I love to play golf. I also love to save money. Here’s how to save a few bucks when hitting the links.
- Avoid weekend/holiday rates. Most public courses offer discounted rates when you play on a weekday.
- Share a bucket of range balls with your playing partner. Spend a few extra minutes on the putting green instead of the range and your scores will improve.
- Bring your own snacks / bottled water / sodas / etc. You’ll pay far less than you will if you purchase these items at the course.
- Check out state owned and operated golf courses. Many of these courses offer summer or winter discount packages and proceeds from many of these courses fund education.
- When buying clubs (and other equipment) be sure to check sites like eBay and Craigslist. If you are a beginner, this is a fun way to experiment with different clubs without breaking the bank. I purchase practice golf balls in lots of 100 for much cheaper than I could buy them at the local sporting goods store.
- Pay for a few lessons. Eight years ago for Christmas, my wife arranged for me to have a series of lessons with a local professional. Those lessons cost a very minimal amount, but they radically improved my game. I went from scores in the 100′s to scores in the 80′s. It might cost a few bucks up front, but you’ll more than recover your money in fewer lost balls, fewer headaches, and fewer moments of shear frustration.
- Skip the gimmicks. Don’t pay for the latest and greatest gadgets. Simply spend time hitting golf balls, working on your stance, finding a good putting stroke, and your game will improve.
- Walk the course. Golf can be a frustrating game, or, it can be relaxing. The next time you go play, especially if you play by yourself, ditch the cart and walk 18 (or 9). Enjoy every step. You’ll save a few bucks, get some exercise, and have time to think about your next shot.
- Avoid the course all together. I recently purchased a set of junior-sized clubs or my four year old. He loves just hitting golf balls in the yard. I’ll grab a pitching wedge, and while he’s pounding massive 25 yard drives with his 3-wood, I’ll practice chipping.
- Play late in the evening. Many courses offer twilight, all-you-can-play-after-a-certain-time golf. I’ve finished many a round in the almost-dark. It’s cool to hit the golf ball, wonder where it went, and then find it pin high.
I usually play at our local municipal course or I’ll play with a buddy of mine at a course near his house. Golf can get very expensive, very quickly, and it’s also a bit addictive. But, over the past three years, I’ve learned to put it into perspective, enjoy the game, improve my play, and do so in ways that don’t break the bank.