With the pips squeaking at a deafening volume, we’re all looking to save money these days.
But before you decide there are cheaper hobbies than golf and put your clubs on eBay, the good news is that most of the golf clubs in our region have realised that they now have to compete for a dwindling number of rounds played each year, as belts are tightened in the face of la crise. Let’s look at how you can save significantly on the cost of a round around the region.
The course owners don’t like the idea, and neither does the FFGolf, the Fédération Française de Golf, but “local associations” are growing because they offer affordable golf at good courses. It works like this: you gather a bunch of pals together and enrol them in a local association, say the Trou-sur-Mer Golfing Association. Maybe you advertise to swell your core group.
You go along to your favourite course and propose a sort of golfing timeshare, you buy, say, 8 memberships for use by your association, which has 40 members. As part of the deal with the golf club, each member of the association is restricted to one round per week.
Now the maths as it applies to your club. Effectively, each member of your association is paying one-fifth of the golf club’s individual membership fee of, maybe, €3000. So €600 for a potential 52 rounds per year, the resulting figure makes Wakefield Municipal look expensive. And then your association can approach more than one club … interesting, isn’t it?
Last minute bargains
Bookandgolf (www.bookandgolf.com) are the last-minute wonder boys. If the clubs they work with have tee-times free, the price drops as that time get closer. Taking a mid-September day as an example, if you could play at 15h and didn’t mind hanging on to book until midday, then bingo! The price drops at both Golf de l’Esterel and Sainte Maxime from €75 to €40, a tasty 40% reduction.
The late show
Many clubs offer a good discount, usually 25%, for players with good eyesight who don’t mind starting late. At St Donat, for instance, you’ll pay €58 to play this justifiably popular course after mid-afternoon. It’s a good plan to ask for a reduction on the 9-hole rate for this time of day, that way you’ll know you’ll be able to get round without needing a torch for the scorecard.
The best for less
Yes, it may be millionaire golf at the fabulous Terre Blanche near Fayence, but try this November 2013 offer for a special occasion: golf for two plus a night in a superior suite plus brekkie for €508.