Here’s How Much Championship Golf is (REALLY) Going Up in 2020

People are going crazy about a recent article posted on Villages-News claiming that there are “hefty fee increases” coming in January 2020 to play championship courses in The Villages.

The article claims that rates to play some courses are increasing by as much as $48.

I’ve read some of the reactions over on Talk of The Villages in which some people are saying things along the lines of “this is the last straw” and “the developer’s greed has gone too far”.

This might be a perfect example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet!

The big problem with the article in question is that it is comparing current rates May 1-December 31 (which is ALWAYS cheaper) to January 1 – April 30 (which is ALWAYS more expensive).

Apples to Oranges.

The population in The Villages EXPLODES between January 1 and April 30 every year as snowbirds come to town to escape the winter.

As such, golf has always been priced more during this timeframe. Supply and demand I think economists call it.

A more logical and sound way to really figure out how much rates are going up is to compare January 1 – April 30 2019 to January 1 – April 30 2020.

In the image below, you’ll see I’ve taken a pencil to the Jan 1 – April 30 2019 rates and written the new 2020 rate beside the 2019 rate.

If the calculator on my iPhone is correct, the average increase for Resident Members is $4.58.

The average increase for Priority Members is $4.66.

I don’t have time to go through all the others, but you certainly can if you want. Just add up the difference between each rate for a particular classification level and divide by 12 (number of courses).

Nobody likes an increase…I get that.

But these numbers are far more palatable than some of the numbers the other article threw around.

The biggest hit for some people in my mind is the elimination of the off-peak rates (before 9am and after 1pm) that were previously available at Orange Blossom Hills and Tierra Del Sol.

But from an administration perspective, I can understand why eliminating these different rates might make for a few less headaches.

Also, it looks like rates for “miscellaneous” things like club rentals, cart rentals, etc. are unchanged.

Over To You…

Does this analysis make you feel better about the rate increases?

Or will you be cutting back on how much you play the Championship Courses?

Let us know in the comments section down below.

26 thoughts on “Here’s How Much Championship Golf is (REALLY) Going Up in 2020”

  1. Thanks Ryan, for doing the math and giving some perspective to the (reasonable in my opinion) increase. By the way, I’ve been a subscriber for about 5 years now. Love it!

  2. I am a priority member with a 13-14 GHIN and play championship about twice a week. During winter months, I have in past played off campus about twice a month. I consider Villages courses to be of average condition with some definitely better maintained courses off campus costing less than my Priority cost on campus. This year, I plan to play championship off campus half the time. I’ve created a spreadsheet of all reasonably priced courses withing an hour’s drive and which have frequent discounts. BTW – I prefer over-seeding of fairways and favor going to those courses in winter anyhow. If you compare winter rates in the Villages since 2017, in 3 years, the average rates for Priority members has increased 20.3 percent. For,Resident members, the increase has been 13.8 percent. That is Apples to Apples! Those are the facts.

  3. Last year course conditions were terrible. They better keep the conditions better or they will loose many players. With the increases price becomes more comparable with off site and they offer a more challenging level. Also the rate sheet I saw was $48 dollars, not $47. Did they change it?

  4. I just picked up a printout of the new golf fees at Lopez. It definitely does not coincide with what you are saying. I feel if these are not the new rates, the golf courses would not be handing them out.

  5. Played golf for 50 years and courses in TV are not excellent ,not much above average and the prices for average public courses where you mostly provide your own cart is excessive . I still play here but watching with a keen eye to see what else evolves -you add thousands of house and don’t increase championship course says you need to weed out some to give the new a chance to play, so raise prices and know you’ll lose some bit the newbies will offset with increased price and year after year same game because houses continue and the need to weed shall increase

  6. There is a free gym option at MVP gym (Spanish Springs & Brownwood). If you have United Healthcare Advantage plan insurance co will pay for gym membership….and starting in 2020 regular supplement coverage for United Healthcare and Florida Blue will also pick up tab to help keep you healthy. That’s close to $500 per year savings vs rec center cost.

    1. Tom, this is good news. Does that “free” gym membership at MVP go for just regular (non-Medicare) Florida Blue? Or just the Medicare variety?

  7. Golf is not a “need”….golf is a “want”…..if you can’t afford to play it, then don’t play….

    Bargain for your “needs”…not for your “wants” in life….

  8. Prices for the championship courses were high to begin with.
    I love playing our championship courses, but during the winter months, I have and will continue to go to courses outside the bubble.

  9. I play Championship 130 plus times per year and am not complaining about the $5 increase; but I’m not complaining about the increases in the stock market either 😎!

  10. The price increase is not really relevant to me but it seems reasonable. I only play the “championship” courses a couple times a year and generally go “off campus” to play 18 once or twice a month.

  11. The use of the fitness centers has “never” been free or included in the amenity fee. At least during my 5 years in The Villages. The cost is not unreasonable in my opinion. I just wish they were included in the Silver Sneakers programs.

  12. We just closed on the purchase of our house 2 weeks ago. I was surprised to find out the there is now a charge to use the exercise equipment which was not the case prior to a year ago. The cost to use the equipment is more than our membership to Anytime Fitness in VA.

    I thought that our $159 per month was to cover the use of the rec centers. Are there any other charges to use the amenities at the rec centers that is new?

    1. Hi Laura, the fees for the Fitness Clubs at Mulberry Grove, Laurel Manor, Colony Cottage, SeaBreeze, Rohan, and Fenney are not new, and, so far as I can tell, the prices really haven’t changed much (if any) since about 2010. There’s always the option of MVP at Spanish Springs or Brownwood, but I’m not sure how those rates compare.

    2. We were sold a bill of goods too when we bought our home. When touring the Fenney Rec center we were told the fitness center was included in amenities fee. When we went to use it we were told it was $40.00 a month! And there’s not even that much equipment. So we joined To Your Health for $200.00 for the year and has an indoor pool for year round water aerobics. We don’t golf so I feel the gym should be free for us. We also were told that we would have grocery store and amenities by the Everglades by March of 2019. At this rate we won’t even have them by March of 2020. From what I have heard from residents that have been here many years, is that the amenities were in place as homes went up not after a whole section was built. We have nothing down here in DeSoto. We have to go up to 466 or 27/441 for decent restaurants other than fast food. If I knew then what I know now, I never would have bought in this community!

  13. Mary Beth Sturtevant

    Thanks for clearing that up! We will continue to play the championship courses If you buy the priority membership golf is a bargain

  14. No, the article does not make me feel better. The rates reflect over a 16% increase comparing 2019 winter rates to 2020 winter rates. This is a direct oranges to oranges comparison..

    I will be cutting back on playing the Championship courses this winter.

    This is another example of pure greed.

    1. I hear you Bob! It’ll be interesting to look back after April and see if there’s any evidence on how many others cut back.

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