PRICE FIXING – The Myrtle Beach Golf Association is constantly being asked if there's “price fixing” going on with the golf rates in the Myrtle Beach area, and the answer is YES, and NO!
Every fall the golf courses get together to try and “fix” the golf rates for the next year, which, of course, if they were successful, would be a direct violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO). However, as soon as they’ve gotten all of their rates “fixed,” and send them out to the lodging properties and golf packagers, the wheels start flying off their “fixes,” and the real fun begins.
It quickly becomes a dog-eat-dog, screw-your-buddy free-for-all as the unscrupulous lodging operators – many of whom can be found in the Myrtle Beach Golf Association's Lodging Basement – www.mbga.com/basement.htm – and the “price is all that matters” golf packagers start calling the courses demanding a “better rate” than the new “fixed” rate.
If the golf courses don't knuckle under to their demands, the lodging operators and golf packagers then threaten them, by saying that they'll take their golf rounds elsewhere if the courses don't roll over and play dead. The courses, being the spineless twits they are, always wimp-out, and cut the best “discounted” rate they can with anyone that pressures them. This insanity results in rate swings of up to $50 per round, depending upon the course.
As to the lunacy of the gazillion rate changes a year – some of the moronic lodging properties have as many as 15 rate changes a year – several of the golf course operators, that actually have brains and scruples, have tried to establish a simple four rates per year system. Spring:Mid-February – May as the highest rate; Summer: June – mid-September as the 2nd lowest rate; Fall: Mid-September – Thanksgiving as the 2nd highest rate and Winter: Thanksgiving – mid-February as the lowest rate. Of course, this made too much sense, and would have put an end to all of the nefarious opportunities for the lodging operators and golf packagers to continue their tactics of confusing and screwing-over the traveling golfers with their multi-rate bait 'n switch shenanigans, so, as usual, another GREAT idea died on the Myrtle Beach golf industry vine.