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I'm going on a trip in the near future. It's not a golf trip but there is a PGA venue nearby that people I know cannot stop talking about. But, it's also a good deal of money (round + club rentals + transport + etc). Obviously I'm still debating whether to do it or not, especially when a $90 local round was a "treat" to me last year. But it has be wondering: how does the vacation factor weigh into people's golf? "When in Rome," what are people here willing to pay out?

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As someone who has gone on vacation to play courses like Pebble, Kiawah, Sawgrass I wholeheartedly have to say it's 100% worth the cost. Yes, they're expensive rounds, but at the same time it's not li

If it's a vacation where I'm driving, my clubs are always the first items in the trunk.  I'll have multiple courses picked out and play when I choose.   If I'm flying, I'll take my clubs onl

Depends on the course, if it's one of those truly great ones, even paying 400-500$  if it's something you'll always remember can be worth it. Obviously everyone's financial situation is different

Personally, I don't tend to play golf on vacation unless I have my own clubs. I just know that if I'm playing somewhere "special" I'm not going to want to use a set of clubs that don't have my specs, that I'm probably not going to be comfortable hitting, and that aren't going to allow me to at least try and play my best.

 

If it's just a round to give me something to do (or to break up 8 hour sitting on the beach days) and I don't care about the course or how I play then I may consider renting clubs, but that would pretty much be the only time I'd do it. 

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20 minutes ago, HeeBGBz said:

But it has be wondering: how does the vacation factor weigh into people's golf? "When in Rome," what are people here willing to pay out?

 

Is it a place where you are not likely to ever get back to? Take the plunge.

 

My example. I was in California for a golf trip. I did not have a round at Pebble booked in advance but told my wife that if I was playing well, the forecast was good, and I could get a tee time that I'd play on one of the days. Sure enough, the stars lined up and I got to play. It was not cheap but it was worth it.

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27 minutes ago, HeeBGBz said:

I'm going on a trip in the near future. It's not a golf trip but there is a PGA venue nearby that people I know cannot stop talking about. But, it's also a good deal of money (round + club rentals + transport + etc). Obviously I'm still debating whether to do it or not, especially when a $90 local round was a "treat" to me last year. But it has be wondering: how does the vacation factor weigh into people's golf? "When in Rome," what are people here willing to pay out?

Which golf course ?

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4 minutes ago, HeeBGBz said:

 

El Camaleon at Mayakoba.

 

I would pass on that one myself and spend the money on some other excursions, restaurants etc...

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1 hour ago, Abh159 said:

Personally, I don't tend to play golf on vacation unless I have my own clubs. I just know that if I'm playing somewhere "special" I'm not going to want to use a set of clubs that don't have my specs, that I'm probably not going to be comfortable hitting, and that aren't going to allow me to at least try and play my best.

 

If it's just a round to give me something to do (or to break up 8 hour sitting on the beach days) and I don't care about the course or how I play then I may consider renting clubs, but that would pretty much be the only time I'd do it. 

I agree here, maybe it's because I'm a better skilled player but I am mentally unable to play golf without my own equipment.  Any trip I've ever gone on I transport my clubs if there's a remote chance I play.

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Basically comes down to what it’s worth to you and if you have the disposable income/funds. When I’m on vacation, and in general, I’ll pay whatever the round costs if it’s a course I want to experience/play. Agreed on using rental clubs. For rounds I travel to, I take my clubs in my travel bag. 

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If it's a vacation where I'm driving, my clubs are always the first items in the trunk.  I'll have multiple courses picked out and play when I choose.

 

If I'm flying, I'll take my clubs only if I have a course booked before I leave.  If not, I won't play and the clubs stay home.

 

In either case, I know the golf budget before I leave.  

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Depends on the course, if it's one of those truly great ones, even paying 400-500$  if it's something you'll always remember can be worth it. Obviously everyone's financial situation is different

 

When i was in Kohler on business, i absolutely had no issue spending 500$ or whatever it was at Whistling Straights

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Mayakoba is a good track, you'll find other than the par 3 next to the ocean, most of the holes are fairly ordinary and while nice (just don't have a big wow factor...frankly Pinehurst #2 didn't either until the remodel so take that for what it's worth). 

When we stayed at the Fairmont we played daily so quite familiar with the course.

The rate isn't cheap, but isn't Pebble money either, however that being said if I remember correctly golfing options around there are limited and they are all pricey.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Roody said:

As someone who has gone on vacation to play courses like Pebble, Kiawah, Sawgrass I wholeheartedly have to say it's 100% worth the cost. Yes, they're expensive rounds, but at the same time it's not like these are courses you're playing week-in and week-out. They're experiences, and they'll be memories and stories that you can draw on for the rest of your life. 

