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Is Pebble Beach Worth $495 (or $550 in 2019)?


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  1. 1. Is Pebble Beach Worth $495

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    • No
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Originally Posted by mdl

I'm all about using the money I have for great experiences, but if I had saved a ton of money to spend on a trip, I'd see more "experience value" in using it to take my wife to the Himalayas or Patagonia or something.

Gonna leave her there, huh? It's probably worth it :P

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Not a chance in Hell. No course in the world is worth $500 for one round. If I ever paid that much for a round of golf, it would be because I bought it at a charity auction and most of the money is g

I was faced with this dilemma in early April last year.  I was in the SFO area for work and decided to take the plunge to head down to to Pebble Beach.   During the trip there I was trying to rational

This is exactly why my answer is an obvious no!  Assume you're not willing to build a golf trip around a round at Pebble when you have to hope there's magically a time for a foursome available the nex

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Originally Posted by jcard71

Intended customer base? You mean that are willing to pay $495 for a round? Sounds like you're a little jealous...

Yeah, mostly the same customer base as for $5000 iron sets and such.

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Originally Posted by bogdan101

Yeah, mostly the same customer base as for $5000 iron sets and such.

I was part of that "customer" base and I'm still playing Callaway X20 Tour iron that probably go for about $5.00 for a set on ebay right now...try again.

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Originally Posted by bogdan101

I think it would be a lot less attractive to their intended customer base if it wouldn't be as expensive. I would not pay that much for green fees even if I had millions, in part to avoid mingling with their intended customer base.

Originally Posted by bogdan101

Yeah, mostly the same customer base as for $5000 iron sets and such.

I think you have a pretty warped idea of what their customer base actually is.     When I played there my playing companions were a high school teacher from Canada, an engineer from LA, and an accountant from LA.     If you polled those here on TST you'd probably find similar demographics.    I doubt you'll find a bunch of people at Pebble who are lighting Cuban cigars with $100 bills while flying in their G-V into Carmel.    Maybe a few, but they're just people too and not someone who you feel so adverse to mingle with.

If these are the types of people you seem so determined to avoid, that's just, well.......sad.

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Originally Posted by bogdan101

Yeah, mostly the same customer base as for $5000 iron sets and such.

I think Pebble is full of working men on the trip of a lifetime, happy to be bilked of thousands in excess of any rational fee in order to play a famous course. Rich, haughty folks might play there on occasion, but they're happier where they don't let the "normals" in. You'd never be able to mingle with the crowd you're thinking of for any amount of money.

That said, I still wouldn't want to go. There are a handful of Tillinghast courses, among other good ones, within 100 miles of me that would cost much less to play combined than one round at Pebble, even if the trip was free. St Andrews and Carnoustie and Shinnecock are on my bucket list, but Augusta and Pebble are all about TV and the tour and not the history of the game. I probably won't be able to get onto Shinnecock unless I know someone but it's a really cool course.

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Originally Posted by mdl

Yeah, fair enough.  If you've got the money and you value getting to play a historic course where the best in the world still compete (and get their butts kicked by the course!), and there's enough value for you (via the wife?!) in staying somewhere fancy for a couple days of a trip with sweet spa treatments, sweet rooms and amenities, presumably a great restaurant, etc., then sure.

I guess it's just that I personally don't value the experience enough of playing Pebble just because it's Pebble to pay the 5x markup over other courses out there that are just as incredible but don't have the same cachet.  At least, I don't value it enough to pay that price given any amount of money I ever expect to make.  I'd have to be VERY wealthy to feel that was worth it to me, as opposed to just doing well enough to be able to afford to save a bunch and then invest that significant savings in a trip to Pebble.  I'm all about using the money I have for great experiences, but if I had saved a ton of money to spend on a trip, I'd see more "experience value" in using it to take my wife to the Himalayas or Patagonia or something.

I hear you.  If I'd been willing to waste (yeah I said waste) money playing places like Pebble, my wife and I wouldn't be living in a beach house in the Bahamas right now.  for some of us it's a matter of what's actually important to you, and for me, quality golf could be played for a much more reasonable outlay.  If I was to take a dream golf vacation, it would be to Scotland, not California.

