According to a Golf Channel survey, about 30,000 rounds of golf are played at a typical American golf course each year. The price each golfer pays for a round depends on tee time, day of the week, the course’s age and whether it is a public or private course.
Median Cost Per Round
The median cost for 18 holes of golf at a public course on the weekend is $36, including a cart, according to the survey, which noted that at a daily course -- a privately owned facility open to the public -- the median cost was $40 for a weekend round. A 2005 National Golf Foundation (NGF) survey found that a daily course charged an average of $10 more per round than a municipal venue. Daily courses made up 58 percent of the market in 2005, according to the NGF.
Newer Courses More Expensive
Due to increasing costs for golf course construction, average green fees are higher at newer courses. As of 2005, the NGF survey determined, the average cost of an 18-hole round was $42.70 at courses built prior to 1970, but $48.33 for courses constructed between 1970 and 1990, and $60.55 for courses built in 1990 or later.
The Best Public Courses
Golfers pay premium prices to play the best U.S. public courses. For example, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, which plays host to the PGA Tour’s Buick Invitational, standard 18-hole prices as of the date of publication for the North Course ranged from $163 Monday through Thursday to $188 on weekends and holidays. Twilight rounds were available for $71 to $86. For the South Course, on which the 2008 PGA Championship was played, prices ranged from $246 to $292. The price per round at California's Pebble Beach Golf Links, home of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and numerous major championships, was $495.
For many players in the United States and elsewhere, Scotland is golf’s Mecca, where a golfer may play some of the world’s best and most historic courses, although some of the country’s best venues require that golfers carry a minimum handicap. As of 2012 the country’s most famous course, the St. Andrews Old Course, charges 150 British pounds for 18 holes for most of the year (as of the date of publication a British pound was equal to about $1.60). Rates fall to 70 pounds in the off-season. According to The Independent Golfer website, as of 2007 rates for Scotland’s “hidden gem” courses averaged 33.15 pounds, and green fees for the country’s “home” courses averaged 21 pounds.