Pay to play

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Postby honkeytiger » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:47 pm

Well let me be the one to disagree with pay to play. Don't get me wrong I have paid to play several courses around the country, but I still don't think they should all charge. One of the key things that drew me to disc golf was that once you owned discs you could play all day every day for free. Being a poor college student at the time I wasn't able to play ball golf every day like I wanted so I took up disc golf. Course upkeep should be part the resposibility of the park in question (Taxpayers money), part the local clubs, and partly the job of the ones playing this great sport. I do realize that money doesn't grow on trees and the upkeep of a nice course takes money, but I still think that there are better ways to obtain this money than by charging disc golfers. Volunteer donation boxes are a great idea though.
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Postby roadkill » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:25 pm

At this stage of disc golf's history pay to play doesn't make much sense in most areas of the country.

In larger cities it could work because the volume of traffic big city courses have there would be adequate revenue to pay for some maintenance and toll collector staff. But you'd need about $400-500 of daily revenue to make it worthwhile. So were talking 100 golfers paying $5 each.

From business end of it there are very few places in the US that the prospect of devoting 25 acres of private property for a disc golf course would seem attractive. You'd get far greater profit by building a parking lot or selling to a real estate developer.

From the consumer end I would be willing to pay a greens fee or admission fee if the course were indeed better than the local free courses. If it were a truly fantastic course with nice amenities I'd pay $20 a round. I have yet to play a course that I'd pay that much but if it existed and was nearby I would. There are some free courses that I'd pay $15 if I could use a golf cart for the day.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:27 pm

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that we should have pay-to-play instead of free courses, but that we should have it in addition to free courses. I love the fact that it's free to play too but I'd like to have the option of playing of an exclusive course that meets the standards of what would make the best DG experience. It's kind of like being able to get most of your food from the grocery store, but having the option to go out an eat at a good restaurant when you want to. You look at the origins of ball golf, and it was just a bunch of silly Scotsmen swinging sticks at balls on the beach (not too different than hippies throwing frisbees at trees) and now it's evolved into being one of the largest pasttimes in the world where people will lay down hundreds of dollars just to get a chance to play some courses. I would love to see that kind of evolution happen to our sport--though preferably leaning more towards the hippiedom than the yuppiedom.

And I agree that pay-to-play isn't really viable in lots of areas at this stage in time, but in some areas, it has been working well. Obviously there's the Morley Field example, but I believe that in Maine ALL the courses are pay-to-play, and the owners are actually able to generate profit from it. And in DG heavy areas like Texas and NC, there are a good number of private pay-to-play courses that succeed. In the "Courses" section, people have been talking about how great The Grange is in VA, and though that's not strictly "pay-to-play", they do request a donation. I really hope to play there sometime though, as I've heard nothing but good things about it--it's just one example of the potential you have when working with private land and being able to build the course you want to build.
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Postby TexasOutlaw » Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:50 pm

I don't disagree to it, but I can see why it would bother some. At the time I started playing, I did it because of a lack of funds. I still play sometimes now because I don't have the money to do anything else.

Having said that, not only have I gladly paid (5 bucks I think) to play, but we drove for 5 hours to do so! Circle R in Wimberley Texas--36 holes

Things I appreciated:
1. You can play 18 holes or the long 36.
2. mens tees, women's, and pros
3 Carefully maintained
4. A pro shop with liquids and air-conditioned (it was 96 that day)
5. The people that were there were discers, not novelties
6. The park was only for disc golf (didnt compete with little leage practice, hikers, joggers, or any one else that disrupts a round)
7. It was only 5 bucks!
8. You get a score card and map (even though I know many public courses have these as well)

Things I didn't like:
1. The 5 bucks, should money ever be tight.
2. I can't thing of anything else.


Also, I think Houck or whoever owned the park was very generous in only having a 5 dollar fee; I would have paid as much as 20 for that course, but don't tell him.
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Postby RustyP » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:41 pm

Word UP on Wimberly - I too am willing to make a long trip (3.5 hours from Dallas) and pay $5 just to play those courses! I dont know of any other course in Texas that has elevation like #18 long on the Circle Hill course...and from what I've heard the waterfall hole is very nice too (I've only played it when it was dry).

