Don't get me wrong.. Augusta GC is an amazing design by "the man" himself.. Perfect track of land for an artist to flourish.. However, As great as some of the holes are, I've played an many with just as much challenge and beauty, but without the history.. For me, I'd pay about $100, same as I would any premier course.. Anything more then that you're paying for the "status", and I just won't open my wallet up for status, considering the vast number of public courses that will give me just as much joy..
What would you pay to play Augusta National? - Page 3
Poll Results: You're given an oppotunity to play Augusta on a gorgeous spring day. How much would you pay to do this?
1% (2)$0 Don't care, and I wouldn't walk across the street to play that cow pasture
9% (17)$0-$99 Looks good, but not that good
35% (62)$100-$499 It's a premium course, I'd pay a premium price
22% (40)$500-$999 Better than Pebble, so I'll pay more
21% (38)$1000-$2499 This is a once in a lifetime experience - why not?
2% (5)$2500-$4999 Really, it's once in a lifetime!
1% (3)$5000-$9999 It's only money, right? The kids don't really need to go to college
4% (7)$10,000 or more Divorce, bankruptcy.....it would be worth it
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Or if you are a reciprocal member you can play there for free. The same goes for Royal Melbourne ;----------)
I said $500 to $999.
I can think of three other middle HDCP golfers I would want to go with. Who's in the foursome would matter - not superstars, just guys who care about golf.
If it's three of the poseur-golfers I know who never practice and cancel half the time, I'm out. We'd get thrown off for slow play.
I might pay 200$ to take my dad and grandfather to watch the Masters, even watch practice rounds. I know it is a dream of my dad's to walk the course, and my grandfather would be thrilled.
What would I pay to play the course? 100$, and possibly a caddy fee on top of that. Playing the course and getting the Augusta experience are different things. I'd want a morning tee time, to be alone on the course, and to have the course immaculate.
I live 15 miles from Bethpage, and dozens of other great courses. Bethpage is world class, and costs under 60$ to play. You do have to jump through some hoops, but I'd rather do that than pay 500$. If Bethpage costs 60$ in greens fees for residents, that's how much a world class course costs to maintain. The rest is pure profit for the course, and Bethpage manages to stay open on just that, so it's probably even less.
Bethpage doesn't have the history that Augusta does, perhaps. It has been the site of a few Opens, while Augusta has been the site of the Masters for over 60 years. Obviously it will be more revered if it's the most played course in majors by ten times...
But I would love to get on Shinnecock Hills before I die. It's one of the oldest american courses, arguably the best links on the east coast. It also gives the tour players fits when they play there, and it's remotely possible to get on since I live on LI, and might get a connection. Also, they've allowed women and people of color for over 100 years, which is something most golf courses cannot remotely say. Sure, they stole the land from the indians, but that's true of all American courses. I would also dearly love to play St Andrews and Carnoustie, they are real holy ground and I like their layout better. I'd pay more to get out to Scotland and stay at St Andrews.
On top of that, Augusta is a complete goat track in the summer, based on all photos I've seen. They get it looking nice in spring, but I wouldn't play it in the condition it's in in the Georgia summer. Bethpage and Shinnecock are in fine condition when it's not snowing, so it would bother me a lot less to play them in off peak conditions.
As a final note, I'd love to see Augusta as eye candy and golf history, but playing it isn't that great compared to other courses. Bethpage and Shinnecock are much better tests of golf, a lot more challenging, and a lot more likely to happen. There is no better test than The Masters, but it's the competition and not the course. If I were to play a non competitive round, Augusta would be dull. It's set up so that scoring low is really hard, but playing conservative isn't that tough.
The irony if this is, since it's a private club, if any of us got to play it, it would likely be free since we'd be guests of a member.
Heh, in my younger 'idealist' days I fantasized about making the semifinals of the US Amateur so I would get an invite to The Masters. Never mind that I couldn't break 75 in competition.
Just a thought - I wonder how many players from that adjoining course that sits right behind #12 have snuck over for a go at it?
