Price to play golf soaring through the roof
In the past several months, I have heard numerous people talk about golf as a dying sport in this nation.
It is a true statement. The number of people going out to play golf on a Saturday or Sunday is increasingly getting smaller every spring, summer and fall.
That is probably why the golf courses that are staying open are not in the best shape because they have to cut their budgets somewhere.
So, the problem has been identified, now we have to figure out why golf is a sinking ship in the United States. And is there a solution to the problem?
Many people believe it is because of the slow nature of the game. We do live in a fast-paced society that has to have everything right now instead of being patient and actually waiting for a better outcome.
Hence why basketball and football are the two most popular sports in this nation and soccer is the fastest-growing sport. Baseball is definitely not known for its brevity when it comes to game time or action on the field. Therefore, it is slowly dying as well. However, not at the speed that golf seems to be.
Some people out there believe that it is because golf is a sport primarily played by middle-aged men with families to take care of, so now instead of spending four or five hours on a golf course on a Saturday, they are staying home and being with their families.
All of these reasons are valid and have strong points behind them, and even may be a part of the reason golf is slipping away, but the main reason I believe the sport is fading fast is what it does to our wallets. It empties them faster than the cable companies do. OK, maybe not that fast, but you get the point.
Golf is the most expensive sport-related hobby in the world. If you want to go play a round of golf, regardless of the niceness of the course, it is going to cost you an arm and a leg.
To get a round of golf in and spend less than $30 is a minor miracle these days. If you want to ride a cart, which is what most people do, you are most likely going to be spending around $35.
Here are the green fee costs of five different golf courses close to the Mustang area:
Early Wine Golf Club in southwest Oklahoma City has a green fee and cart price of $39. Lake Hefner Golf Club in northwest Oklahoma City has a green fee and cart price of $39. Crimson Creek Golf Course in El Reno has a green fee and cart price of $33.
The Links at Mustang Creek off Mustang Road and 15th Street is a private course but you can play with a member and that cost is $15 to walk nine holes, $30 to walk 18 holes and $40 to ride a cart on 18 holes.
In the 12 square miles of Mustang, the only golf course is a 9-hole par-3 course called Pebble Creek. If you want to walk 18 holes at Pebble Creek Golf Course, the cost is $14, if you want to ride a cart, the cost is $28.
Of course, all of these green fees and cart prices are the main prices to play. There are different rates for different times of the day, but the cheaper rates are not the best times to play a round of golf.
What is sad is that the owners of these golf courses don’t seem to care that they are losing business in a rapid fashion. All they would have to do is cut the cost play in half and I believe you would see the number of golfers begin to climb again.
Instead, these owners cut costs in the maintenance department or cut back on their water usage, making their golf courses look like burnt-up pastures in late July.
My hope, as a golfer, is that one day these owners will see the light and realize by cutting their green fee and cart prices down, the number of golfers on their courses will begin to rise.
Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.