The replay rate is a discounted amount charged by a golf course or club to play a second round on the same day. There’s no set formula that constitutes a standard replay rate. As with any independent business, a golf course may set its own fees and establish its own discount policies -- if any -- subject to the free market. But because golf is typically paid for with an individual’s discretionary income, a discount for a second round can provide a course or club with extra revenue it might not gain without the discount.
In a 2008 “Golf Digest” article, writer Matt Ginella reported that 15 of the magazine’s top 20 U.S. public courses offered replay rates. Discounts at those 15 courses ranged from 26 percent to a high of 84 percent, at the Homestead (Cascades) in Hot Springs, Virginia. Typical discounts were around 50 percent. Early-rising golfers with plenty of stamina may wish to check out Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Oregon. The replay rate for a second round is 50 percent, but the third round is free, if you can squeeze it in.
Rather than taking a percentage off the first-round fee, some courses offer alternative discounts. At Sun Prairie Golf Course in Wisconsin, for example, a second round costs $1 per hole, and carts rent for half price, after the customer has paid for an initial 18-hole round. This is a particular bargain on weekends. Sun Prairie’s normal fee for 18 holes was $27 Monday through Thursday and $31 Friday through Sunday (as of 2011), but the replay rate was $18 for 18 holes, or $9 for nine holes.
Reserving a Second Round
Replay rounds may be reserved at some courses, but they are based on daily availability at others. At Walt Disney World in Florida, for example, replay rates are 50 percent on every course, although the second round may not be reserved in advance. The Myrtle Beach Golf Secret website -- which books rounds at golf courses in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina -- states that replay rounds may be reserved in advance at many area courses, but not all of them. However, the site advises large groups that wish to take advantage of replay deals to “always pre-book replays.”
Fitting in two 18-hole rounds in one day becomes more difficult the farther north you travel, and the farther you are from the summer solstice. The Myrtle Beach Golf Secret website warns that there isn’t always enough sunshine to play two rounds in the same day on its local courses. The site advises golfers that a morning round will likely take around four-and-a-half hours while an afternoon round -- when the course is more likely to be crowded -- will take around five hours. It notes that golfers beginning a round after 1 p.m. from late October through the end of March will likely not be able to finish 18 holes.
Replay rates aren’t limited to the United States. In Scotland, for example, Fairmont Golf offered a replay rate of 50 pounds (normal rates for 18 holes are as high as 125 pounds) at its two courses, in 2011. Additionally, the replay rate was good within seven days of the initial round. Other Scottish courses offer a day pass, with which you may play all the golf you want (or can) in a day, for one price.