Originally Posted by mcanadiens
If I had to pay $45 per round, I'd be out. Just limits to the ole budget. I'm really happy to live where I do on that account.
Believe me, I understand. I'm retired and on a bit of a budget. I can play free because I work at the course, but if I didn't, I'd probably only play once a month or so. The alternative is to play what they call around here "Twilight Golf." After 2 PM, our rate goes down to $26. It includes a cart, but you aren't guaranteed to get in 18 holes and there are no rain checks. During the summer, it starts at 3 PM, but you have more time to get in a full 18 hole round if you can be there at 3 PM. The problem is, if you don't arrive until 5 PM, it's crowded enough that you probably can't finish.
The other thing is, if I didn't get to play free at our course, which is, to use the common phrase, a cow pasture by comparison to many places around here, I'd rather play elsewhere.
Miami Springs is a personal favorite even though it's fairly far from my house. The City of Miami owns it and they charge a very fair rate, about $50 for a senior like me. It's right by MIami International Airport, so it takes a while to get used to the constant sound of jets taking off. The course is a really interesting layout always in good condition, particularly the greens. It used to host a PGA event, the Miami Open, back in the 30s, 40s and 50s. It's fun to see the names of famous professionals on the trophys in the clubhouse and think you are walking the same ground they did.
On the other hand, there is Biltmore, a county owned course. It has the same kind of history, but they have a very high opinion of themselves and greens fees, even for locals, are in the $100 range at the best of time. There are occasional deals on Golf Now, but I'm told they get snapped up within a minute of being posted. I've spent 6 hours getting around that course long ago when it was more affordable.
Right around the corner from me is Micosukkee Country Club, owned by the Indian tribe. Until a couple years ago, the Nationwide Tour held their last tournament of the year there and it's a good course with 27 holes, so you can mix and match from day to day. They have gotten expensive since the tribe bought it, but with no improvements of any kind.
Even the Doral courses, other than the Blue, are competatively priced compared to some country clubs who let the public play them. More times than not, it's worth the hour each way and a few gallons of gas to go to Broward County, (the Ft. Lauderdale area), and play places like Inverrary or Jacaranda. They each have 36 holes, are in great condition and they act like they are glad to see you. Plantation Preserve is my favorite up there. It's a wonderful course with all kinds of mind bending options to fly or run the ball into the greens. It's better kept than anywhere I've even been and you feel guilty about taking a divot. The place looks like an exclusive country club and the prices are fair. If I ever moved to Broward County, that would be my home course. The point is, for $50-$70, there are places who really give you a great time and you feel like you got your moneys worth. Some, not so much.