Spending green on the greens
By Torleif Sorenson on 8/28/12
Your lowly-and-humble correspondent will go first. In April of 2003, I dropped approximately $130 to play the Snow Mountain course at the Las Vegas Paiute Resort. Frankly, it was worth it for these reasons:
  • I had never played desert golf before.
    (Sadly, I haven't since.)

  • I had never played a course designed by a nationally-known architect, either.
    (This itself triggered my interest in golf architecture.)

  • The course conditions were excellent - the greens especially.

  • The desert-to-mountain scenery was unforgettable.

  • I felt better about spending money at a golf course operated by a Native American tribe than I would have spending it at a casino.

My questions for you are these:
  1. What is the largest green fee you have ever paid to play one round of golf and where?

  2. In the end, were you satisfied or disappointed?

  3. What was the most memorable element of the round? The golf? The setting and scenery? The occasion?

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Image via Flickr, andy14darock

[ comments ]
dartboss04 says:
$200 for Atunyote at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY

Definitely satisfied

The whole experience was memorable. You need to be buzzed in at the entrance and the iron gate opens like Jurassic Park. Top notch service from start to finish. The course gets very little play and that's how they prefer it. I only saw two other golfers on the course the whole day, and was even able to stop for a sit down lunch between the 9's. I suppose the landscape was not as memorable as some places, but the condition was the best I've played.
dartboss04 says:
I plan on trying to get down to Kiawah next spring so $200 would be a distant memory. Haha.
woobwoob says:
$120 TPC Louisiana
dottomm says:
$170 for Indian Wells in Indian Wells CA. Got to play there for my 40th birthday. December, the entire country was either snowed in or flooded. There was a nasty snow storm in the peaks just over head. in Indian Wells CA it was 79* and beautiful.

Everything was top-notch. Although the course was booked full, the starter spaced out every foursome almost 20 minutes so we had every hole to ourselves. I don't think we saw another foursome the entire round. The most memorable was while standing around on the tee waiting for the green light to tee off, the starter would make small talk with each of us "Where you from? yada yada", then when it was time to tee-off, the started announces "Now on the tee! From Sonoma County California, Dottomm!". And he did this for all four of us. It was awesome, but also terribly un-nerving. I'll never forget it. Every hole was scenic and different. It was golf paradise. At $170 it felt like a deal.
aaronm04 says:
1) ~$350 or so for Spyglass

2) Disappointed

3) The course itself was immaculate and it was a top notch experience outside the golf. The problem was that it was so difficult that it took the fun out of it. So difficult that I have vowed to never play another course by that same architect.
Stymie says:
1) $300 + $75 caddie Ocean Course @ Kiawah Island (times 2- wife played) April 2008
2) Well worth the money

3) First time wife had ever played with a caddie. Had a great time, best caddie I had ever had. Still talk about the round. Have gone back and played the course again in October 2010. Not nearly as much fun the second time. But should be on the bucket list
Mr_X says:
1) Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, CA

2) Price was around $140 for a mid week round

3) It was worth the expense! The course was stunning in it's design with holes integrated in the hills around San Diego. By comparision to the Midwest this was extremely lush and manicured vegetation. The best aspect of this round was the starter who knew how to respectfully encourage golfers to play the proper tees, describe both the picturesque and challenging holes. The starter was a lefty named Joe who told us a few jokes which put us all in good mood before we took our first swing. I have said it before and will say it again, a good starter is one of the most important jobs at a golf course! He promoted the entire facility and had good recommendations for dinner afterwards. The pace of play was relaxed with foursome spaced apart about 15 minutes. I would definately go back!
bkuehn1952 says:
About 20 years ago I paid $175 for a round at Pebble Beach. I think it is up to $500 now. I really would like to say it was the best golf experience ever but that would be a big fat lie. I shot 101, we had a cart and it was cart path only, and the round took 5+ hours. My initial joy, excitement and tingling nerves for being at Pebble Beach were soon replaced with gloom and disappointment as I trudged from the cart to my ball, hit a bad shot, trudged back to the cart only to start the process again. Fortunately, I got another chance to play Pebble Beach a few years ago. Perfect weather, used a caddie and played brilliantly (for me) and finished in 4+ hours. Best free round of golf I ever played! The bordering real estate, scenery and history are matchless in the USA.

If you are going to splurge and play Pebble, go the extra mile and take a caddie.
Panerai111 says:
1. $150 including club rental for Bear's Best in Vegas

2. Worth it, but I wish I had my own clubs.

3. It was really nice. Cool to see black sand bunkers.
billbadaz says:
$175 at the pete Dye course at Barefoot Resorts in Myrte Beach, $125 for Torrey Pines, going to play Harbor Town in november in Hilton Head. Different subject, I won a pair of Adidas Crossflex RedFORE16 golf shoes signed by Dustin Johnson, and Sergio. They are 12.5. Anyone want to buy them? only 16 pairs were signed and given away via twitter contest. thanks
joe jones says:
$125 plus $75 caddy fee at Bears Best, Las Vegas
$140 at old Desert Inn Las Vegas
joe jones says:
bkuehn. I was stationed at Point Magu in the 50s and we used to play Pebble for $7 at that time. Not a special rate for service men. It was the daily walking rate at the time. The best deal of all time. I agree about the scenery. Hard to keep your concentration with all of the mind boggling beauty. In those days the course was a little run down. In the 60s when the Japanese bought it they spent a lot to upgrade the whole complex and of course thats when the prices started to skyrocket.
BK Smith says:
~180GBP, Old Course


Yes, Yes, Yes (plus the gallery on the 18th green!)
MartinCooke says:
$350 to play pebble last december (special rate for guests of property owners).

Totally worth it.

The scenery was amazing, the course was unreal, and i got to play in a tournament. At Pebble.

If you end up going, get a caddy. It's worth it.
GBogey says:
$150 to play in Bermuda - not one of the best known courses, but great experience just for the views and locale.
cph2133 says:
$29 for Manakiki in beautiful Willoughby Hills, Ohio. It wasn't worth it.
grastaman says:
250 usd in Sentosa, Singapore... weekend rate.
worth it? well, golf in Singapore is expensive due to land costs... and if it starts thundering, the round may be scrapped.

but a lovely course, and site of the Barclays tourney. really good scenery.
mill6360@gmail.com says:
I was at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego for a coaching clinic and was hoping to play Torrey Pines. I was willing to shell out whatever it cost. TP had a IJM tournament that weekend and was closed. Someone recommended Salt Creek Golf course which was nearby. Salt Creek was $125 for out of staters. Since I was travelling I figured I would just pay it and enjoy myself. When I told the guy in the pro shop about staying at the OTC he informed me that the ID from there was worth $105 discount. So for $20(+about $50 for cab fare) i got to play a nationwide tour course. It was a very interesting course with rattlesnake warnings everywhere and a lot of cacti between holes. I just looked online and their prices have dropped significantly but it was the most I was ever going to play nonetheless.
jcstoll says:
$500 (ok, maybe it was $495), plus $75 and tip for the caddie at Pebble Beach. It was worth it. I had never had a caddie before, and it was great. I was pretty nervous on the first tee - I apparently managed to prevent the thoughts about sending a ball into the villas lining the right fairway from making it become a reality, and managed a par. I also managed to get a par on the 14th - the par 5 with the tiny pin-able part of the green that Paul Goydos foozled a quadruple bogey in the pro-am that year.
Kurt the Knife says:
$53 at Sevillano Links in the CA central valley near Red Bluff.
Loved it. Beautiful course, challenging, well maintained, fabulous staff.

memorable element was a couple of holes in a row that I made par.
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