In Golf, You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For

You know what’s a welcome relief?  When, after you finish your round, you can say to yourself “that course was worth it.”  Too many times, this is simply not the case.  Think about how many times you’ve shown up to a course and paid your fees, only to head out to a course full of beat up fairways, chewed up tee boxes and greens that look like they’ve been maintained with a Zamboni.  Such is the case, especially later in the golf season here in the northeast, when the weather and conditions are somewhat unfavorable for golf course maintenance.  But sometimes, just the opposite happens.  Sometimes, you get more than what’s expected.

Such was the case for me this past Sunday morning.  One of my boys recommended we play a course which I’ve never played before, despite being only a town over.  Checking out the website, I see that for the two of us to play nine holes and ride, it’s only $44.  So needless to say, I’m not expecting a very good experience, especially at this time of year.  But I was wrong.  Turns out, we may have found a hidden gem.

So as great as it turned out to be, it makes me wonder what is wrong with all of these other courses.  Last week, I played another nine hole course,  But there, I paid roughly the same amount (per person) and walked the course.  More importantly, the conditions of the course weren’t nearly as good as what I played on Sunday morning.  So why am I paying more?  Your fairways are a bit beaten up, the greens are a bit chewed and the course is not even close to what it should be.  So how can you charge me what you’re charging me?  Shouldn’t I get a break?

In my entire golf career, I can only remember one or two courses giving us a break on the greens fees due to the course conditions.  Why wouldn’t more courses do something like this?  I mean, with any other product, if the condition is not what it should be, you pay less for it.  Why is that not the same for golf courses?  See, if you were charging me $50 to play your course but it looks like crap, I’m not going to show up.  However, if I show up and see the course looks crappy, but you’re only going to charge me $40 instead of $50…well, now you have a satisfied customer.  I’d be much more likely to come back and pay the full price at a later date.

So maybe a little something for more courses to consider.  If you know your course conditions are, well, not up to par…why not offer a break to your customers until you can get things straightened out.  You may be able to potentially pull in more customers by charging less, which could turn into more return customers down the road.  It sounds a whole lot better than having golfers show up to your course, have a bad experience, and never come back, right?

Swing ’til you’re happy!


  1. Fighting Leprechaun says:

    Your comments are right on the money, although one excellent method of avoiding high greens fees for playing in less than awesome conditions is using the “Golf Now” website. (No, I’m not an employee!) Their “Hot Deals” have allowed my usual playing partner and I the opportunity to play great courses for less than half of the usual cost.

  2. Yeah, you definitely should use that. In fact if you go to some of the courses website, you can see that they even interface into their system, offering discounts straight from the horse’s mouth. It’s pretty good.

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