Like everything else, golf is getting more expensive. Chemicals, gasoline for the carts and increased labor costs for maintenance adds up, so courses are raising greens fees, but in my opinion, some courses may be pricing themselves out of the market and losing revenue.
Case in point.
Old Trail in Crozet is now $84 for 18 holes and a cart Mon-Thu, $90 on Friday and $104 on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. Old Trail is not a $100 course. They don’t have restrooms on the course, only a couple of porta johns. It’s a nice course, but not worth a hundred bucks.
I called around for tee times this week, and Old Trail was wide open on a Wednesday afternoon, but Meadowcreek was booked solid. Meadow Creek rates are $50 for weekdays and $55 for weekends, and they stay busy.
Another course that is now over-priced is Tanyard in Louisa. I always liked Tanyard because it is a fun course, the play was fast, and it was inexpensive. A few weeks back we played on a Wednesday afternoon, and I think she charged us $42. There were only a handful of players on the course. Tanyard is not worth $42 on a weekday afternoon. The fairway grass is mostly weeds, the traps are poor and the greens decent, but not great. They once accepted VSGA cards so you could play for $30 or less, but no more. Our group will now play there only occasionally.
Spring Creek is very expensive – in the $125 range – but the course stays busy, so they obviously can support those prices. Lake Monticello is one of the best values around. It’s an outstanding layout and well maintained. They accept VSGA cards but only charge $45 to $65 without.
One of the best values in golf, I believe, is Heritage Oaks in Harrisonburg. They accept VSGA and their rates are about $30 and it’s an excellent course and a lot of fun. Too bad it’s an hour and change from Charlottesville.
Lots of people are playing golf now, but with gasoline running over $4 a gallon and chicken going for $4 a pound, folks are going to have to cut back somewhere. Golf needs to be affordable. When the course lacks golfers on weekday afternoons, they should lower prices for those times. You can’t make any money when no one is playing.