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Private club walking/trail fee?

Walking club fees

119 replies to this topic

#31 NorthernHills

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:12 AM

Maybe I've not been a member at the right clubs, but being from the UK a lot of this feels completely foreign/bizarre to me. I've never come across a fee for walking or for using your own push trolley. Only for using carts (buggies) if you decide you want one! I think there would be an absolute riot at the clubs I've been a member at if someone tried to introduce an additional fee for members to walk the course!


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#32 LoveG

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:14 AM

View PostNorthernHills, on 08 March 2018 - 10:12 AM, said:

Maybe I've not been a member at the right clubs, but being from the UK a lot of this feels completely foreign/bizarre to me. I've never come across a fee for walking or for using your own push trolley. Only for using carts (buggies) if you decide you want one! I think there would be an absolute riot at the clubs I've been a member at if someone tried to introduce an additional fee for members to walk the course!

What kind of other services would most UK courses provide?  Given we have tennis, pools, dining in addition to golf there is a lot more overhead to deal with.  I know a lot of golf clubs in UK are golf only right?

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#33 North Butte

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:15 AM

View PostNorthernHills, on 08 March 2018 - 10:12 AM, said:

Maybe I've not been a member at the right clubs, but being from the UK a lot of this feels completely foreign/bizarre to me. I've never come across a fee for walking or for using your own push trolley. Only for using carts (buggies) if you decide you want one! I think there would be an absolute riot at the clubs I've been a member at if someone tried to introduce an additional fee for members to walk the course!

Then this will blow your mind completely. There are many courses in USA, including quite a few private club, which do not allow you walk when you play golf. They not only require you to pay for a cart each round, they require you to actually use it.

There are thousands of courses and quite a few private clubs where there is literally no such thing as a golfer walking the golf course, whether carrying his bag or with a trolley.

There are also MANY other private clubs where golfers are allowed to walk but may not use any form of trolley at any time.

Mind blown yet?
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#34 LoveG

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:19 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 10:15 AM, said:

View PostNorthernHills, on 08 March 2018 - 10:12 AM, said:

Maybe I've not been a member at the right clubs, but being from the UK a lot of this feels completely foreign/bizarre to me. I've never come across a fee for walking or for using your own push trolley. Only for using carts (buggies) if you decide you want one! I think there would be an absolute riot at the clubs I've been a member at if someone tried to introduce an additional fee for members to walk the course!

Then this will blow your mind completely. There are many courses in USA, including quite a few private club, which do not allow you walk when you play golf. They not only require you to pay for a cart each round, they require you to actually use it.

There are thousands of courses and quite a few private clubs where there is literally no such thing as a golfer walking the golf course, whether carrying his bag or with a trolley.

There are also MANY other private clubs where golfers are allowed to walk but may not use any form of trolley at any time.

Mind blown yet?

Golf is so expensive because we let it be

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#35 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:24 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

I played for a while at a century-old small town private club. The average member I knew there had been a member for decades. When i asked a few of those guys if they thought paying a couple dollars every time they played (and walked) they were puzzled at the question. They were like, "Well, yeah. We've always done it that way. But we pay a lot less than the cart riders".

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Ours included the cart fees, so really very few walk.

What they did was raise dues $40 across the board and then include carts and range fees. While they lost the yearly cart leases, which was probably 100 or so members, and private cart storage, they in essence gained a cart fee from every single member. Even those who never or very rarely play.

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#36 North Butte

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:26 AM

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 08 March 2018 - 10:24 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

I played for a while at a century-old small town private club. The average member I knew there had been a member for decades. When i asked a few of those guys if they thought paying a couple dollars every time they played (and walked) they were puzzled at the question. They were like, "Well, yeah. We've always done it that way. But we pay a lot less than the cart riders".

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Ours included the cart fees, so really very few walk.

What they did was raise dues $40 across the board and then include carts and range fees. While they lost the yearly cart leases, which was probably 100 or so members, and private cart storage, they in essence gained a cart fee from every single member. Even those who never or very rarely play.

I would find that annoying and wrongheaded but unless they expected me to actually ride in the cart, I'd just continue to go about my business. Although if I'm honest, my dues are already a big enough chunk of my household budget that it wouldn't take too many $40 increases to price me right out of the market!
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#37 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:33 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 10:26 AM, said:

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 08 March 2018 - 10:24 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

I played for a while at a century-old small town private club. The average member I knew there had been a member for decades. When i asked a few of those guys if they thought paying a couple dollars every time they played (and walked) they were puzzled at the question. They were like, "Well, yeah. We've always done it that way. But we pay a lot less than the cart riders".

