Why is Golf So Expensive?

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It’s no secret golf can be expensive; four or five hours and just as many beers plus greens fees and equipment to play can really add up!

While there are many opinions on where exactly golf came from, it is obvious that people have been using sticks to hit balls into target holes for a long time.  And that is the essence of the game.  Hit the ball into the hole.  Whether the hole be twenty feet away or five hundred yards.  Its a simple game but it’s never been easy!

Why is golf so expensive?

The evolution of the game has seen huge changes to the equipment and the terrain used.  Golf is expensive today because of the amount of land required to make nine or eighteen holes.  Golf courses range from seventy five to one hundred and fifty acres.  To build a course takes massive construction and land development.  

Once the course is created the landscaping and maintenance are a massive undertaking.  Crews of workers need equipment to maintain the course in shape for the game.  Without the workers the grass, weeds and elements would take over and the course can be rendered unplayable.  So constant upkeep is vital. Salaries are expensive and hiring the best crews costs money.

Why is golf so expensive? Especially compared to other sports and games.  Most Canadians can make a small hockey rink in their backyards given the right temperatures and a hose.  Soccer just requires a ball, a patch of grass or even dirt and a makeshift goal.  One ball for everybody to use and thats all for necessary equipment.  Basketball needs a ball and a hoop.  Football starts to require more land and equipment but still doesn’t come close to a golf course or even one golf hole.

Why is golf so expensive?

Equipment for golf doesn’t need to be expensive but it sure can be.  Clubs, balls, the right shoes, a glove, a golf bag and a hat are just some of the necessities.  You can get a set of irons for a few hundred dollars or you can get a set of irons for the same price as a decent used car.  (I once bought a used Nissan for twelve hundred dollars and it ran great). 

Drivers today are creeping up to the thousand dollar mark.  Putters and wedges can also get pricey depending on the brand and year.  I know my Vokey wedges weren’t cheap, and one of them may have been repossessed from my father.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  Putters can also go for several hundred dollars, which seems like a lot for just one flat stick.  But when you drop a putt for par or to beat your buddies on the final green it’s well worth it.

Golf is also expensive when you count the time it takes to play.  A game of golf should be around four and a half hours.  But it also takes time to drive to the course, get ready, stretch a little, hit a small bucket and make some chips and some putts before teeing off.  And a drink or bite to eat afterwards if you’re in the mood.

***(side note: you better be stretching and warming up properly or you can hurt yourself)

***(also you should spend more time on the chipping and putting green than ball striking because the game is won or lost on the greens) 

The game costs money but also lots of time, five to six hours is a good estimate.  There aren’t many other games where you need to block out six hours from your schedule.

With all this time being spent at the course you will need some snacks in your golf bag.  A few hot dogs and beers at the turn, and a few more at the nineteenth to recount your highlights and lowlights of the day.  This adds up.  

Memberships and greens fees aren’t cheap, but nothing feels more expensive than losing golf balls.  So you’ll need a few lessons from the pro.  Lessons can run you thirty to a hundred dollars each lesson but beating your friends is always worth it.  Don’t let your lessons go to waste by not practicing.  Time at the range and buckets of balls aren’t free either.

Golf carts aren’t essential but some courses require them.  And if you cannot walk the eighteen holes a cart is a great idea and worth the money.  Some players prefer to walk and some prefer to ride, walking is cheaper but the golf cart is a great help on a rainy day or when its very hot outside.  Golf carts make it easier to bring lunch and drinks or an extra sweater or rain gear.

“Expensive” is different to everybody.  Golf lovers range from broke students to the wealthiest business owners.  Golf course membership prices can vary wildly from just a few hundred dollars, to initiation fees of hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get in and then add annual dues of tens of thousands of dollars.  Most courses are away from the cities to keep the cost of land low.  But there are exclusive courses not far from manhattan if your wallet is the right size.  

From public courses to private, golf can be played by almost anybody but there is a barrier to entry of a few hundred dollars if you want to play more than once.  But the most expensive part about golf is hitting the ball in the sweet spot and becoming addicted for life to that feeling it gives.  But if you can handle the costs involved it is a great way to spend your day, and even better if you play with good people.  The golf course is a great place to make new friends or even business contacts.  

Why is golf expensive?  Because its worth it.  Enjoy!!

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