British golfers treasure Augusta National as the one course they would like to play before they die, yet more than half of them wouldn’t pay over £200 to play there – according to a survey published by Today’s Golfer magazine to mark its 25th anniversary this month.
Almost a third of the 2,000+ readers who took part in the UK’s biggest golf survey (28%) say they wouldn’t pay more than £200 to play at the stunning Masters venue, while one in four (27%) say £100 would be their limit – despite 87% of the respondents placing Augusta, widely regarded as the most exclusive in the golfing world, as the course of their dreams.
Those golfers who appreciate the exceptional quality of Augusta National, say their price ceiling is £500 (12%) or £1,000 (6%). While another 6% would pay ‘whatever it takes’ to tackle Bobby Jones’ masterpiece.
“Augusta remains the most desirable venue for British golfers to play, but in the current climate they’re very cost-conscious and are looking for value for money when paying green fees,” said editor Chris Jones.
Generally speaking, the most money the majority of golfers will pay for a round nowadays is £50 (32%), followed by £100 (20%) or £75 (18%). Only one in ten (11%) would consider paying up to £150 for a round wherever the course. A round at Wentworth, venue for next week’s BMW PGA Championship, is £360, while Open-venue courses like Hoylake and Royal Birkdale are more than £150.
The survey, which covered more than 30 questions about the game, also answered the question about which British player readers thought will be the next Major champion. Rory McIlroy (35%) just edged out Justin Rose (34%) as the main selection, followed by Lee Westwood (11%), Graeme McDowell (8%), Luke Donald (7%) and Ian Poulter (3%).
“There are several players like Justin Rose – who features on our first 3D front cover of the 25th anniversary issue – knocking on the door to win a Major championship and he is seen as one of the most likely contenders,” added Jones.
Most respondents (48%) disagree with Jack Nicklaus – who is also interviewed in the magazine – in thinking that Tiger Woods will break his record of 18 Major titles, while 10% think he’ll equal it.
A large percentage (71%) believe the game’s rules should be simplified, but not have two sets of rules (79%) for amateurs and professionals. Crucially there is strong opinion for anchoring of the putter to be banned (75%) with cited reasons such as ‘it is not in the spirit of the game’ and ‘it’s cheating’.
Most of the survey’s golfers (68%) claimed to be playing more now than in the recent past, however more than a third (38%) still see the game as too expensive, while one in four (25%) think it takes too long.
Today’s Golfer www.todaysgolfer.co.uk