Golf Report: Golf news, events and course information for Spokane and the Inland Northwest

Bergum: County, city golf-fee structure confusing

I’ve got this guy, some kind of financial advisor type from what I can gather, who keeps leaving messages on my phone about hot investment opportunities.

I have yet to return one of his calls.

Not that I’ve got anything against financial advisors. I just don’t have much in the way of disposable income on hand these days.

But after sitting down earlier this week in an attempt to figure out how best to invest my golfing dollar this year, I’m thinking about seeking out his advice.


Because after just a few minutes of trying to comprehend the rate structure for Spokane County’s three public courses – as posted on the county’s website – my head exploded.

Trying to figure out the best deal in greens fees is like buying bathroom tissue. Are 24 large rolls, which supposedly equal 48 regular rolls, more economical than 12 triple-ply jumbo rolls discounted 10 percent?

And should I spring for extra cost of ultra-soft?

I mean, c’mon.

Discount cards … senior rates, for those 60 and older … junior rates, for those under 18 … after 3 p.m. on Friday-Sunday and holidays specials – which just happen to be the same as the before 3 p.m. on Friday-Sunday and holiday rates, if you’re playing 18 holes, but $8 less if you’re only playing nine.

There are tournament rates; pre-book rates; season passes; 10-, 30-, and 50-play tickets that are priced differently for adults and seniors – probably because seniors can only use them after 3 p.m. on Friday-Sunday and holidays, and even something called a Hotel Pass with a “w/Reseller Permit” disclaimer.


The purchase of a $30 discount card, as far as I can tell, will knock $5 off every regular adult round and between $5-$8.50 off a senior round, depending on which day of the week and what time of the day you decided to play.

And at the top of the website is a notice that all posted fees include applicable sales tax. But the notice also explains that a 5 percent City of Liberty Lake admission tax must be added to fees paid at the Liberty Lake and MeadowWood courses – as well as, for the first time this year, any purchases made at the county’s administrative office at 404 N. Havana.

That means a 50-play pass, which is limited to four punches per day and costs adults $943 when purchased at Hangman Valley Golf Course, will cost 5-percent more – or $990.15 – if purchased at any location other than Hangman.


Now I have to figure out if I can save enough by buying a 10- or 20-play pass at Hangman Valley to pay for the gas to drive out there.

And while the rates posted on the website of Spokane’s four city owned courses are a bit easier to digest, they can leave you scratching your head, as well.

On city courses, a $35 discount card will get you a $7 break on a regular adult rate Monday-Thursday, but only a $6 break on Friday-Sunday and holidays. By purchasing the same discount card, seniors – which by city standards must be 65 or older – can save $9 a round on Monday-Thursday, but only $6 on Friday-Sunday and holidays, when they pay the same as adults.

There is also a multiple-play card available for $250, which knocks the 18-hole regular adult rate down by $13 Monday-Thursday and $12 Friday-Sunday and holidays, and the senior rate down $14 except for Friday-Sunday and holidays, when the discount is reduced to the same $12 as the regular adult rate.

Got it?

Me neither.

My math skills, it would seem, are eroding as quickly as my memory.

Still, I could swear there used to be a simpler way.