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Re: Red Bridge review   tvrepairex at 9/7/10 7:06pm
Course is usually in good shape but they have a habit of making some pin placements almost unplayable such as the one at 16 you mentioned and also on the front of number 10 that is on a sever left to right slope.Another one is on the short par three over the lake.The green has a shelf and I've had the pins on the edge of the shelf.If you miss from the side or rear it rolls down the slope 20 feet away and if you are below the shelf and miss short,it will roll back to where you started.
Red Bridge review   t2green2 at 9/7/10 2:59pm
Bit of a hike from North Charlotte but well worth the drive. Overall the course plays firm and fast from tee to green. Bunkers and rough are well maintained. Greens? The greens? Well lemme tell you about those. They were excellent condition. Not as receptive bent which is acceptable and faster than the bernudas i have played on in the past.

My only copmplaints are a couple of holes (3 and 10) do not fit the eye as far as how or where to hit your drive.

The Green on 16. Well maybe not the green, The pin placement on the front is borderline nuts. I saw 2 putts from above and from the side of this pin roll off the fron of the green.

All in all it was a great course and should only get better. BTW we teed off early and were easily done in 4 hours.!
Kudos to Fox Den   Dr. Jones at 9/7/10 9:42am
Greens were recently aerated, but still the course was in really good shape.
Re: Please dont plagirize ???   Mr. Thomas A. Dray at 9/3/10 2:35pm
Thanks. It seemed as though you were taking credit for statements that were not your own.
Re: Please dont plagirize ???   outlier at 9/2/10 6:37pm
REALLY? What are you high? Just to be clear I absolutely googled the definition(s) pricing maker / elasticity. Those particular terms / definitions appear in most if not all managerial economics text books from middle school through PHd.

I don't think I ever insinuated I invented the concepts. I thought it was extremely clear that I used the applicable definitions to answer the question: "if we have too many courses why are the prices so high?"

MY original thought was that those terms help answer and add credibility to MY thesis....we pay more for public golf because the market is dominated by near 2 near monopoly.
tradition and skybrook   egolfer at 9/2/10 5:06pm
anyone played tradition or skybrook lately?just wanted to know what kind of shape they are in and if they are aerating greens.
Re: course conditions.   egolfer at 9/2/10 4:30pm
yes i played cabarrus cc last week. their greens are ok, kinda like the warrior.
Re: course conditions.   TurfHealer at 9/2/10 3:05pm
I just wanted to chime in on a recent post about course conditions posted by turfguy. I agree with your post except the reference to Quail. Quail does have a big budget, HOWEVER they stress the bent at the worst time of the year, May. While other superintendents have the luxury of late April/May aerifications and subsequent root drive time in April and May; Quail tears their root zone down mowing and rolling the greens in preparation and during the PGA event. Those three weeks are the best time stimulate root mass, and they are busy tearing it down. If you don't drive roots in May, and it gets hot early, like this year, then you probably are going to have trouble.
Turfguy, I too am in the turf side of the golf industry. This summer has been tough, but in many ways I think it has shined some light on the short-comings of years of skimping on solid aerification and topdressing programs. These high volume courses in the Charlotte area are masters at short-cutting or skipping aerifications and topdressings all together. I agree with your post, but I think Quail is a unfair reference that I have seen mentioned in the Charlotte Observer as well. It unfairly deflects responsibility from other courses, by pointing out that "even guys with big budgets" are having problems. When in my opinion Quail isn't giving a fair shot because of the timing of their event, and subsequent agronomic practices being timed around the event, not the grass....anyone played Cabarrus CC in the last couple weeks??
Tradition   malamute at 9/1/10 7:38pm
Can any one give an update on conditions at the Tradition?
thx
Re: Prices   The B-Man at 8/31/10 1:13pm
Regarding the posts about prices and walking, I think there are still good values around, especially for walking. A few courses that I would consider walking to get a reduced rate:

