One of the most common misconceptions about being a golfer is that you have to be “filthy rich” — yes, I’ve heard that one more than once– in order to play the game.
We have seen it in countless TV shows and movies where the working class and minorities are looked down upon at country clubs. But even though it can cost a pretty penny to play a round in some the most popular courses — over $500 at California’s Pebble Beach, for example — the current landscape of golf allows most income levels to join in the fun.
Although there is an initial investment when a person or family decides to take on the game, there are ways to keep expenses low for newbies. Let’s take a look at 10 ways to start playing golf without breaking the bank.
1. Begin at the driving range.
Starting at the driving range, means you don’t have to buy a set of clubs right away. It also allows you get a feel for the most physically straining part of golf. At this stage, the player can test the different clubs, be it borrowing them from a friend, or renting them from a practice facility.
2. Attend golf clinics and group lessons.
Most public golf courses and organizations offer golf clinics and group lessons for beginners at a fraction of the cost of private lessons.
A Golf Clinic consists of a breakdown of the rules and demonstration of techniques, usually from a golf professional or experienced player. Clinics also can focus on a particular part of the game. During a Golf Clinic, the attendees might not get much hands-on experience, but the advice they receive can be invaluable once the new golfer hits the links.
A group golf lesson can ease up the stress of swinging the club for the first time because the learner finds herself among others with the same level of experience. Courses and organizations that offer beginner group lessons often provide golf clubs or are held in courses that rent them. The Latina Golfers Association offers clinics and golf lessons for beginners at very reasonable prices.
3. Shop for the right (not the best) equipment.
Seasoned golfers will either swear by their current gear or will blame their clubs if they’re having issues with their game. They follow the latest trends and often buy the brands their pro golfer idols play.
Although using a properly fit set of quality golf clubs can make a big difference for intermediate to advanced golfers, consistency in the golf swing is the first priority of the beginner golfer. Any benefit a high-priced set may entail will make little difference for a golfer who’s just getting the hand of golf.
Some golf equipment makers sell “starter sets.” These are usually on the cheaper side — some under $200 — and feature designs that are “forgiving” with properties that lessen the effects of a bad swing.
4. Look into Pre-owned golf clubs.
A person testing the waters in golf, there is no shame in browsing pawn shops, craigslist, or garage sales for that first set of clubs that will get him/her through the first months in the game. I recently came across a full set of clubs, including a set of ladies Big Bertha Callaway woods and a set of irons for just $20!
Once the a neophyte golfer decides to upgrade their equipment, manufacturers and retailers offer a selection of “certified” pre-owned clubs at reduced prices. Callawaygolfpreowed.com and 2ndswing.com are some examples for players who opt to buy off-the-rack clubs.
5. Avoid premium golf balls consider recycled balls.
As previously mentioned, the novice golfer’s goal is to develop a consistent swing. Distance and the ability to shape the ball come at a later stage. For that reason, buying high-performance golf balls will absolutely be a waste of funds.
A newbie also doesn’t have to worry about the quality of recycled or refurbished balls. The benefits of a premium or pristine ball do not yet come into play.
6. Frequent short golf courses.
It was suggested earlier to start at the driving range to get the feel for each golf club and to get the hang of the golf swing. Following a period of consistent practice 4-6 weeks at a driving range and with a solid foundation of the rules.
The player can move on to a 9-hole, Par 3, or executive golf course.
Yes, the landscapes and wildlife sightings in full-length golf courses are elements of the game that make us you want to return. But, think of these courses as graduation steps as well as your motivation to improve your game.
You can save money playing shorter rounds that cost at least half the price of full-length courses. You will soon find out that playing longer rounds during your introductory year of playing golf is not as important as playing often.
7. Support your municipal golf course.
A municipal is a golf course that is run by the city. Although they are often not kept as groomed as privately owned courses, they are suitable for those who are just getting the hang of swinging a golf club and assessing their club distance.
Beginner lessons and youth programs are often available at these courses. Thus, Aside from paying lower green fees at these community geared institutions, you will be supporting activities that keep youth out of trouble.
8. Find or ask for discounts.
Under the same model of travel planning sites like Orbitz.com, third-party tee-time booking ventures offer great deals in last-minute bookings. Frequent sites such as GolfNow.com and Teeoff.com are just two examples of such websites.
Ask about resident discounts, off-peak hour rates, walking rates… It’s very likely you will be hooked on the game of golf. There is no shame on that, as there isn’t any shame in getting the best rates possible.
9. Play on weekdays.
Golf courses are not as busy on weekdays as they are on weekends. The rules of supply and demand apply to golf. As simple as that.
10. Find a golf membership card.
Ask your local golf course or search online for a golf membership card that offers discounted rates for golf courses in your region.
Aside from tee-time discounts, a membership introduces you to golfing community and offers opportunities for competitive golfing.
Depending on your area, there might be more than one option, be sure to review the courses covered in the membership, and weigh the benefits against the membership fee.
Although it is well known that golf isn’t the cheapest of sports, the benefits of learning the game are worth the investment. After applying these 10 tips to work, you can add resourcefulness to the list of benefits of playing golf.