Sorry, this is not my cup of tea. Every time I play a high-priced course (maybe $100, maybe once a year), I kick myself. I’m out of my comfort zone. I don’t like golf when it takes me to an exclusive atmosphere; golf is losing players, so it needs to open its doors and lower its costs.
But I get talked into playing a hoity-toity course because someone wants to say they played there. I play terribly because I’m dressing and pressing to impress (who?), or because the course is too difficult or too tricked up in order to justify the cost.
“The middle-class miser in me head never stops.”
But this is mostly about the bottom line. I’m a value guy who keeps an eye on his cash, and I get grumpy when I lose expensive balls left and right. Also, I never relax knowing that a caddie or bag boy is lurking and looking for a tip or that an expensive-but-just-so-so lunch awaits. The middle-class miser in me head never stops the chastising chatter that amounts to: “WTF! For what you’re shelling out here, you could play four or five rounds at your regular courses — and actually enjoy each round!”
Given all that, I’m strangely attracted to this list of the world’s 15 most expensive courses. I’d love to play them, just not pay for them. But maybe, just maybe I should try a few and take it as a personal-growth challenge to muzzle that middle-class miser in me head and say: “You’re worth it. Carpe diem!”
Maybe. We’ll see. If that breakthrough ever comes, it’s nice to know that I can refer to this list, which has many courses that caught my eye, including:
Whistling Straights, Wisconsin — $300. See the photo above and dream.
Kingsbarns Golf Links – $300. Located in St. Andrews, Scotland, this course even offers a full refund for the caddie fee to those who are dissatisfied with their caddie.
TPC Sawgrass, Florida – $350 Actually, I have played this course twice and enjoyed the thrill of the 17th hole, the almost-island hole. I really enjoyed it that I didn’t pay for the rounds.
Old Head Golf Links, Ireland – $400 I’ve always wanted to play in Ireland, and this course is breathtaking.
Pebble Beach, California – $475 I have eaten at the clubhouse and enjoyed the view of golfers playing the 18th hole on Monterey Bay. This was after my son Ben and I played Pacific Grove Golf Links up the road — with a half dozen holes on the ocean — for just $35 a person. I see now the green fee is up to $46 on weekdays and $52 on weekends.