Monroe CC
Charlotte National
Stonebridge
Fort Mill

Borderline / Restricted walking policies:

Charlotte Golf Links
Olde Sycamore
Emerald Lake

Walkable but already a bargain and conditions not always great:

Larkhaven
Charles T Myers

Courses I would never walk:

Regent Park
The Divide
Renaissance Park
Skybrook
Carolina Lakes
Red Bridge
2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow   The B-Man at 8/31/10 12:53pm
Today's announcement means that the Carolinas will host 3 men's major championships over the next 7 years (2012 PGA at Kiawah and 2014 US Open at Pinehurst). Here are some links about today's announcement:
Re: Prices   Golfmage at 8/30/10 5:28pm
That's what I'm talking about. I use to walk Torrey Pines for a twilight rate of $6. In pro golf, greed rules. Part of the problem with golf in Charlotte is the NASCAR mentality, and the inbred desire that thinks if it's expensive, then it must be good. We're so far from the game's original intent, I won't start.
Please dont plagirize   Carmen San Diego at 8/30/10 12:14pm
Regarding price elasticity.

http://www.cu.edu.tr/insanlar/nerk/Dersler/ECON203Pof/Lecture%20notes/Chap011.doc
Prices   Mr. Thomas A. Dray at 8/30/10 12:10pm
Imagine if more courses were walkable. Example instead of the $55 green fee with cart on the weekend, to walk your fee would be $35. Too few quality walkable courses has everyone paying more for golf than they should in my opinion.

You simply cant walk places like Highland, Skybrook, Birkdale.
CT Myers   Jamie at 8/30/10 6:55am
Played yesterday (8/29), course is nothing to brag about. Very slow play, left after 9 holes because I could not be there 5.5 hours. A few greens were OK, but most were starting to get pretty bad. Very bumpy and chewed up for the most part. Overall the course is usually average, but nowadays it's not even that. You may want to give the course time to improve, so maybe try it in a few months.
fox den   egolfer at 8/29/10 7:15pm
just to let folks know, Fox Den just aerated their greens.
Greens update 08/28/2010   DrSchteeve at 8/28/10 10:01am
Personally checked or played (except where noted):

Verdict Ridge: punched "about 2 weeks ago" - still quite bumpy, along with some bare spots that haven't responded to the punching

Olde Sycamore: punched about a month ago, unfortunately divots from poorly repaired ballmarks mar the surfaces significantly - in other words, they look ok, and in general are in good rolling condition, but there are just too many ballmarks so almost any putt is likely to hit a ballmark (or 2)

Emerald Lake: punched about 10 days ago, still top dressed with a lot of sand, along with other issues certainly not rolling true

Skybrook: some really nice smooth areas on many greens, but also bare spots and many plugs of (presumably) poa anna, overall not bad

Highland Creek: very spotty, bare areas galore, one green (#15) gone by report

Red Bridge: mostly in very good condition, only a few greens with some isolated issues (Red Bridge greens are mini verde per clubhouse); definitely the best greens of all these (except Cleghorn, see below)

Cleghorn (this from a month ago) - in Rutherfordton, a hike, but perfect Bermuda greens (and fairways), best overall conditions I've played in all year (and maybe ever)

Hope that helps somebody...

Cost Problems in local golf   Golfmage at 8/28/10 9:12am
Reduce green fees, raise cart fees, and promote memberships. It's that simple.
My 2 cents   sawlog at 8/28/10 8:12am
Since I do not live in Charlotte, I cannot commit on the golf price and conditions. But I noticed a course has to choose what it is going to be either premium or budget. I have no problem with either way a course wants to fall in either group. However I do get frustrated if a course wants to charge a premium price for a budget course. This sadly is happing more often because of the fact of the cost of maintaining and servicing the debt that is incurred in building or purchasing a golf course.
The other problem like has been discussed is the fact that the market sets the price, if you are in an area like where I live that the majority of the courses are budget that is what the market will bear and if you do try to come in with a premium course it will be tough sell. What we all are wanting is a low green fee but the best conditions to play in, but each of us has to be realistic on the course conditions.
I do expect some things to be done, but also I am realistic in the fact if I am at a budget course then I expect budget conditions, but if I am paying premium pricing then like most of the posters I expecting everything to be top notch. Of course with this summer everyone’s bent greens have taking a beating.
the complicated answer   outliar at 8/27/10 6:54pm
This is my last post on this question ( I am headed out of town for 3 weeks).

