Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Headline Here: Lake

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Headline Here: Lake

Article excerpt

Golf courses have been getting creative with their rates for years to get more play. Twilight rates with bigger discounts the later the tee time, senior rates, play-all-day rates, even perks such as a free lunch, sleeve of balls or other small giveaways.

The Lodge of Four Seasons might have hit on the next big thing: Hourly rates that let golfers play less than a full nine or 18 holes. Even just a few holes if that's all they have time for, which might catch on in today's busy world with so many entertainment options.

Matt Tausig, director of golf for the Lodge and its two courses, The Ridge and The Cove, said the new policy started in November.

"A golfer wanted to play a few holes before a rain storm that was coming and asked how much to play for a little while and we said, 'How about $10 an hour?' and that's sort of where it started," Tausig said.

Tausig said the course had been considering how to get more play in off-peak times and the new pricing option has been popular so far.

"It's been great," Tausig said. "It's a good way for our guests to play a few holes if that's all they have time for, rather than just go to the range."

The rate has been $10 an hour but will vary in peak times and the course doesn't pre-book the hourly rate, golfers can call and see when or if it's available.

The new policy is getting some national attention, and some articles seemed to indicate it was a way to solve the slow-play problem. But Tausig says that wasn't the reason for the hourly rates, more for the convenience of the Lodge's guests and customers with limited time who might not want to pay for an entire round to play a few holes.

Another side benefit Tausig pointed out was that parents who have younger kids learning the game can take them out on the course for a few holes rather than just going to the driving range. …

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