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Sympatico Column: Is $500 too much for greatness?

My latest column for Sympatico discusses the notion that $500 isn’t too much for a game of golf at Pebble Beach. That’s my take anyway. I also recall spending $330 to play Muirfield in Scotland, which I’d do again, and a good chunk of US cash to play Cypress Point last year, which I’d do over in a heartbeat.

Anyway, here’s my take — link to the story after the taste:

Is a golf round ever worth $500?

That’s the question countless people have endlessly pondered and beaten themselves up about before plunking down their credit card and paying $500 (actually US$495 plus mandatory cart fee) for a round at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Like Augusta National, home of the Masters, the waves crashing on the shores of the closing hole at Pebble Beach is immediately recognizable to anyone who has any interest in the game of golf, and is almost as well known among those that don’t pay attention to the sport. Its logo “ a single wispy tree on the crest of a hill overlooking the ocean “ is iconic, and the course is the dream destination for every golfer having a landmark birthday. They want to play Pebble and walk in the footsteps of Ben Hogan to Tiger Woods. They want to hit a knock-down iron into the seemingly innocuous par-3 seventh hole, and flirt with the sandy cliffs on the eighth. They want to bust a drive on 18, hugging the fairway, or perhaps let loose with some expletives “ as Woods did on national TV during the 2000 U.S. Open “ when they overcook their shot and it rattles off the ever-present rocks before disappearing into the raging sea.

Everyone wants that experience. But deciding whether it is worth a good hunk of one week’s wages is bigger question for those with a family, bills to pay, and dog food to buy. For many, the cost of 18 holes at Pebble Beach will be more than their housing costs for the week. And that’s tough to justify.

The rest of the column is here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Robert – never played PB but I suppose someday I will. However, I’m much more inclined to spend $400 on the winter Bandon deal – two nights, two rounds, three meals, and reload rounds are about $50.

    More golf, faster golf, and many would say better golf.

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