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Do You Remember the First Time You Paid $100 (US or More) to Play Golf?


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1 hour ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

What makes a course worth $100 for you?

I have zero problems paying 100 for a course that is designed very well with high risk reward holes and is kept in impeccable condition. I love high elevated tee boxes and undulating fairways and greens that roll fast but true, for me it's about the service as well. I like to pull up and have someone grab my clubs and put them in a cart and friendly staff is also mandatory. I look at it like there is no way I can sit in a bar for 4 to 5 hours for 100 bucks so why not spend it doing what I love?? Iam also a certified gun nut and collector of nice watches so golf for me is my cheapest vice and I would much rather pay 120 for a great track than 60 for a lousy one with stones in the bunkers and some miserable Dud working the counter and no beer cart. It's not something I do multiple times a week unless iam vacationing as I have plenty of good tracks under 75 at home and the course I live on in the Keys also happens to be the only course in the Keys and with my membership I figure I'm about 50 a round when the greens fees are 125 for non members.  Have to spend it somewhere I can't take it with me and she already got her half!! 

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I played a Japanese course in Okinawa that was really expensive. This was about 1996. We had a really nice Marine GC called Awase. As a SSgt, it cost me around 8 dollars. The Japanese nationals could only play it with an invite from active duty personnel. It's Japanese custom that if you invite someone,  you pay for them. I had invited a couple of Japanese nationals to play with myself and a buddy. They cost me somewhere around 50 bucks apiece because they were civilians. In turn, they invited us to a Japanese course and paid for us. I don't remember exactly,  but it was around 40,000 yen or 400 bucks a head.

Edited by Usmcgyrene
Left out the per person

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Over here in the UK, the equivalent £100 mark, was i played a course called Hadley Wood, in Barnet, London. designed by Alistair McKenzie (of Augusta Fame) it was a beautiful super hot day in June, 2019. the course is fantastic. its a small private members course, but they do allow  visitor tee times. if you ever get the chance while visiting London, highly recommend it.

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I played Bardmoor which used to host the JC Penny classic back in I believe the 80’s. That was 2021 and was the first time I had broke 100. I also paid 115 after the fees and glove I had to get. Glove was only like 12 bucks. 

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I have never paid $100 for a round in 50 years of golf.  I have always been able to find great discounts on various websites or twilight rates.  

I played Wolf Run 5 years back on a proshop special for $75 and got $25 back in proshop gift certificate.   I've also played Spanish Bay, Torre Pines, TPC courses, all the great Mesquite and St George courses and many AZ and Palm Spring courses. 

Since Covid, prices of golf courses are outrageous today when few years ago many munis were $35 to play and now are $65 to $75 and course conditions are same or in some cases worse.   This gouging will eventually drive golfers away.   

I remember one local course which had to be sold and we asked why they didn't discount tee times or belong to various web sites.  Manager said that's not how you run a course.  We asked him can you tell us the revenue you get from all the tee times not booked in the afternoons......he knew the answer ZERO. 

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Torrey Pines South, a couple years ago. Was in San Diego before the start of a new job with my wife, and brought my clubs to play some courses out there. Unfortunately, it rained for most days, except the last, where I was able to get on at Torrey. 
 

Got a weekday afternoon walk-up rate, but was still $150 (or so).  Was an absolute blast - the course was being prepped for the US Open that year, so I got to play in near major conditions. Was also fun to watch the tournament and compare my experience to what they faced on it. 
 

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2020 it was my second year playi g golf and we went on a trip to myrtle beach and we played TPC myrtle beach i believe it was around 120 plus 50 for the caddy. This was also the first time i had ever had a caddy which at the time i wasnt good enough to hit the ball in the direction he told me to so it was a waste of money but an awesome experience so well worth it. The few years later we went back and met Dustin Johnson there while we were eating at the club house. Not the biggest dustin fan but it was super cool none the less. Headed to traverese city in michigan this year where i will be paying way more than 100 dollars around at some courses cant wait to play acadia bluffs its a bucket list course for me.