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Ours included the cart fees, so really very few walk.

What they did was raise dues $40 across the board and then include carts and range fees. While they lost the yearly cart leases, which was probably 100 or so members, and private cart storage, they in essence gained a cart fee from every single member. Even those who never or very rarely play.

I would find that annoying and wrongheaded but unless they expected me to actually ride in the cart, I'd just continue to go about my business. Although if I'm honest, my dues are already a big enough chunk of my household budget that it wouldn't take too many $40 increases to price me right out of the market!

Honestly it caused a little consternation when they implemented it (as I expect any raise would), but people quickly adapted. It also eliminated the issue of people who didn't have cart leases jumping into the passenger seat of people who did (and I honestly don't know how much of a problem this was).  It actually worked out pretty well for the club as a revenue increaser, and now that we have a new fleet of carts its pretty convenient. Worked well for me as I was able to move my private cart to a different course.

And it's never an issue for anyone to walk.  But I'm guessing our club is probably 90%+ riding.
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#38 North Butte

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:36 AM

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 08 March 2018 - 10:33 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 10:26 AM, said:

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 08 March 2018 - 10:24 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

I played for a while at a century-old small town private club. The average member I knew there had been a member for decades. When i asked a few of those guys if they thought paying a couple dollars every time they played (and walked) they were puzzled at the question. They were like, "Well, yeah. We've always done it that way. But we pay a lot less than the cart riders".

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Ours included the cart fees, so really very few walk.

What they did was raise dues $40 across the board and then include carts and range fees. While they lost the yearly cart leases, which was probably 100 or so members, and private cart storage, they in essence gained a cart fee from every single member. Even those who never or very rarely play.

I would find that annoying and wrongheaded but unless they expected me to actually ride in the cart, I'd just continue to go about my business. Although if I'm honest, my dues are already a big enough chunk of my household budget that it wouldn't take too many $40 increases to price me right out of the market!

Honestly it caused a little consternation when they implemented it (as I expect any raise would), but people quickly adapted. It also eliminated the issue of people who didn't have cart leases jumping into the passenger seat of people who did (and I honestly don't know how much of a problem this was).  It actually worked out pretty well for the club as a revenue increaser, and now that we have a new fleet of carts its pretty convenient. Worked well for me as I was able to move my private cart to a different course.

And it's never an issue for anyone to walk.  But I'm guessing our club is probably 90%+ riding.

I've never seen the figures at my club but if it's not exactly 50/50 walking riding it would be a very slight majority riding. Maybe 52/48 or 55/45 or something. On any given day you see as many of one as the other.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#39 LoveG

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:37 AM

Our cart fees I think are about $21.  Used to be $17 or $18.  IMO they could lower that to $15 and entice more people to use carts over walking.

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#40 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:40 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 10:36 AM, said:

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 08 March 2018 - 10:33 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 10:26 AM, said:

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 08 March 2018 - 10:24 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

RC, 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.


Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

I played for a while at a century-old small town private club. The average member I knew there had been a member for decades. When i asked a few of those guys if they thought paying a couple dollars every time they played (and walked) they were puzzled at the question. They were like, "Well, yeah. We've always done it that way. But we pay a lot less than the cart riders".

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Ours included the cart fees, so really very few walk.

What they did was raise dues $40 across the board and then include carts and range fees. While they lost the yearly cart leases, which was probably 100 or so members, and private cart storage, they in essence gained a cart fee from every single member. Even those who never or very rarely play.

I would find that annoying and wrongheaded but unless they expected me to actually ride in the cart, I'd just continue to go about my business. Although if I'm honest, my dues are already a big enough chunk of my household budget that it wouldn't take too many $40 increases to price me right out of the market!

Honestly it caused a little consternation when they implemented it (as I expect any raise would), but people quickly adapted. It also eliminated the issue of people who didn't have cart leases jumping into the passenger seat of people who did (and I honestly don't know how much of a problem this was).  It actually worked out pretty well for the club as a revenue increaser, and now that we have a new fleet of carts its pretty convenient. Worked well for me as I was able to move my private cart to a different course.

And it's never an issue for anyone to walk.  But I'm guessing our club is probably 90%+ riding.

I've never seen the figures at my club but if it's not exactly 50/50 walking riding it would be a very slight majority riding. Maybe 52/48 or 55/45 or something. On any given day you see as many of one as the other.

Its funny how different areas are. Outside of my home area most of my golf is in the Denver area (and some in Mesquite).  I rarely see anyone walking.

