Many people think golf is too expensive. Let’s debunk that myth, once and for all. Golf is only expensive if you choose to play it expensively.
Yes, buying a new set of golf clubs could easily set you back more than $1,000. Yes, playing Pebble Beach Golf Links, in Monterey, California, will cost you $500 to play 18 holes. That’s a lot of money. However, there is no reason why a golfer (especially a newbie) has to spend that kind of money to find their fun on the golf course.
Nice things are nice. A set of PXG golf clubs costs around $3,000. According to Bob Parson, the billionaire founder of PXG, “Nobody makes golf clubs the way way do. Period.” PXG clubs are nice. But you can find a good set of golf clubs for a whole lot less.
Clubs costing a fraction of this price can be found at your local thrift store or Goodwill. Stop by a garage sale or, if you like to shop online, check out eBay or Craigslist. There are clubs available everywhere. And, there is no hard and fast rule that says you must have a complete set of golf clubs when you play this game.
The rules say that a golfer can carry 14 clubs. But the story goes that PGA legend, Lee Trevino, learned to play with a single club, an old hand-me-down 5-iron. You can learn more and him here and here. Current PGA Tour player, Tony Finau, bought clubs at the Salvation Army for 75 cents a piece; he and his brother learned to play on a par 3 course in their neighborhood. You do not have to spend thousands for clubs.
Now, let’s move on. The cost of playing golf not only depends on where you play and what clubs you use. It also depends on when you play. “Green fees,” the price you pay to use the golf course, are drastically reduced throughout the day. The closer you get to sunset, the less it costs to play golf. During the last hour of daylight many courses won’t even charge you to play.
Prices vary depending on the course you play. On certain days, fees may also be reduced. There are discounts for seniors, students, and loyalty. This is kind of like finding hidden treasure, right?
Golf is only expensive if you choose to spend big money.
Playing golf expensively has its benefits. It is definitely enjoyable to play golf at its ostentatious and spectacular extremes. But golf has been marketed as an expensive game for economic reasons. People don’t wait until they are can play in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the home of Real Madrid, to play a game of soccer. Nor do the wait until they are in Yankee Stadium to play baseball.
To play soccer we only need a field, an open space. Often times we don’t have boundary lines or even goals. Basketball: all we need to find is a hoop, any hoop, and can play. We play baseball in the street, pausing for passing cars. Ever wonder why most of us believe that you can’t play sandlot golf? The truth is… you can!
Arthur Ashe said; “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” So the next time someone ask you to play golf, remember:
- You don’t need a full set of brand new clubs to play golf.
- You don’t need ocean views and manicured fairways to play golf.
- You just need to play. Hit the ball wherever and whenever you can.