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golfindude1

Why Don't Most Public Golf Courses Offer College Rates?

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This is just from my perspective as a college student.

The fact that most public golf courses don't offer college rates is baffling to me. I've proposed this to the head pro of the municipal golf course and found his reasoning for not offering it to be flawed.

In part of his reasoning of why he doesn't want to extend the rate to Afternoon and Evening Times, he said along the lines of: "Why would we want to cater to you guys? Our course is open to anyone, and they're welcome to use it at anytime". But this is only true if you can afford it. The authors from "Sociology of North American Sport" calculated up into a table where it involved sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf and included the household incomes. The data shows a positive correlation between participation in sport percentage and household income. In other words, those a significant percentage of those who play these sports come from high-income households (A PDF Attachment is attached if you want to look at it. It's located on page 111). This begs the question: If public golf courses proclaim to welcome the public to utilize the facilities, how is it in any way welcoming to college students when the socioeconomic perspective says the opposite because they're required to pay just as much as the 40-year old that has the money? This is unfair to the college student compared to the adult because their only opportunities for obtaining money to play golf are either from part-time jobs (excluding golf courses for this instance), internships, or from their parents whereas the opportunities that the 40-year old gets pay significantly way more money than the college student. The fact that the student has to pay as much as the 40-year old is absurd.

I'm willing to bet that the motive behind senior rates and junior rates are similar. There was a time where the cost to play at Pebble Beach was around $5. Back in those times anyone, no matter your background, can play on the course at any day, any time. In defense, the value of $5 is different before than now. But let's assume, for the sake of example, that Pebble Beach decides to continue offering one rate today. You're probably not going to see as many juniors and seniors playing on Pebble Beach if that happened because this sends a clear message saying that if you don't have this amount, you can't play. The same logic can be, without a question, applied for having rates for those that are in college. It's not so much that they doesn't want to play on the golf course nor do they want to quit altogether. They would now have to confront paying significantly more than the junior rate (now the regular rate) which causes them to make two decisions. Suck it up and pay the rates or focus, play less frequently, or quit altogether. 

Anyways, I welcome your input.

Edited by golfindude1
I gotta upload the PDF Attachment

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Have you taken an economics class yet?

Why should the course willingly offer a discount if they’re selling their tee times?

I hid the post with the PDF, too, as I doubt the book is in the public domain/free.

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Around here, the public courses are packed every day. Every day is like a weekend day. I would guess they don't offer college discounts is because they don't have to. Where you go to school, do many other places offer college discounts? I don't remember getting any discounts because I was a college student. I would recommend that your college start some sort of sponsorship deal with the local course. Offer free, or greatly discounted advertising in game programs in exchange for a student rate. The course will only offer a reduced rate if they see a benefit.

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Unless a course happens to be located very near a college campus, I don't think it would see enough interest to make a thing like that worth their while.

For the courses that are near college students, it might make sense depending on the situation. As the other guys mentioned, full tee sheets would not make any course operator discount greens fees. However, if the course is struggling, it might make sense.

Could be wrong, but don't most college-owned courses (and there are a fair number) offer their own students a significant discount. The now-shut Forest Creason at Bowling Green State Univ. offered discounts many years before I ever thought to play golf.

FYI, rate structure at the Ohio State University courses:

Green Fees

  Scarlet Gray Twilight Scarlet* Twilight Gray*
OSU Students $35 $25 $30 $20
Faculty/Staff $65 $40 $35 $25
Affiliates/Guests $80 $50 $40 $30

*Twilight rates apply only after 4 pm.

 

Edited by mcanadiens

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2 hours ago, golfindude1 said:

The data shows a positive correlation between participation in sport percentage and household income. In other words, those a significant percentage of those who play these sports come from high-income households

Part of the flaw in your argument is the word "household". I know lots of college kids and even more high school kids who play golf. A few of them play almost daily. As a rule their folks pay for their golf. My neighbor, a gentleman with whom I play golf most often, has 4 kids. Their ages range from 13 to 24. They all play golf. They all play often. My neighbor and his wife, of course, pay for it. 

I know that doesn't help you. I'm probably telling you something you already know. That people who have more money have access to more stuff, including golf. So, as my folks used to say to me all the time "Work hard in school. Get a good job, and you'll have more opportunities." 

In the meantime you could:
1 - Look for a cheap muni. The town my college was located in had one. Many college towns do; They are often 9 holes. It may not be Pinehurst, but it's golf. 

2 - Consider getting a part time job at a golf course. Sometimes those come with either deep discounts or free golf.

3 - Get a golf scholarship --- Okay, easier said than done. 

4 - Look for a course that DOES have a special rate certain times of the day. There's one out here that has really reasonable rates for times when most people aren't interested in playing. As a college student, you may have a more flexible schedule than most golfers. 

5 - Or lastly, you could do what I did... Not start playing golf until I got my first job out of college. 

Good luck, hang in there. 

