One of the recurring refrains of last weekend’s U.S. Open from Pebble Beach is how the course itself is public and available for anyone to play.
(Your choice: Play a round or buy a yacht)
There is a small catch though: 18 holes will cost you a base fee of $495. If you have that kind of scratch to spend on one round of golf, then the additional $35 for a cart and $75 for a caddie (plus tip) shouldn’t cause any consternation.
So you’re looking at $610 … and don’t forget that gratuity!
There is some good news though. The Casa Palmero Hotel is right next door to the course, with rooms available at $2,700 per night.
The bad news? No green fee discount with overnight stay.
Don’t want to stay overnight? Then, as Tod Leonard of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE noted last week, you can forget about a tee time.
In other words, if you come away from Pebble Beach without reaching four figures in 24 hours, you’re doing it wrong.
How does Pebble’s single green fee compare to other U.S. public courses?
Has to be way higher, right? Of course not.
Late last year, Matt Ginella of GOLF DIGEST compiled a handy list of green fees at 10 of the best-known public tracks in the lower 48. (Okay, not sure if “handy” is the right word unless you’re able to hack Phil Mickelson’s Paypal password.)
Ginella’s favorite U.S. public course rankings and accompanying single green fee.
1) Pebble ($610)
2) Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Ore. ($100)
3) Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisc ($480)
4) Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C. ($425 + tip)
5) Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, NY. ($120 on weekends)
6) Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C. ($410)
7) Bandon Dunes in Bandon, Ore. (Same fee as Pacific Dunes)
Shadow Creek in North Las Vegas, Nev. ($500 + required MGM stay)
9) TPC Sawgrass, Players Stadium Course ($275)
10) Arcadia Bluffs in Arcadia, Mich.($130)
The figures I’ve quoted are essentially the max you will pay at peak times of the year. There are deals to be had if you plan in advance. “Deal” being relative.
Think about those public course green fees next time the USGA runs one of its TV ads touting how its making golf more inclusive for everyone.