My colleague and cart partner on Golf Digest's travel coverage, Pete Finch, will now be posting to this blog on a regular basis. **Here's his debut entry, which is on one of my favorite topics, green fees:
I've been thinking a lot about the green fees at America's 100 Greatest Public Courses these days.
(Related: View the Top 10 most expensive public courses in the U.S.)
We collected all this data, and much more, for the "Money Clip" column in June's Golf Digest. (When I say "we," I mainly mean researcher Mary Jane McGirr, who contacted most of the courses and compiled the data in a giant spreadsheet.)
(Related: See Golf Digest's list of America's 100 Greatest Courses)
Some of this got mentioned in the column. The average peak-season green fee at America's 100 Greatest Courses is $193. Fifteen courses charge $100 or less. Ten courses charge $300 or more. There's also a table with details on the 10 lowest green fees in America's 100 Greatest Public. But a lot of the data we collected never made it into print. Some examples: The top 25 in America's 100 Greatest Public Courses have the most expensive green fees, by a lot. The average: $266. The second 25 charge $175 on average. The third 25: $164. Is the bottom 25 lower still? No! In an upset, the bottom 25 average is $169. Thirty-six of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses charge lower prices on weekdays than they do on weekends. The average among those that do: $127 in peak season. Seventy-three have off-season rates. The average: $108 on weekends, $91 on weekdays. Sixty-three charge less for afternoon "twilight" rounds. The average: $114 in season, $75 offseason. Fifteen of America's 100 Greatest Public have the word "resort" in their names. Average green fee: $184. Seven have their designer's name in the club name. Average green fee: $205. When that name is "Dye," which occurs twice, the average green fee jumps to $270. Sixteen courses include the word "at" in the names, as in the Highland Course "at" Primland. If you think that automatically signals high-priced pretension, you might think again. Average green fee: $161. "Ocean," on the other hand, does seem to signify higher pricing. Four courses have that word in their name and their average green fee is $242. If you have to choose between playing an "ocean" course and a "dunes" course and the decision is purely financial, pick dunes. (I know, nobody would ever choose a course this way…but indulge me on this.) There are five courses with that word in their name on America's 100 Greatest Public and the average green fee is $194.
(You can follow Pete on Twitter [@PeteFinch](http://twitter.com/#%21/PeteFinch).)