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Originally Posted by jcard71

I was part of that "customer" base and I'm still playing Callaway X20 Tour iron that probably go for about $5.00 for a set on ebay right now...try again.

Okay, let me try again ( btw this is all in good fun for the sake of having a debate ):

Actual customer base and intended customer base may not be the same thing. I agree that lots of regular people  go and play there once just to... hmmm not sure exactly what they're trying to accomplish, but I don't think they go back too soon. Have you played there more than once? ( Almost wrote "payed", which would describe the situation more accurately... ) I'm sure they're more interested in reeling in the bigger fish.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

I hear you.  If I'd been willing to waste (yeah I said waste) money playing places like Pebble, my wife and I wouldn't be living in a beach house in the Bahamas right now.  for some of us it's a matter of what's actually important to you, and for me, quality golf could be played for a much more reasonable outlay.  If I was to take a dream golf vacation, it would be to Scotland, not California.

To each his own, but until you've played Pebble you just don't know what you're missing. St Andrews was amazing, but so was Pebble.

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Originally Posted by bogdan101

Okay, let me try again ( btw this is all in good fun for the sake of having a debate ):

Actual customer base and intended customer base may not be the same thing. I agree that lots of regular people  go and play there once just to... hmmm not sure exactly what they're trying to accomplish, but I don't think they go back too soon. Have you played there more than once? ( Almost wrote "payed", which would describe the situation more accurately... ) I'm sure they're more interested in reeling in the bigger fish.


I've played Pebble and Spyglass once and Spanish Bay three times, and If\when I'm in the area again I would play and PAY again.   Bigger "fish" makes no sense? My $495 was just as green as the bigger fish's.  I wasn't trying to accomplish anything other than, let me think...PLAY the #1 or #2 ranked public course in the country...

Of the handful of people I know who have played Pebble all say the same thing, it was worth it!  Of the people who need to make themselves feel better by saying, "I would never pay that much money to play, and there are just as good of courses out there." that's fine too, BUT until you've played it you're talking out of your ass as far as saying there are just as good of courses out there.  IMO, it was worth every penny and I will never forget that round.

Finally for me, remember what Jack said, if he only had one more round of golf to play, he would "play it at Pebble Beach..."

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Originally Posted by jcard71

Of the handful of people I know who have played Pebble all say the same thing, it was worth it!  Of the people who need to make themselves feel better by saying, "I would never pay that much money to play, and there are just as good of courses out there." that's fine too, BUT until you've played it you're talking out of your ass as far as saying there are just as good of courses out there.  IMO, it was worth every penny and I will never forget that round.

Finally for me, remember what Jack said, if he only had one more round of golf to play, he would "play it at Pebble Beach..."

Predictably most people who did not play there (me included) say it's not worth it, and just as predictably people who played there ( including you) say it is worth it. It would be a lot more interesting to hear from someone who played there and admit it was a mistake to pay so much for a round of golf.

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Originally Posted by bogdan101

Predictably most people who did not play there (me included) say it's not worth it, and just as predictably people who played there ( including you) say it is worth it. It would be a lot more interesting to hear from someone who played there and admit it was a mistake to pay so much for a round of golf.

Good point!  I wonder why that person hasn't posted?

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Originally Posted by jcard71

To each his own, but until you've played Pebble you just don't know what you're missing. St Andrews was amazing, but so was Pebble.


Glad you enjoyed yourself.. However, I'm not sure why you are being so hard on those that don't feel it's worth it..  Worth is relative and subjective.. I've had $100 and $150 meals and found them to be way over priced and over hyped.. Just like most resort and private courses.. Humans love feeling like part of the "in" crowd.. For me,, no meal is worth more then $30 (Lobster), just like NO golf course is worth more then $50 per round.. But that is just me.. I wouldn't pay $3,000 for a designer suit either..

