Did Tiger Woods’ return to golf inspire you to get back to the golf course too? How can you squeeze golf into your already strained household budget with the cost of everything rising? You might think, “ah, but the greens fees, club memberships, and the supplies! So expensive.” How does one make golf more affordable as a hobby?
Luckily, Jordan Fuller, a golfer, and a writer, has suggestions for making golf much less expensive, especially when it’s being played regularly. When he’s not on the course improving his game, Jordan can be found researching and writing value-packed articles for his website, Golf Influence.
Here are his top tips for playing the game without paying an arm and a leg.
Making Golf an Affordable Hobby: 7 Ways
While golf is known to be an expensive sport to play, it doesn’t have to be! Here are some easy ways to reduce the cost associated with golf to enjoy it as a college student if you have summers off, are working part-time, or as your dream retirement hobby.
1. Volunteer or Work at a Golf Club
If there’s a really expensive golf course membership that’s just way out of your budget, this is a creative way to play there without emptying your wallet. Head down to the club and see if they have any open positions that you could volunteer for or apply for.
Depending on your skill set, you may be able to get work as a Driving Range Volunteer, Golf Shop Pro, or even rangering. However, if you have a specialized skill such as graphic design, SEO, public relations, or software development, make sure to mention it. Who knows what they are in need of!
As fun as this can be to do in your spare time, it has financial perks. You may be able to make some money working at the club, or as a perk, you may be offered free rounds of golf.
2. Play at Low-Traffic Times
One of the biggest perks of a flexible work schedule, part-time job, or retirement is that you don’t have to worry about competing for tee times!
Due to the low demand for late-afternoon tee times, golf courses are often quiet at this time and will offer reduced green fees. You can also contact the golf courses in your surrounding area and find out if they offer a twilight golf membership, which will allow you to play during late afternoon and evening hours.
In some cases, the golf course may include a buggy in the green fees to help speed up play so that you can play as many holes as possible while there’s still light.
However, in general, the pace of the game will be quicker in off-peak times as the courses are quieter. This can make your playtime more efficient while you enjoy the longer game.
3. Play at Golf Courses that Don’t Require Pricey Memberships
Did you know that there are over 10,000 public golf courses across America? And while you might not have considered them before, there are some really great public golf courses out there! Municipal courses, known as munis, are owned by a city or municipality of some kind.
They are most likely the most affordable way to play golf. Some of the best in the country include New York’s Beth Page State Park’s Black Course and Torrey Pines in San Diego, California. Are you interested in The Best Public Golf Courses in America? Check out these articles curated by a top player.
- The 10 Best Public Golf Courses in the Northeast
- A Top Player Picks The 10 Best Public Golf Courses in The South
- A Top Player Picks the 10 Best U.S. Public Golf Courses Out West and In Hawaii
There are also daily fee courses, where a pricey membership isn’t required. While these fees vary greatly, it’s worth researching the options in your area. While requiring a little more creativity, there are also tons of golf courses inside resorts. While play is only open to hotel guests, it’s possible to score a promotion or room on sale during the year, helping to keep your overall golf costs down.
4. Buy Used Gear
There are many advantages to buying used golf gear, especially if you feel that your current golf gear is outdated! Some people may be looking to sell golf gifts or gear that they hardly ever used.
Many golfers will trade in their relatively new golf clubs when they get the latest club models. This allows you to pick up a great set of clubs with minimal wear at an affordable price.
You can even look at trading in your old clubs, which could help reduce the price of the clubs you’re looking at buying. While a set of premium golf clubs can last a lifetime (new or secondhand), you’re always losing a ball or two during a round of golf.
Also, look into buying refurbished or recycled golf balls. You can purchase balls from websites like www.lostgolfballs.com, which allows you to buy by quantity and brand.
5. Learn Smartly
While there are many benefits to taking lessons with a certified golf instructor, they can be expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives that can help save you money and help you improve your game.
Many golf blogs offer free tips and tricks to help improve your game, or you could watch instructional videos on YouTube. Just be careful swinging your clubs in the house!
If you really want extensive lessons, consider getting a reasonably priced membership at a club with a practice facility or golf training center, as they may include membership benefits such as discounted lessons, unlimited range time, or free instruction.
You could also look at taking group golf lessons, which will greatly reduce the price while you learn the basics. It’s also a great way to meet other golfers who could become regular foursome or good friends.
With a combination of group lessons, instructional videos and apps, and regular practice, you can expect your skills to improve fairly quickly!
6. Buy Snacks Beforehand
Having healthy snacks and water on hand is vital to sustaining your energy levels, especially if you’re going to be playing a full 18 holes. And if you want to go golfing weekly, those small purchases over 52 visits can really add up to a big bill when you look at the yearly total.
Instead of grabbing a granola bar and sports drink at the golf club, stock up on your favorite snacks at your local grocery store. Golf clubs are notorious for their high prices, so taking your own snacks and drinks instead of buying theirs will make a difference.
Making golf an affordable hobby isn’t as difficult as you may think! All it requires is some forward-thinking, some preparation, and a love for the game. Whether you’re playing on your own or with a loved one or friend, implementing these tips will go a long way towards keeping costs down.
Although golf is known as a fancy, pricey game, there’s no need for it to be. It’s accessible as long as you have a love for the game and use some creative thinking.
Jordan Fuller is originally from Omaha, Nebraska. He has dedicated his life to the great game of golf, and in return, it has given him challenges that always push him to be better both on and off the course and finally, unique adventures that only this sport can provide. Jordan is a Lead Reviewer at Golf Influence, founded in 2016. The decisions we make about products (we often label them as Best Overall, Best Premium Option, or Best Value For Money) are made through extensive and unbiased testing, by following a thorough evaluation process, led by our trained team of golf reviewers.