Villagers facing hefty increases in fees to play championship courses

Villagers will have to dig deeper into their wallets if they want to continue playing championship golf courses in the community next year.

That’s because beginning Jan. 1, rates to play 18 holes on all 12 of the top-level courses will increase significantly – some by as much as $48. It’s been a sore subject with many Villagers over the past few weeks. And as the new year approaches, many will no doubt be forced to play significantly fewer rounds or look for courses outside the walls of The Villages that offer more user-friendly rates.

Currently, the amount golfers are charged to play 18-hole rounds depends on two factors – the course and the time of the day. The more popular morning tee times are the most expensive, followed by afternoons and early evenings. The courses also are broken down into groups as follows:

  • Most expensive: Palmer Legends, Cane Garden, Mallory Hill, Havana, Bonifay, Evans Prairie, Belle Glade and Tierra Del Sol (an addition to the upper-echelon pricing group for 2020).
  • Mid-range prices: Hacienda Hills, Glenview Champions and Lopez Legacy.
  • Cheapest: Orange Blossom Hills.

The new fee schedule, which begins on New Year’s Day and runs through April 30, only offers one rate for the entire day. Gone are the discounts for playing in the afternoon or evening hours – tee times that have been highly popular choices for Villagers hoping to enjoy the game while saving some money along the way.

Golfers looking for pot of gold on Havana Championship Course

For a complete breakdown of the new golf fees, click HERE. To compare to the current fee schedule, click HERE.

Some examples of increases Villagers, their guests and non-residents will see – not including a golf cart rental – include:

  • A resident member currently pays $42 (morning), $34 (afternoon) or $16 (evening) to play Palmer Legends, Cane Garden, Mallory Hill, Havana, Bonifay, Evans Prairie or Belle Glade. Under the new fee schedule, that rate would jump to $64 – increases of $22, $30 and $48. That’s a 75 percent increase over the current evening wave price.
  • Resident members now pay either $38, $30 or $14 to play 18 holes on Hacienda Hills, Glenview Champions and Lopez Legacy. Beginning Jan. 1, that rate will soar to $58 – a 34.5 percent increase in the peak morning hours.
  • Residents members who enjoy the cheapest course in The Villages, Orange Blossom Hills, will see the current rates of either $32, $26 or $12 jump to $50. That equates to increases of 36 percent, 48 percent and 76 percent, respectively.Those who purchase priority memberships – they range from $555 for two country clubs to $740 for all 12 annually – will see somewhat of a break in their 2020 greens fees. Those golfers will pay a set rate of $47 to play the most expensive courses, $41 for the mid-range-priced courses and $33 for Orange Blossom Hills. That equates to an increase of between $9 and $33, depending on the course selected.

Priority guests will be charged $69 to play 18 holes on the most expensively priced courses, $63 on the mid-range-priced courses and $55 on Orange Blossom Hills. That equates to increases ranging from $20 to $49, with the biggest jump being a 71 percent increase for those who played the higher-dollar courses in the early evening hours.

Non-residents will feel the hardest hit in the new fee schedule. They’ll be required to pay $84, $78 or $70, which equates to increases ranging from $26 to $59 depending on the course they choose and the time of day they wish to play.

Beautiful afternoon for golf on Riley Grove Championship Course

In other words, the complete price breakdown of the new fees as it affects Villages championship courses – without a golf cart rental of either – will be:

  • Palmer Legends, Cane Garden, Mallory Hill, Havana, Bonifay, Evans Prairie, Belle Glade and Tierra Del Sol: $47-$84.
  • Hacienda Hills, Glenview Champions and Lopez Legacy: $41-$78.
  • Orange Blossom Hills: $33-$70.

If they haven’t already, many Villagers will find out that golf courses located in the surrounding areas of Central Florida are offering cheaper rates. Most of those courses haven’t released their 2020 fee schedules. But based on their current prices, Villagers are likely to find themselves venturing out of the confines of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown to enjoy the links and save a significant amount of cash in the process.

Harbor Hills Country Club

Some of those courses and their current rates – golf cart included – are:

  • Harbor Hills Country Club in Lady Lake: $29.99-$37.99.
  • Water Oaks Golf Course in Lady Lake: $18-$33.
  • The Club at Pennbrooke Fairways Golf Course in Leesburg: $17-$20.
  • Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills: $30-$57.01.
  • Links at Spruce Creek South in Summerfield: $24-$30.
  • Eagle Ridge Golf Club at Del Webb Spruce Creek in Summerfield: $25-$35.
  • Continental Country Club in Wildwood: $23-$31.50.
  • Stone Creek Golf Club in Ocala: $32.71-$65.
  • Baseline Golf Course in Ocala: $29.
  • Daytona Beach Golf Club in Daytona Beach: $22-$38.
  • Pelican Bay Golf Club in Daytona Beach: $18-$26.62.
  • Dubsdread Golf Course in Orlando: $31-$47.
  • Hunter’s Creek Golf Club in Orlando: $19.95-$49.95.
  • MetroWest Golf Club in Orlando: $22-$39.
  • EastWood Golf Club in Orlando: $25-$45.
  • Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand: $20-$59.
  • Sherman Hills Golf Club in Brooksville: $20-$29.