract more visitors and societies.

I’ve seen countless posts on social media by many different organisers talking about how hard it’s become to organise an affordable society day out, given the ridiculous rises in fees. As a result, many societies have folded.

Indeed many here on GMF have talked about the same issue, including the organisers of Forum events.

I just don’t see this being sustainable much longer. Yet for many clubs, the above inflation fee rises are continuing. I’ve seen plenty of 10%+ rises for green fees for this summer; that can’t be sustainable.
 

williamalex1

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Is it greed or are they keeping their fees low for their members?
Top class courses dont really need the money, so they can raise their prices and know most will still pay.
IMHO lesser clubs might regret raising their visitor fees too much and could lose out on bar and food sales.
Some of our senior opens have increased substantially.
But still cheap compared to down south.:whistle:
 

The Lion

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The higher the price the more likely the Septics are to play it.
So getting more people on at a higher price. Simple economics.
Are you referring to the point which is often made about Americans playing Scottish and Irish links; namely that they won’t play the course unless it’s expensive, ideally north of £100, assuming it’s not very good if it’s cheap…
 

SteveW86

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Are you referring to the point which is often made about Americans playing Scottish and Irish links; namely that they won’t play the course unless it’s expensive, ideally north of £100, assuming it’s not very good if it’s cheap…

All the good courses are pretty much fully booked with societies, so I don’t think they have reached the point they need to think about their fees yet.

It’s an extreme example, but look at Sunningdale, £500+ for the day if you have a group of 24. They will fill every tee slot I imagine
 

HomerJSimpson

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Surely increasing green fees well above already high inflation (as so many have done) during the hardest times for decades is not the best way to attract more visitors and societies.

I’ve seen countless posts on social media by many different organisers talking about how hard it’s become to organise an affordable society day out, given the ridiculous rises in fees. As a result, many societies have folded.

Indeed many here on GMF have talked about the same issue, including the organisers of Forum events.

I just don’t see this being sustainable much longer. Yet for many clubs, the above inflation fee rises are continuing. I’ve seen plenty of 10%+ rises for green fees for this summer; that can’t be sustainable.
Like I said its a balancing act for the directors and general manager to sort. I know they have conducted some market research on a range of areas (beer prices, food, green fees, buggy hire etc) compared to our local competition so assume they have fixed a price based on that, the conditioning of the course especially as we are halfway through a four year bunker renovation project. Get it wrong and we won't get the traffic and the revenue and come the AGM the members will be asking some very direct questions. I haven't checked the latest prices but I am sure it won't be massively over the inflation rate
 

The Lion

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All the good courses are pretty much fully booked with societies, so I don’t think they have reached the point they need to think about their fees yet.

It’s an extreme example, but look at Sunningdale, £500+ for the day if you have a group of 24. They will fill every tee slot I imagine
I’m seriously wondering where all the money is coming from, given the huge increases.

It could be they have less slots available so the smaller numbers going on society events are sufficient to take up the slots they allocate.
 

The Lion

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Like I said its a balancing act for the directors and general manager to sort. I know they have conducted some market research on a range of areas (beer prices, food, green fees, buggy hire etc) compared to our local competition so assume they have fixed a price based on that, the conditioning of the course especially as we are halfway through a four year bunker renovation project. Get it wrong and we won't get the traffic and the revenue and come the AGM the members will be asking some very direct questions. I haven't checked the latest prices but I am sure it won't be massively over the inflation rate

Can appreciate clubs wishing to improve courses. Personally I’d sacrifice manicured fairways (which aren’t a good thing environmentally due to the input required) for reasonable fees. So long as the greens, surrounds and run ups are decent, then the courses are good for me.

Interesting you mention beer prices! They’re another commodity along with golf fees which seem to be through the roof. £5 a pint always astonishes me! Which club are you at, would you mind me asking?
 

HomerJSimpson

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Can appreciate clubs wishing to improve courses. Personally I’d sacrifice manicured fairways (which aren’t a good thing environmentally due to the input required) for reasonable fees. So long as the greens, surrounds and run ups are decent, then the courses are good for me.

Interesting you mention beer prices! They’re another commodity along with golf fees which seem to be through the roof. £5 a pint always astonishes me! Which club are you at, would you mind me asking?
Royal Ascot. San Miguel is £5.40 which is comparable to the pubs in Reading, Bracknell and Ascot but with members discount we only pay £4.59
 

KenL

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All the good courses are pretty much fully booked with societies, so I don’t think they have reached the point they need to think about their fees yet.

It’s an extreme example, but look at Sunningdale, £500+ for the day if you have a group of 24. They will fill every tee slot I imagine
I don't think the good members clubs up here generally take societies. Certainly, there are not often large groups that I have seen.
 

The Lion

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Royal Ascot. San Miguel is £5.40 which is comparable to the pubs in Reading, Bracknell and Ascot but with members discount we only pay £4.59
That’s not too bad. We used to pay £1.80 for a pint of lager or ale as teens back in the late 90s. Can’t believe that wasn’t so long ago!
 

The Lion

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I don't think the good members clubs up here generally take societies. Certainly, there are not often large groups that I have seen.
Most still do fair-priced opens though, thankfully. Have played a good few bargain opens in Scotland in recent times.

Wales, Midlands and the North are also good for opens that don’t break the bank, including many individual opens, although here on the overpriced “Golf Coast” that’s sadly changing rapidly.
 

KenL

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Most still do fair-priced opens though, thankfully. Have played a good few bargain opens in Scotland in recent times.

Wales, Midlands and the North are also good for opens that don’t break the bank, including many individual opens, although here on the overpriced “Golf Coast” that’s sadly changing rapidly.
Dunbar gents open goes live on 5/2 and senior open on 19/2. Over 60 years old only.
 
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