I had this debate with a friend of mine a couple years ago. He asked me what my round at Pebble cost. When I told him $500, his jaw dropped. Then he said "but for $500 I can play the local muni down the street 10-12 times!". Yeah, you can, but I can play the local muni any time I want. And it's nowhere near as impressive a view as Pebble. We only get one life to live, and if playing the local muni 12 times makes you happier than playing Pebble once, by all means. But I want to cross as many bucket list items off as I can before they put me in the ground. 

This^^^

 

There are a few courses I'd be perfectly fine dropping some serious cash to play.  Pebble, Sawgrass...I don't need to go on I think you get the idea.  A place like Pebble that is across the country from me, I'd likely only have one chance to play anyway.  I'm not in an area of the country that has lots of high caliber courses (live in VT).  I could drive to Bethpage (4+ hours), or Oak Hill (I think that's the one in Rochester, NY).  One other factor I'd consider, lets say you are there and don't play.  Are you gonna look back and say "man I wish i played that course when I was there"?  

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4 hours ago, Roody said:


I had this debate with a friend of mine a couple years ago. He asked me what my round at Pebble cost. When I told him $500, his jaw dropped. Then he said "but for $500 I can play the local muni down the street 10-12 times!". 

Oh man. Great point by your friend!😂 Just goes to show you that everyone’s different and you either get it or you don’t. 

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Even for Pebble Beach level courses and when on vacation, I would not spend $500. I found the £180 for Royal Dornoch too much already, and would rather play hidden gems than name courses that are sometimes overhyped (or can’t stand up to my expectations anyway because of the price tag).

 I realize that this comes across as cheap, but I’m not as wealthy as others and a weekend rate of €100 pains me already. 
 

But I might do it once I have a better salary, as I’m in the same boat as Roody: you only live once. I think 300 would be my limit. 

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Btw, I stayed at the Fairmont Mayakoba in 2016, the year before I picked up golf, and the course looked pristine but rather flat and not too exciting design-wise. They wanted $199 w/o cart for resort guests, if I remember correctly.

I prefer the more exciting designs of Scottish links courses or a few of the Canary Islands ones and paid between 60 and 100€ for those. A much better deal IMO. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, HeeBGBz said:

 

El Camaleon at Mayakoba.

 

To each their own, but I'd say Mayakoba is far from a "must play" course especially if you're having to go out of your way to do it. Sure it's nice, but other than that it's just your run of the mill tour stop that usually only attracts the guys who are trying to keep their tour card that year. Nothing too special about it in my opinion. 

 

I was assuming you were referring to a course with a little more prestige...

Edited by Abh159
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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Abh159 said:

 

To each their own, but I'd say Mayakoba is far from a "must play" course especially if you're having to go out of your way to do it. Sure it's nice, but other than that it's just your run of the mill tour stop that usually only attracts the guys who are trying to keep their tour card that year. Nothing too special about it in my opinion. 

 

I was assuming you were referring to a course with a little more prestige...

 

Yeah, sorry. When I first posted, I wanted it to be vague as I'm generally more interested in the general question. Tbh, I don't entirely care about where tour players play but it does sort of lead into a question of when/why play golf while out of town.

 

Edit: To strengthen my general vagueness, I wouldn't necessarily pose this for just Mayakoba. If i went elsewhere for a stretch of time near a hotspot, this would/could generally be the same question.

Edited by HeeBGBz
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Have you ever seen lefty rental clubs? 🤣

 

That being said, no course is worth suffering without my gear.

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Posted (edited)

Every time I've ever asked (only a few times, admittedly) resort courses did have lefty rental clubs. I've only actually followed through and rented them twice that I can remember. Once I got a full of then-current Big Bertha irons (with matching set wedges), a fairway wood, driver and some sort of Odyssey plumbers neck putter. Even came with a sleeve of 2pc Callaway balls. I think it was $75 for the rental on top of the $100-something green fee at a desert resort course in Arizona.

 

The other time I got a sort of mishmash. Older TM driver and 3-wood, an off-brand hybrid, set of Callaway X-something irons and a JAWS putter with I think it was a Ping Anser putter. But honestly, I think it maybe 30 bucks for the rentals that time. Get what you pay for I guess.

 

But several other times when planning trips I called ahead and confirmed lefty rentals available, then decided to take my own clubs anyway. 

 

There's also a pretty affordable resort course near our family beach house that has lefty rentals even though I've never used them. They don't look very nice, seeing them in the pro shop. Kind of OK in an emergency I guess. 

Edited by North Butte
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My opinion.  Yours and your mileage may vary.

 

$65 is expensive for a round of golf (for me and my location).  I personally would never pay more than $150 for a round of golf.  I just can't logically justify it.  I am not going to ever brag to my buddies about playing So-and-so course that the pros play or anything like that.  It just doesn't interest me to do so.  So it has to be worth the cost from a pure golf standpoint.  There is no way that a course can be substantially better conditioned, manicured, etc. than courses I have played for $60 (or in a few cases for free).  And if they are, it honestly doesn't make or break my experience.