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#41 North Butte

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:43 AM

Around here there are plenty of courses which either disallow or somehow restrict walking. It tends to be the cheapest munis and publics and the older/nicer privates that have walking. The high-end public or 80's/90's housing development privates tend to be all riding.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#42 DLiver

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:07 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Cart fees make sense because the club is providing something additional to the member (the use of a cart for 18 holes). However there is a real and significant cost to the club of providing this extra service: the cost of buying/leasing and maintaining a fleet of carts as well as cart paths on the golf course. The same holds true for food and beverage: there is a significant extra cost to provide food and beverages to any member. Very few clubs include these in the package of amenities offered to their members. One amenity clubs do offer members is access to the golf course. Clubs that charge a trail fee are really just instituting a greens fee, because they provide no additional service to the member.

They might as well just charge a fee for parking at the club.

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#43 LoveG

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:09 AM

View PostDLiver, on 08 March 2018 - 11:07 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Cart fees make sense because the club is providing something additional to the member (the use of a cart for 18 holes). However there is a real and significant cost to the club of providing this extra service: the cost of buying/leasing and maintaining a fleet of carts as well as cart paths on the golf course. The same holds true for food and beverage: there is a significant extra cost to provide food and beverages to any member. Very few clubs include these in the package of amenities offered to their members. One amenity clubs do offer members is access to the golf course. Clubs that charge a trail fee are really just instituting a greens fee, because they provide no additional service to the member.

They might as well just charge a fee for parking at the club.

that's really all it is...a green fee.  should give it to cart users too

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#44 North Butte

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:11 AM

View PostDLiver, on 08 March 2018 - 11:07 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Cart fees make sense because the club is providing something additional to the member (the use of a cart for 18 holes). However there is a real and significant cost to the club of providing this extra service: the cost of buying/leasing and maintaining a fleet of carts as well as cart paths on the golf course. The same holds true for food and beverage: there is a significant extra cost to provide food and beverages to any member. Very few clubs include these in the package of amenities offered to their members. One amenity clubs do offer members is access to the golf course. Clubs that charge a trail fee are really just instituting a greens fee, because they provide no additional service to the member.

They might as well just charge a fee for parking at the club.

It costs my club a bundle to provide me 18 holes of golf course to walk and play every day.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#45 DLiver

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:33 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 11:11 AM, said:

It costs my club a bundle to provide me 18 holes of golf course to walk and play every day.

Yes, but that is included in the basic amenity package for membership. If it wasn't then why would you join a club--for the privilege of paying a fee for the use of every amenity? Clubs would starve if they did that.


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#46 raynorfan1

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:35 AM

View PostLoveG, on 08 March 2018 - 11:09 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, on 08 March 2018 - 11:07 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Cart fees make sense because the club is providing something additional to the member (the use of a cart for 18 holes). However there is a real and significant cost to the club of providing this extra service: the cost of buying/leasing and maintaining a fleet of carts as well as cart paths on the golf course. The same holds true for food and beverage: there is a significant extra cost to provide food and beverages to any member. Very few clubs include these in the package of amenities offered to their members. One amenity clubs do offer members is access to the golf course. Clubs that charge a trail fee are really just instituting a greens fee, because they provide no additional service to the member.

They might as well just charge a fee for parking at the club.

that's really all it is...a green fee.  should give it to cart users too

See, that’s the crux of the problem: they already do. Carts are (for clubs with a cart) a pretty significant profit center for the club.

Total cost per round to lease/maintain/store/fuel carts is south of $10; but with a $21 cart fee, you’re averaging somewhere around $35 a round in fees to the club (assuming you have more than one rider per cart, but not always). So the cart riders see it as they’re already paying a “greens fee” of ~$12.50 per round (the per rider profit on the cart) - why shouldn’t the walkers pay a similar fee?

(I’m just making the point; my home club doesn’t have carts)

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#47 North Butte

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:39 AM

View PostDLiver, on 08 March 2018 - 11:33 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 11:11 AM, said:

It costs my club a bundle to provide me 18 holes of golf course to walk and play every day.

Yes, but that is included in the basic amenity package for membership. If it wasn't then why would you join a club--for the privilege of paying a fee for the use of every amenity? Clubs would starve if they did that.

Yet people who never, ever walk a round of golf join clubs where the cart costs them $15-$20/round. Why would they join a club for the privilege of paying for the use of a cart? The course is useless to them without the cart.

It's all about expectations and what you are used to.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#48 schley

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:00 PM

The premise of what is included in a golf membership has traditionally been, come out and walk all you want included with your dues.  The addition of carts was optional, caddies were also optional.  The finances of a club has allowed for fees to creep in which are counter intuitive to the traditional idea of unlimited walking golf is included in your dues.  We had carts for a cost, then people who wanted their own carts had to pay a trail fee to use their own cart to cover the already calculated revenue from having carts.