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I'm a graduate of NC State, a resident of NC, and pay taxes that help support the university system. I just looked at the rates for Lonnie Poole Golf Course, and they have student rates, but no alumni rate, no resident rate, or no tax payer or contributor rate. I worked at Duke University Golf Course, and they have student rates, as well. There are many golfers in Durham that would love to make what it costs to go to Duke that have to pay full price to play the course. According to the new Golf Magazine, I live ten minutes away from the 41st rated course in the USA. I'd love to be a member, but can't afford it. They don't benefit by giving discount memberships. 

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3 hours ago, golfindude1 said:

This is unfair to the college student compared to the adult because their only opportunities for obtaining money to play golf are either from part-time jobs (excluding golf courses for this instance), internships, or from their parents whereas the opportunities that the 40-year old gets pay significantly way more money than the college student. The fact that the student has to pay as much as the 40-year old is absurd.

7 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

There are many many things in the world that are "unfair" in just this way.  If you don't have enough money, you can't have dinner at the French Laundry, you can't purchase a penthouse in Manhattan, you can't drive a Bentley.  Every one of these is available to the general public, all you have to do is pony up the cash.  

 

One more thing.

Is it also "unfair" that 40-year-olds have to pay a mortgage payment, save money for their kids to go to college and/or their own retirement?

Is it "unfair" that a 40-year-old will have to provide food, clothing, housing, vehicles, insurance, utilities, etc... for their families?

Is it "unfair" that if a college student hits a bump in the financial road he/she can move back in with his/her folks, but a 40-year-old needs to maintain a financial cushion and/or savings to keep his/her family off the streets? 

Is it "unfair" that many 40-year-olds make sacrifices (both financial and other sacrifices) far greater than giving up golf to provide for their families? 

Is it "unfair" that many 40-year-olds are really hurting financially right now thanks to a world wide pandemic. Is it "unfair" that they lose sleep every night worrying about how they are going to provide for their families? 

Okay, I realize that I'm a little off the rails here. I'm just suggesting that you consider things deeply before you throw around words like "unfair". I would also argue that the 40-year-old and the college student each have the same "opportunities" to make money. They've just chosen to "invest" their time, talent, and treasures in different ways. (But that's probably a deeper discussion for another day.)

I really like @DaveP043's comment. 

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If you are living near the San Jose State main campus, you probably can't do much cheaper than Rancho del Pueblo. 

I don't care who you are, $15 and $17 greens fees are about as low as it gets. 

Six minutes from campus.


Rancho Del Pueblo Golf - San Jose, CA

 

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In golf, we want to appeal to markets of people with the opportunity and capability to play, as well as look to future. Junior golf and rates is easy and a huge part of pushing the sport. Senior rates, at this point, is pricing competitively, and especially with retirees, you want them playing as much as possible. Also a lot of retirees are just picking up the game. 

College students have a lot on their plate and a lot of outside entertainment and activities already. Not many college students are also looking to pick up the game. Those who play, will play given the time. There just isn’t a lot of them who play, generally, but some schools have courses associated who offer discounts. Even if a course started to offer a student rate in the hopes of gaining new players, the return will likely not be worth it. It’ll just be giving discounts to those who already play. 

Edited by phillyk

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You're hearing a lot of what I said in the first response: why should they?

The answer is basically the same as:

  • Why don't most colleges offer a female rate?
  • Why don't most colleges offer a lefty rate?
  • Why don't most colleges offer a minority rate?
  • Why don't most colleges offer a discount for people between 150 and 160 pounds?

So, why should the course(s) you're talking about offer a college student rate?

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5 minutes ago, jamo said:

If you're trying to use this as the basis for a thesis or something, that's an incorrect (albeit increasingly common) usage of the phrase "to beg the question." You're really looking for "to raise the question." Begging the question is a whole separate thing. 

People can’t get “they’re, there and their”, or “your and you’re” correct, and you’re going to try to teach the correct usage of “begging the question”?!  
 

Yeah.  Good luck with that!  😂

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28 minutes ago, David in FL said:

People can’t get “they’re, there and their”, or “your and you’re” correct, and you’re going to try to teach the correct usage of “begging the question”?!  
 

Yeah.  Good luck with that!  😂

Pretty good for and engineer though!

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10 hours ago, Sandy Divot said:

Around here, the public courses are packed every day. Every day is like a weekend day. I would guess they don't offer college discounts is because they don't have to. Where you go to school, do many other places offer college discounts? I don't remember getting any discounts because I was a college student. I would recommend that your college start some sort of sponsorship deal with the local course. Offer free, or greatly discounted advertising in game programs in exchange for a student rate. The course will only offer a reduced rate if they see a benefit.

Or if they actually need too.  If a course is booked solid why in the world do they need to lower their prices to anyone?

 

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I don't have an answer for the OP, but I got into golf in college. I don't remember (it was 23 years ago, shit!) if the local muni had a student rate or if it was just dirt cheap. I think the greens fees were less than $10 with unlimited replay as long as the first tee was open. If golf were not so readily accessible to me at the time, I probably would not be playing today, so I guess I lucked out.

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