WHY ARE PRICES SO HIGH IF IRI AND RATCLIFF HAVE "CORNERED THE MARKET"?

This would be the answer that gets you an "A" in business school.....


Price elasticity plays a role in monopoly and near monopoly price setting. The total revenue test shows that the monopolist will avoid the inelastic segment of its demand schedule. As long as demand is elastic, total revenue will rise when the monopoly lowers its price, but this will not be true when demand becomes inelastic. At this point, total revenue falls as output expands, and since total costs rise with output, profits will decline as demand becomes inelastic. Therefore, the monopolist will expand output only in the elastic portion of its demand curve.

I'm just say'in.......
I am not a Dr. but I do know this....   outliar at 8/27/10 6:32pm
Don't be naive:

Public golf prices in Charlote are high for the same reason it costs so much more to fly out of Charlotte than Greensboro or Columbia.

IRI and Ratcliff own too much of the market. In business school this is referred to as a "price maker".

To fly out of Charlotte Douglas you deal with the price set by US Air. They DESTROY competition from others each time they try to enter the market, and then jack back up the prices.

When Birkdale and Highland Creek were owned separately, they gained market share by providing a superior value proposition at the $55ish price point. Now IRI dares you to drive to China Grove or Ashville etc. to avoid giving them your $55 a round golf money. Just like US Air dares you to drive to Columbia or Greensboro to pay $225 round trip to Chicago rather than the $370 they will charge you from Charlotte Douglas.


DEFINITION: The firm is a “price maker,” that is, the firm has considerable control over the price because it can control the quantity supplied.


and YES TOO MANY COURSES...means that the same limited supply of golf rounds/dollars are spread amongst 30 courses instead of 18 courses. I could go on and on...
Too many courses   DrSchteeve at 8/27/10 4:56pm
Although they try, Carolina Lakes, at least this year, wouldn't have met my expectations for an upper tier course. Conditions, especially fairways, when I played April/May were terrible. Red Bridge has a long way to go as well (clubhouse, driving range), although their conditions, including their greens (not bent, I believe), have been quite good, and they try very hard to please with their limited staff.

I had another experience today with one of my favorite courses (I'm not going to name, since I think many courses would fit this description). I asked them their conditions, and they said they punched 2 weeks ago, but the greens had been cut and were "just a little bumpy". Well I went and played (fortunately only 9 holes), and the greens were VERY bumpy, and in poor overall condition (not just the punching). Granted, they did offer a reduced rate, but I just don't think you can get a straight answer no matter how you ask - the courses are just too hard up to get any golfer to their course given the economic conditions.
Too many courses??   Dr. Jones at 8/27/10 2:39pm
If there are too many courses then why are the prices as high as they are?

Charlotte needs more walkable golf courses as well.
please don't be silly   outliar at 8/27/10 2:07pm
OK enough with the borderline condescending "you don't understand business..."

YES I DO - so let's go to school. I understand that the courses have a very simple profit motive/business model. Over the past decade, many local public courses have been snatched up by companies like I.R.I. and Ratcliff(ie. the Carolina Trail bought up all local competition) Birkdale, Skybrook, Highland Creek...consolidation for profit/survival just like in the airline industry.

Birkdale went from a solid B+ "Arnold Palmer" course to a C- "Carolina Trail public track" because they bought out all the competition and simply rather have profit than fix the bunkers.

