Was it worth it? : We accosted a random sample of golfers at Pebble Beach and asked them about the $300 round they’d just played – Brief Article

John Strege


San Juan Batista, Calif.

Handicap: 14. Score: 88.

“Obviously, it’s an excellent course. If you enjoy golf, you should play here. Having said that, the cost is way beyond what it should be. There are a lot of other excellent courses in the area that aren’t nearly as expensive. I first played here in 1970 and the cost was $20.”


San Francisco

Handicap: 20. Score: Approximately 140.

“It’s definitely worth the cost. It’s distracting, because the view is so beautiful. The rough was thick and wet and we lost quite a few balls because of that.”


Birmingham, Ala.

Handicap: 10. Score: 90.

“I loved it. It’s my favorite course I’ve ever played. It’s also one of the prettiest courses I’ve ever seen. And one of the hardest, too. It’s also the most well-kept course I’ve ever played, including private courses.”


Buffalo, N.Y.

Handicap: 12. Score: 90.

“It met all my expectations. If you come this far, the cost is fine. If you lived around here, it might be a little steep. I don’t think it’s necessarily a difficult course, if you put it in the fairway. And if you want to play well, get a caddie. A caddie saves you 10 strokes around here.”



Handicap: 16. Score: 97.

“I don’t think it’s a particularly tough course, as long as you keep the ball in the fairway. I would say it’s nice. I don’t think it’s worth the money. It’s just too much money. No way would I come back.”


Columbus, Ohio

Handicap: 17. Score: 95.

“This is my favorite course in the world. It’s worth every penny. We often bring customers out here to entertain them, and it’s absolutely terrific. It doesn’t matter what it costs.”


Woodland Hills, Calif.

Handicap: 26. Score: 101.

“We’re staying here at the Lodge at Pebble Beach, and I would call it the ultimate golf experience. The scenery is fabulous. Some of the courses we played in Ireland and Scotland looked like this, but Pebble has more holes along the ocean. I will be back.”


Louisville, Ky.

Handicap: 30. Score: 106.

“We come once a year. Every year it gets more spectacular. I got here Saturday and it rained Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and it didn’t matter. If you’re going to play golf, you have to play here. I’ve had as high as 120 here. It doesn’t matter. You just watch the ocean and enjoy it.”


Jakarta, Indonesia

Handicap: 18. Score: 93.

“The greens are the best part. They’re firm, fast and difficult. It’s a nice view, too. It was my dream to play here. My dad paid for it. I can’t afford it.”



Handicap: 22. Score: 110.

“You look forward to it, and you’re very disappointed when you don’t play well. I didn’t play well. The course was wet, and at my age [76] I need all the roll I can get. The fee prices out the guy whose lifelong dream is to play Pebble Beach. There aren’t many who can afford it.”


Laguna Beach, Calif.

Handicap: 13. Score: 95.

“There’s nothing like it. It’s the best. It’s gorgeous.”


Mexico City

Handicap: 6. Score: 82.

“Today was difficult. It’s so wet and the rough is thick. It’s a very difficult course. It lives up to its reputation. It’s one of the best I’ve played, and I played Cypress Point six years ago. The price is a little bit high, I think, but there’s only one Pebble Beach.”



Handicap: 16. Score: 87.

“It’s the best golf course I’ve ever played, and the scenery is spectacular. It’s beautiful and intimidating. The people have been real nice, too. It’s definitely worth it. I’ll be back.”


Corona Hills, Calif.

Handicap: 18. Score: 93.

“It’s an awesome experience. I’m in awe of it. At times the scenery gets too distracting. My kids play also. They’re 10, 12 and 14. I think they can play here. I’d like to bring them. It’d be a thousand-dollar bill, but it would be worth the memory for the kids.”


Dublin, Ohio

Handicap: 14. Score: 90.

“It’s indescribable. You hit a bad shot and look out and see the view, and who cares? I’d come back in a minute, and I’d bring my wife with me, too.”

COPYRIGHT 2000 New York Times Company Magazine Group, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

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