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Does Your Course Charge Extra to Ride Solo?


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Makes sense for clubs trying for more effective cart usage or have more people walk the course for less wear. 

As for covid 19 dont see how sitting alone in a cart is safer then walking. That 2 metre distance is so easy to maintain and who knows what the guy using it before you have done. Not that I see that as a high riskfactor either. 

 

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I understand the value of physical distancing, I understand that it might be mandatory in some areas, I understand that physical distancing could require single-rider carts.  I don't know if its the f

Me?  Wrong?  I once thought I was wrong but it turned out I was wrong.

The question is, does the course have the right to charge a person for a demand that needs to be met because the course is experience a shortage of carts due to COVID and is required to rent or buy ne

I can't fault the courses for charging extra for a single cart.  It's their business and how they have decided to run their operation during the pandemic.     I have not rode in a cart with a stranger and probably won't for some time.   That being said, I would not pay double to ride single in a cart.   I'd either walk or find another place to play.    Fortunately, I have friends I do feel comfortable while riding.   Golf courses around my area aren't hurting for players.   If I vote with my wallet and choose to not play, I won't be missed by any local courses.   The pandemic opened up a new sport to many, many new players. 

On a related note.  Nobody is doing anything around our area to clean carts except using a power washer to hose them down.   

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1 hour ago, knott said:

Makes sense for clubs trying for more effective cart usage or have more people walk the course for less wear. 

As for covid 19 dont see how sitting alone in a cart is safer then walking. That 2 metre distance is so easy to maintain and who knows what the guy using it before you have done. Not that I see that as a high riskfactor either. 

 

It's not safer than walking, but here in North Carolina the heat index has been close to, or over 100F. I'm sure, further south, it's been worse. When I was younger, it wouldn't bother me, but in my mid 60s, I need to ride in that kind of heat.

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Are they charging double for a single rider or giving a 50% discount for double riders?

I don't see this as predatory pricing. That would be a situation where there is limited options on a critical item or service. Roof repair after a catastrophic weather event or insulin would be examples. Many here might disagree with me, but golf is not a necessity of life.

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The question is, does the course have the right to charge a person for a demand that needs to be met because the course is experience a shortage of carts due to COVID and is required to rent or buy new carts? 

Some people think this is price gauging and want the course to just eat the loss of money. Others think this is an acceptable cost to be able to golf with the situation that we are in. I think it really is unreasonable to expect a course to eat the cost of having to rent out more carts to meet a demand that is there. 

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3 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

The question is, does the course have the right to charge a person for a demand that needs to be met because the course is experience a shortage of carts due to COVID and is required to rent or buy new carts? 

That’s not the question.

They can charge what they want. Of course it’s their right. Golf carts are not essential to life, liberty, justice, another’s rights, etc.

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13 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Does your course charge extra for a power cart if you want to ride by yourself because of the threat of Covid 19?  A lot of courses in my area charge close to full price (2 riders) if you prefer not to ride with a stranger or even a friend who hasn't been tested within the last couple of days.

C'mon courses... there's a friggin' pandemic going on.  You could give us a break instead of looking at revenue and profit all the time.  In the long run you will be rewarded for your attention to safety.

I think you’re looking at it the wrong way. The increased rate for a single rider is probably to deter people from all taking single carts. Many courses don’t have enough carts for everyone to be single riders, which makes it a problem in the middle of the day when people want to ride and there are no carts available. This was happening at the county courses I play at before they allowed shared carts again, but they’re still letting people out solo as a courtesy.

13 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

There's a course near me that charges $16 per rider for a power cart.  If you want to ride by yourself there's an upcharge to $28.

The course is losing $4/round on every cart they let out for a single rider. That’s not in the interest of profit at all.

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My home club has always charged carts on a per-person basis, and that hasn't changed.  But based on guidelines, they recommend one player per cart, unless both players are in the same household. 

Its impossible to generalize about the "right" thing to do, finances vary from courses to course, as does demand, availability of carts, ease (or difficulty) of walking, climate, etc.  I know that my home club is in a bit of a difficult spot financially.  Even though golf rounds are up, cart revenue is up, outside events like weddings have been nonexistent.  Member dining is down, indoor dining was closed for a while, and even now people are a bit hesitant about going into an enclosed space.  We've lost a bunch of revenue from those two areas, and I'm sure that's a pretty common situation around the country.  Increasing cart revenue may be a way for some courses to survive.

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11 hours ago, phillyk said:

Where I work at Lake Padden. I’d guess a few others in the area do it too.  Grandview has a lot of problems, but yeah border closure definitely doesn’t help.  

I guess the way I see it is it could potentially take away from someone else later in the day if a course runs out.  So as the course, they’d want to cover what they can. 

Thanks, @phillyk. Grandview and Lake Padden are definitely at opposite ends of the spectrum and Lake Padden is a wonderful course for the money - love playing it. But, I'm with @Double Mocha Man. If Lake Padden was my usual course and I had a choice I would choose to golf at the course that wasn't making me pay a cart fee for a non-existent rider.

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I haven't really paid too much attention because I walk/carry/push all the time. I've played four courses local to me during the pandemic, and I don't believe they are charging more for single rider cart fee. I think single rider carts are required by our county due to social distancing requirements, except for members of the same household. Courses are strongly encouraging people to walk to maintain cart availability, but I don't see that many extra walkers out on the course.

