Posted by William Charles on April 13, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on April 13th, 2015 | by William Charles

23

Citi Prestige Golf Benefit: Three Free Rounds, How It Works & Best Uses

One of the benefits of the Citi Prestige card is that it comes with three free rounds of golf annually. Personally I think this is an overlooked benefit, especially for golf lovers. Let’s take a look at this benefit in a bit more detail.

citi prestige golf benefit

The Rules

  • Receive three rounds of golf for free per year. This is based on a calendar year, much like the $250 airline credit. This means it’s possible to use this benefit a total of six times and only pay the annual fee once.
  • Complimentary rounds are for the primary cardholder only. You cannot use this benefit to book rounds of golf for anybody apart from yourself (e.g no booking a round of golf for you and two of your buddies).
  • The service provider is GolfSwitch. It’s not unusual for a credit card benefits to be managed by a different company and in this case this benefit is provided by a company called GolfSwitch.
  • You must use your Citi Prestige card to reserve the rounds. If a round is eligible under the benefit, it will not be charged.
  • You must book at least three days in advance of tee date. If you don’t book at least three days in advance, you will be charged the full normal rate.
  • You can only have one tee time booked at a time. For some reason it only allows you to have one tee time reservation at a time, this means you can’t book all three of your reservations at once.

For golf courses in Asia (there are only 6) this benefit is provided by Access 3 Marketing. The rules are much different (cannot book more than 14 days in advance but must book more than 8 days in advance for weekend bookings and 4 days in advance for weekday bookings). You have to pay all fees other than green fees (buggy, caddy, taxes and all other ancillary charges).

[Read: How To Book A Free Round Of Golf For More Than One Person With A Citi Prestige]

Finding Courses

The official website for this benefit is citiprestige.golfhub.com, if you don’t already have the card – don’t panic! You don’t actually need to log in to see what courses are available, just click the golf courses and golf destination tabs at the top to see what’s available. You’ll need to select your destination first (it defaults to China for some weird reason) and then select courses.

You should also be able to use the following website/search to see what’s available: http://book.golfswitch.com/webPro/search.asp. Just double check that the course you want appears on the Citi Prestige site before booking.

Best Golf Courses Under This Benefit

There are a number of ways we can determine what the best golf courses are under this benefit and we’ll look at these in a moment. Personally I wouldn’t bother with any of the courses in Asia as the rules are quite strict – unless you’re OK make last minute bookings.

Convenient Location + Course Ratings

One of the easiest ways to find out how good courses are in your local area (or areas you plan to travel to) is to use this tool to search what courses are available (you can just select the State you live in for example) and then look at reviews for what course to see how good it actually is. Golf Digest probably has the best list of rankings (feel free to recommend other resources in the comments).

If I chose California, I’d be able to quickly see that there is the  Pasatiempo Golf Club – Santa Cruz, CA available which is ranked by Golf Digest as the third best golf course in California that is open to the public.

Pasatiempo Golf Club - Santa Cruz

Pasatiempo Golf Club – Santa Cruz, CA. The third best public course in California according to golf digest.

 

TPC/PGA Courses

Tournament Players Club (TPC) courses are a network of golf courses that are operated by the PGA tour (most are either currently used or have been used as courses for the PGA tour) because of this they are usually of extremely high quality. It’s easy to spot TPC courses, as they’ll all have TPC (or PGA) in their name. Below are all of the TPC courses in the United States:

TPC Courses:

PGA Courses:

Out of the 13 public TPC courses in the United States, this benefit has access to 4 of them. It has access to all six courses with PGA in the name.

PGA WEST - TPC Stadium Course - La Quinta, CA

“The PGA West Stadium Course (La Quinta, CA) has long been known as the course that was too tough for the professionals. In 1987 it made its first and only appearance as a PGA Tour venue in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. After creating a challenging course setup in what is normally one of the PGA Tour’s easier tournaments, the tour pros refused to return in 1988 successfully signing a petition to get it removed as one of the host courses” – Wikipedia

 

Best Courses By Dollar Value

This is probably my least favorite way of choosing a course, just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s any good. Often they are just in expensive areas (e.g Orange County). One of the reasons that I don’t love the expensive courses, is usually you’ll be golfing with a buddy (or two) and if they don’t also have a Citi Prestige card it’s a bit rough to recommend a super expensive course to them (especially when it might not really be any good) just so you can get more “value” out of your benefit.

