Friday, March 03, 2006

The High Cost of Golf

Once again the cost of golf has reared its ugly head and managed to – once again – incense the staff at Eye On Golf.

February 10, 2006, online with GOLFONLINE, we found this intro to a web page:
Traval: Road Trip to Pebble Beach. Since this cannot obviously be a misspelling, it must be a high-priced way to spell the other variation of the word “travel” especially if it’s associated with Pebble Beach.

So we decided to check out this little road trip (the article that is, not take the actual trip; you’ll see why in a minute.) Turns out a Senior Editor of Golf Magazine took a little trip and hit five public courses from Harding Park in San Francisco to Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula. We assume he played each one to provide us with an honest and proper evaluation. We also assume that each of the courses provided gratis golf when they found out he was coming. I’m pretty sure of this because he begins his article by declaring, “America's greatest public-access golf course…” If that’s not an advertising proclamation, I’ve never seen one. Of course, there is an alternative: he did pay his own way meaning that GM pays its editors quite handsomely. You see these “public” courses are not for the average, public golfer. They range in price from $78 at Harding Park to a whopping $425 at Pebble Beach, not quite what the weekend golfer would like to pay for a round of golf with his son. And, at the conclusion, Mr. Editor states that it is worth the $425 to play just once.

(Side note: To put this in perspective consider that in 2005 the Eye On Golf staff spent the summer in Buffalo, Wyoming. With a population of 3900 Buffalo sustains a marvelous, scenic, well-maintained golf course. And the best part is the price – fair. For a yearly membership a couple pays $420. That’s golf anytime you want it. The cart, of course, is extra but that’s extraneous to the game of golf.

There are, of course, many different conclusions that you can draw from all of the jabberwocky. The one we would like to point out is that articles like this lead us to the conclusion that these major golf magazines focus on and cater to the affluent golfer. If you doubt this statement, look through a recent issue and direct all your attention to the advertisements. Notice what clubs they recommend, what courses they advocate and so on. I don’t think you’ll be surprised, but you might be.

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