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Are Golf Course Green Fees Out of Hand?

Golf is getting more expensive to play. I love the game but the outlandish golf course green fees and cart costs are making it harder to afford.  I believe the green fees started to rise in the 1990’s. Today it is hard to find a golf course that won’t charge you $50 for green fees on weekdays and more on the weekends. These fees are rising ahead of the cost of living.  

What happened? I believe a lot of golf courses are being built to adapt to the weekend duffer’s game with plush fairways and manicured greens. This over indulgent need to provide perfect playing conditions has skyrocketed golf course maintenance budgets.

Whatever happened to the reasoning of building a course according to the lay of the land with all the slopes and valleys?  Where the only maintenance being done was cutting the fairways and watering the greens? Mother Nature was in charge of the fairways and rough.  I still play a few of those golf courses in Pennsylvania at $12 for green fees, $6 extra for a riding cart on a weekday. If it’s mid-summer you can expect semi-brown fairways. Your game changes according to the course conditions. Isn’t that what golf is all about, adapting to the course?  

Also, many golf courses are being built to promote real estate in the area surrounding the golf courses. This will definitely add to the rise of green fees. Are you being ripped-off?  Another thing that has changed for the worse is the use of riding carts. This is a costly added expense to your golf game and a lot of times a needless or unnecessary expense. Let’s take a look at this expense.  

Some golf courses make a cart mandatory which added to the green fees will raise their profits. Other courses require carts on the weekends but not on the weekdays. I suppose the thinking on mandatory weekend carts is it will help in speeding up play, which I don’t agree. Think about it, with or without a cart, it will take you 5 to 6 hours to complete the round on a weekend. You are being ripped off.  

There are too many bad golfers playing on the weekend which will slow down play and make you wait endlessly to hit your next shot. When this type of situation occurs it will only hurt your game. You will tighten up, lose concentration and guzzle beer after beer waiting to hit your next shot. All you are getting out of this round of golf is a buzz-on and sunburn which you could have done in your own backyard at very little cost. My thinking on this is to avoid the 6 hours trying to play a round of golf on the weekend.  

The biggest rip-off of all is on those golf courses that a cart is mandatory but you are only allowed to drive it on the cart path. This kind of golf is utterly ridiculous. Let’s take a look at this scenario.  Suppose you hit your tee shot to the left and the cart path is on the right. Now what do you do? You don’t know what kind of lie you have and you don’t know the distance to the green for your next shot and it’s a long walk to your ball. So you take two to three clubs out of your bag and take the long walk to your ball. After you hit the ball, you take the long walk back to the golf cart. The big problem is that this type of play goes on all day long – for the whole round. So, I ask you, why do you have to pay for a cart when you are walking most of the time anyway? Are you being ripped off?  

I would like to add a page to my blog with golf courses whose fees are $25 or less to play a round of golf. Do you play one? If so, it would be much appreciated if you would share that information with me so I can post it for all golfers to see.  What I would need is the name, cost to play the golf course (green fees and golf cart fees) and its location (City and State).  Any other info you might know about the golf course would also be helpful.  

I would then post it by state. It would give other golfers an opportunity to play your course at an affordable price. Please go to this article at Golfineer for more information.