For Golfing Enthusiasts, Saving Money Can Be Tough

by Guest Contributor · 9 comments

Golf, for the most part, is an expensive game. Between clubs, balls, green fees, and lessons, the total adds up quickly. Over the years, I’ve found many ways to save on this ridiculously frustrating, yet addicting game.


You don’t need to spend top dollar on clubs to get great equipment. For example, a Big Bertha graphite set will cost you $700 new, but if you purchase them used, you can get them for less than $100 for the same set. Many people believe that it’s important to use the same ball, but that says nothing about the need to get them new. If you get cosmetically imperfect balls that work just as well, you can knock 30% off the price. Even better, purchase balls that are logo overruns and get high quality balls for a fraction of their retail price. No boxes with those, but you won’t need them anyway.

Another great way to save money on equipment is to shop at discount sporting goods stores. Equipment from the previous season often ends up here and you can save 50% and more. Shoes, clubs, bags, and balls all appear on these shelves for a fraction of the price you would pay at the big chain stores.

Green Fees and Rentals

The most expensive time to golf is in the early part of the day, weekends and holidays. At these hours people swarm the golf course and the rates shoot up. Opt for later hours during the week, which courses often call twilight and super twilight hours. You may not finish 18 holes, but you will get the twilight discount, which could sometimes be as little as 20% of the full price. Weekday tee times are cheaper as well, and if you can get out of work for a few hours, a round of golf is much more reasonably priced.

Skip the golf cart and hoof it for even bigger savings. Part of the reason you are golfing is, presumably, to enjoy being outside. Walking gives you time to shake off that bad drive, chat with your friends, and get some exercise as well.

If you play a lot, consider getting a membership. The savings in green fees will likely pay off, so do the calculations. Additionally, you don’t have to play at the fancy clubs. Many townships have a local course that is just fine for regular play. Improve your skills at a less expensive course and ask for gift certificates for the high priced clubs for your birthday. And speaking of birthdays, some clubs offer birthday discounts, so ask around (I know at least one club near where I live where I can play on my birthday for free).

Golf Vacations

Golfing vacations are increasingly popular. Some of these trips hit the best courses in the country; others travel to great golfing locations around the world. Go off season. The savings are tremendous when the season ends and resorts are trying to fill rooms. They offer great bonuses, like massages and carts free of charge just to get you to come. Search the internet and you can find some terrific deals and packages.

An even better idea is to coax a few of your golfing buddies to come along on the trip. Sharing a room reduces costs for everyone, and you all get a break from work while enjoying something you really like.

Just because golf has long been associate with the rich doesn’t mean you have to be wealthy to enjoy it. Shop around, use your money wisely, and get out there while still saving money.

Continuing on our weekly trend, this is another post from the How to Save Money on Everything ebook. It’s free for all newsletter readers so go get your free copy now by clicking here.

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  • Bank Guru says:

    Golf is an expensive sport… thankfully i am not an enthusiast. Couldn’t imagine spending a large sum of money on that sport

  • kenyantykoon says:

    everybody, male and female alike, who starts golfing all say that it extremely addictive; something i cannot bring myself to understand because all they do is try to get a small white ball into a small whole a kilometer away. i think i will understand when i get the time and money to get into the sport but i would like to be wealthy to enjoy it(am just saying it)

  • John DeFlumeri Jr says:

    Used clubs are as good as new ones for most people. Golf fees vary according to times and days. Good advice.

    John DeFlumeri Jr

  • LeanLifeCoach says:

    To me this is kind of like the joke about when your wife comes home and says “You are not going to believe how much money I saved you”

    Golf is a luxury, period.

    That being said, I have blown more than my fair share hacking up some very nice courses. But let’s be honest with ourselves please.

    If you are going to play… this post has some good tips.

    • MoneyNing says:

      Golf is indeed a luxury but it doesn’t mean you can’t save (or spend less rather) money and still have just as much fun.

    • Mr. Moneybags says:

      Actually, you can and should look at golf as an investment rather than an expense. There is no better place to network, to meet prospects or to take your clients out to, all which have the potential to land you infinite amounts of money.

      And if you are a regular golfer you have an excuse to carry golf clubs around in your car at all times either for protection, to beat mailboxes with or to bust your husband out of your Escalade with (see: Tiger Woods).

      See Coach, being an optimist pays.

  • George says:

    You make some great points about frequency. The more you play, the cheaper it gets per game.

    I used to snowboard every weekend, and it really wasn’t that expensive. If you go once a season, it costs like $100 or $150 because you have to pay for a one day pass and rentals. But if you have a season pass (which was $250 at the time for the whole season.) and your own gear, then it costs almost nothing. Probably less than $10 a day.

    It’s an example of making a commitment and actually improving, instead of just going once in a while.

  • Financial Samurai says:

    You a golfer David? We should hack it up on the links sometime. Seriously.

    2008 was the year of golf for me. I started the year with a 16 handicap, with a goal to BREAK 10. Unfortunately, the lowest I got was 10.2, and no further. I found it impossible to shoot in the low 80’s all the time, and I could only break 80 once every 15 rounds, which was good enough.

    I was stuck, and guess what? I quit to play tennis. Quitting to play tennis 3X a week therefore saved me probably $3,000 in green fees and equipment this year 🙂 That’s the best solution.

    But if you just can’t rid yourself of the golf bug, do this: 1) get your residence card, 2) go twlight, always, 3) take clients out and get a free round on the firm.

    What’s your handi btw? If we play, we need to do some small betting. Ever play Wolf, greenies, and reverse greenies? They’re the best games.



    • MoneyNing says:

      I do play, and you are welcomed anytime. Just let me know when you come down.

      I started playing more this year and is currently trying to fix my swing, which is quite painful but I’m seeing it as necessary for future improvement.

      Since I work for myself, I don’t think the company golf tactic works too well but it’s a good way to get away from everything for sure.

      Like I mentioned, I’m fixing my swing so I haven’t even keep track for a few weeks. I was in the 80s but probably shoot around high 90s these days.

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