Why Is Golf So Expensive? Adding Up The Cost To Play Golf!

We all love to play golf. The morning dew. The smell of freshly cut grass. Trash talk with your buddies. There is only one problem. Why is golf so expensive?

We want to take a deep dive into this question.

First, we will look at all of the different ways the game will make you pull out your wallet. You may read that and wonder, “Is golf the most expensive sport?”

Second, we will focus on some ways you can reduce the cost. You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy this great game.

Do you ever wonder, “Is golfing expensive?” If so, keep reading!

In this article, we will cover:

  • The Cost Of Golf? Equipment & Gear
  • Why Is Golf So Expensive? Greens Fees, memberships, and Golf Carts
  • Why Is Golf So Expensive? Improving Your Game
  • 6 Hacks To Reduce The Cost Of Golf!

Let’s dive in!

A golf ball sits on the grass next to numerous dollar bills with the words why is golf so expensive in the foreground.

The Cost of Golf? Equipment & Gear

Let’s get started with the gear & equipment you need to play the game.

You can’t play baseball without a glove and you can’t play basketball without a hoop.

Required – Golf Essentials

You can’t play golf without a few items, such as:

  1. Golf Balls
  2. Golf Tees.
  3. Golf Clubs
  4. Golf Bag
  5. Divot Tool & Ball Marker

The good news is that golf tees can be found on the course, and many are free in the Pro Shop.

Premium golf balls (Titleist Pro V1) cost $50+ for a dozen, but you can find economical balls (Pinnacle) for less than $20 for 18 balls.

When you first start playing golf, always go with economical golf balls. You will probably lose a few every time you play!

How are you going to hit these golf balls? You need a set of golf clubs. A full set of clubs will cost you anywhere from $800 – $3000.

Now you need a way to carry your clubs, balls, and tees.

A golf bag will cost you between $100 – $300.

A black golf bag with golf clubs inside sits on a golf course.

Finally, you want to follow golf etiquette. You need a divot tool to fix the green and a ball marker to mark your ball while other players putt. These are cheap, let’s say $10 for both.

Total cost for required golf equipment = $1,000 – $3,500

Optional – Nice to Have Items

As you play more golf, you will identify additional equipment that will improve your experience on the course.

Here are some of the more popular items:

  1. Golf Shoes
  2. Golf Glove
  3. Golf Umbrella
  4. Rangefinder
  5. Rain Gear

Golf shoes will improve your traction when you swing and will make you more comfortable when you play.

They will cost you $150.

Some golfers enjoy the game without a golf glove, but most find it easier to use one.

They cost $15.

A white golf glove holds up a golf club with a black background.

You never know when a rain shower will surprise you on the back 9.

You will quickly realize you need a golf umbrella. They typically cost $100.

It is an expensive item, but a rangefinder makes the game so much easier. Simply aim it at the flag and you will know your exact yardage.

You will pay $300 for a quality product.

You may think you don’t need golf rain gear, but the first time you get drenched on the course, you will change your mind.

The total cost for the jacket, pants, and gloves is $200.

Is golf the most expensive sport? You decide. This is a small list of the optional golf gear you can buy.

If you go with our recommendations, the total cost of the optional equipment is $800.

Why Is Golf So Expensive? Greens Fees, memberships, and Golf Carts

You have all of your equipment, but you have no place to use it.

The next stop on our “Is golfing expensive?” journey is the cost of playing a course.

A woman wearing all white stands next to a golf cart with a pink golf bag.

If you play public golf courses, you will pay green fees each time you play. This will cost you between $50 – $200 depending on the type; of course, you decide to play.

The other option is to join a private golf club. Instead of paying each time you play, you pay a monthly fee for unlimited golf.

The monthly fee at a private golf course will be between $400 – $1,200.

There is one more cost you need to consider when you play. There is a fee to use a golf cart. This is typically $30+ for 18 holes.

You have options for how you pay when you play, but both public and private golf courses can be expensive.