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On 2/10/2024 at 8:05 AM, Golf2Much said:

With all this talk about inflation and the price people pay to equip themselves and play golf, I thought I'd throw out the question:  Do you remember the first time you paid $100 or more to play golf?  It might be interesting to hear when it was and the story behind it.

I remember my first time paying over a $100 for a round of golf.  I was an at-large volunteer member of an international professional society.  It was my second year on the Executive Committee and still trying to fit in.  Our summer meetings were always at a nice location, and we were encouraged to bring our spouses (sort of payback for us traveling every six weeks or so for meetings).  It was the summer of 1993.  Our meeting was at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, Michigan.  Fortunately, we had several committee members that like to play golf.  The first day we got there, we were set to play The Bear at the resort.  It was a Nicklaus signature course, once rated the 18th most difficult course in America, and it was over $100.  Back then on a young engineer's salary, that was a lot of money.  But I signed up to play, got exposed to a great golf course and had a wonderful experience. 

After the round we all met up for an outdoor cookout.  The first thing my wife said was "how it was?"  My response was "if we lived here, it would be cheaper to be addicted to cocaine than golf!"   

The strange part is that I just checked on the Grand Traverse website, and the same round of golf 31 years later is only $140.  

How about you all!  Any similar experiences or stories?  I'd love to hear them!

Interesting!

Edited by JackBDMN
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Great question @GolfSpy_APH:  what makes a course worth $100? I'll add a couple of reasons:

  • A course in impeccable shape.   I played Firestone once and noticed that even the adjacent areas (including some that were not even on their own property) were manicured and beautifully kept!
  • Views:  Like above pictures on Torrey Pines, they make the whole experience special.  Water, mountains or other natural wonders that make your look around and say to yourself "this should be a painting!"
  • History or notority:   Starting with St. Andrews and working may down the list.  Has the course hosted a professional or important amateur event there?  Was the course designed by someone known for their golf course layout skills?  Does the course have an iconic hole (e.g. 17th at TPC Sawgrass, too many holes at St. Andrews and Augusta, 18th at Pebble Beach, etc.).  Like in my hometown of Key West, people travel and pay to play the Southernmost golf course in America.  
  • Staff:  How friendly, attentive and committed to make my experience great.
  • Is it a once in a lifetime chance to play something that I typically wouldn't have had the opportunity to play?  Maybe due to friends (I had the chance to play Oak Hill in my former hometown of Rochester, NY the last day before it was shut down for the Ryder Cup in 1995) or like other, being involved in professional societies that offered up some incredible golfing opportunities.
  • If it's a bucket list course.  Everyone typically has a few that either near them that they always wanted to play, saw on TV or know through other means (e.g. Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, etc.)
  • The last thing I can think of off the top of my head:  because you have to!  You're in a situation, maybe with friends, you want to play golf and the only option is to pay $100.  Rather than miss the chance (or be embarrassed by your friends) to pay up.  

I'm sure MGS members have a bunch more reasons.

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The first -- and still the only -- time I paid more than $100 for a round of golf was for the Old Course at St. Andrews.

It was 1998 and I was on sabbatical in Dublin.  I had a long weekend in October with nothing planned so I took the short trip over to Scotland.  I had booked a tee time for Carnoustie and the Jubilee Course at St. Andrews but the Old Course would be luck of the draw.  I flew into Edinburgh in a driving rain storm, got my rental car and headed for St. Andrews.  The closer I got, the nicer the weather got.  I went straight to the Old Course to put my name on the list as a single.  When I got there, I was asked if I had my clubs with me; I said yes, and the guy said, "Go get them."  I waited 20 minutes(!) as a single walk-in to play -- and, yes, I know how lucky I was.  Got put in a group with a guy from California and two fellas from Sweden [Side bar:  Somewhere in Sweden is a picture of me in a pot bunker with only my head barely peaking over the lip.]  It was a great round, good company, wonderful course!