Far as what I would pay, the answer is, whatever I got. If someone called me tomorrow & said $300 I'd go. If they said $3,000 I'd go.
I paid $150 to play Harbor Town back in 1999,and I thought too much. That is the most I have ever paid for golf,and I don't think I would ever pay any more than that. I belong to a semi-private club that cost $200 per month,and when I see the cost to play one round at some of these high end courses, I compare it to how many months of golf it would equal. As much as I would love to play Augusta, it is more important who I play with rather than where I play.
The reason The Augusta National looks bad in the summer is because it is closed during the summer -even to members. It is open from mid-September to May. (I may be off some, but that's approximately the times). They drive bulldozers across the course reshaping greens and fairway mounds.
I was fortunate to be asked to play The Augusta National many years ago by a member. I walked the course along with him. My Dad and his friend rode a cart. We all had caddies who carried our bags. It was mid February, very cold and drizzly. I think we may have been the only ones on the course that day.
I don't know what the green fees are as the member who had invited us took care of it. We offered to pay but he told us not to worry about it and he wouldn't tell us how much, if anything, it cost him to have us as his guests.
I did pay the caddie fee which at the time was $30. I also gave him like a $20 tip and I paid for my Dad's caddy.
My caddie's name was Smittie. At the time I played, the National was still requiring that all golfers used Augusta National Caddies during the Masters. Every year, my caddie caddied for Bruce Devlin during the tournament.
I played terrible, but managed 3 pars - on the 2nd, 15th, and 16th holes. Shot a 101 overall.
My biggest regret was that on the 15th, after a very good drive from the member tees, I was looking down the hill at the green, I think maybe around 200 yds to the green. I asked Smittie if I should go for it. He told me no, that I should just lay up and then hit over the pond to the green. I followed Smittie's advice, got on in regulation and 2 putted for a standard par.
Had I thought about it, I would know that the chances of me ever being asked back were pretty slim (the member who invited us was not a close personal friend, but was doing it out of gratitude for some free work my Dad had done for him). With this in mind, I wish I had gone for it in two on that hole. I probably would have gone in the pond that fronts the green, but at least I would have tried. To this day, whenever I'm playing golf on a course where a similar opportunity/shot comes up, I almost always "go for it" (and seldom "make" it.)
The greens were fast, but not nearly as much so as during the tournament (plus they were wet).
After the round, the member took us around the clubhouse. They have Bobby Jones's clubs in a glass case. They're all old, mismatched and with tape on the shafts, which when you think about it makes his achievements seem that much greater.
Another interesting bit of trivia is that at the top of the stairs leading to the second level, theres an old wooden box. That box was a gift from St. Andrews to Bobby Jones and is the voting box used by the members on matters concerning the club.
The member wanted to show us the Crow's Nest where amateurs are invited to stay during the tournament, but the entryway was locked and he couldn't find anyone with a key.
I'm greedy and though I know how special it was to get to play Augusta, I would dearly love to play it again. I still see that member occasionally. When I do I always try to "talk him up" hoping that he might invite me back, but so far, no luck. Whether I ever get invited back or not, it was the most memorable golfing experience of my life even with my terrible score. I would gladly pay several hundred dollars to get the opportunity to play at the absolutely most beautiful course in the world.
To me, Augusta National is in the 'money is no object' category. If the opportunity presented itself I would say yes immediately. I wouldn't even ask what it would cost. It wouldn't matter. I'll add to my debt, put it on a credit card, pawn something, whatever.
And I am by no means rich. But golf is my passion. And when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes, you take it. You don't ask how much it costs.
I can appreciate the course (from what I have seen on TV and online), but I honestly do not like how uppity the course is and its officials. Every year you hear of someone affiliated with the Tour getting in trouble by course officials for some sort of perceived inappropriate comments, dress, etc.
If the opportunity presented itself to me, yeah, I would probably do it even if it cost $1,000+ because I like to try to take advantage of once in a lifetime opportunities. But if the option to play were more readily available, I likely would not be willing to pay anymore than anywhere else simply because of the course management.