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Originally Posted by jcard71

I've played Pebble and Spyglass once and Spanish Bay three times, and If\when I'm in the area again I would play and PAY again.   Bigger "fish" makes no sense? My $495 was just as green as the bigger fish's.  I wasn't trying to accomplish anything other than, let me think...PLAY the #1 or #2 ranked public course in the country...

Of the handful of people I know who have played Pebble all say the same thing, it was worth it!  Of the people who need to make themselves feel better by saying, "I would never pay that much money to play, and there are just as good of courses out there." that's fine too, BUT until you've played it you're talking out of your ass as far as saying there are just as good of courses out there.  IMO, it was worth every penny and I will never forget that round.

Finally for me, remember what Jack said, if he only had one more round of golf to play, he would "play it at Pebble Beach..."

I don't say it to make myself "feel better".  You are reading something into our statements which isn't there.  I say it, and I'm sure that others feel similarly, because it's a ridiculous price to pay for a single round of golf anywhere.  It's almost 4 times the highest green fee I've ever paid in my life.  There is nothing about playing golf at Pebble that I can't get on dozens of just as well designed and maintained but more reasonably priced golf courses.  I don't get all dreamy and emotional about a golf course, no matter what it's called.  If I want scenery, I'll take my DSLR and go and take photos of scenery, and there are miles upon miles of beautiful scenery all over the US, not just at Pebble Beach, and I can see it for free, or at most a nominal charge.   If I want to play golf, I'll take my clubs and go play golf.  We have some amazingly beautiful courses in Colorado too, but they don't gouge the public to the tune of $500 per round.  I've probably never played a round of golf at a course you've ever heard of, and that doesn't bother me in the least.  For me, it's the simple purity of playing golf that's important, not the course or the location.  It's all about the game.

So, when I leave the beach here to play golf, it will be to my home state of Colorado because that's where my golfing friends are, and for me playing with good friends is far more uplifting than any possible venue, and that includes Scotland or Augusta..... or Pebble.

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Fourputt, you saved and some could say splurged on your retirement home in the Bahamas or wherever you are. Right?

It probably cost more than a few bucks. Someone could call that a ridiculous expenditure. And they'd be right... for them, and their opinion and valuation system and so on.

So the judgmental tone is a little weird. You simply have different priorities. $495 might be ridiculous to you, but to other people (especially those with higher incomes), it might be money well spent. Everyone values money and goods, services, and experiences differently.

I wouldn't pay $500 to play Augusta National, but I know guys that would pay $5,000. They're not right nor am I - there is no "right" or "wrong" or "ridiculous" here except to each individual person.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Fourputt, you saved and some could say splurged on your retirement home in the Bahamas or wherever you are. Right?

It probably cost more than a few bucks. Someone could call that a ridiculous expenditure. And they'd be right... for them, and their opinion and valuation system and so on.

So the judgmental tone is a little weird. You simply have different priorities. $495 might be ridiculous to you, but to other people (especially those with higher incomes), it might be money well spent. Everyone values money and goods, services, and experiences differently.

I wouldn't pay $500 to play Augusta National, but I know guys that would pay $5,000. They're not right nor am I - there is no "right" or "wrong" or "ridiculous" here except to each individual person.

Couldn't agree more with this statement.

I have no desire to retire outside of where my family is at and I'd rather travel the world with the money saved. That being said, there's nothing saying a person can't do both.

Personally, I have a goal of playing golf in every state and a list of must play courses. That goal will be balanced with the other goals in life such as retirement, world travel, paying off the house, sending kids to college, etc., however there's nothing saying I won't accomplish them all and still have plenty left over.

Every person has their own priorities and similar to iacas' statement, there was a buddy of mine who turned down going on the trip and instead is planning on going to the Masters next year. He'd rather go watch the Masters than play Pebble. His choice, his life, and not the slightest bit ridiculous or wrong.

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If I want scenery, I'll take my DSLR and go and take photos of scenery, and there are miles upon miles of beautiful scenery all over the US, not just at Pebble Beach, and I can see it for free, or at most a nominal charge.

