This golf course is offering something that has never been done before to combat slow play, one of golfs worst enemies. You might even call them renegades of the game.
“This is definitely a first for The Lodge,” said Matt Tausig, director of golf. “I’ve worked in the golf industry for 25 years, and I’ve never seen another golf course offer this kind of pricing.” What kind of pricing you ask? Why, pay by the hour!
The “How didn’t we think of this sooner?” idea is the brainchild of Lake of the Ozarks Resorts in Missouri.
“Meeting attendees can and have time constraints but would love the opportunity to play one, two or more holes of golf in one hour just to decompress,” said Frederik Houben, director of sales for the resort per Lake News Online.”This new hourly price structure fills that void during their limited downtime.”
Brilliant! So if you have an hour and want to play four holes, you can. And if you want to try and pack as many holes into a couple of hours, you’re encouraged to do so…and quickly, no less.
The Four Seasons property will offer the pay-by-the-hour rate ($10 per hour) to both resort guests and the public. After the first hour, golfers will pay a prorated amount for each additional 15 minutes of golf. Predictably, they’ll bump that rate during the height of the season, but it’s a damn good place to start, and potentially a pretty good value at a course that charges $39 for 18 holes in the off-season and $90 at the peak.
Listen. Maybe this won’t work. Maybe there’ll be a bunch of muppets trying to play speed golf, or that one slow group, out there ruining things for everyone. Maybe the course won’t be able to manage the disparate interests of the daily fee players with the hourly golfers.
But for god’s sake, it’s a start, and it’s a creative approach to dealing with flagging participation numbers. I mean, shit, it’s a hell of a lot better idea than trying to attract foot golfers to your course or marketing it as a Pokemon Go spawn location.
At least they’re trying something, even if it may sound like hell for some.