HackerDave, on 08 March 2018 - 07:27 AM, said:
I have never heard of this, but it doesn't surprise me. People who ride in carts feel they are subsidizing those that do not. Kind of silly. Clubs are always looking for new sources of revenue. A few years back our club purchased nice push carts for those who like to walk. We charge a flat fee of $50 a year. I was fine with that. A fee for range balls is perfectly acceptable to me, assuming they do a good job or replenishing the stock. If you are hitting balls from when Clinton was President, I might be upset by it.
Our club does not allow the battery powered pushcarts as it takes revenue away from cart rentals. I would love for the pro to sell the darn things and then just charge a reasonable annual fee.
Frankly I would rather pay a nominal fee ($5) rather than be forced to take a cart. I know many clubs that require mandatory cart or caddy and that really drives the cost up.
Our range has limited flight balls, so that's a whole other thing I can complain about! The fee isn't a big deal on that, but the quality of the range ball is my biggest beef. I think they've lost range users because of that. I think there is talk to make changes to that right now too.
North Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 07:46 AM, said:
Two of the three member owned clubs to which I've belonged have such a fee, a few bucks a round. One of them has done things that way as long as anyone can remember, the other started sometime back in the 90s.
I would prefer everything be rolled into dues but I don't particularly mind paying slightly more if you use the course hundreds of times a year versus someone who rarely plays.
One way or another the club needs a certain amount of revenue to operate. I wish they would just divide it by the membership and call that the dues but life's too short to fight battles over A couple hundred dollars a year.
We had a dues increase at end of 2017. I get that clubs need to adjust for inflation sometimes. Our club really needs to focus on bettering the overall experience as well as generate revenue from other parts of the club aside from golf. I'm all for fees based on usage and all, but it needs to be fair compared to those that use other parts of the club.
DLiver, on 08 March 2018 - 07:48 AM, said:
IIRC, walking fees started becoming popular with clubs 10 or 15 years ago. But there was so much push-back from members that they have largely disappeared. The idea is preposterous IMO. It is simply a way for a club to nickel and dime members out of more money. In the OP's case, it would be pretty shady to charge a trail fee for golf, and not have some usage fee for tennis.
If my club needs for money to operate, or for small capital projects, then I would want it to raise dues. Charging people to walk their golf course is ridiculous.
I don't think it will go over well if they institute this at my club. 75 years it has been open with no major problems. One thing that happened recently was our pool was 15 years over due for renovation. Something finally happened that forced the club's hand to renovate and of course it cost a ton of cash. Our dues have probably increased $75 in the last 3 years largely due to the pool and also an irrigation project at the course. As you all probably experience, there is a ton of waste at privately owned member clubs and ours isn't immune to that. I don't see how charging walkers helps anyone. If anything it will reduce the amount of times I and others will be at the club willing to spend money.
dpb5031, on 08 March 2018 - 07:49 AM, said:
Our club (fully private) has instituted a walking trail fee for 2018. It will be on weekends only and the fee is $12. I am on the Board, so I'll explain the rationale.
We are one of the few clubs without a caddy program that has always allowed walking on weekends, including mornings. We also allow push/pull carts which are prohibited at many/most private clubs in NJ. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in members using push carts; so much so that we began charging a storage fee for them if they choose to leave them in the cart barn.
Crunching the numbers we realized that the club loses significant revenue to walkers and the losses have been increasing year over year. Cart revenue provides much needed cash flow in-season.
We also recognize the health benefits of walking and did not want to take that option away from our members. The agreed upon remedy was to charge a walking fee. Our full 18 hole cart fee is $28, the new walking fee is $12. We expect that some members who would otherwise walk may now opt to ride for the additional $16.
An additional point discussed was pace of play. There's no doubt that 4 players intending to play briskly in carts are faster than 4 of the same walking. That said, in my personal experience over many years I don't think it makes a substantive difference overall. I've seen fast playing walkers and slow playing riders, so as long as neither is holding up the course I think pace is a non-issue as it relates to this discussion.
I totally get this. I'd love to hear how your club does after a few months of real in season play. Pace of play really isn't a problem for my course until maybe early morning of the warm part of year. Walkers know to let faster groups through and honestly a lot of the walkers are plenty fast. It's a Donald Ross course....so you know his philosophy of greens close to the next tee. Please keep me updated on how your course is doing through the summer with the new fees!