The email I received today announcing the April 7 registration stated a full 19th hole.
I think there is a point where you have to decide who and what you are. Are you a golf tournament or a social event with golf. I am an alcoholic so the idea of standing in line for free drinks does absolutely nothing for me. As you mentioned Mike standing in line for five to ten minutes for a single BBQ rib and a tablespoon of baked beans does not justify an additional fee in my mind.
However if I was bringing my wife and / or children, and / or travelling with another family, I think the 19th hole would be worth every penny they charge for it. The fact that every year guest passes are sold and traded for demonstrates to me there are people who need or want additional 19th hole passes. However not only am I paying for a 19th hole ticket I will not use, I am paying for a second ticket that if I do not sell it will go into the hotel trash can.
I absolutely understand there are decisions that have to be made to accommodate the field. Gift bag prizes are what you see is what you get because you cannot try to offer numerous gift bag options. But I have to believe there are options for a “Golf Only” registration fee. Charge $500.00 for golf only, $559. for golf and 19th hole. Then charge an additional $25 – $50 for each additional 19th hole guest pass and I would find it hard to believe the WA would not come out ahead or at least break even.