And besides, its a John Houck design - you can't go wrong!
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Postby steezo » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:55 pm

You can also camp at Wimberly which is nice. If you come to play Wimberly, stop and play in Dripping Springs as well. They have an awesome club house and rooms to rent as well as camping. If it is your first time than it is free. If anyone comes to play-pm me and I'll meet ya out there- 8)
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Postby TexasOutlaw » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:29 pm

steezo wrote:You can also camp at Wimberly which is nice. If you come to play Wimberly, stop and play in Dripping Springs as well. They have an awesome club house and rooms to rent as well as camping. If it is your first time than it is free. If anyone comes to play-pm me and I'll meet ya out there- 8)


You can camp there!?! I didn't know that. Eliminate the hotel stay, and the trip becomes more doable.

Where is Dripping Springs in terms of Austin?
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Postby steezo » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:41 pm

not far- just 40 miles or so south east of Austin.[/url]
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Re: Pay to play

Postby the_lung » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:18 pm

domromer wrote:Would you pay?
How much is enough/ too much?
Why is it a good/bad idea?

I just wanted to see what you guys thoughts are on this subject.


While most disc golfers might not agree with it, I'd personally pay up to $10/round or $20 per day on a really, really nice private course. With the option to buy a seasonal pass for under $100 if it was in my local region.
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Postby black udder » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:34 pm

As other folks have stated, the proviso is always "if I could buy a season pass". If the course cost $10/round, odds are the season pass wouldn't be <$100.

I think most folks have agreed that paying $5-20 a few times a year for a great course isn't objectionable; however, some local courses get played almost everyday for a large chunk of the year and they're not considered "great" courses.

That begs the question, what would you pay for your average course? :)
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Postby some call me...tim? » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:39 pm

Well I think that's the whole point of a pay to play, is that it will be above average. The most "average" PTP course I've been to was the Newport News course there. The course itself wasn't too much special...basically flat with pretty short holes. BUT it had dual tees, nice signage, no litter to speak of, no dog walkers or anything in the course area, and basically just a very pleasant experience (minus the over-achieving park rangers I referred to in another thread). I believe the cost for that was $1/day, or $25/annual.
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Postby bigs348 » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:55 pm

Tim_the_Enchanter wrote:Well I think that's the whole point of a pay to play, is that it will be above average. The most "average" PTP course I've been to was the Newport News course there. The course itself wasn't too much special...basically flat with pretty short holes. BUT it had dual tees, nice signage, no litter to speak of, no dog walkers or anything in the course area, and basically just a very pleasant experience (minus the over-achieving park rangers I referred to in another thread). I believe the cost for that was $1/day, or $25/annual.


But that's a park fee, which I view as different. It's not like that money is going into the course, but everyone, whether walking their dog, playing disc golf, or having a picnic is paying that fee.

It's like that in Delaware, too. The course itself isn't pay to play, it's just that you have pay to get into the park.

For the consumer, it's pretty much the same thing, but for this discussion it's a much different animal.
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Postby black udder » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:00 pm

Although I agree with your comment, Tim, that pay to play courses should be above average, I don't believe that was the question posed. Just would you? Is it a good idea? Opinions.

I don't know how much I'd play if I lived in Charlottesville and had to pay the park fee everytime I played. I don't know if you can get a yearly pass or not.

This last summer, I probably played well over 100 days in just 6 months.
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Postby RustyP » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:28 pm

There's a guy here in Dallas who is designing a very private course somewhere within a 2-3 hous drive of the city, but he wont tell anyone where exactly....being really secretive about it.

Apparently, the guy who owns the land (which is on some lake) doesnt want to make it open to the general public at all...he's actually trying to make it like a traditional country club for disc golfers. I played a round with the designer a few weeks ago, and he was talking about having a yearly membership fee somewhere in the range of $1,000....which i think is just ridiculous considering the demographic he's working with. I've seen pictures, and it looks nice, but not THAT nice. From what I understand, it will be somewhat like a timeshare - you can only visit so many times per month, and you have a cabin to stay in while you're there. I wouldn't mind if the price was lower and the number of visits weren't restricted, but the set-up he has in mind is just too...exclusive.

Are there any other course like this?
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Postby bigs348 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:46 pm

Is that Keohana?

I think it does sound a bit exclusive, but I also think it's a step in the right direction for the sport. I'm not saying I want us to be as exclusive as ball golf, but I think country club type places like that will definitely have their place. I think the model we have now with courses in public parks is great and those courses will continue, but the next step for the sport will come with private courses that are pay to play thrown into the mix.

Also, disc golf demographics are not much different than ball golf. You'd be surprised. The stats are on the PDGA site, but I'm not sure where. You think ball golf, you think a CEO hitting the links. You think disc golf, you think a stoner out getting his fix. Not the case though.
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