Sometimes when people find out I enjoy golfing they are a bit puzzled considering my mostly frugal lifestyle. This is because golf is typically considered among the more expensive sports to play. In order to play golf an individual needs a decent amount of gear that isn’t exactly cheap and they need to pay a fee every time they play the game. Learn how to golf cheap.
I’m offering tips today to save money on your golf game, from clubs and accessories to the actual greens fees and more. While this sport isn’t entirely free, it can be played on a budget and you can save money when golfing. I’ll include a whole list of tips in this post.
How to Golf Cheap
Saving Money on Golf
The comments I have received from those who think golf is expensive can sometimes come from a place of lack of information. I think there is an assumption that every golfer buys a brand new name brand set of clubs every few years or maintains an annual country club membership.
But this isn’t the case. The only time I’ve played at country clubs is for work-related golf scrambles. While the fairways were nice I also enjoy playing on more affordable courses too. Some sports naturally do not require much investment to get started, for example swimming or basketball.
Another cheaper sport is running but even still the runner must invest in clothing, quality running shoes and if running competitively – race fees. Other sports require a significant amount of equipment up front in order to get started. For example hockey falls under these lines. Football players also require special gear in order to play. For golf there is gear involved as well.
The second issue is fees, because golf, like sports such as bowling, requires payment of a fee every time you play. Adults who play in softball or volleyball leagues will also pay a fee in order to play for the season. My tips will cover both areas so you can reduce costs associated with golfing across the board.
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My Golfing Journey
Before I get into my money saving golf tips I wanted to share briefly my golf background and journey. I’ve been golfing for around 16 years. I developed an interest in golf after meeting my (now) husband. An interest in golf also runs in my family as well but I did not try golfing until my early 20s.
One of the ways I’ve kept golfing affordable over that time is by investing in one set of clubs and taking good care of them. Prior to getting my first set of golf clubs I was using some secondhand clubs. This worked well in order to develop an interest in the game and figure out if I was committed to golfing long term. However, the clubs were not in the best shape and did not fit me properly.
After getting properly fitted for first set of golf clubs I also invested in a quality golf bag with a cover. This helps protect the clubs at all times, including the off season when in storage. I’ve also always stored my clubs in a temperature controlled environment which I think has helped with prolonging their longevity.
The beginning of my golfing career took place on driving ranges and affordable municipal courses. As I gained confidence I took part in a handful of work golf scrambles. I continued to golf casually over the years, and then took a bit of a break when I had my daughter.
My interest in golf was reignited during the pandemic (as was for many) as a seasonal sport which could be enjoyed comfortably, and my daughter was old enough to ride along in the golf cart. These days I continue to golf during the spring, summer and fall.
Being I live in Ohio the season is dependent on the weather. Most seasons I will play seven to 10 games and hit up the driving range a few times as well. I try not to take the game too seriously, and that makes it the most fun for me.
Save Money on Golf
I’m going to list out all my tips now for keeping the game of golf within your budget. This will cover everything from clubs, accessories, clothing, greens fees and more. You can try some of these tips or all of them depending on your specific needs and where you want to save money when it comes to how to golf cheap. Here are the tips…
Saving on Golf Fees
• Walk, Use a Pull Cart or Buy Your Own: One of the biggest areas, in my opinion, for saving money on golf starts with transportation. If you are physically able to walk the course, do so. Golf riding cart fees are often close to the same price as 9 holes of golf. If carrying your golf bag is too strenuous, you can rent a pull cart. These are usually a few dollars to rent. Alternately, investing in your own pull cart or push cart can save you money long term.
• Play During Non-Peak Times: Check the schedule at your desired golf course and see if there are reduced greens fees associated with playing off-peak times. This can include weeknights, mid afternoon or early or late season play. If these rates aren’t advertised, call and ask.
• Play Affordable Courses: Other key tip is to play affordable courses. While I can see the desire to play a country club course or a course your favorite pro has played, it likely won’t fall into golfing on the cheap. Today, I still most often play municipal or metropark golf courses as they tend to have the most affordable greens fees. I have found golf courses in small towns are often affordable as well.
• Use Coupons and Promo Codes: Utilize any available golf coupons, promo codes and more. Some courses may offer a membership program, punch passes or buying discounts if you play a certain number of rounds per season. Find out if these offers will save you money based on how many times you will play each season.