Why Is Golf So Expensive? Improving Your Game

Golf is addictive. Once you get hooked, you will do anything to improve and lower your golf handicap.

Why is golf so expensive? If you want to get better, you will need to invest in your game.

Golf lessons with a certified teacher are a great idea, and they will cost you between $75 – $100 per lesson.

A man wearing a lime green polo teaches a woman how to play golf.

You will need to spend time on the driving range if you want to improve your golf swing. Each time you go, a bucket of balls will cost you $10+.

Finally, a swing aid can be a great way to eliminate your slice or duck hook. They can cost anywhere from $50 to $250.

Let’s be honest; playing well is more fun than duffing it around.

Why is golf so expensive? Because we are always on a quest to improve!

6 Hacks To Reduce The Cost Of Golf

Being called a “hack” in golf is an insult, but these hacks can save you some money in your pursuit of golf greatness!

You now know the answer to “Why is golf so expensive,” but we have some ideas to make it cheaper.

#1: Buy Used Or Old Clubs!

You can save a significant amount of cash if you buy used clubs. The price of a full set can drop from $2,500 to less than $1,000.

The other trick is to buy new clubs that are one year old.

For example, if you buy a brand new TaylorMade driver, you might spend $500, but if you buy a new one from last year, it will only cost you $300.

How much do you think the technology has improved in one year? The answer is very little, so save some cash!

Sure, it is fun to have new clubs, but we also think it is fun to have an extra $1,000 in the bank.

Five old golf clubs lie on a wooden table.

#2: Shop For Deals (Greens Fees)

If you are a public course player, then spend some time doing research before you book your next tee time.

Frequently golf courses off lower rates if you book your tee time online, and you should always tee time services like GolfNow for special prices.

Suppose you find a golf course you enjoy playing. Check to see if they offer a bulk deal. You might be able to get 10 rounds of golf for the price of 6!

Why is golf so expensive? If you use our “hacks,” it doesn’t have to be!

#3: Borrow From Buddies

Just because you decide to start playing golf doesn’t mean you must rush out to Golf Galaxy and buy clubs.

We would recommend you learn how to hit the golf ball before you make a major investment.

We bet one of your golfing buddies has an old set of clubs collecting dust in their garage.

Use this borrowed set until you are sure you want to play golf, and you have a better idea of the type of equipment you want to purchase.

What happens if you fall in love with these clubs? Make your buddy an offer to buy them!

Eight shining golf clubs up close with a black background.

#4: Build Your Collection Over Time

There is no need to rush out and buy every piece of golf equipment at once. You will be able to enjoy playing golf for years, so there is no reason to rush.

Why is golf so expensive? It isn’t if you spread the costs over a couple of decades!

Buy what you need to get started, and pay attention to the gear you see other players use. If you see something you like, go pick it up.

Before you know it, your collection will be impressive.

#5: Keep Your Eyes Open On The Course (Golf Balls)

Why is golf so expensive? Because you lose 6 golf balls every time you play!

Just because you lose balls doesn’t mean you can find replacements. When you play, always be on the lookout for balls that the golfers in front of you lost.

Get a ball retriever and check out the creeks and lakes as you play. You might even be able to leave the golf course with more balls than you started with.

Think about it this way – every time you find a Pro V1, it’s like finding a $5 bill on the ground!

#6: Walk This Way

Another recurring cost when you play is the cart rental.

We have a crazy idea if you want to save some cash – walk the course!

Every time you walk instead of ride, you will save $30+ and you get some exercise. Sounds like a win-win.

A family of four walks along a golf course, holding golf clubs.

Even if you decide to invest in a pushcart to keep your back fresh, you will make your money back quickly by avoiding the cart rental fees.

Why is golf so expensive? We don’t think it has to be! Do you have any cost-saving hacks we haven’t mentioned? Tell us about them in the comments!

Up Next: Why Golf Is The Best Sport To Play!

Photo of author
Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.