Charlotte public golf has 2 interrelated problems:

1)Too many golf courses; and
2)IRI and Ratcliff own too much of the market.

I guarantee in the next 5 years we will see 2 or 3 $75-90 price point courses (like Ballantyne Resort/ Red Bridge/ Carolina Lakes?) separate themselves from the morass and we will be back to the good place we were at circa 1995-2005.

Just my "B-School" back of the napkin case study.
Course Conditions   Shane Newkirk at 8/26/10 9:31pm
I understand why people are upset that courses are not lowering rates while their clubs are not in perfect shape. The problem is they are not allowed to raise the rates when the courses are in perfect shape. If a course here in charlotte usually costs $59 to play, but one morning you showed up to play and the guy behind the counter told you it was $72 today because the course was in perfect shape, this message board would be full of people crying. A club's rate is its rate, good or bad people. Have any of you thanked a superintendent over the last few years at your local club when the course was in great shape? Nope.
blame   kravon at 8/26/10 9:10pm
I dont blame turf professionals for the conditions of some of the local courses this summer since the weather was completely abnormal. I certainly dont care what the private clubs are doing to keep their greens healthy though.
Re: Golf rates   tvrepairex at 8/26/10 7:04pm
I could be wrong, but I think the problem with Rocky River is that they are managed by the Embassy Suites group and they have a "captive" paying group involving the Embassy Suites guests and events.Any "outside "players is just extra.
Course Conditions   turfguy at 8/26/10 4:26pm
What is unfortunate is while most of the people who post comments to this forum may be very skilled in the game of golf they are mostly clueless when it comes to issues related to maintaining a golf course. It is unfair to ask clubs that are struggling in the economy to have 50-70 bunkers in playable condition following a 3 inch rain. You don't expect Augusta National but you expect public clubs to have staff on hand to fix bunkers in a 3-4 hour window. There are some very notable HIGH end private clubs in the Charlotte area (one of them that hosts a lucrative PGA event) that have had issues with greens during the summer of 2010 and trust me they have way more means and money to PLAN to prevent summer decline of bentgrass greens than any of the courses featured on the Bman's site. What everybody wants to ignore is that in the recession clubs are forced to cut payroll and maintenance budgets. It is unfortunate that businessmen who post to this message board and probably have had to tighten their own belts think it should be status quo for course operators. While you may be avid golfers there are not enough of you playing now days. Rounds are down everywhere and the casual players are not returning to the game. I am biased because I am a superintendent in the area and I figure this probably won't get posted anyway but I have to come to the defense of my colleagues who look at this site frequently and use it to gauge how the public feels about their courses. Even the USGA is pushing brown as the new green...Why do you think this is? It's because golf is heading towards a precipice in which water and environmental legislation will force golfers to have to deal with browner conditions. I applaud the Bman for posting links this year. Fellas when an article about poor greens makes The Wall Street Journal it is a real issue and not lazy superintendents or poor planning for summer heat.
Golf rates   egolfer at 8/26/10 3:26pm
I can't understand how there are still golf courses charging full rates when courses are in pitiful condition. Rocky River is really bad right now and yet they still charge 49 bucks. They should be ashamed to charge anywhere near that with their current conditions. Doubt I can blame the guys working at the course because it probably has to come from higher ups to reduce rates. It's obvious the almighty dollar is more important than customer satisfaction.
Disappointed   DrSchteeve at 8/26/10 12:47pm
Well I see both sides. Although you might think some planning for (super) hot weather would make a difference, virtually every course with bent grass greens has lost their greens this year. It's just a bad situation.

On the other hand, absolutely there are courses that have handled the greens issues and the general financial stress issues better than others. I never understand why ranges aren't kept neat, ice water available, club washers attended to, etc., yet that now seems the norm for public and semi-public courses in Charlotte.


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