Gold-plated golf fees at The Hills

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It’s doubtful you’ll see any ordinary hackers on The Hills golf course near Arrowtown.

Non-members shell out $500 for a round at jeweller Michael Hill’s private course – nearly four times as much as at Millbrook Resort just over the road.

And that $500 is just for starters. According to information supplied by The Hills – which hosts the NZ Open again in March – players must also fork out $300 “per four-ball” for a greenkeeper.

“Host greenkeepers are essential for improving the overall experience when playing at The Hills,” states an information form.

An article in Air New Zealand’s inflight magazine says there are no distance markers on the 6610m championship course: “Visitors play with a greenkeeper so they don’t get lost.”

Buggy hire at The Hills is $55 a head while “on-course food” costs $35 each.

All prices are GST-inclusive.

Yearly membership at The Hills is advertised at $10,000.

Members receive 10 complimentary passes for guests – who they must accompany on course.

The Hills, which opened a year ago on the eve of its first NZ Open, has so far attracted 50 members.

How The Hills fees stack up

With Arrowtown’s The Hills priced at $500 a round plus extras, how much would 18 holes at the four overseas courses hosting this year’s major championships cost?

  • US Masters: No visitors allowed on the venerable Augusta course
  • US Open: Bethpage Black Course, $NZ167 weekdays, $201 weekends
  • British Open: Ailsa course, Turnberry, Scotland, $475 weekdays, $580 weekends
  • US PGA: Hazeltine National Golf Club, Minnesota, $210 including buggy hire

Your round – how much?

  • Millbrook: Visitors $135, affiliated members $85
  • Jacks Point: Visitors $110, affiliated members $60
  • Kelvin Heights: Visitors $70, affiliated members $40
  • Arrowtown: Visitors $50, affiliated members $30
  • Frankton: Flat fee for any visitors, 9 holes $12