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Golf is considered one of the most expensive sports globally, and beginners often find themselves wondering whether or not to invest in it. Golf is often referred to as a rich man’s game, and when compared to sports like basketball and soccer, it certainly does seem like it.
When you add up equipment, course fees, and all the other costs associated with the sport, the total can be mind-boggling.
So, why is golf so expensive, and why does it cost so much to get started? More importantly, is there an affordable way to start playing the sport?
Golf is an expensive sport because all of the equipment is expensive, using a course is expensive, and it takes a long time to master. All of these things are expensive because of the high quality of the items as well as the needed real estate to just play the game is expensive.
In this article I will go over each of these (and other items) that make it expensive and why they are as well as show you how you can get into this game without spending thousands of dollars.
Why Is Everything Needed For Golf So Expensive?
Golf is expensive because literally everything that is used for the game is specifically made for it which in turn drives up the prices of each item. Below I will go over some of the most popular items that are expensive and why they are.
One of the reasons golf is expensive is the cost of the equipment needed for the game. In addition to golf clubs, you’ll need to purchase golf balls, bags, tees, and more.
Whether you’re playing casually or starting to become a regular golfer, you’ll have to invest in golf clubs. This is the most expensive golfing equipment you’ll buy and can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
In a standard bag of golf clubs, you’ll have 14 clubs, including the driver, woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putters.
These different clubs vary in price, with inexpensive models costing less than $100 and more expensive models costing hundreds or thousands of dollars for a single golf club!
One of the ways to save money on golf clubs is opting to buy sets instead of individual clubs. Sets allow you to get a variety of clubs for a reasonable price and are great for beginners or those just wanting to try out golf for the first time.
You don’t need to invest in individual clubs until you get the hang of the game, know your preferences, and know your clubhead speed, grip, swing speed, and more. Even then, you can invest in pre-owned single golf clubs to cut down the equipment cost.
Golf clubs also vary in price depending on the materials they’re made from. Titanium golf clubs are durable and are some of the most expensive golf clubs you can buy. Other materials like zinc, aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon graphite are more affordable than titanium but still vary in price.
Professionals may have titanium clubs, but opting for materials like stainless steel can make your clubs much more affordable.
Since clubs are constantly being updated as new technology is put out, many golfers replace their golf clubs to keep up with the changes. Whether or not you need to do this depends on the maintenance of the clubs.
However, according to statistics, only 7% of golfers change their clubs every year, with the majority of them (43%) opting to replace their clubs after four years and 31% replacing them every four years.
Golf balls may not be expensive, but losing balls is inevitable. Whether they get waterlogged, you can’t find them, or you need to change them because they’re no longer giving you the same distance, you’ll often have to invest in new ones.
So even the cost of simple golf balls can add up over time.
Other equipment includes mandatory items like tees and additional items like golf mats, flags, divot repair tools, and golf rangefinders. All of these add to the ongoing cost of playing golf.
Courses and Maintenance
Another reason why golf is so expensive is that you need somewhere to play golf, and course fees are not cheap. Golf courses consist of several acres of land which need to be bought, the course designed and built, and the grass, sand, and water maintained.
All of this costs money, which courses then recuperate when charging golfers.
Things like green fees are necessary because the fairways and greens need regular maintenance to ensure that the grass is at the right length and there are no weeds in the way. A single round of golf can cause you hundreds of dollars in green fees depending on the course you choose and when you go.
For example, weekends are usually more expensive than playing during the week.
If you’re looking to save some money, try out municipal golf courses or public golf courses. These are more affordable than premium golf courses and private country clubs, which can rack up thousands of dollars in membership and other fees.
Not all golf courses require specific attire for golfers, but private courses do have strict clothing rules. Even if golf attire isn’t mandatory, most golfers still prefer it because it’s comfortable and allows them to fit in.
The clothing industry is getting more expensive, and golf’s reputation as a “prestige sport” has led to especially costly golf clothing.
Some of the basics you’ll want to buy include golf shirts, golf pants, golf shoes, and a golf hat. However, these don’t necessarily have to be the most expensive specialist golf clothing available.
You can make golf clothing more affordable by buying inexpensive options from sporting goods stores or purchase simple polo t-shirts and pants.
Lessons and Training
Many beginners get training with professionals so that they know how to play golf properly. To improve, you have to put in the practice, which means spending more time on lessons and green fees.
Why is golf so expensive? Part of the reason is because of the perception of golf and its reputation as a rich man’s game. This allows companies to charge higher prices for golf equipment, clothing, and accessories.
In addition to all these costs, there are also hidden costs in food and beverage and tips for beverage cart drivers, cart attendants, and caddies.
Golf is expensive. That’s a fact. However, so many people fail to realize that it doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. There are some unavoidable expenses, but there are also many steps you can take to minimize your expenses and enjoy golf for the great sport that it is.
Use these tips, so you know when to splurge and when to save, and you, too, can start golfing today.