The Best Ways to Make Golf More Affordable
Golf can be expensive.
Think about what is needed to play. To start with, you’ll need golf clubs and a bag, shoes, apparel, balls, tees, gloves, lessons and instruction. Oh and don’t forget the greens fees just to play.
This can make golf seem inaccessible for many. Golf just costs way too much to play.
But, don’t fret. As someone who has played for almost 30 years and who is a naturally frugal person, there are some great ways to play golf on a budget and save money.
Here are my top 58 ways to play golf affordably.
Save Money on Golf Clubs and Other Equipment
Let’s face it, golf clubs can be one of the most expensive parts of the game!
1. Borrow clubs in the beginning. No need to purchase clubs in the beginning when you are just starting out. If you have clubs you can borrow, that is great.
2. Buy a set of clubs, a “club set”. Club sets come with a full combination of the clubs you’ll need as well as head covers and a golf bag. Instead of buying each club individually, this can save you a great deal of money.
3. Buy used equipment. Callaway Pre-Owned, eBay, 2nd Swing, Global Golf, Craig’s List, and Amazon are some of the bigger sites that sell used golf clubs and equipment. You can find wonderful selections of clubs on these sites, some of which look practically brand new.
4. Buy last year’s model. Or even a couple of years old. You can still find them and honestly, the technology is still amazing. I have a Callaway driver that I purchased new 3 years ago and I still love it. I’ve seen my driver on sale now at half the cost.
5. Buy used golf balls and in bulk. These same stores sell used golf balls and you can purchase them in bulk as well. I’ve done this in the past and they have worked just fine. If you like a certain brand, they even sell them by brand and style.
6. Shag golf balls. From the creek or water hazards or woods. Keep, use, and collect whatever golf balls you find. Unless you have to play with a certain golf ball, found golf balls are so satisfying to find. Especially given the number of golf balls lost, I love when I find a random lost golf ball on the course.
7. Ask your friends. You can ask your passionate golfing friends if they have extra golf balls lying around they don’t want. We literally have a huge bucket full of golf balls from years of golfing. If anyone asked, I’d let them take as many as they wanted.
8. Go to golf expos and shows. Booths and booths of golf merchandise are displayed and sold at these expos. You can also test equipment and representatives are there to help you. Get freebies from their booths, enter to win raffles, and free prizes. Go the very last day and some might be trying to offload their merchandise at a discounted rate. This is also where I like to buy used golf balls in bulk. They have them by brand and even color.
Where to Find the Best Deals on Golf Clothes
9. Buy golf clothes on clearance. Visit big box golf stores and head to their sales or clearance racks. If buying online, find the tab marked “sale”.
10. Buy golf clothes offseason. In warmer climates, this might not be the case, but in colder regions, look for golf clothes starting in October through January. Stores are trying to offload last year’s merchandise before the new designs come in.
11. TJMaxx or Marshalls. If you have access and can physically go to a TJMaxx or Marshalls, head over to the athletic wear area. It can be a hit or miss, but they seem to always carry a few name brand collared golf shirts, skorts or jackets.
12. Visit consignment stores. Since there aren’t as many women that play golf, sometimes you can find golf clothing at consignment stores. I think it depends on the shop, but I have had better luck at larger consignment stores like a Salvation Army and Savers. I have found a few really nice name brand golf shirts and skorts, sometimes even with the tags still on.
13. Online auction stores. Another great place to find golf clothing is Poshmark and eBay, both great places to find slightly used golf clothing.
14. Buy non-brand golf clothes on Amazon. Ditch the big name golf brands and you can find great deals on skorts, collared shirts, and athletic wear in general at a fraction of the cost on Amazon.
15. Buy non-golf specific clothes. Just because there is a proper golf attire, as long as you follow the rules with collared shirts, no jeans, and sometimes no leggings which are the big ones, you don’t necessarily need to purchase golf-specific golf clothes. A nice pair of shorts, pants or a skort is perfectly fine to wear on the course or range.
16. Get a few different colors of the same style. For instance, if you find a golf shirt you like, buy the same one in solid colors like white, light blue, navy blue, black, etc. This way, you can mix and match and not have to buy separate outfits every time.
17. Wear tennis shoes or sneakers. If you want to save money on golf shoes, just wear your sneakers. The new styles of golf shoes look exactly like running shoes or athletic shoes. They might have a small amount of tread, but nothing that is required unless you have a golf course that is very hilly and slippery.
How to Play Golf Without Breaking the Bank
18. Play golf during non-peak times. The busiest times for golf are usually the mornings and on weekends. Some golf courses will offer deals to get more golfers out playing durin the less busy times like weekdays and afternoon/evenings.
19. Play twilight golf. Look for twilight golf at some courses as they may offer lower-priced tee times. Twilight golf is played in the late afternoon with only a couple of hours left and you can often times catch a beautiful sunset and have a quiet course with less golfers.
20. Play during family designated times and days. Some courses may reserve a certain day or time for family golf and typically will offer a more affordable way to golf with the kids or family.
21. Play 9 holes instead of 18 holes. It is often times cheaper to play a 9 hole round versus a 18 hole round.
22. Executive 9 hole and Par 3 courses. These are shorter in length than even a typical 9 hole course and you can find some great rates.
23. Go public or find a muni. Public golf courses or municipal courses owned and operated by a town try to keep the rates low enough that the general public can play.
24. Semi-private memberships. Some public courses are semi-private and may offer a membership where you have access to tee times sooner than the general public, can play in member-only tournaments, get free or heavily discounted range usage, and play without greens fees. The upfront cost may seem like a lot, but if you play a lot of rounds, this might be more cost-effective than paying greens fees every time you head out. These memberships are usually cheaper than a full on private golf club membership.
