Golf is one of those sports that can be enjoyed by anybody, at any age, and at any skill level. It’s a fantastic way to reduce stress, get a mental and emotional reset, get your body producing plenty of vitamin D, and move and stretch every inch of your body. It is great for you and it is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there is a significant barrier to entry that keep many bystanders from jumping in, as well as many first timers from becoming regulars: the cost.
A quick search will show that you can easily spend thousands of dollars on a set of clubs, not to mention golf shoes and golfing clothes. Then there’s the $5-$10 fee of getting a bucket of balls at the range, or the fee of $25-$50 or more if you are going to play 18 holes at your standard city course. Then there’s tees, balls, divot repair tools, and a whole slew of other things you might need when you’re out on the golf course.
Of course, you might want to invest in lessons, which can set you back a pretty penny as well. We’re going to discuss how to ease the cost of this fantastic sport to hopefully remove cost as a barrier of entry for many people:
Buy Used Golf Equipment
In the long run, you might end up spending more on your tee times than your equipment, especially if you are financially wise with your golf equipment purchases. For example, there is a large market for used golf clubs and golf balls where you can get top of the line clubs and balls for a fraction of the price than if you bought them new.
Many golf courses cycle through their rental clubs inventory yearly and unload the previous year’s clubs at hefty discounts. This means you can get year old, often times top of the line clubs that are only slightly used at a bargain discount.
Many golf courses also sell golf balls they find out on the course that players have left behind. You can get some great balls at 80% or more cheaper than if you purchased new. Especially early on in your golfing career, you won’t even know the difference from one ball to the next, so you can literally spend pennies on the dollar for a bunch of balls.
Skip the Golf Cart and Walk
At some courses, electing to use a golf cart could double the green fee you pay to play. In every case, it raises the price of every round you play, and this adds up over time. On top of the cost benefit of walking, there is a significant health benefit to it as well.
All of those extra steps will result in a greater calorie burn as well as a natural way to use and strengthen your muscles and joints. It also gives you a lot more time to chat with your entire group, rather than just the person you are riding with in the cart. Getting a good golf carry bag can make this an even better option.
Bring Your Own Drinks and Snacks
Golfing is certainly a time commitment that is always accompanied with a level of hunger and thirst. You can easily spend over twice as much on a drink and a snack at a golf course than you would if you purchased the same things at a grocery store. So do that. Stock up with your favorite drinks and snacks to enjoy out on the course and remember to bring them with you on every round.
This is another cost savings that will add up over time and save you a considerable amount in the long run.
Consider a Job at a Golf Course
Obviously, this won’t be a very practical option for many people, but for some it can be a fantastic way to make some extra cash while at the same time save a bunch of cash. Look for a job at your local course, even if it’s just part-time. You can work anywhere from just a few hours a week to part-time, get paid, and usually enjoy free golf anytime you want (except when you’re on the job).
In this case you don’t even need to buy golf clubs at all because with all of those free tee times come free rental clubs as well. And even though the cart would likely be free too, still consider walking. It’s good for your body and health!
Buy Your Golf Wardrobe at the End of the Season
It’s crazy how expensive golf clothes and shoes can be. You can always avoid paying full price and enjoy paying half price or less by waiting until the end of the golf season to do your shopping. When winter comes, courses are typically looking to unload all of their inventory to open up the shelves for all of the upcoming gear in the new year.
And because supply is high and demand is typically very low at the end of the season, you can score some amazing deals by planning ahead for next season’s wardrobe and equipment.
Buy a Season Pass
Almost all public golf courses offer some sort of season pass or punch card that allows you to buy multiple rounds up front at a discounted price. In some cases, you can even golf as much as you want for an upfront fee. This can potentially save you a bunch of money on something that you are going to purchase anyway (if your desire is to golf more), so you might as well save some money.
Just a word of advice if you are lucky enough to score an all-you-can-golf card. Plan ahead and schedule exactly when you are going to go. With a punch card, you have something tangible you can look at and be reminded that if you don’t use up those punches, you’re going to lose them.
With an all-you-can-golf pass, it’s easy to take for granted and not take advantage of what’s at your fingertips. Just like how employees at companies with unlimited paid time off actually take of less time off than employees at companies with limited paid time off.
Fear of loss is a huge motivator for people, and it’s more difficult to feel you are losing something by not using your season pass than it is with a punchcard.
While golf can be very expensive, it doesn’t have to be. If the high costs of equipment and tee times is preventing you from enjoying this wonderful sport, follow each of the tips shared above.
You can save a bunch of money, maybe make some money, and then get out there and improve your game and increase your passion for the sport.