Thoughts on Old Pike as a pay-to-play course?
I would love it if it was a pay-to-play by round course. However the non-prorated $50 a year is not a good deal, especially for a course in that kind of condition. I say this because I know that Old Pike doesn't have a lot of members and therefore the funds for maintenance and improvements are very limited. I feel if they had some way to charge a per round fee the course could do much better, and be more accessible to the players that are willing to pay a couple bucks to play. I know that isn't realistic though as it would basically take somebody being there to collect money daily.
That being said Old Pike could probably be in much better shape if it was a public course. I know there are some people that volunteer time there to cut grass and do various other work, but much more work is needed and apparently the membership fees are not getting it done.
I have played on only a few play-to-play courses in my 8 years of playing. The couple of privately owned p2p courses were in less than good shape, need mowing and noxious weed removal. The one p2p course I can remember on public land was the course in Newport News Virginia. I believe at the time it was $1 to play ($2 or $20 a year now) and this course was beautiful and well maintained. It also had plenty of traffic on it, but there were not really many options in the area.
It seems to me that small fee p2p per round is the way to go. Relying on people to pay a $50 non-prorated yearly fee then relying on those same people to do work on the course is probably not such a good strategy.