Categorized | 2013, News, September 2013

IGC: The Smart Golfer

By: Pierson Tambunan

The Smart Golfer

How can we be smart golfers?

More and more golfers are switching to biking. Why is this so? A couple of reasons; it’s more aerobic, and you don’t have to wait and grumble behind the slow playing group. Just take your bike out of the garage and start pedaling. The route and time of day is up to you.

I suspect that the main culprit for this migration can be described in one word; fee. Bicycles are not cheap, often in the same price range with golf clubs. The medium priced models may fetch around 10 million Rupiahs. Yet, unlike golf, the expense stops there. To play golf you have to be prepared to rid of more Rupiahs for two or three types of fees; green fee, caddy fee, and cart fee for the spoiled ones. On top of it, your wallet should be kept stocked to pay for caddy tips and potential betting opportunities. Now, I am not aware whether bike people have their own versions of betting. Even if it also happens, it wouldn’t be as complicated as what we have in golf, with all the formulas and mechanisms.

Of course betting is optional. Fee, however is a must and it keeps on increasing, year after year. Apart from sands in the bunker, building and maintaining the courses involve lots of imported products, from the grass seeds to fertilizer, and all the machinery. When the Rupiah takes a beating, the fees are the first ones to get affected. So, is there a smart, money-wise, way around it?

Smart is the key word. The 15th club that you can’t afford not to bring to the golf course is your brain. Bobby Jones once famously said, “Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course—the distance between your ears”. How true! When we play, we have to be constantly aware of all the hazards waiting to ruin the day. Once we determined where the danger is, we then have to choose the smartest and the safest possible option of how to maneuver our ball around them.

That’s why they call it ‘course management’. So, how to apply the same smartness in managing our financial affair to cope up with the increasing golf fees in Indonesia? Apply for a golf card. It’s available in any golfing countries, even in USA. If you wish to play in three connecting states like Arizona, California and Nevada, apply for North Troon Discount Card. By paying a certain amount of joining fee, you may play in dozens of golf courses with only half of the normal green fee.

In Indonesia there are several types of golf cards available.

Bundled with Credit Card

Pay the annual fee (usually around Rp.3 million) and get to play at several courses in the country and some overseas.

Subsidy Card

Pay the annual fee (around Rp.3,5–4,0 million) and enjoy the subsidized green fee in selected courses. The card operator believes that, in average, their members will play 24 rounds/year. Therefore, if you enjoy Rp.100,000 subsidy per round, you will not use up your paid annual fee. The smartest way here, would be to play at least 40 rounds a year to break even.

Discount Card

IGC Card is a pure discount card. You pay only Rp.600,000 annual fee/year and enjoy golf as many rounds as you like (weekdays and weekends in selected courses) with a discounted green fee. All golf courses want as many visitors as possible, to ensure that their caddies are kept busy and the restaurant is not empty. They are willing to provide discounts as long as we make sure that our cardholders visit their courses frequently.

It’s a win-win solution, really. With 1200 active cardholders, IGC will provide the visitors needed by the courses. They can come alone, join IGC weekly practice rounds, or participate in IGC monthly medal and annual championship. On the other hand, the cardholders will happily play more frequently due to the discount they get as opposed to being ‘go-show’ visitors. The average discount is Rp.100,000. By playing 6 times a year, say in Riverside or Nirwana Bali, the cardholders already recover their annual fee investment.

If this is not called smart, I don’t know what is!

The Smart Golfer

To apply send email to igccard@gmail.com or request application form via SMS to 081287889953 or apply online via www.igcgolf.org.

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