Golf that hurts your wallet

Golf Magazine has a brief piece in their August issue extolling the virtues of a new course – Pound Ridge Golf Club – near New York City. The article says that the opening of this new high-end course “gives New York public golf something to brag about”.

I wonder who is doing the bragging. The green fees are $235 a round. I wouldn’t think that this is a course that is going to see a lot of local usage unless they are giving deep discounts.

What the hell is it with these inflated green fees? Have we been conditioned to believe that a golf course is somehow substandard unless you are paying through your nose?

On top of the high-end fees it seems that it has also become important for the course to beat the hell out of you. Course reviews in the golf magazines love to tell you how this new 7,500-yard gem will leave you whipped and beaten at the end of the 18 holes.

And apparently you can’t build a respectable course that isn’t longer than 7,000 yards from the tips. China has a par 72 course that measures 8,548 yards. What kind of masochist plays an 8,000-yard golf course? What’s the point of building one other than to use up a bunch of land in the process? Stupid question. The point being, I presume, that if you have an 8,000-yard course it obviously must be worth more to play than a lowly 6,500-yard course; Even though the vast majority of golfers are pushing their limits to play off those 6,500-yard tees.

Maybe it’s a form of madness. Pebble Beach is charging $495 (plus cart if you’re not staying at the resort) a round and apparently has no problems filling out their tee times. Spyglass Hill is $330 plus cart and Bandon Dunes, out in the middle of nowhere is $260 a round during the prime time season. And those are just a three examples. Plus there are literally countless courses in the $150 range, which the golf magazines seem to think is a reasonable amount for the traveling golfer to pay. Their opinion, not mine.

The first time that I went to Phoenix, which is many years ago, I made up my mind that I was going to play the Troon North course. As I recall, green fees were $120 then. But then I played Papago, the Phoenix muni for about $20 and loved the course. I figured 6 times at Papago was better than one game at Troon North any day, so I never did play it. I don’t know what Troon North plays for now other than the fact that it’s out of my comfort range. But I’m willing to bet that the 6:1 ratio still holds.

Whatever; different horses for different courses, or something like that. I’ll leave those courses to those who can justify the fees.

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One Response to “Golf that hurts your wallet”

  1. Golf Training Ebook Reviews Says:

    well like everything else.. the most expensive is not always the best!!

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