Courses & TravelApril 7, 2011

VALUE GOLF: $125 to play Pasatiempo in April.

Let's back up for a second. As I've sampled public golf in this country, I've established some benchmarks for value. I measure courses I play against this rough scale of overall experience and price. Some of these courses below will cost you a little more than the price I've listed, some are less, depending on the season, day and time you play. But the point is: these prices and courses are what I use as my standards for making my value assessments on a course-to-course basis.

After I play a $50 course, for example, I take my overall experience (service, maintenance, fun factor, prestige and history), and measure it against my ideal $50 course (Brackenridge Park):

$10: Kahuku on North Shore of Oahu, HI.

$35: Coronado near San Diego.

$50: Brackenridge Park in San Antonio.

$60: Wailua G.C. on Kauai, HI.

$85: The Legend at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minn.

$100: The Classic at Madden's Resort in Brainerd, Minn.

$150: Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, NY.

$200: Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz, Calif.

$250: Pacific and Bandon Dunes in Ore.

$300: Spyglass Hill in Pebble Beach.

As I've stated before, I can never see myself paying more than $300 of my own money for a round of golf. And if I pay $300, the course and experience has to be as good as what I can get at Spyglass, which is actually a little more than $300.

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--Matty G.

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