Priorities. You probably spent at least $500 on the camera. Some people would rather have spent that on a round at Pebble and taken some iPhone pictures.

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I'll put my 2 cents in (or in PB dollars, 45 cents)... I played there in 1986- you were able to call the day before as a single and if they had a spot open you could get in. No problem with that, I just had to leave early from Mountain View to get there in time for a 9 am tee off (after a swing loosening Bloody Mary from the bar). I drove down and paid the $5 to get on the 17 mile drive, and I paid my $125 greens fee... BUT- they did refund the $5 for the toll, but suggested a yardage book at, you guessed it, $5... No caddies at that time that I can remember and it was cart paths only with (I think) 15 minutes between tee offs. At the time, I got a lot of "Wow? that much? That's an awful lot to pay for a round of golf". But I reasoned it was unlikely the price would drop any time soon and I was close enough to at least try it. Was it worth it? Well after being 3 under for the first 4 holes, it sure was... didn't exactly maintain that pace but played well enough to scrounge an 82 with a birdie at 18 with quite the gallery on the patio watching me drain that 10 foot curling downhill putt. Was it worth it then? Sure it was. Even since then I can remember ALMOST every shot; both the good ones and the bad. Opening with that ballooning fade towards the trees on 1, The eagle putt at 2, a carving 3 wood holding against the wind at 8, sailing a whale killer at 9, burying into the bunker at 14, sticking it close at 17, and the nearly perfect 3 shots at 18 leading to the birdie. Was THAT worth it? yup, still is. I played with 3 other gentlemen who had their wives along as cart drivers just to watch and enjoy the scenery. With the stretched out tee times there was plenty of time to take a picture here and there without backing anything up and there was really no rush because just about everyone out there was doing the same thing. Even the cart path only rule didn't really effect us too much because with all the folks in the group there was someone to grab your cart and move it along if needed. Those guys didn't play nearly as well as I did, but I didn't mind and neither did they- they were out to enjoy themselves on one of the great courses of the world. I'm SURE it was worth it to them for just that reason. Even though they obviously had greater means than I did, they didn't act like it was a 'throwaway' to be forking over that much to play (at the time). I had budgeted at least that much in the months leading up to the trip in the hope of getting on. So, at the time it was worth it and even now it was was worth it for the experience and some of the stories I dredge up now and again. Fast forward to present day and I would probably hesitate at forking over $500 to play there- maybe not because of the actual amount, but I would fear that the experience wouldn't be the same. Probably don't have the stretched out tee times anymore which would mean a bit more hurried feel out there. I just looked up what that $125 in 1986 is worth today- approx. $250, but they've actually doubled that value. If it was $250, I'd play there every trip, or nearly every trip anyway. They have a product- and it is a great product for it's market. And people will pay what the market will bear. Shadow Creek in Las Vegas is $500 as well- is THAT course worth it (even with the limo to and from and rentals)? Even with only about 30 rounds a day, it can't possibly compare to Pebble in the experience, scenery or it's history. And I think that's what is the X factor here. Sure you can play Pacific Grove or whatever it's called for quite a few bucks less with similar conditions and scenery but it doesn't have the history.
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Originally Posted by DevilDog21

Excellent response, and I couldn't agree more. It wasn't the easiest of decisions for us to make as we wanted to go to Greece instead. The breaking point came when I saw my father in law light up about it, and then 5 of my longtime friends and golf buddies got serious about making it a group trip with their wives. We now have everything booked for 7 golfers and their better halves to go and enjoy it together. We still have one open spot on our tee time in which I'm hoping a buddy living in China can make it to play.

That being said, if it were just a trip for my wife and I....I'd be somewhere else like you.

Cool.  Have a great trip!  Despite what I said above I could totally see a 7 couple trip to Monterrey involving a round at Pebble sounds totally fun.  Where you guys playing in my neighborhood (LA)?

And my brother lives in China and I keep trying to get him to come back more so we can golf more together too!

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  • iacas changed the title to Is Pebble Beach Worth $495 (or $550 in 2019)?

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