How to Save Money Even During Peak Florida Golf Season: Part I

By: Tim McDonald

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As golfers undoubtedly know, it's peak golf season here in Florida now, which means green fees go north when the temperature goes a little south.

Still, you don't have to pay the full freight. Here are some ways to save money on green fees even during this time of year when snowbirds are swarming our golf courses like the vast buffalo herds that once roamed the West.

Be sure to check back a little later this week for even more ways to save.

- Play early. Yes, it's chillier at sunrise, but many courses have "dew-sweeper" rates. Besides, you're a hardy Yank and used to the chill.

- Play late. Almost all clubs drop their afternoon rates, even during peak season. Some in the more competitive areas, like Orange County National and Celebration in Orlando, start their afternoon rates as early as 11 a.m. Check with individual courses to see when they drop these rates.

- Check comparative rates for week days and weekends. What? Why? Are you crazy? Aren't weekends always more expensive? Not necessarily. Orange Lake Legends in Orlando for example has cheaper rates on weekends. Weird, but true.

- If you're staying at one of Florida's well-known resorts that offer a famous course, try playing one of the second bananas. I've written a lot on some of these courses that are almost as good as, or sometimes just as good or better, than the famous courses.

And, of course they are much cheaper. Green fees at the Valley course at TPC Sawgrass are $195 during peak season compared to $375 at the Stadium, for example. At Doral, the superb and scenic Great White will cost you $225 as opposed to $325 at the more famous Blue Monster.
 

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