The First Call readers share what the golf experience is like in their respective areas
Question of the week [October 16-22]: Does your community have enough reasonably priced golf experiences?
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In Chicago, we have Forest Preserve of Cook County courses that are reasonably priced and in fair condition. Other courses, like Old Oak Country Club in Homer Glen, are priced OK especially for seniors. Some courses, since the pandemic, have gotten greedy, though.
In Florida, the philosophy of most courses is that greed is good, especially in the Fort Myers area.
Chicago, Illinois / Fort Myers, Florida
Toronto, Ontario, has a fine network of city-owned golf courses, which provides baseline access to golf within the city. This network of courses is crucial because they are all along public transportation routes and can be accessed by those who do not own or have access to a car.
The golf courses are well designed and effectively operated. As expected, they are busy but they are a crucial link to bringing golf to all of our citizens at an affordable price. These facilities play a seminal role in growing the game as they provide important access to first-time golfers and junior players.
For those with a car and slightly more money, Toronto has an excellent network of independently owned daily-fee golf courses that allow public access. These facilities are affordable to the middle class, but in most cases require a car. As expected these golf courses are very active as golf is a prime summertime activity in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In short, we are very fortunate in Toronto, as the game is very assessable and surprisingly affordable to most everyone.
As a retiree, there's an adequate supply of tee times from Monday thru Thursday at a reasonable greens fee. However, from Friday to Sunday the demand increases, and so do the rates. You do need to book a time well in advance. In the pre-pandemic era, times could be made the day before.
We did lose a 36-hole course to housing last year.
So much depends on where you are. £100 ($121 in U.S. dollars) is reasonable in some markets for one round. Annual memberships under £800 ($973) with no further costs are pretty much the norm in many parts of the Home of Golf.
The Greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area is ripe with nice and reasonable courses. We can play every day of the week and play a different course for under $40 for an 18-hole round, including cart.
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