Got back a few hours ago from playing a round of golf with my cousin/golfing buddy and son-in-law. The reason we're already back is that Cousin has a pacemaker/defibrillator in his chest and claims that having the equivalent of a major appliance in his body makes him unable to continue play once the temperature gets too high. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. None of us played particularly well because it's been several months since we made it to the course but, as always, we had a good time which you are to understand means a lot of laughs. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. My son-in-law, who hasn't played very much, did come up with a new perspective on how to score his round, that being cost per shot. He calculated today's rate at about $.14 a shot. It's a really nice concept because the worse one plays, the lower their cost per shot, hence, playing badly is a money saving strategy. But that's not what I'm here to talk about, except that money is involved.
What I am here to talk about is the idea that golf is an elitist game that can only be played by well-to-do people. My cousin and I payed $16.00 for our round today because we are old and decrepit and unable to pay the larger sums charged to younger people. My son-in-law payed $18.00 because since he is young and has a new baby he obviously has lots of extra money burning holes in his pockets and thus the club is doing him a favor by saving him from painful injury.
I'm going to give y'all a table of rates now because I now how much everyone likes bullets, senior rate, the young'un rate:
- Monday - Thursday $16 / $18
- Friday $19 / $21
- Weekends* $24 / $26
*Some locations charge weekend rates on holidays, ours does not. Now, we could pay $28 per month and then pay $15 per round regardless of the day but until we're able to play more regularly we aren't going to do this. Be aware that this is a month by month fee and that you can choose to not pay it anytime you have a short period coming up that you suspect you won't be playing much golf.
The only 'drawback' to playing this course is that it's a 50 minute ride from my house. That's doing 55 mph* down a good two lane highway. There are some closer, but if the money is equivalent then the courses aren't up to snuff and if the courses are good then the money becomes prohibitive because elitist well-to-do people. The reason I put drawback inside apostrophes is that the trip there and back is when we solve the world's problems, vent, offer advice, and commiserate. Rather than a hardship it's an important part of our golf outings. This course is in middle Georgia. It is a country club for a small town and it is kept in excellent condition. The greens are soft, the sand is good and they keep the ground under the trees cleared out. A couple of years ago, in the middle of a three month drought the greens looked like we were getting rain every day. Yes, I've seen some country courses, one known as 'The Links of Bubba', and public courses that were not anywhere near this one for conditions. But even on those courses you can play golf. In some cases these courses are likely closer to the roots of golf than the more pristine ones. So I really don't want to hear about how expensive golf is. I don't believe that we have found the only affordable golf course in this country. Most of you are likely within a short drive of an affordable golf course. If you just don't like the game, fine. If you don't consider it a sport, and note that I have been careful not to refer to it as such, fine. If you just don't have the time to play, that's sad. But for most people money should not be a problem. And for a final, unrelated, note, if you play with someone who can only enjoy a round if they play well, and will ruin everyone's day if they don't play well, then find someone else. Golf is meant to be fun, and every now and then you hit that little ball just right, and my what a fine feeling that is.
*Don't think the 55 mph is because slow old man. I can still hang with those of the younger persuasion on the road but I just got tired of seeing the broken spirits caused by unsuspecting innocents being out-maneuvered by a mini-van. I am a compassionate fellow.