• Play 9 Holes, Instead of 18: If you are willing to reduce your time on the course, consider playing 9 holes instead of 18 holes to save money while golfing in order to learn how to golf cheap.
• Use the Driving Range: Alternate between playing actual rounds of golf and hitting up the driving range. A trip to the driving range is cheaper in most all cases and might suffice your itch to practice. As an added bonus, seek out driving ranges with a free putting green to practice your short game as well.
• Set a Golf Budget: Determine how often you want to play golf and budget for it. Having a budget is one of the basics for saving on anything you want to enjoy. Figure out the rough cost of playing golf in your area and how often you will play to determine your budget. I’ve talked before about how to create a budget.
Saving on Golf Clubs and Accessories
• Take Care of and Clean Your Clubs: As I mentioned at the beginning I am still using my original set of golf clubs. I think it’s vital to take care of your golf clubs. If possible, clean and dry them after every round. Keep them stored safely (avoid leaving them in the hot trunk of your car all summer) and keep them in your golf bag. Also use club covers to protect your drivers. And don’t forget to clean your golf shoes to maintain them as well. There are also special cleaning devices for golf shoes.
• Buy Clubs Secondhand: Consider buying golf clubs secondhand. Any pro shop can fit you for clubs. Once you know if you fit a standard men’s or ladies set you can buy secondhand clubs. Secondhand clubs can come from a thrift shop, a place like Play it Again Sports, off Facebook Marketplace or other resale sites. Another idea is to attend something like the Cleveland Golf and Travel Show. Here you can purchase name brand clubs at a reduced price.
• Make Your Own Clubs: This might sound crazy but it’s a real practice. You can buy all the pieces for a golf club and assemble it yourself. My husband has gotten into doing this over the last few years. Golf club parts can be purchased online such as via RockBottomGolf or The GolfWorks. Even if you aren’t interested in building clubs, you might learn how to regrip clubs yourself as this also saves money versus having it done at a pro shop.
• Invest in Quality Items: When purchasing golf gear for the long haul, carefully consider quality versus money savings. It may be worth paying a little more for quality items that will last a long time. Over time this will allow you to save more.
• Only Use the Basics: There are a lot of golf accessories that to the beginner may seem needed but really aren’t. Keep your game simple and save money by skipping the fancy accessories such as an alignment wand or ball retriever. Also consider basic supplies like head covers in a neutral black, as opposed to characters or more pricey designs.
Saving on Golf Clothing and Shoes
• Think Secondhand: Most of my favorite golf clothing items have come secondhand. Any time I go thrift shopping I’m on the lockout for high-quality ladies golf clothing. In addition to looking for golf clothing at thrift shops, you can try resale shops such as Clothes Mentor. Alternately, shop secondhand online via an app such as Poshmark for your next piece of golf apparel.
Free $10 Poshmark Coupon
- Earn $10 toward your next purchase when you join Poshmark and enter invite code HFHAMMERS when you sign up!
• Repair or Replace: Sometimes you can repair or fix up your current gear to make it last longer. A good example is with golf shoes. Instead of buying new shoes, consider purchasing replacement spikes instead to give your current pair more life. This is another method for how to golf cheap.
• Shop Seasonally: If you prefer to shop for only new golf clothing at sports goods stores or department stores, try to shop seasonally for items such as end of season discounts. Also check out off-season pro shop sales. Often the pro shops will want to move inventory at season end, offering deep discounts on clothing and shoes. This is another great tactic for how to golf cheap.
Saving on Golf Lessons
• Try DIY Methods First: I cannot speak to golf lessons too much as I have never formally taken any. But if you are considering lessons, I would suggest the following first. You can read golf books (free from the library) or purchase them for a nominal cost. You can also watch videos on how to play. If you know someone who plays golf you might ask them to teach you the basics in exchange for paying for the round or driving range fee. Lastly, if considering lessons a group lesson may be more affordable than a private one-on-one lesson.
Golfing for Cheap
My final and most important tip for saving money on golf – don’t lose your ball! This might be unavoidable for even the most skilled golfers. I have resorted to using colorful balls at times in order to at least try to avoid losing mine.
There are a lot of components involved with getting into golfing, from the actual clubs to accessories and clothing but it shouldn’t bust your budget. If you are interested in learning how to golf, take it one step at a time, invest slowly and use these tips to save along the way. These are all of my best tips on how to golf cheap.
Any other tips to save?