Most Overpriced Golf Courses


#1

Everyone has forked over a huge amount of cash to play a highly touted or famous golf course and left feeling like it wasn’t worth it. Curious to hear some courses people have played in the past which are grossly overpriced for what you get in return. This doesn’t have to be only “famous” or public courses. Factor in the entire experience (pace of play, course conditions, layout, amenities etc.) Hopefully this will help people avoid some pitfalls when planning a golf trip or trying out a new course. Might be an unpopular opinion but I’m nominating:

  • TPC Sawgrass: The high season rate will run you an astounding $549 before tax and caddy cost. It’s possible to play it for less but unlikely you can get it done under $350. I’m glad I decided to play it once (bucket list course) but if we’re being honest you’re paying $400-600 to play 3 golf holes… 16, 17 and 18. Awesome course, facilities and memories, but way too costly. The course has character but nothing that blew my socks off like Kiawah Ocean, which is worth every cent.

#2

Reflection Bay at Lake Las Vegas. Not in existence anymore I believe but not worth the $275 we paid about 8-10 years ago.


#3

Whistling Straits - $385 + mandatory caddie ($105). Glad I played it once because it was a very fun round of golf and got to play it with the PGA Championship grandstands up which was cool. But would have a hard time justifying it again. It’s over-the-top Pete Dye, in my opinion. Enjoyable, yes. Not $500 worth though…or at least not more than once.

Trump Doral Blue Monster - $450 + mandatory caddie. Haven’t been able to justify paying for this one yet.


#4

Trump Doral Blue Monster - $450 + mandatory caddie. Haven’t been able to justify paying for this one yet.

Blue Monster is #2 on my list, not even close to worth it. Play the Red Tiger course twice instead. It’s a really fun / strategic course which recently got a Gil Hanse facelift.


#5

I come at this differently. I think there are very few places (to me) that aren’t worth the price tag once if they are any good at all. That being said, there are a ton I wouldn’t pay the rate to play again. You may string me up, but I wouldn’t pay $500 for Pebble again. Same for Shadow Creek, Blue Monster, Pete Dye French Lick, etc.


#6

Just go around scottsdale…

TPC tracks
Grayhawk
Wildfire
Troon.

While all good courses you can play AK-Chin, Rio Verde, Quintero, Tonto Verde, Talking Stick, Legend Trail all for far less and just as good of a course.


#7

This might be an unpopular opinion, and I’ve not seen it in person, but I have little desire to play Pebble Beach. While I’m sure that I’d thoroughly enjoy the entire Lodge/Monterrey experience, I’m personally more drawn to Bandon, Pinehurst, Kohler and probably a few more in that price tier.


#8

A little off topic, but Trump Ferry Point was not worth it for NYC visitors. Not because the $250 price tag is excessive, but because getting there and back without a car is incredibly expensive. My hotel quoted me $450 for a town car and said a regular taxi would be more than $250. In the end I took the 6 train to some place nearby in the Bronx, spent an hour trying not to get shot and looking for a taxi, until I nearly missed my tee time. Eventually an off duty taxi driver took pity on this idiot in his golf shoes and slacks standing gormless by the stop sign and dropped me to the course for free. Some locals drove me back to Manhattan after.

And the course was a bit … meh.


#9

Trump National LA is a joke


#10

Ferry Point is exactly what you would expect with Trump and Nicklaus teaming up for a “links”…

  • Doesn’t play like a links at all
  • Design is overall solid, but nothing extraordinary
  • Conditioning is fantastic
  • Price is outrageous

#11

I’d agree with all of that!


#12

I live in the UK and all in all the top courses here are much better value. It’s about £200 high season to play the big Open venues. Much less off season. St Andrews even does a Lottery every day for some slots which is crazy cheap, if you’re lucky.

The only one that’s stupid money (now) is Turnberry… since The Donald got his mucky hands on it.


#13

I wish I could “Love” this post, and not just “like” it. The peak season rates for these places are just out of control, though I guess it’s all about supply and demand.

Grayhawk, to me, is the most overpriced of this bunch Talon and Raptor each have 4-5 very good holes, and 13-14 forgettable ones.


#14

Glen abbey where they play the Canadian open pretty regularly is a ripoff at 150-200 depending on the rate you get.

Not a huge amount of money but with there only being 3-4 memorable holes it’s a waste for a 5hr+ round


#15

i was in California and decided to play pebble just one day. Had a 7 am tee time as a single and was paired with 3 others. They were the slowest players and the ranger started following us on the first hole and speeding us up. The course was nice but as far as experiences being paired up with a slow group sucked. 500 a round plus a caddie if you get one is insane too.


#16

Firestone South. Got to play it on the company dime last year. As boring as it looks on tv, it’s worse in person. Conditioning in late April was fantastic, caddies were wonderful and worth 3-4 shots, and food/clubhouse vibe was very good. But at 350 green fee and about 500 all in with caddie/lunch, let’s just say I wouldn’t have put up for it if I had to pick up my own tab. The North and West courses both looked infinitely more interesting, but of course everyone wanted to a play the “tour course on tv.”


#17

I live in Manhattan, and have a wide array of feeling over Ferry Point. An Uber there and back will run me total about 100. (So that has to be built in for my consideration)
I like the grass range on weekend summers and consider 50$ for that access (no play) worth my trip. Good value considering I’d spend the same at Chelsea Piers to hit balls from the upper deck.
Afternoon tee times drop in price and my move is to go spend a few hours at the range and eating lunch, then use what I paid to get range access to get a late tee time and try to get it in (they will apply the 50$ to the tee time) all in a day doing this may run me 300ish. Worth it for the course? Absolutely Not! The course/views/vibes of the place are incredibly overrated and stink! (Literally it’s on an old land fill).
But for the option to make a last minute move out of the city to spend a day at a golf course with good conditions is kind of worth it a few times a summer for me. I can decide at 11am on Saturday to make the trip, be hitting balls by 11:45 and playing as soon as the rate drops. The place is empty most afternoons - the course itself doesn’t justify the cost, they haven’t had a great clubhouse (they claim to be building one this year). I think the city is getting crushed on the deal it has with Trump Golf and by the time they assume full operating ownership Id not be surprised if it becomes a run down muni. There is an incredible story to write here about that place. It’s entire existence feels weird and the pipe dream of it hosting something is exactly that.


#18

My problem as a semi-regular visitor to NYC is that it’s exceptionally difficult to find a game anywhere noteworthy. If you’re in London on a business trip you can play Sunningdale, The Grove, Royal St George’s… pretty much any course you want. I’l even come play with you if you like. But I’ve tried many times to get onto Winged Foot, Shinny, even Liberty National and was told in no uncertain terms to GTFO.

I’ve looked into Bethpage Black before but that whole sending a fax system is retarded and I refuse, on principle, to engage with it. On that note, Torrey, for all it’s design faults, is actually a much better, easier and cheaper experience.


#19

@MGolf I’ve been very curious about Trump Ferry Point but haven’t ponied up the cash to play there yet. Like everything in NYC (except flowers), it’s going to run you a premium price. When I drive by the course it definitely peaks my curiosity but those prices for a “club house / pro shop” in a double-wide are ridiculous. The course itself is obviously most important but I’m not a full-blown purist, sue me. For $300 I want a post-round shower in a nice locker room and a cool spot to enjoy a drink. Would love to discuss the tax deal they struck with the city (amazingly favorable to the course) but don’t want to get O/T. You’re right though… there’s a story here. I’ll write it this spring on my site once I finally get out there.

The bottom-line is if you live in NYC and don’t belong to a private club, you are SOL.


#20

For $300 plus I expect a nosh in the bushes.