Regarding profit/cost - If a foursome goes out in 4 carts, the course still gets the full amount of cart fees for the foursome, but I suppose the wear and tear on the carts is slightly increased, and maybe if not managed well, carts are not available for later tee times, creating a log jam of people waiting for carts to return.

A tangential question to those who may know (perhaps @iacas, @phillyk) - I've always been curious what a golf course balance sheet looks like, are there any books/resources that explain the various financial elements of golf course operation?

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(edited)

Another way of looking at this:  It is pandemically problematic for two to ride in a cart, at 18 inches apart, face to face.  If your county health department is able to determine that Covid-19 cases are popping up at Course X (or X, Y and Z) then they will probably shut down courses again.  That is not in the best revenue interests of courses.

Under the old rule of never make a complaint without giving a solution I'd suggest that courses allow seniors over 60 (60 is supposedly the age when most people become immune compromised) to ride for the single rider fee.  All others on a case by case basis... sounds silly, but with a note from their doctor if they have health issues likely compromised by the virus.

The unnamed course I've been referring to in my examples has 72-75 power carts available.  Received some insider information this morning.  Their tee times are 9 minutes apart.  They are never fully booked.  Someone here will do the math.  Understand that not everyone will want to go out in a single cart.  In better times I always prefer two to a cart... less isolation and more fun that way.

Edited by Double Mocha Man
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14 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Under the old rule of never make a complaint without giving a solution I'd suggest that courses allow seniors over 60 (60 is supposedly the age when most people become immune compromised) to ride for the single rider fee.  All others on a case by case basis... sounds silly, but with a note from their doctor if they have health issues likely compromised by the virus.

This virus is so wonky that you can't get a note from a doctor. The range of symptoms is absurd. No one knows if you will have a bad reaction to it or not. 

I suspect most of the golf courses are trying to make ends meet here. Since a lot of golf courses have shut down over the past 5 years, I think they are trying to not have to take on additional costs from renting carts to fill the demand. It sucks, but I suspect those who can play golf during these times can afford to pay for their own cart. 

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1 minute ago, saevel25 said:

This virus is so wonky that you can't get a note from a doctor. The range of symptoms is absurd. No one knows if you will have a bad reaction to it or not. 

I suspect most of the golf courses are trying to make ends meet here. Since a lot of golf courses have shut down over the past 5 years, I think they are trying to not have to take on additional costs from renting carts to fill the demand. It sucks, but I suspect those who can play golf during these times can afford to pay for their own cart. 

My home club has had to rent carts occasionally for larger-field outings, and its OK for those, as a lot of the profit comes from the associated food and beverage sales.   But short-term rental to satisfy short-term (we hope) demand is unlikely to be anything but a losing proposition for most clubs.  Short-term rental to satisfy a demand for a single rider charge per cart is even worse.

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Normally, I don't ride, but between wanting to maximize pace and the cursed heat this weekend, I did so.

Happily, there was no extra charge for riding alone. 

Miami Shores encourages people that are related to ride together at every opportunity, but they won't force strangers to share a cart or hit them for more money.

 

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

My home club has always charged carts on a per-person basis, and that hasn't changed.  But based on guidelines, they recommend one player per cart, unless both players are in the same household. 

Its impossible to generalize about the "right" thing to do, finances vary from courses to course, as does demand, availability of carts, ease (or difficulty) of walking, climate, etc.  I know that my home club is in a bit of a difficult spot financially.  Even though golf rounds are up, cart revenue is up, outside events like weddings have been nonexistent.  Member dining is down, indoor dining was closed for a while, and even now people are a bit hesitant about going into an enclosed space.  We've lost a bunch of revenue from those two areas, and I'm sure that's a pretty common situation around the country.  Increasing cart revenue may be a way for some courses to survive.

Our local course is similar but the '2 riders only if from the same household' is a requirement, not just a recommendation.  Either way it is a $20 per rider fee.  They also have an interesting deal where a twosome can have one person riding in the cart, but 'caddying' for the other person, who walks.  That is $20 for the rider and an additional $10 for the 'caddying'.  I don't know if or how they monitor cheating.

And personally I think it is extraordinarily easy to generalize.  The course sets and structures the cart fees the way they think best, and golfers decide whether or not they are willing to pay the required amount.  It is the American way, and it has worked well for a long time.

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1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

The unnamed course I've been referring to in my examples has 72-75 power carts available.  Received some insider information this morning.  Their tee times are 9 minutes apart.  They are never fully booked.  Someone here will do the math.  Understand that not everyone will want to go out in a single cart.  In better times I always prefer two to a cart... less isolation and more fun that way.

I’m not trying to sound harsh, but you can wear a mask, or just don’t play at that course.

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All the courses I’ve played have just been following state guidelines. When CT was requiring single riders, they charged normal price. Now that the state is allowing multiple people per cart, they’d charge you extra for your own cart (or simply not allow it). It would be nice of them to not upcharge you for it, but then, that’s true regardless of whether or not there’s a pandemic. 

Really, I just don’t ride in a cart enough to care much. 

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