golfer getting in last round of the day

Golf Doesn't Have to Be Expensive: 7 Ways to Golf on a Budget

People have a lot of preconceived notions about the sport of golf. From posh golf courses to elaborate tournaments, the hobby seems to be vastly expensive. But here’s the thing… golf doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many ways to play and enjoy golf while on a budget. Don’t let the initial sticker shock prevent you from giving it a shot. In this post, we’ll give you some insider tips on how to play golf on the cheap and enjoy yourself while doing so.

So… Is Golf an Expensive Hobby?

The short answer is that, yes, golf can be a pretty expensive hobby. From clubs and gear to clubhouse membership fees and green fees, the expenses can add up pretty quickly. There are tons of premium options out there when playing golf, so if you like the finer things in life, you’ve picked the right sport. 

Golf doesn’t have to be expensive, though. Just because there are companies that charge premium prices for their golf clubs and gear doesn’t mean you have to buy from them. And just because there are fancy clubhouses doesn’t mean you have to join them. There are many other ways to play golf without shelling out thousands of dollars.

How Much Does it Cost to Play Golf?

The cost of playing a round of golf can vary depending on factors like the location, time of day, and the course's prestige. On average, you can expect to pay between $25 and $50 for a round at a public course, while private courses and high-end resorts can charge over $100.

Getting Started with Golf: Comparing Costs

Now that you have an idea of the average cost per round, let's explore the initial costs of getting started with golf. We'll compare two options: one on the expensive side and the other on the budget side.

1. Cost of Playing Golf – Expensive

Player #1, Bob, seeks out a new set of clubs from a name-brand golf club company and winds up spending $1,500 on a set of 14 clubs. He also grabs a new bag for his clubs that costs $350. Bob also spends $500 on a few sets of clothes to wear when golfing, as well as $200 on a new pair of golf shoes. He also buys a membership with a local country club, paying $500 a month for access to their courses and $100 a month to rent a cart while playing.

In total, Bob spent about $3,100 to start playing golf.

2. Cost of Playing Golf – Budget

Player #2, Jenny, wants to save as much as possible while getting into golf. Jenny finds a lightly-used set of clubs for about $650 and a used bag for $150. She goes to her local sporting goods store and finds a couple of sets of golfing clothes for $100 and a pair of golf shoes on clearance for $100. Jenny downloads an app that tells her which golf courses have the best deals near her, spending roughly $50 per tee time.

In total, Jenny spent about $1,050 to start playing golf.

7 Ways to Play Golf on a Budget

1. Don't Overspend on Clubs

Brand-new golf clubs can be the priciest aspect when getting into the sport. That’s why many new players opt for used golf clubs to get them started on the course. Many golfers can find high-quality, lightly used clubs for a fraction of the price a new set would be, making the barrier for entry into golfing much lower than it usually is.

If pre-owned clubs just aren’t your thing and you want to invest in some clubs that’ll last you a few years, consider buying affordable golf clubs from a reputable brand. You don’t have to seek out the expensive name brands in order to find premium clubs that play like a dream.

2. Use Discount Memberships and Apps to Play Cheap Golf

With the rise in golf technology, there are plenty of ways to learn and play golf on the cheap. A plethora of golf apps are available that allow you to find discount tee times, watch lessons, and more without breaking the bank. Even if you aren’t on a budget, these golf apps can help take your game to the next level.

3. Bring Your Own Drinks and Snacks

Golf courses have ample places to purchase drinks and snacks, and even grab a bite for lunch, though you’ll pay a premium price for all of it. If you want to save money, pack your own refreshments. Stock up on water and sports drinks from the grocery store, as well as any snacks you might want, before you hit the course.

4. Play Later in the Day

Mornings are the prime time to play golf–it’s not as hot, and there’s plenty of light to play by. Golf courses know this and charge accordingly for these ideal tee times. But did you know that some courses fluctuate their pricing depending on the time of day? That’s right. If you play in the afternoon or evening, you’ll often benefit from lower green fees (often referred to as “twilight rounds”). Some courses even waive green fees entirely the later it is, so if you’re not afraid of a 6:00 PM tee time, take advantage of this well-known secret. Did someone say free golf? We’re in.

5. Shop for Golf Gear in the Off-Season

Golf clothes and other gear can be pricy, especially if you’re shopping at the start of the season when everything is still full price. An easy way to save money on golf gear is to shop in the off-season, usually between October and January. Clothing is usually on clearance as shops are trying to make room in their inventory for new styles. If you don’t care about being up-and-up on trends, this is a great way to save money as a golfer.

6. Skip the Cart Rentals

Cart rentals at a golf course can rack up over time, really eating into your budget. If you want to save some money, you can purchase a golf push cart for around $100 and use that when navigating around the golf course. Sure, you’ll be walking a lot more than before, but you’ll end up saving a ton in the long run.

7. Take Unconventional Golf Lessons

Private golf lessons can be extremely expensive, but there are other ways you can learn to play. TopGolf offers legitimate golf lessons at their various locations around the country for a fraction of the price as clubhouses. You can take private lessons with an instructor or public lessons with several other aspiring golfers. 

Additionally, sites like Udemy have plenty of pre-recorded lessons from professional golfers, allowing you to improve your game on your own time without shelling out hundreds on lessons.

Learn more: Golf Lessons: Are They Worth it for Beginners?

Hit the Fairway

Although golf has a connotation for being an exclusive, socialite sport, it’s possible to pick up the hobby while on a budget. We hope these tips have encouraged you to get out there and start playing golf! If so, Stix has your back with modern, sleek golf clubs that boast premium performance without a premium price. You’ll look and play your best on the course with our high-quality golf clubs.

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