Is golf too expensive?

Is golf too expensive?

"I wanna get into it, but it's too expensive!"

This is probably one of the most common phrases we hear whenever someone considers joining the golf community; that or it's only "for the rich." 

Like any new sport or hobby, there's always going to be an initial economic investment that's needed. You'll need to pay for some things when it comes to photography, camping, fishing, gardening,  tennis, or any other activity you'd be interested in. You'll need to invest in tools, equipment, materials, or any specific necessity required for your new hobby.

"What do I need to start Practicing?" 

To start practicing, you don't need a lot. You need one club and one golf ball; you might want to get a glove too, which you can usually find used clubs and golf balls for a low - reasonable price. That way, you can start working on your swing and see if you're interested in learning, given that we've all wanted to create a new hobby and eventually said, "This isn't for me."

But let's say that you've gone through that initial wanting to learn stage and decided that you indeed want to know; you can probably go to your local driving range and purchase a bucket of 50-100 range balls for $5-$10, that's the cheapest we've seen, and start swinging away.

Now, if it's your first time, you'll probably be slicing, shanking, or topping the ball most of the time; don't worry, it still happens even after you've been playing for years, and yes, it's always frustrating.

After you've been to the range several times, you'll be thinking about getting some lessons. Some people go online to find tutorials and can learn that way; others require hands-on lessons with the local golf pro. Naturally, you have to pay for those hands-on lessons. Pricing depends on various things, but mostly the things that are taken into account are: if the pro played in any significant events, how long the lesson will be, what their hourly rate is, etc. 

So you've had a few lessons and wish to expand your arsenal and start practicing with different clubs; maybe add more irons, a driver, some woods, and possibly a putter. You will also need a bag to place your new clubs in. So The question is: "How much will it cost?" That depends; if you want a set of a used bag and clubs, it probably costs a couple hundred bucks. You'll spend a couple thousand if you want to go all-in, fetch a brand-new bag, and set clubs.   

 "I'm ready to hit the course!" 

Alright! You've got your clubs, your set of golf balls, and glove; now, all you need is a course to play! Well, not exactly. To be able to play most courses have specific dress codes that you must comply with to be allowed to play. Those usually include polos, khaki style pants or shorts, no jeans, skirts with pants or tights underneath, no open-toed shoes or sandals/flip-flops, preferably golf shoes, to name a few. Also, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunblock to protect yourself from the sun. Naturally, the cost of clothes depends on where you buy your clothes from and how much you're willing to spend. But it is necessary to play, and more often than not, people usually use the same clothing for either work or any other daily living activity, so you can see it as an investment and use it for more than just golf.

You are now set to start playing the Course! You've considered the green fees, the weather, and how many balls you'll probably lose and decided you're ready to play! So how much will it cost to play 9 or 18 holes? You've seen a running trend by now, so it depends. Some courses are cheap to play, and others are costly and exclusive. Aside from the difference in cost, there's usually a very noticeable difference in how well-kept the course is. Higher cost of play should translate to better course conditions. But that doesn't necessarily mean cheaper courses will be in bad shape. The most affordable we've seen for an 18-hole course was $35, and it was in very decent condition.

Some courses could cost over $100 to play; you also have courses, like St. Andrews, that cost over $300 to play. Some courses have hosted PGA Tour events open to the public, such as the aforementioned St. Andrews. Still, naturally, they are pristine and have a much higher cost to play than other courses. Yet there are also some courses, like Augusta National, where the Masters is held, in which most of the population won't ever get the chance to play, given that it is a members-only course. It is a highly exclusive invite-only membership.

"So? How expensive is it?"  

After all this, you're probably asking yourself: "So? How expensive is it?" The honest answer is: "Depends; it's as expensive as you want it to be." Most people take up golf as a hobby, an escape from their daily lives to go now and then, have a good time with their friends, and stay active. Others use it as a way to have meetings with potential business partners. Some like to participate in weekend tournaments because they want the feeling of competition. There are a select few who become good enough to turn pro and eventually use it as their way to make a living. 

It depends on what you want the game of golf to be for you. But there are two things in common for all the people who play golf: our love for the game and our drive to keep improving, regardless of our budget.  

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