Forget that shiny new set of irons you’ve been eyeing at your local golf store. The best golf experiences your money can buy — from rounds at top courses to the finest gear — isn’t likely to be found on the rack at the nearest Golfsmith outlet. Here is what should be on your wish list if you’re an affluent golfer or a Powerball lottery winner.
Most Expensive Round: Shadow Creek Golf Course
If you haven’t already gambled away your fortune at the Blackjack tables, you can leave some of it in the pro shop at the most famous — and best — course in Las Vegas. This Tom Fazio/Steve Wynn masterpiece is 20 minutes from The Strip, but the lavish layout is a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. A private limo will take you from one of the MGM Mirage properties (you have to be a guest to play) to the course, where your caddie will greet you. Don’t be surprised to see poker legends like Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey, who regularly play money matches here.
Price tag: $500
Most Expensive Sticks: Maruman 2007 Majesty Prestigio Irons
This Japanese company claims to have developed the first metal wood (TaylorMade would disagree), but they can certainly claim the priciest set of irons you’ve never heard of. Their flagship range is the Majestic Series, which features the Prestigio men’s iron set, made from a combination of stainless and maraging steel that has been strengthened from the previous model to minimize energy loss at impact. And since you’re spending so much, you might as well get the 2007 Majesty Prestigio Driver ($2,499) and a Fairway Wood ($1,750).
Price Tag: $6,400
Most Expensive Club: Sebonack Golf Club
It took a reported $120 million to create this Tom Doak/Jack Nicklaus creation that sits between National Golf Links of America and Shinnecock Hills on the eastern end of Long Island, N.Y. It will cost you less to join, if you’re invited, but it’s still no bargain. Benefits of membership include cottages to stay on-site and a terrific layout that made GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Courses ranking just a year after opening.
Price tag: $650,000
Most Expensive Pro-Am: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
The famed ‘Crosby Clambake’ has about 50 spots open each year for guys like you who dream of playing Pebble alongside the likes of Phil Mickelson and Dan Marino. All you’ll need is cash and persistence. You have to write to the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, which decides who plays. If you’re accepted, you’ll get complimentary practice rounds, hospitality all week, and goodies like Ecco shoes and Waterford Crystal wine glasses.
Price tag: $12,800
Most Expensive Lessons: Mitchell Spearman
GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher Mitchell Spearman doesn’t hide the fact that he’s the world’s priciest teacher. That’s not surprising given that his client list has included Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, former vice-president Dan Quayle and Nike founder Phil Knight. You can get the same treatment if you have a few free hours and a handful of hundreds.
Price Tag: $1,500 for 3-hour lesson; $3,000 for a full day
Most Expensive Ride: Hummer H3 Golf Cart
What could go better with your new mansion in a golf community? You’ll be driving the first proportionally correct golf car styled after the famous gas-guzzler. Features include 15-inch custom-built wheels, an aluminum I-beam chassis, a genuine Hummer chrome grill, headlights, fog lights, and turn signals, for when you detour off the fairway. Plus it will seat your entire foursome. You can add options like a DVD entertainment system, running boards or leather interior for about $40,000, but at that stage you might as well buy a real one.
Price Tag: Starting at $18,875
Most Expensive Bag: Louis Vuitton Golf Bag (left)
This is the only time you can buy Louis Vuitton for someone other than your wife and not be accused of having an affair. Made from the company’s Damier Geant monogrammed canvas it features a cowhide base and handle, a padded canvas-and-cowhide shoulder strap, a travel cover and six departments for all your other trinkets. Plus, they throw in four complimentary Louis Vuitton tees.
Price tag: $9,050
Most Expensive Shoes: John Lobb, by Hermes
This shoemaker crafts the priciest kicks on the planet, and they’ll be custom made for your feet with a variety of the finest leathers available. But it takes longer to get these shoes than to get a tee time on Bethpage Black: up to six months.
Price tag: Starting at $5,000
Most Expensive Ball Marker: Tri Marker Executive Series
This is taking status symbols to a whole new level. The Tri Marker Executive Series ball marker is made from 18-karat white gold and studded diamonds, citrine, amethyst and peridots. It has a marking application that can help you tell how many putter heads away your ball is, and the company even recommends adding a platinum chain that transforms the marker into a fashionable necklace for the wife.
Price tag: $10,500