I'm opposed on principle of paying any walking fee as if your dues are paid, there is nothing you can do for without an extra fee.  I either have to pay a cart, caddie, or walking fee and in that case why not raise the dues?  There are huge health benefits to walking and I want to walk more myself (damn plantar fasciitis).

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#49 North Butte

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:03 PM

If there were a decent public course where I could walk (and use my trolley of courses, damned stiff back!) every time I play, in all honesty I might well not even been a private club member. Unless I'm willing to play a goat ranch, the privilege of walking means belonging to a fairly expensive country club. So to me, the cost are my dues plus "walking fees". It would still be expensive if it were just dues, the fees are a drop in the bucket.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#50 bazinky

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:14 PM

For me, one of the primary benefits of being a private club member is that I can hit the range for 30 minutes and then walk 3-4 holes when I have a spare hour in the afternoon or evening. Thankfully, my club doesn't have a walking fee at any time, and still has a walking friendly culture.

As others have stated, I would immediately quit any club that instituted a walking fee during anything other than peak times. Our club considers peak times before 2:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday, and between 11 and 2 PM on weekdays. I'd be unhappy about, but would probably put up with walking fees during those times as I ride about 60% of those rounds anyway.

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#51 North Butte

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:19 PM

And if two bucks showed up on your bill for walking those 3-4 holes you'd quit?

It seems a fine line between being willing to spend (in my case) about $7,000 a year for my membership but not being willing to pay $7,300 for membership plus walking fees. I just can't titrate the value of golf quite that finely.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#52 schley

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:43 PM

View Postbazinky, on 08 March 2018 - 12:14 PM, said:

For me, one of the primary benefits of being a private club member is that I can hit the range for 30 minutes and then walk 3-4 holes when I have a spare hour in the afternoon or evening. Thankfully, my club doesn't have a walking fee at any time, and still has a walking friendly culture.

As others have stated, I would immediately quit any club that instituted a walking fee during anything other than peak times. Our club considers peak times before 2:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday, and between 11 and 2 PM on weekdays. I'd be unhappy about, but would probably put up with walking fees during those times as I ride about 60% of those rounds anyway.
Your initiation fee would keep you there, as well it should.  It is built in affinity and ties you there depending on how much it was.

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#53 Soxfan21

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:57 PM

We have a trail fee of $8 at my club.  It is only for those that choose to walk with a push cart, if you choose to walk and carry your own bag, there is no fee.
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#54 davep043

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:00 PM

An interesting discussion, to me.  Some of us think a walking fee is intrinsically unfair, and say they'd leave the club.  In a member-owned equity club, they might even get some or all of their initiation fees back when a replacement member joins.  At other clubs, a walking fee is already in force, and these clubs are apparently still in business.  Still other clubs have tried and abandoned it.  It all goes back to the board members deciding how best to increase revenue.  I wonder about the monetary impact of a walkers fee.  If there are 10,000 rounds walked at a club in a year, and the fee is $5, that's only $50,000, not a huge part of the income budget for most clubs.  If that same course has 400 members, a dues increase of about $10 per month would raise the same amount of revenue.  Again, if I'm on that board, I think its a much better option to raise overall dues, rather than to single out a specific sub-set of the membership for increased fees.

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#55 cxx

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:42 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 08 March 2018 - 11:35 AM, said:

View PostLoveG, on 08 March 2018 - 11:09 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, on 08 March 2018 - 11:07 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 March 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

View PostDLiver, 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.

Very few member-owned clubs provide carts without an additional fee (although a few do). Yet most people seem satisfied that "charging people to play their golf course in a cart" is not ridiculous.

Even fewer member-owned clubs roll the cost of food and beverage into the dues. But I've never heard anyone say it is ridiculous to "charge people to eat at their club".

It's all about what people are used to.

Yet if you introduce a fee for walking rounds at a club that's never had it, people will react like you're trying to rob a bank or something.

Cart fees make sense because the club is providing something additional to the member (the use of a cart for 18 holes). However there is a real and significant cost to the club of providing this extra service: the cost of buying/leasing and maintaining a fleet of carts as well as cart paths on the golf course. The same holds true for food and beverage: there is a significant extra cost to provide food and beverages to any member. Very few clubs include these in the package of amenities offered to their members. One amenity clubs do offer members is access to the golf course. Clubs that charge a trail fee are really just instituting a greens fee, because they provide no additional service to the member.

