This is a guest post from Bill Phillips, a PGA golf professional who writes about golf equipment and tips on his website, GolfClubsConsultant.com. To find out how to guest post on Own The Dollar, check out our guest posting guidelines.
We’ve all heard stories of famous people with initiation fees to country clubs that run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, custom golf clubs worth thousands, trips to famous courses where the greens fees are hundreds of dollars. A regular guy could blow the life savings in his 401(k) pretty quickly with high-priced equipment and fees. Even for more down-to-earth folks, $50 greens fees and a few hundred for clubs isn’t cheap-especially in today’s economic climate. However, much more reasonable ways to play golf are certainly available.
Join a Country Club
If you play golf a great deal, or you want to get the rest of your family involved in golf, the cheapest way to play is to join a country club. Some assume that the wealthy are the only ones who would join a country club, but if you play often enough, a country club is the cheapest option. The club in my small town used to charge a $500 initiation fee, and $150 per month for a family. The tough economic times have made it even more reasonable. Currently seeking new members, the club has waived the initiation fee, and lowered the monthly fee to $125 per month.
While prices can vary widely from state to state, consider that playing a reasonably priced municipal course with your son on the weekend would cost at least $40 in greens fees. Playing every weekend would leave your wallet $160 lighter every month. You’d save $35 each month by joining the country club-and you could play more often, and even get other family members involved.
Play During Off-Peak Hours
If you only want to play occasionally, you might want to take a day off work in the middle of the week, and make that time up on Saturday. Many courses reduce their fees on weekdays. If you can take the heat, the desert courses of the Southwest and elsewhere reduce their fees drastically during the hottest part of the day.
Walk the Course
Cart fees are almost as much as greens fees. Walking is not only excellent exercise with many proven health benefits, but it also lowers your score. It’s easier to maintain your swing tempo if you walk rather than rushing around in a golf cart.
Buy Used Clubs
When I was 15, my parents bought me golf clubs from a guy who played at the same golf course as I did. The deal was brokered by the head pro at the course. What are the odds that someone had clubs that fit me and worked for years to come?
But this was before e-commerce was popular. Today, finding used clubs that work for you isn’t a course-wide proposition; it’s a nation-wide proposition. Buying used can be a substantial savings over new clubs.
The golf industry is motivated to get kids involved in golf, investing in what it hopes are life-long players. If you’d like to help your kids get exercise, and learn the sportsmanship and integrity that golf teaches, you certainly don’t need to fork over a fortune. Junior tournaments are very inexpensive, youth clinics are available, and reduced greens fees are easy to find. With a little research, you’ll discover plenty of opportunities.
With a little effort, you can play this expensive sport inexpensively-and enjoy it a little more knowing that your life savings is secure.
Bill Phillips of GolfClubsConsultant.com has enjoyed playing golf since he was a young teenager. His site offers a wealth of information and advice about selecting and using golf clubs, including Tour Edge Exotics XCG-V driver, used Titleist golf clubs, Cobra golf clubs, and more.