MAILBAG! - $500 FOR GOLF?
This question comes from Tony in Utah, also known as Media Guru who runs a terrific site at hooked on golf and at web country club. "Hey Jay, will you be reviewing Shadow Creek for your site or book?"
Tony the short answer is no, but the question has a lot of levels to discuss. The whole thrust of my project is to tell the general playing public which courses are worth the money, which aren't and to showcase the truly spectacular affordable courses you may not have heard of, as well as show how to get on the expensive courses at a more reasonable price. Everyone generally agrees that Pebble Beach is not a great value as a round of golf - you are paying for the history and tradition, if you want that - same as Pinehurst. One round and one night's stay fluctuate between starting at $680 - god knows what if you want the presidential suite. Rounds alone are $350 - $405.
Shadow Creek and the somewhat new Cascata are meant for affluent high-rollers. Hop in a limo with a star, get chauffered to the course, put your things in a locker with "Michael Douglas" or "Tom Cruise" on it, play 18 holes, then take the limo back to your hotel. It may be alot of amenities, but not alot of golf.
Worse still, courses in the NYC area routinely charge $125 when they should top out at $40...maybe $65.
Here's is the premise of A Walk in the Park - why pay $1000 to Pebble Beach when you can pay $400 at Bandon Dunes and play a set of courses even stronger and more inspiring than those in Monterey. Why pay $686 a night for Pinehurst when you can pay $55 at Tobacco Road? Why pay $350 at Bay Hill when you can pay $110 at World Woods? Why go to Troon North or Ventana Canyon in winter at $260-290 per round, when you can go in the summer and pay $75-90 per round and $199 for 36 holes and a phenomenal suite to stay in combined! These are the courses you can take a family of four to for a week and have just as intense, memorable and cherished a golf vacation. The courses I highlight as four or five star values have perfectly fine amenities without over charging or giving you things you don't need. It's one thing to have showers in the locker room, but an attendant handing you your squares of TP and mouthwash and cologne I can do without - gimme another 18 holes of golf. That's why I'm there, not for a spa treatment.