Is it Possible to Golf on a Budget?

Hi all. I’ll keep this short and simple:

I’m looking to get into golf. I’ve wanted to try the sport for years and am now in a place in my life where I have some spending cash, zero debts, and a bit of free time on the weekends to potentially give to the hobby.

My question is if I can do it without breaking the bank? I’m talking about doing anything and everything from buying used clubs, only using public courses, etc. I know that I can save money by doing those things, but is it still going to be prohibitively expensive compared to other pastimes?

I welcome all feedback and advice on this. You all usually have great opinions on fiscal matters.

Delete Me

Your question is sort of like “How high is up”.
Depends on your budget.

There are the one time expenses like clubs and shoes.
Those you can control to a point.
However as you proceed you will likely want better clubs and balls.
But those can be budgeted.

But the biggie is the per play expenses.
Visit local Public courses… ask the cost per play?
Are carts required … usually YES… What is the Cart Rental?

Do they have Specials by day or time of day. Do they have a price for "Twilight golf… usually after 5 or 6 PM during the Summer.

Will you need lessons… they tend to be expensive?
Maybe cheaper at the Public Course.

Now you are ready to prepare a budget.
Does it work for you?

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People are always upgrading their clubs so buying used is the way to go for someone starting out.

The real bargains are during the week. Weekends are prime time. Out of the way and off the beaten path courses tend to be cheaper. Some courses sell patron cards (or may have another name) where you pay some amount at the beginning of the season and you get a discount on play and priority for tee times.

Get a pull cart and walk. Better exercise and much cheaper. Some courses require a cart but if you avoid those you can save.

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Here are two possibilities:

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Started to play golf back in 1965 when I was 12 years old. Back then, golf was fairly inexpensive to play. Then around the mid 80’s, golf became very popular and expensive to play. I stopped playing then as it was taking over 5 hours to play a round of golf sometimes.

As for today, you can get a set of clubs at a reasonable price. Also when starting out, you can buy used golf balls to save some money there.

Would also be advisable to take some lessons before you even take 1 stroke on the golf course.

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I started playing just a few years ago when I retired. I purchased a used set of clubs and later upgraded to a better set, but still used. There are many sites but here is the one I used
You can also purchase found balls for half the price of new. Here is one site
There are many sites for discount golf. Here is one I used
If you live in the Atlanta area, are over 55 and can play during the week, you can join the Senior Golfers Association of Atlanta here It is a great way to meet other golfers to play with and everything is setup for you. You just have to show up!! Plus they get discount rates, free range balls, coffee etc. and they play at about 20 courses around Atlanta. But as someone else stated, take some lessons. Find a good instructor and it can make a world of difference.

Awhile back, people from Japan flew to Hawaii to play golf. At what I was told was $1,000 a game back there, airfare to Hawaii, a place to stay and a couple hundred dollars a game was a deal when they pay a few couses over their stay. Yes there are courses here free and even cheap by most accounts.

Off hours the Makalei course could be played for $50 with a cart included. A cart is actually required on this novel course.

Makalei Golf Club is a breathtakingly beautiful golf course on the western slops of Hualalai Mountain on Hawaii Island. Designed by Dick Nugent & Associates, the course reflects the raw, natural beauty of Hawaii Island, incorporating native forests, mountain slopes, and unique volcanic features such as lava tubes and cinder cones. It is the finest in Kona golf. After completing a round, one would have traveled just shy of 3,000 vertical feet and shy of 8 miles. Makalei offers challenging play for golfers of all levels, with multiple tees that can extend the course from 5,242 yards to a championship length of 7,091 yards. Bent grass, unusual in Hawaii, is featured on all Makalei’s greens. Makalei is home to more than just a spectacular golf course, it is a virtual sanctuary to some of the worlds most beautiful animals. Wild pheasants, turkeys, peacocks and other animals make their home around the golf course.

We also have a number of exclusive courses available only to millionaires and billionaires. Those, not so cheap :slight_smile: