All About Price – $241 vs. $552 per night
Whenever we are asked about golfing in Scotland, we are always answering 3 questions: can you get me on the Old Course, what’s the weather like at that time of year and how much is this trip going to cost on a per person basis. Fair questions all. We have answered questions about the Old here and weather here but we have never talked about prices before. Until now.
There is no doubt that golf can be an expensive game especially if one travels to play. Scotland is no exception though your dream trip could be considerably more affordable than you might think. While over the past decade, greens fees in the country have rocketed up for visitors, especially for the marquee courses, none of our courses come close to Pebble Beach’s $500+ greens fee. The five Open Championship courses in Scotland average $256 for green fees. These are all wonderful courses (The Old Course, Turnberry, Muirfield, Carnoustie and Royal Troon) and must be played when visiting but just not on the same trip. It is an impractical undertaking because they are geographically spread out across the country. Doable? Yes but exhausting. If money is no object then you will likely opt for a steady diet of the big name courses but you would be missing out on many other lesser known but still world-class links courses that also happen to offer incredible value for money. Those courses average $110 per round with many considerably less than that.
When people stay with us at Monarchs House, they typically do one of two things: stay locally with no travel over an hour or take one road trip but return to the Monarchs House base camp. Limiting your travel saves on transportation costs but still allows you to play Open Championship venues Carnoustie and the Old Course. Take a look at pricing for 7 rounds of golf over the course of a week with 3 sample itineraries.
1. Play Old Course, Carnoustie, Muirfield, Kingsbarns, Castle Course, Gleneagles, Royal Troon
Green Fees Cost = $1,724 Transport Cost = $175 Total = $1,899
2. Play Old Course, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Castle Course, Crail, Torrance, Cruden Bay
Green Fees Cost = $1,239 Transport Cost = $61 Total = $1,300
3. Play Old Course, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Elie, Crail, Lundin Links, Kingsbarns (2nd round is half off if played within the week)
Green Fees Cost = $910 Transport Cost = $45 Total = $955
The three courses from above that you may not know, Crail, Elie and Lundin Links, are magnificent links courses that while “under-known” present incredible opportunities for creative shot making, stunning views and plain old fun. Those that visit Monarchs House and play any or all three of them, go back year after year. You can plainly see their impact on itinerary economics. One thing that isn’t included here are caddies. Caddies are available for hire on the marquee courses for approximately $72 plus gratuity while on the lesser known courses expect a 10-15% discount. We recommend caddies but they are not required.
Well that’s golf and transportation to and from the courses covered. Let’s talk about accommodations and in particular, Monarchs House. When people see the price for a week’s let at Monarchs House, $13,500, their first inclination is to think that it is expensive. This may seem hard to believe but once people are at the house, they ask how we can be so inexpensive. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth and we explain it here.
$13,500 is more than bread and breakfast. All of the seven bedrooms are en-suite. There are 4 common rooms, a drawing room, TV room (or snug), kitchen and dining room. While you are with us, you have the exclusive use of the house, no staff at night, just your group. Should you need anything in the evening after the staff is away, a simple telephone call will raise us. You also receive 3 4-course dinners for eight people. This includes wine, beer and/or other beverages. (We think our food is very good but you will have to judge for yourself.) As you know, this is a significant savings as meals out do add up quickly. We also give your group their first bar setup which includes a case of wine, beer, two bottles of spirits and all the soft drinks, juices and mixers you might need. We also provide nibbles/snacks each evening. Most important of all, we will handle every detail of your trip with the exception of your air travel. We arrange golf, caddies, transport to and from airports and golf courses, your dinners away from Monarchs House and anything else you might need.
How does that compare to other accommodations?
(Based on single occupancy)
Monarchs House (as above) = $241 per night per person or $1,687 for the week
Other luxury accommodations (breakfast only) = $552 per night per person or $3,864 for the week
Moderate priced accommodations (breakfast only) = $321 per night per person or $2,247 for the week
Budget priced accommodations (breakfast only) = $288 per night per person or $2,016 for the week
One of the reasons why the other options are considerably dearer than Monarchs House is that hotels pay tour operators approximately 20% of the booking. This is the tour operators’ fee for booking your tee times, accommodations, transportation etc. In the examples above, your group of 8 is adding anywhere from $3,250 to $6,200 to your cost.
Naturally, we are biased but we think the numbers bear us out. Monarchs House is an excellent choice for anyone considering staying in St Andrews for a week with up to 7 of your friends or family. We know we are not for everyone but as you can see; your dream trip might be more affordable than you originally thought.
Since the majority of our trade is based in the United States we used Dollars ($) as our benchmark and for the purposes of this exercise an exchange rate of $1.60 per Pound Sterling (£).