First of all, I don't expect cheap golf on quality courses. And I do expect that the market should determine the price, and not what I'm willing to pay.
But having scanned tee times for the coming weekend, a weekend which I must point out is in the middle of February, Seapoint are looking for €150pp for a Sunday morning tee time.
I can only assume a golf consultant has paid them a visit, and advised them about the now Fionn mac Cumhaill style story whereby Golf Links A was struggling to attract American visitors, until they cleverly trebled their prices overnight, at which point they'd a queue of price-equates-to-prestige-minded Yanks at their door. I call it Golf Links A as I've heard the same story about Ardglass, Castlerock, Ballyliffin, Portmarnock Links and Portsalon. It might even be a true story for some of them; for I've noticed that little old Kirkistown went down a similar route last winter.
As mentioned, I've no qualms with market rates.
But I'm going to make an assumption that Irish people won't pay €150 for a round of golf in February. And another one that the volume of American golf tourists in Ireland during February would comfortably fit in a single minibus.
So, can we possibly start spreading out a rumour (one which hopefully our golf travel consultants pick up upon, and turn into one of their rules) that golf courses really need to price according to the seasons?
Invest in a good quality mower and a pin and stick a challenging hole in your back garden !!
Do they have a GUI members rate?
supply and demand, play somewhere else.
As every tee time from 8.40 to 10.20 is currently available, I might actually have considered supply and demand before writing this post.
A very simple solution I harp on about is that we should have a GUI rate for every course in Ireland. It could encourage casual golfers to retain membership if they know they can play a links in high summer for sensible money. It also allows us differentiate our products between a tourism product and a local product. Support local, protect consumers and all that.
Its a simple solution the GUI could enforce considering that all clubs are affiliated to the GUI. No GUI rate, no GUI membership. Simple.
Why should some of our top golf clubs give cheap golf to gui members in high season.
Everybody has the choice not to play a course they deem to expensive.
If the top courses are making good money it's well done them
To offer a bit more of a community for golfers and maybe attract and retain people in the game. Lots of people don't have a lot of money and can get a little bored playing their home course week in week out. It would be nice if they could play some of the bigger courses for a reasonable price.
I'd agree. If the market is willing to sustain full rates, then a course shouldn't offer discounts. I doubt though very much if all of the courses adopting a "price for America" strategy are achieving their aim.
This Seapoint pricing strategy (€150 in February) definitely feels like they've skipped a few pages of research and can only see $$$$ signs.
To offer a bit more of a community for golfers and maybe attract and retain people in the game. Lots of people don't have a lot of money and can get a little bored playing their home course week in week out. It would be nice if they could play some of the bigger courses for a reasonable
I don't see why. Golf clubs are run as businesses now.
Why would for example ballybunion who in high season are getting €180pp during the season all day everyday suddenly be FORCED to give gui mbers a reduction.
Trust me I would love to be able to afford all those links courses but I totally agree with their pricing if they are getting the bookings.
SEAPOINT IS A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME.!!!!
NOT WORTH €50 IN SUMMER
Because we are all members of the same entity. We all fall under the same umbrella. Why shouldn't we have a loyalty scheme amongst the nation of GUI members. Yes we should separate ourselves from the tourist price point.
Lets be patriotic about this and protect our fellow members. Anyone who is a member of these high end clubs do not pay a membership fee in line with the green fees. They pay between 600 and 800 in some links out west. So its laughable they view their product as premium value when they dont pay a premium price for their membership. If you pay 10,000 a year then yep fair enough, lock the gates.
We should look after our members not punish them because some cash loaded foreigners want to pay over the odds. Not many people will agree a game of golf is justified as a three figure price point. And the people who do are probably the people who dont even pay above a 1,000 euro for their membership.
Ha ha ha, Seapoint not worth €150 at the height of Summer, €30 now maybe €50-€60 in Summer and that's only because it's got a few links holes. Lovely clubhouse and grub though
Sorry don't see it happening. If that was the case we would all join slievenamon type clubs for €150 and have the privilege of going to the tralees/lahinch/ballybunion and play.
What about the lucky members of these clubs what benefit to them
I know it wont happen, but its silly that it wont when it makes so much sense.
Members of such clubs of course would get benefit. A Tralee or Ballybunion member can go play Lahinch, K Club, Mount Juliet, European club etc.
Remember the members of such high end links courses are many ordinary folk who if they happened to be over east would not fork out 180 to play the European club but if it was available to them at a GUI rate of 50 quid, you can be certain they'd play. So yes there is benefit.
Its win win for everyone. Some, not all, just need to take off their glasses and stop looking down their nose. Golf thankfully is no longer a game for the privileged. So why not have a loyalty scheme for GUI members.
I am not suggesting open the flood gates, but it couldn't hurt to have some slots made available to GUI members.
I'm not sure that's going to work. In effect you're asking members at these clubs to subsidise your golf. It's not like there is an infinite amount of tee times on these courses. I know members in some of these west coast links and they would happily get rid of the Americans and sacrifice the cash for better access in the summer. If they opened up Lahinch, say, at 40 euros a round, they would be swamped.
Nothing comes without cost. The reason why membership at these courses is cheap is because of the green fee income. The members pay for that with restricted tee-times.
I brought a few Americans to Lahinch/Tralee and Ballybunion a few years back. They thought the green free of 180 euro or whatever it was, was ridiculously cheap. They wouldn't get out on comparable courses in the US for love nor money.