Are You Being Ripped-Off On The Golf Course?

Walter DavidCorrespondent IApril 15, 2009

KAILUA, HI - DECEMBER 29:  (AFP OUT) U.S. President-elect Barack Obama (C) drives his golf cart with his Punahou School classmate Greg Orme (L) as they play golf with friends December 29, 2008 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and his family have been in his native Hawaii since December 20 for the Christmas holiday.  (Photo by Joaquin Siopack-Pool/Getty Images)

I love the game, but outlandish green fees and cart costs are making it harder to afford to play a round of golf.

Are you being ripped-off?

I believe the green fees started to rise in the 1990's. Today it is hard to find a course that won't charge you $50 for green fees on weekdays and more on the weekends. These fees are rising ahead of the cost of living.

What happened? I believe a lot of golf courses are being built to adapt to the weekend duffer's game with plush fairways and manicured greens. This over indulgent need to provide perfect playing conditions has skyrocketed golf course maintenance budgets.

Also, many golf courses are being built to promote real estate in the area surrounding the golf courses.

Are you being ripped-off?

Another thing that has changed for the worse is the use of riding carts. This is a costly added expense to your golf game and a lot of times a needless or unnecessary expense.

Some golf courses make a cart mandatory which of course will raise their profits. Other courses require carts on the weekends but not on the weekdays.

I suppose the thinking on mandatory weekend carts is it will help in speeding up play, which I don't agree. Think about it, with or without a cart, it will take you 5 to 6 hours to complete the round on a weekend.

You are being ripped off.

There are also too many bad golfers playing on the weekend which will slow down play and make you wait endlessly. When this type of situation occurs it will only hurt your game.

You will tighten up, lose concentration and guzzle beer after beer waiting to hit your next shot. All you are getting out of this round of golf is a buzz-on and sunburn which you could have done in your own backyard at very little cost. My thinking on this is to avoid the five hours trying to play a round of golf on the weekend.

The biggest rip-off of all is on those golf courses that make a cart mandatory but you are only allowed to drive it on the cart path. This kind of golf is utterly ridiculous. Let's take a look at this scenario.

Suppose you hit your tee shot to the left and the cart path is on the right. Now what do you do? You don't know what kind of lie you have and you don't know the distance to the green for your next shot.

So you take two to three clubs out of your bag and take the long walk to your ball. After you hit the ball, you take the long walk back to the golf cart. The big problem here is that this type of play goes on all day long—for the whole round. So, I ask you, why do you have to pay for a cart when you are walking most of the time anyway?

Are you being ripped off?