 

I don't know what it costs to play The Old Course.  I don't.  And it would certainly be a once in a lifetime experience to play it.  But I am not paying more than 150usd to play it when I can walk it on a Sunday and maybe get to take my time to really digest the holes without clubs in my hand.

 

No round of golf is worth that to me.

 

So, in the OP's scenario, I would keep the cash, skip playing and do something fun with my significant other while on vacation.

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1 hour ago, Bigjim1022 said:

I could drive to Bethpage (4+ hours), or Oak Hill (I think that's the one in Rochester, NY).  One other factor I'd consider, lets say you are there and don't play.  Are you gonna look back and say "man I wish i played that course when I was there"?  

I live about 10 minutes away from Oak Hill. They have two courses, the East and the West Course. The East is their famous one. I've managed to get onto the West 5 times, and the East only twice. Luckily for me in each of these cases, a member brought me out and it cost me $0. 

And agreed, I don't want to be in a situation where I made the trek out to somewhere and regretted not playing a bucket list course when I had the chance. 

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1 hour ago, LukeDonaldsTiger said:

Even for Pebble Beach level courses

There are only two at the level of Pebble, that is St. Andrews and Augusta National.

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Just been having this conversation with my daughter. We are heading to Maui in a couple of weeks and will play Kapalua Plantation. It is going to cost me nearly $900 for the both of us. Ouch! I bring golf clubs on golf trips, but this is a surf/beach trip where we will golf. I will bring my surfboard but my daughter would rather bring her golf clubs because she wants to shoot well at a difficult course. I am making her pay some of her greens fee and she is adamant that she have her own clubs in that case. I don't care about what I score on this kind of vacation, on a golf trip I pay closer attention. 

 

We are playing with a couple of friends so it will be a fun day for sure.  It is a beautiful course, and the holes are easily recognizable from TV so totally worth it IMO. Since we are pre-paying I will have forgotten about the greens fees long before we have even got to the course. It really comes down to your comfort level in blowing money for an experience.

 

I figure I was in New York City for vacation with my wife and the restaurant/bar tab at the end of every dinner was at least $300- so a 5 hour round of golf is a bargain at $400.

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8 minutes ago, Fairway14 said:

There are only two at the level of Pebble, that is St. Andrews and Augusta National.

I don’t really know the different levels, but I meant legendary courses like Sawgrass, Bethpage Black (I know it’s a public course), Chambers Bay and so on. I’m a relatively new golfer (4th season) and from Europe. 
But yeah, the Old Course is on my bucket list, and who knows if I‘d pull the trigger if I had the opportunity- but not for £500.  

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8 hours ago, jvincent said:

 

Is it a place where you are not likely to ever get back to? Take the plunge.

 

My example. I was in California for a golf trip. I did not have a round at Pebble booked in advance but told my wife that if I was playing well, the forecast was good, and I could get a tee time that I'd play on one of the days. Sure enough, the stars lined up and I got to play. It was not cheap but it was worth it.

500 bucks a pop now.  Last time I played there it was 400.  Next time you're up there, you should check out Poppy Hills, Spyglass, and Bayonet.  Those are all hidden gems that are cheaper than Pebble, but worth playing.  For me I try to go on vacation during the off season.  I save quite a bit on lodging and golf.  Palm Springs for example is a lot cheaper during the summer when it's 110+ out.  I book my tee times around 7 to 8 am  that way I'm back before it gets blistering hot. 

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Posted (edited)

I have simple tastes in golf and don't need name-brand course architecture or mango-scented cold towels to enjoy a round on vacation. In fact, when I travel, I tend to seek out the lower-end, walkable, "locals" courses instead of the pricey resort cartball courses. Almost all of my vacation golf costs under $100 per round, with the majority of it under $75 per round.

 

I've only spent more than $150 on a round of golf at a resort or public course maybe three times in my life. 2 out of 3 times it wasn't worth it. The time that it was worth it (and was only a little over $150) was Fallen Oak near Biloxi. I really enjoyed the layout, conditions were perfect, and I had the whole place to myself.

 

Between the cost of the round and lodging, I have zero interested in playing Pebble Beach, even if the actual expenditure would make no difference in my overall financial picture. 

Edited by Bonneville85308
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I was thinking of a version of this thread the other day. I have played poorly at expensive/nice courses and I've played well at regular/muni courses. I have always remembered my good rounds better than the good courses.

 

I tend to leave my clubs at home on vacation. So even if I vacationed to the Monterey/Santa Cruz area or to Kiawah, I still wouldn't bring my clubs unless I went there on a golf trip specifically to play those courses with some friends. 

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A comment on the rental clubs: I ship mine to the resort via ShipSticks, I don't like to rent unless I absolutely have to. For a couple reasons. First, I am almost always playing multiple rounds and I want to have my own clubs. Second, the cost to send them via ShipSticks works out cheaper than renting if you're playing more than 2 rounds of golf. 

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