So, I'm sure many of you from the Midwest and Northeast are playing on courses that are still "waking up". The trees are somewhat barren or have their buds starting to open. The grass is now a rich, dark green and is thickening with each 60-70° day that passes. Bunkers are being filled and turned and greens are being rolled.
Most courses will run their winter rates in Ohio until the first week or two of May, at which point they increase to prime rates (usually a $10-25 jump).
However, my home course, where I put in the majority of my practice, was charging $25 for 18 holes + cart all of last season. This course used to be a joke to anyone within 20 miles of it and it was often called a "dog track", "cow pasture", "s*** hole" -- you name it, it was called it.
Now, the course is still under construction. It has been under construction for nearly 3 years.
The initial improvement was night and day with just the mowing and fertilizing alone. However, there are still many areas of the cart path that you have to gas and brake at the same time over, or completely avoid, so that your clubs do not fly out the back of your cart.
There are massive dips, craters and ruts in the path due to erosion and cheap materials used to lay it. We were joking the last time we were there and said they should issue ATVs rather than carts.
There are still approximately 4 greens that have "Ground Under Repair" signs surrounding bare spots where the deer eat the grass, which has not changed in 3 years. If anything, the course is now worse because they are rebuilding 4 tee boxes and the solution in the meantime was to simply move the markers down in front of the tee boxes to areas that are not mowed, are untreated and muddy and are no wider than a 5' diameter. You can only put a tee in the ground because other people have already taken so much grass off from their driver, 3W or irons.
There are also unsightly heavy machinery stationed all over the course with many areas of bare dirt where digging is occurring.
I'm not a disgruntled regular that goes there, but I am friends with the manager of the course and I also golf with many of my friends who prefer to golf only there.
I know that the course needs to make money to spend money, but sometimes you have to realize that in this world.. you must spend money to make money. I know that I can take my business anywhere else and I don't have to go there, but I simply do not want to see the course go under due to no one golfing there.
My question is, how the hell can this place charge $34.00 to golf 18 holes when the conditions are worse than last year when they charged $25.00? Has anyone else experienced anything similar? The principle just frustrates the hell out of me and I don't know why.
I'm just curious if you guys have any ideas in terms of A) Why would a course implement the logic of increasing the cost of a round when the conditions are worse than they were? B) Surely, this logic is not going to result in success right? I've seen the parking lot nearly empty on 70° and sunny days in Ohio in April... that is nearly impossible to do!