Should clubs offer reduced green fees for UK golfers ?

MadAdey

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I believe that part of the swell in American visitor numbers can be put down to the YouTube crowd (No Laying Up, Good Good, Eric Anders Lang, etc, etc) playing UK courses and highlighting how cheap and accessible they are compared to US courses.

There are a lot of wealthy Americans more than happy to make a one-off or even an annual or trip to play these historic and great courses.

Without a doubt this is causing the problem. A lot of the top courses we all would love to play in America require you to stay onsite in one the crazy priced hotels they have. With the hotel and 1 round of golf you can be dropping close to a grand. To play a high quality local course can be costing you over a ton a round. I live in North Carolina and if I wanted to go somewhere else in America for 7 days playing golf it is actually cheaper to fly home to England and play. If I wanted to go play pebble beach and spyglass I have to also book 2 nights in one of their hotels. So golf and hotel for 2 nights is going to be over 2 grand. For that I can get a cheap B&B in St Andrews and play the Old Course, Carnoustie and throw in some more great courses in too probably. The cost of flights from here to Scotland is about the same as getting to Pebble beach.
 

D-S

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Without a doubt this is causing the problem. A lot of the top courses we all would love to play in America require you to stay onsite in one the crazy priced hotels they have. With the hotel and 1 round of golf you can be dropping close to a grand. To play a high quality local course can be costing you over a ton a round. I live in North Carolina and if I wanted to go somewhere else in America for 7 days playing golf it is actually cheaper to fly home to England and play. If I wanted to go play pebble beach and spyglass I have to also book 2 nights in one of their hotels. So golf and hotel for 2 nights is going to be over 2 grand. For that I can get a cheap B&B in St Andrews and play the Old Course, Carnoustie and throw in some more great courses in too probably. The cost of flights from here to Scotland is about the same as getting to Pebble beach.
Agreed, but those courses you want to play (the Open Rota plus the likes of Kingsbarns and all the famous Irish courses, Ballybunion, Portmarnock etc.) can and should get a lot of international visitors and can command ‘international’ rates.
I think the main issue is that a lot of second half top England or Scotland or Wales top 100 courses seem bizarrely to have raised their rates because those in the top half get international trade. Not a lot of Americans playing the likes of Ferndown or Parkstone in Bournemouth for example - they are not on their radar but they have doubled their prices, as have the likes of Saunton, Burnham and St.Enedoc - good tracks but on few people’s bucket list.
 

MadAdey

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Agreed, but those courses you want to play (the Open Rota plus the likes of Kingsbarns and all the famous Irish courses, Ballybunion, Portmarnock etc.) can and should get a lot of international visitors and can command ‘international’ rates.
I think the main issue is that a lot of second half top England or Scotland or Wales top 100 courses seem bizarrely to have raised their rates because those in the top half get international trade. Not a lot of Americans playing the likes of Ferndown or Parkstone in Bournemouth for example - they are not on their radar but they have doubled their prices, as have the likes of Saunton, Burnham and St.Enedoc - good tracks but on few people’s bucket list.

Even with the price hikes it is still cheaper to play golf in the UK. That was something that shocked me when I moved here, golf is damn expensive over here. If I wanted a tee time on a Saturday morning at a average local course it is going to cost around the $60-$80 mark. Go play somewhere nice and that jumps up to $100+.
 

Slab

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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

I'm sure your club will be doing more than that. Setting prices based on what others charge isn't market research nor is it the right way to set prices
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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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.
Snap…around the same time - maybe a year earlier, me and my mate Duncan decided to play Gleneagles as a change from our own tracks (me East Ren, he Elderslie) - so we popped up very early one Saturday without booking (though we had called to check previous day) and got a morning round on the Prince‘s and an afternoon round on the King’s, £13 for the day IIRC. Lunch and a pint in an Auchterarder pub. A grand day out.
 
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louise_a

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Without a doubt this is causing the problem. A lot of the top courses we all would love to play in America require you to stay onsite in one the crazy priced hotels they have. With the hotel and 1 round of golf you can be dropping close to a grand. To play a high quality local course can be costing you over a ton a round. I live in North Carolina and if I wanted to go somewhere else in America for 7 days playing golf it is actually cheaper to fly home to England and play. If I wanted to go play pebble beach and spyglass I have to also book 2 nights in one of their hotels. So golf and hotel for 2 nights is going to be over 2 grand. For that I can get a cheap B&B in St Andrews and play the Old Course, Carnoustie and throw in some more great courses in too probably. The cost of flights from here to Scotland is about the same as getting to Pebble beach.
A cheap B&B in St Andrews! cost me £125 per night when I went last year, the price of those has practically doubled in the last 6 years
 

Banchory Buddha

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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:
Haven't they just. Edzell (a course I love, sorry Edzell folks) charged £20 for the Mens Open last year, but £30 for their Seniors open :oops:

Just one example, and just as I've become eligible for senior opens :LOL:
 

MadAdey

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A cheap B&B in St Andrews! cost me £125 per night when I went last year, the price of those has practically doubled in the last 6 years
But when a lot of the big courses over here require you to stay on course at one of the hotels that can cost anything from 300 upwards a night depending on where your playing, 125 isn't too bad.
 

MadAdey

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it is too much for me.
125 is a lot to me too, especially if you go there for 5 nights. But take pebble beach, because you have to stay 2 night at the resort then have 1 round on pebble beach it costs about $2500, for 1 round of golf. Add in a round on spyglass the day you arrive and a round at spanish bay the day you leave and your now at over $3000!!!! that gets you 2 night hotel and 3 rounds. So if you stay at that bnb for 125, for Americans that is peanuts in comparison.
 

louise_a

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125 is a lot to me too, especially if you go there for 5 nights. But take pebble beach, because you have to stay 2 night at the resort then have 1 round on pebble beach it costs about $2500, for 1 round of golf. Add in a round on spyglass the day you arrive and a round at spanish bay the day you leave and your now at over $3000!!!! that gets you 2 night hotel and 3 rounds. So if you stay at that bnb for 125, for Americans that is peanuts in comparison.
All the top courses are out of my price range unless there are opens, fortunately I have been fortunate enough to play quite a few of the open venues over here at much reduced prices
 

MadAdey

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All the top courses are out of my price range unless there are opens, fortunately I have been fortunate enough to play quite a few of the open venues over here at much reduced prices
golf is definitely becoming an expensive game. One of my all time favorites is the Hotchkin, I just nearly had a heart attack when I looked at the green fees there now. I remember when a hundred quid would get you a round and still have change for a bite to eat afterwards. I can't believe it's over 200 now. Last time I was home in the summer I played with my brother a few times and courses that use to be 30 or 40 quid at the weekends are now asking over 60.
 
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