That being said, sometimes it’s nice just to go expensive just for shits and giggles (especially when your friends have the same benefit). I’m just going to give you a small sampling here to give you an idea on how expensive some of these courses are.

monarch beach golf club

Monarch Beach Golf Club in Orange County, up to $250 per round

 

Final Thoughts

This is a nice little benefit that will most likely go unused by most Citi Prestige cardholders, at best you could get $750 in value out of this benefit per year – but chances are you wouldn’t normally pay $250 for a round of golf so realistically I think this is probably worth closer to $150-$200 annually for golf lovers.

It’s a shame that you can’t use this benefit for somebody else, I’m not crazy about golf but I have a lot of work colleagues that love to golf and this would make a nice little present. It’s completely understandable why Citi don’t allow this, if they did many more people would utilize the benefit and it’d cost them a lot of money.

Have you use this benefit before? What have you experiences been like? Let us know in the comments. If you’re considering getting the Citi Prestige card, keep in mind there are two sign up bonuses currently available:

Thanks to this reddit thread and Flyertalk thread for providing me with ideas on courses and how best to search.

 



23 Responses to Citi Prestige Golf Benefit: Three Free Rounds, How It Works & Best Uses

  1. Raj says:

    This would be useful to me as I have a $140 round coming up in Vegas. I need to apply today – any idea how long it takes to get the card?

    • They should expedite it to you, keep in mind that you need to reverse at least three days in advance.

      • Raj says:

        Thanks. I realize I have to go through the portal to book. Do you have any idea how it works if I already have a tee time? Do I need to cancel and rebook through these guys? I can try calling them as well.

        • You might be able to just add your Citi Prestige card to the booking, I know it has to be reserved with that card. I’d honestly just call Citi or GolfSwitch, they will be able to give you the exact details.

          Also just make sure that the course you booked for is part of GolfSwitch!

          Let us know how you get on, so if anybody else is ever in a similar situation they have an answer.

        • Kevin says:

          Yes, you would need to cancel and re-book. You need to book through their site.

          Are you playing with friends or as a single? If it is as a single, you could run into trouble booking. I was only able to make a tee time for 2 or more at Paiute and I had to prepay. So, I booked a tee time for 2 and then had one of my buddies just pay me the green fee he would have paid.

          • Raj says:

            Thanks Kevin (and Will). I’m playing with 3 friends so I wonder if I can cancel mine and have it show up on Golfswitch’s system. I’ll give them a call tomorrow and report back.

  2. jpgisbd says:

    This years US Open course is on the list! Funny, but I think this benefit is the main reason for me to get this card. Thanks! Don’t think we’ll see anybody else talking about this particular benefit.

  3. TJ says:

    anyone know if my wife pays the $50 fee to add me as an authorized user – will I get the golf benefit?

  4. Adam says:

    Looks like the TPC Boston is also on the list

  5. VR Hunter says:

    One thing I haven’t been able to gain clarity on until having the card is how to book a tee time for 2-4 people who all have the Citi Prestige card in the same group.

    I called Citi to ask about this today. A golf concierge specialist called me back and said it is possible. The only way to do it is find a tee time in the online booking system that allows booking a party of 1 to however many people are in your group then book the tee time independently for each cardholder for the same time slot. Sounds reasonable, and I do see availability at great courses in my area with not too much trouble.

    Too bad there’s not a refer-a-friend offer out there for Prestige! It would be a sensible tie-in.

  6. Matt says:

    Does anyone know if you need to present the card upon arrival at the course?

    I’m betting the T&C’s say yes. I need to know if it happens in practice.

  7. Trevor says:

    Has anyone created a map showing where all these courses are around the world? I’m trying to find a course near Venice and it’s a pain to cut-and-paste the names into Googlemaps. Just an idea for a blog post:)

  8. david choi says:

    I was able to book 2 tee times, 2 days apart, 2 wks from now. I don’t know id this is change in policy but it stated that I am using 2 complimentary rounds and have 1 more left.

  9. Eric says:

    my wife and I have a Prestige card, but she doesn’t pay golf. Can I book a tee time and she book the same tee time under her name and I have my friend take her tee time? Or do you have to show ID and the credit card when you tee off?

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  13. Ashish Kothari says:

    I have booked a threesome for me and 2 of my buddies and prestige has worked both times.

    Does anyone know what happens if you book and then cancel the card prior to playing the round.

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