They might as well just charge a fee for parking at the club.

that's really all it is...a green fee.  should give it to cart users too

See, that’s the crux of the problem: they already do. Carts are (for clubs with a cart) a pretty significant profit center for the club.

Total cost per round to lease/maintain/store/fuel carts is south of $10; but with a $21 cart fee, you’re averaging somewhere around $35 a round in fees to the club (assuming you have more than one rider per cart, but not always). So the cart riders see it as they’re already paying a “greens fee” of ~$12.50 per round (the per rider profit on the cart) - why shouldn’t the walkers pay a similar fee?

(I’m just making the point; my home club doesn’t have carts)

Is that right? Seems like carts only last 2 seasons before they ship them out and refurb.  New looking carts come back.  That can't be cheap.


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#56 raynorfan1

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:46 PM

View Postdavep043, on 08 March 2018 - 01:00 PM, said:

It all goes back to the board members deciding how best to increase revenue.  I wonder about the monetary impact of a walkers fee.  If there are 10,000 rounds walked at a club in a year, and the fee is $5, that's only $50,000, not a huge part of the income budget for most clubs.  If that same course has 400 members, a dues increase of about $10 per month would raise the same amount of revenue.  Again, if I'm on that board, I think its a much better option to raise overall dues, rather than to single out a specific sub-set of the membership for increased fees.

My guess is that it's often less about money than perceived fairness. Clubs create some weird fees to encourage / discourage member behavior. One of the local clubs here charges a $10 fee to eat in the bar (instead of the dining room). There's a no-right-answer question about what the dues of the club are supposed to cover. A lot of people on GolfWRX (to nobody's surprise) believe that walking-only golf should be covered in dues. But what about tennis? What about the pool? When do you include vs. charge a fee?

In the big country club environment, there are a lot of ways to slice up the cost pie, and it's really up to the members and board to make the decision that's right for their club.

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#57 LoveG

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:49 PM

One of the biggest rifts at my club is the tennis vs golf conundrum.  Golf by far crushes tennis by importance and income, yet the tennis players pay no fee other than their dues to use the courts.  Certainly doesn't seem fair to pay for play at all times for golf if there is a walking fee vs free to use tennis courts.

Edited by LoveG, 08 March 2018 - 01:54 PM.


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#58 raynorfan1

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 02:00 PM

View Postcxx, on 08 March 2018 - 01:42 PM, said:

Is that right? Seems like carts only last 2 seasons before they ship them out and refurb.  New looking carts come back.  That can't be cheap.

A private club is typically churning carts on a 3 year cycle. If you went with a high-end new cart (at ~$8,000/unit), you're going to depreciate by about $1,000 per year (you'll sell the 3 year old cart for ~$5,000). You need 60 carts to cover your Monday event business (which is always going to use carts).

Figure 24,000 total rounds; half walking, half riding. That's 12,000 individual riding rounds, which is probably 8,000 cart rounds, so you're getting 133 rounds per cart per year. Depreciation cost is about $7.50 (per cart round); electricity is ~$0.25 (1.5kwh); that leaves you about $20,000 for incremental labor, etc. caused by carts. Since the depreciation is such a high component of the cost, the more people who ride, the lower the cost/round.

On the revenue side of the ledger, you're getting $21 for each of the 12,000 riding rounds -> $252,000 per year, plus the ability to host Monday events (which you couldn't do without the carts).

Now, imagine you're a "riding" club - where 22,000 of the 24,000 rounds are in carts. Now you're doing 15,000 cart rounds, amortizing depreciation down to $4 per round. Your all-in cost is around $100K, but you're generating $460K of revenue.

Edited by raynorfan1, 08 March 2018 - 02:10 PM.


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#59 raynorfan1

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 02:04 PM

View PostLoveG, on 08 March 2018 - 01:49 PM, said:

One of the biggest rifts at my club is the tennis vs golf conundrum.  Golf by far crushes tennis by importance and income, yet the tennis players pay no fee other than their dues to use the courts.  Certainly doesn't seem fair to pay for play at all times for golf if there is a walking fee vs free to use tennis courts.

Assuming that the dues are the same for a golf player and a tennis player...the golfers should take the money and run. The operating costs of the tennis courts are - almost certainly - less than the annual cost of maintaining a single golf green.

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#60 krtgolfing

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 02:52 PM

My club is free to walk except before 11 on the weekends. Cart fees of $15. They will allow you to walk on the weekends before 11, but will still charge you that fee. I am probably 50 / 50 taking a cart / walking when I play in that time range.

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