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IT WAS A SIMPLE THOUGHT. But that thought soon became a little complicated. Before I realized it, the sheer magnitude of conflicting possibilities had wilted my mind from sensory overload to the point that it was slowly withdrawing, making bad associations and seeing error messages telling me that a crash was eminent. My mind was overdrawn and badly in need of a good defragging. A rescue and recovery disk was needed, but I couldn’t find one.


Or maybe that was the computer.


I was knocked senseless and probably went to the wrong corner. The thought was to play a golf course I had never played before. I had the day off, so I fired up the laptop to see what was out there. I typed “golf course green fee bargains Northern California” into Google...and thou- sands upon thousands of pages popped up. It was a never-ending, endless-loop search. When I lifted my carpaled fingers from the keyboard, it was dark outside. The next day I realized that I


had fallen into a trap that is all too common for golfers in today’s world. Green fees have


changed in recent times. It seems like yesterday that they were posted behind the starter’s desk, set in stone. Today they fluctuate with wild abandon, like the price of gasoline or an airline ticket. What happened? The economic


downturn coupled with the increasing use of the Internet by golfers created an en- tirely new marketplace. Play is down in this economy, so golf courses went after those golfers on the web. The price to play golf started fluctuating with bar- gains and deals, almost on a daily basis.


32 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2011


Those green fees posted on the board behind the starter’s desk became moot. The only place to find the real price to play on any given day is on the web. But I had clearly not used the web


in the proper manner. So I asked some seasoned veterans how they play the game and they revealed a couple of secrets which I will share. My first mistake was to search for


the green fee first. Those with experi- ence told me to find the golf course first. Look in NCGA Golf ’s January edition or go to ncga.org and find a course and go to that course’s website. Any bargain rates will be there, with a link. Or call up the course and ask if they have any specials on the web or anywhere else. They’ll tell you how to get the discount. If they don’t, find another course. If you really want to find a green fee first, many websites can be trusted includ- ing golfswitch.com and golfnow.com. The GolfNow site is run by the Golf Channel. Through this site, I quickly found that I could


play Half Moon Bay from $55, Bayo- net from $46, The Course at Wente Vineyards from $45, Pasatiempo from $104, Diablo Grande from $22, and San Juan Oaks from $29. But that was


Bodega Harbour Golf Links


PHOTO: PREMIER AERIALS


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