Carnoustie was the equivalent of about $75 at the time, and the Jubilee Course about $45.  It was an amazing weekend!

Edited by tdc1
Correct word

Driver:  Ping G425 Max (10.5º; Regular )

Fwy:  Cobra King SZ (3; Regular); Ping G410 (5; Regular)

Hybrids: Ping G410 (22º and 26º; Regular)

Irons: Cleveland Launcher XL (6-U)

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (54º/12º), and Ping Glide 3.0 Eye2 (58º/8º)

Putter:  Ping Karsten Anser X

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5 hours ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

What makes a course worth $100 for you?

Pristine from Parking lot, pro shop, first tee to final putt with great customer service, atmosphere is a exceptional quality some places that charge more but don't bring the service when others charge less and make you feel as if you've been there for years. BTW... good food and drink.

Jeff "PUTSO" Pillar

buckpillar@gmail.com

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First time I ever payed $100 or more for a round of golf was a long time ago when Nemacolin Woodlands Resort opened Mystic Rock (later home of the 84 Lumber Classic) Shot 74 and had a great time. Very nice and long. 

Their links course was better in my opinion, made you use every club in the bag and overall a real still for under $50, but I think they ruined it when the remodeled it a few years ago and changed the name to Shepard's Rock. nice but not worth the money now a days. Both Pete Dye designs.

It would be a possible place for a future MGS member outing

https://www.nemacolin.com/golf/

 

Jeff "PUTSO" Pillar

buckpillar@gmail.com

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18 minutes ago, tdc1 said:

The first -- and still the only -- time I paid more than $100 for a round of golf was for the Old Course at St. Andrews.

It was 1998 and I was on sabbatical in Dublin.  I had a long weekend in October with nothing planned so I took the short trip over to Scotland.  I had booked a tee time for Carnoustie and the Jubilee Course at St. Andrews but the Old Course would be luck of the draw.  I flew into Edinburgh in a driving rain storm, got my rental car and headed for St. Andrews.  The closer I got, the nicer the weather got.  I went straight to the Old Course to put my name on the list as a single.  When I got there, I was asked if I had my clubs with me; I said yes, and the guy said, "Go get them."  I waited 20 minutes(!) as a single walk-in to play -- and, yes, I know how lucky I was.  Got put in a group with a guy from California and two fellas from Sweden [Side bar:  Somewhere in Sweden is a picture of me in a pot bunker with only my head barely peaking over the lip.]  It was a great round, good company, wonderful company!

Carnoustie was the equivalent of about $75 at the time, and the Jubilee Course about $45.  It was an amazing weekend!

I have a family friend through my uncle that lives a 5 minute walk to the 1st tee at Carnoustie.

Jeff "PUTSO" Pillar

buckpillar@gmail.com

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Great question.  Living in the Toronto area I played Angus Glen where they have hosted the Canadian open and also Royal Ashburn which may still host the Canadian PGA qualifying.  Both courses are well kept and alot of fun to play.  Thinking about it is making me contemplate booking a tee time this year.  I can not wait for courses to open up again.

Right now I have a full set of Adam's golf Idea clubs. Driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, 4 hybrid, irons 6 to 9, pw, sw and putter.

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4 minutes ago, labsrule said:

That's pretty easy. Any round any day in the Destin, Florida area.

I throughly enjoyed your part of Florida, my only time there. Been a few years but believe we got some sort of early snowbird discount. I want to say 5 courses in 6 days for a little less than $500… Those courses, like the other courses that I have played in Florida reinforced the known fact that… “ yeah, you’re not very good at this “ Still a wonderful time with a lot of nice people. 

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25 minutes ago, buckpillar said:

I have a family friend through my uncle that lives a 5 minute walk to the 1st tee at Carnoustie.

