What’s the deal with greens fees? Savings are a click away

Golfers from all over the country flock to our neck of the woods to play golf this time of year. They’re sick of winter and desperately want to get outside.

It’s a great time for them to play.

But it’s also a time when all of us have to pay – unless we access the great deals on this website.

I have been stunned recently by the greens fees I have seen. In my area, you can’t get on most courses for less than $175 on weekends. The cost is still exorbitant during the week.

Talk about sticker shock.

Then I click on the “Golf Deals” tab on the front page of this website and check out the best offers. Here are three possibilities in the northern edge of the Bay Area:

I could play 18 holes at Bennett Valley in Santa Rosa for $21.

Not far away, Rooster Run in Petaluma is offering a twilight rate of $27.

And Chardonnay Golf Club in American Canyon will let you play any time of day for only $36.

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

People who don’t play our great game have a long list of weak excuses – it takes too long, it’s too hard, blah, blah, blah. But the one thing they could hit us on is that it’s expensive.

Yes, you spend a few bucks to get a set of clubs, learn how to use them and then take them out to the course. Yes, it costs more than a walk in the park.

I say it’s worth it.

But even I, a self-avowed golf nut, have my limits. My sweet spot for greens fees is $50 or less. If I’m paying that, I don’t blink. That’s the going rate.

Sure, I’ve paid more – a lot more. But if I’m going to shell out into triple digits for four hours of fun, it had better be a really good course on a really nice day. And I don’t do it often.

Shopping for a good deal on the golf course is not unlike shopping for anything else in these days of rampant inflation. You have to prepare.

Let’s say you want to buy a good steak for less than a day’s wage. You might go online to see what various grocery stores are offering. You might check the mailers you receive at home. You might talk with friends about where they shop.

But the one thing you don’t want to do is drive all over town from store to store, hoping to find a good deal. For one thing, that’s frustrating. For another, the price of gas makes meat prices almost look like a good deal.

That’s where we are nowadays, and being a good shopper has become part of being a good golfer. There are a lot of perfectly fine courses out there, in fine shape, that have fine, affordable rates.

You just have to find them, but then, you already did. You’re on this site.

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