25. Use online discount tee time websites. Golf Now and other discount tee time services help you find great deals for rounds of golf. If you are flexible with your dates, the deals can be pretty amazing. We wanted to play golf in Florida on a Spring Break trip and all the golf courses were upwards of $150 per golfer. I found an amazing deal for a $35 per person for an 18 hole round of golf at a beautiful resort and golf course. I thought it was a scam, but I called the golf club and they said yes, the deal was real and they would be happy to honor it. Score! And not only that, the rate included a riding cart.
26. Join a golf league. golf group or league where they may offer discounted rates during league days. An added bonus, it becomes extremely social and can win prizes.
27. Join a national organization. LPGA Amateurs, PGA and USGA are national organizations that offer group clinics and special events. For example, LPGA Amateurs membership offers free tickets and a guest to LPGA tournaments. Events, golf-related instructionals are provided on a regular basis. These organizations also offer promotions trying to get more individuals into golf. And sometimes offer heavily discounted or complimentary intro clinics just to get you started.
28. First Tee and Other Programs. Look into the First Tee and other programs where discounted golf is offered at many courses. Kids play practically free.
29. Buy a pack of tee times. Some public courses offer packs of tee times for a discounted price.
30. Golf for business. Play in your company’s golf tournaments or join some associates for a business round. They are always looking for participants and the company may even cover the cost or at least subsidize the cost.
31. Use Apps. Instead of having to pay for a handicap, use an App like the Grint to establish a handicap for free.
32. Walk, don’t ride. Walk and use a pull cart or carry your own bag. Carts and caddies are an extra cost that may be avoided if you walk.
Learn and Improve Your Golf Without Paying for Expensive Lessons
33. Buy a punch card. Or a pass at a practice facility that provides a discount on buckets of balls.
34. Utilize golf practice and training facilities. If you like to practice or want to improve your game, get a membership at a practice facility or golf training center that offers unlimited range time and practice area usage, and discounts on lessons, clinics, instruction, and golf-related fitness programs.
35. Take semi-private golf lessons. Instead of private lessons by the hour, grab a friend and make it a semi-private lesson.
36. Take group golf lessons. Or sign up for a group clinic especially in the beginning when you are just starting out and just need to learn the basics.
37. Find a golf blog or website offering freebies on golf tips, how to courses, and ebooks.
38. Putting at home or in the office. Practice putting on your carpet at home or in the office into a cup laid sideways.
39. Chipping practice at home. Chip into painter’s buckets, baskets, or DIY targets around your backyard. If you don’t want to ruin your lawn, use a small portable hitting mat to hit off of.
40. Use a practice net. Use a practice net so you don’t have to buy a bucket of balls every time you want to practice.
41. Practice indoors at a simulator. Better yet, save money by inviting some of your friends and share the cost of the time. They usually charge by the hour versus per person.
Using Free Online Technology and Social Media for Golf Improvement
42. Free video tutorials. Utilize and watch free golf instruction videos that are all over social media. Depending on which platform you like, you will be able to find videos anywhere. From Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tik Tok. Even the tour pros are offering help and posting video tutorials these days.
43. Listen to free golf podcasts. These cover everything that can help your game and are quite entertaining to listen to. Do this while cleaning the house, commuting into work, or on a long car ride.
44. Watch tournament coverage on TV. Watch the mens or ladies Tours on TV or via live streaming. I always pick something up educational either from the announcers or from the players during these golf tournaments.
45. Watch the instructional shows on the Golf Channel. They have everything from how to add more distance, hitting out of bunkers, you name it and can be really helpful.
46. Join a support group on Facebook. These groups are great for providing support, helpful tips, and engagement with others who are learning and playing golf.
47. Raffles and golf prizes. Enter to win on social media some of the free merchandise, accessories and equipment that are offered up. All you need to do to sign up is usually LIKE, Comment and/or possibly Tag a friend.
More Ideas to Save Money on Golf
48. Look for stay and play golf packages. If you want to travel and go on a golf trip, look for stay and play packages. If you book a hotel with a round of golf, there are some really good deals out there. And they may even throw in some food and beverage perks like free breakfast, a credit voucher or free glass of wine.
49. Bring your own beverages and water. So you don’t have to purchase beverages at the turn or from the roaming beverage cart.
50. Bring your own snacks during the round. Sometimes the items offered at the turn can be very limited and fairly expensive.
51. Save money at the 19th hole. It’s hard to say no to the 19th hole after a round. It could get expensive given the amount of drinks or food you eat. Opt to drink a nonalcoholic drink and eat the free snack mix.
52. Discounted golf gloves. Purchase a few discounted golf gloves at the beginning of the season. I used to get 3 – 4 pairs at the start of the season in the bulk in a clearance basket and were able to get these gloves at 1/4 of the full price you find at a golf course or club.
53. Always be prepared with extras. Bring extras of accessories in your trunk or in your golf bag so you don’t have to purchase a new glove, hat or tees or balls when you forget yours.
54. Grab some freebies. If you are at a private club, take a few extra ball markers, tees and pencils and add to your collection for future use.
55. Forego the subscriptions to golf magazines. Just go online and find articles from their online free publications
56. Work on a golf course. As a perk play for free.
57. Look at your state or county golf associations. They offer discounted golf days, packages, clinics from clubs in the area. Sometimes even making private clubs available to some on a special club hosted day.
So, there you have it, 57 of my best tips to help you save money and play golf affordably. I know there are more, so if you have any tips to share as well, feel free to comment below.
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