The Expense of Competitive Tournament Golf

cashPlaying tournament golf can be an expensive hobby. Between equipment upgrades, range balls, practice rounds, and the tournaments themselves (not to mention side bets and skins game pots!), guys who want to stay highly-competitive better have a few bucks in their wallets and a bit of free time to hone their edge.

But given today’s economy, plenty of players give real consideration to the cost/benefit ratio before entering any event. It’s simply economic reality in 2013.

We are blessed in Northeast Ohio to have a host of great tournament events run by gentlemen who aren’t so much looking to make a healthy profit as they are hoping to further the game of golf in the region. That’s huge for players on a budget.

The cost of tournament golf ran across my mind because in the span of the last couple days, I had separate conversations about the two big state amateur tournaments. It made me think how they compared when viewed as ‘what you pay vs. what you get’.

The Ohio Publinx Championship will be held for the third consecutive year in Northeast Ohio at Seven Hills Golf Club in Hartville, which is a solid public golf course that’s always in very good condition. The entry fee for that event is $125, which gets a player a practice round and two guaranteed tournament rounds plus another two rounds if both cuts are made. Carts are extra but reasonably priced, or a player can walk and carry/pullcart or bring a caddie.

The Ohio Amateur Championship also heads to Northeast Ohio for 2013, played this year at the venerable Brookside Country Club in Canton, a Donald Ross Top 100 Classic Course in Golfweek’s 2013 rankings. Players must qualify via sectional events to get to the championship event; our area’s qualifiers will be held May 28th at Elyria Country Club and at Canton Brookside. The entry fee for any of the qualifiers is $150 for members of private OGA clubs or $175 for non-members. There is no qualifier practice round included. Carts are not permitted, so players either have to carry their bag or hire a caddie. A player could play six rounds for their entry fee — assuming he qualifies, plays the practice round at the tournament proper, then makes both cuts. But there is also the very real possibility that a player could play only the qualifying round and fail to advance — making that a $175 round of golf.

So what are your thoughts about the value of these two Ohio state amateur events?

About the cost/benefit ratio of tournament golf in Northeast Ohio in general?

Post your opinions and suggestions in the comment section below…


1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    April 11, 2013

    That’s something I thought about when I ran SCAGA. I tried to keep it affordable while still playing quality courses. That’s the main reason I got rid of our association fee. No one wants to pay that anymore. It also made it easier on us. Just paying for each event as you play works out well for everyone. I experimented with afternoon tee times as well to keep the cost down. Surprisingly, we had a good turnout that year for that event. I realize you can’t please everyone. There are still a lot out there that price doesn’t seem to bother them and they want the early morning tee time. My motto was “Keep it affordable, keep it fun, they will come.” By the way, the Ohio Publinx is a great event. I’m definitely not good enough to play in the OAC. And they’d probably kick me off Brookside before I had a chance to tee off. They don’t want me hacking up their course.

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