Without doubt the most difficult course I’ve ever played.  Sideways rain for the middle 6 holes didn’t help. 😜

Driver:  Ping G425 Max (10.5º; Regular )

Fwy:  Cobra King SZ (3; Regular); Ping G410 (5; Regular)

Hybrids: Ping G410 (22º and 26º; Regular)

Irons: Cleveland Launcher XL (6-U)

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (54º/12º), and Ping Glide 3.0 Eye2 (58º/8º)

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Either 2000 or 2001, $125, Shenendoah at Turning Stone Casino. FWIW, I was 16, and my dad paid, but I remember it being a big deal (also might be slightly off on their opening rates). 

At that time, it was unheard of to pay $100+ for a public round in our area -- I'm pretty sure I paid $150 that same year for a full summer under-18 "membership" at one of our local tracks, and nearly all public courses were in the $10-25 range (walking), some even less (definitely remember playing $9 rounds at some places). Then, this gem opened about 20 minutes west of us, and I'm pretty sure they started at $125. Played it once at that rate, then started finding ways to play it cheaper (e.g. a popular Central New York public golf calendar came with a discount card, and Turning Stone courses were on the list for $60/round, but limited to 2x/year). 

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Just three times that I can recall.  That's pretty much my upper limit.  Here they are:  Copperhead at Innisbrook; the Quarry Course at Black Diamond; and Old Overton Club in Birmingham after I was a guest at Shoal Creek.  Had scheduled the Pebble Beach courses for June 2020, but we all remember what California did during COVID, cancelled.

Dave Mueller

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I met the love of my life in 1977.  While we were visiting New Orleans with some friends in New Orleans one weekend, I proposed and we were married in the fall of that year.  We took a short honeymoon at a very nice hotel in memphis where we were married, because she was in grad school at the Memphis State U (now the U of Memphis). .  Being I was a District Manager with Levis Strauss and had been to San Francisco, I asked her if she would like to go to there in the spring on a longer honeymoon.  Of courses she said yes.  This started a five year tradition.  On our second trip out after our honeymoon, I took my clubs and decided to drive down to Carmel.  Prior to going out I talked to the local pros here in Charleston and they recommended Spyglass Hill over Pebble Beach.  Made the reservation when we got there and paid $110.00 to play.  That was probably 1988.  Will find ways not to pay those individual prices.  Use PGA Hope card and contacts.  

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2019 Port Royal Golf Club, Bermuda. 
I wouldn't have done it but we were on vacation with friends and I didn't want to look back on it and thought I should've done it.

So glad I did. Not the most difficult course but the views were spectacular from everywhere...

IMG_20190627_101004.jpg.386c876ae2513c40d7e8280f41f55a62.jpgIMG_20190627_104733.jpg.624f3fd22d81b22626a0ef0a0a898dfc.jpgIMG_20190627_113300.jpg.3ce946f47c308c073868d5455c4acfc9.jpgIMG_20190627_114117.jpg.5c8abc819ee946acd68010ca4b0aaf9a.jpgIMG_20190627_114431.jpg.45bbea1a4f756d3051b5dabcb7f95889.jpgIMG_20190627_115012.jpg.ce351ff2f61e3fdaea03363499d4c389.jpgIMG_20190627_121537.jpg.c86134b7e9cc77d29d5bb2aa5d6bc00f.jpg

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Irons- XXIO X (6-A)

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Ball- Maxfli Tour X
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@tdc1, like this?  

IMG_3688.JPG.863862389408ffbe4df21a950c6781b2.JPG IMG_3690.JPG.11dd742e4b69993af16bfab93edf8c84.JPG

It's the 17th hole greenside bunker at St. Andrews Old Course.  I was there the week prior to The Open in 2022.   We obviously couldn't play the Old Course, but it was early July and the starter said we could play the New Course.  We had just finished walking 20,000 steps in Edinburgh, then 36 holes at Gulane and 25,000 steps in Edinburgh the previous three days.  I looked at my friend my feet couldn't take even 18 holes in St. Andrews!

A very special place indeed!

 

 

Ping G430 Max driver 10.5 degrees with an Alta Quick45 gram senior shaft
Callaway Epic 3 wood, Project X Evenflow Green 45 gram senior shaft  
Callaway GBB Epic Heavenwood, with a Mitsubishi Diamana 50 gram senior shaft
Ping G 20.5 degree 7 wood, with a stock Alta 65 gram senior shaft
Ping G 26 degree hybrid, stock Alta 65 gram senior shaft
Callaway Paradym X irons, 7-AW with Aldila Ascent Blue 50 graphite shafts
Edison wedges:  50, 55 and 60 degree, KBS Tour Graphite A flex shafts
Putters:  L.A.B. Direct Force 2.1 putter, 34.5" long, 67 degrees lie
 
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8 minutes ago, Golf2Much said:

@tdc1, like this?  

IMG_3688.JPG.863862389408ffbe4df21a950c6781b2.JPG

@Golf2Much Yep!  😀

Driver:  Ping G425 Max (10.5º; Regular )

Fwy:  Cobra King SZ (3; Regular); Ping G410 (5; Regular)

Hybrids: Ping G410 (22º and 26º; Regular)

Irons: Cleveland Launcher XL (6-U)

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (54º/12º), and Ping Glide 3.0 Eye2 (58º/8º)

Putter:  Ping Karsten Anser X

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32 minutes ago, Golf2Much said:

@tdc1, like this?  

IMG_3688.JPG.863862389408ffbe4df21a950c6781b2.JPG IMG_3690.JPG.11dd742e4b69993af16bfab93edf8c84.JPG

It's the 17th hole greenside bunker at St. Andrews Old Course.  I was there the week prior to The Open in 2022.   We obviously couldn't play the Old Course, but it was early July and the starter said we could play the New Course.  We had just finished walking 20,000 steps in Edinburgh, then 36 holes at Gulane and 25,000 steps in Edinburgh the previous three days.  I looked at my friend my feet couldn't take even 18 holes in St. Andrews!

A very special place indeed!

 

 

May have mentioned this on another topic,  but we were there the week before the 150th Open as well. I never would have had a chance to play there, due to being on a traveling tour,  but I did walk onto the 18th green and touch the flag, the cup, and the green...lol

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What would make a course WORTH the costs (over 100 bucks)?

It depends on the purpose behind the visit there. As was mentioned,  is it iconic? Is it historical? Is it a family or friends trip?

I will pay over that amount if it is for familial reasons. I've never endeavored on a golf specific trip, and not sure I would want to absorb those costs without having alternate options for the trip as well.

WITB-Foremost 551's - 3w, 5w, 5-SW (circa 1998), Top Flite 460cc Driver, Adam's 7w, Warrior GW and 60⁰, Odyssey AI-One DB putter.

Just an old newbie golfer, trying to learn and improve 1 club at a time.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Rob Person said:

May have mentioned this on another topic,  but we were there the week before the 150th Open as well. I never would have had a chance to play there, due to being on a traveling tour,  but I did walk onto the 18th green and touch the flag, the cup, and the green...lol

We visited London, Edinburgh and St. Andrews on that trip.  My wife, who is not a golfer, said of all the places we were, she wanted to go back to St. Andrews!  One of the many reasons I love her!!

Ping G430 Max driver 10.5 degrees with an Alta Quick45 gram senior shaft
Callaway Epic 3 wood, Project X Evenflow Green 45 gram senior shaft  
Callaway GBB Epic Heavenwood, with a Mitsubishi Diamana 50 gram senior shaft
Ping G 20.5 degree 7 wood, with a stock Alta 65 gram senior shaft
Ping G 26 degree hybrid, stock Alta 65 gram senior shaft
Callaway Paradym X irons, 7-AW with Aldila Ascent Blue 50 graphite shafts
Edison wedges:  50, 55 and 60 degree, KBS Tour Graphite A flex shafts
Putters:  L.A.B. Direct Force 2.1 putter, 34.5" long, 67 degrees lie
 
2022 MGS Tester:  Shot Scope Pro XL+ with H4  
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