Golf can be intimidating for a beginner for a myriad of reasons. For starters, the game appears incredibly difficult and there are so many rules to keep track of. Then, equipment and apparel can get expensive and trying to find cost-effective places to play is a challenge depending on one’s location. Plus, lessons and clinics on learning the basics and improving your play add an extra layer to the price tag of taking up golf.
If you’re just getting into the game, do not let the perceived costs deter you from picking up a club. Golf does not have to be an expensive hobby and just like anything else, you can definitely find easy financial workarounds to help the game better fit your budget.
Not sure where to start? Here are my dos and don’ts for keeping costs reasonable.
DON’T: Buy clubs off the shelf at a box store.
If someone is trying to sell you top of the line equipment right off the shelf without a fitting, RUN. All too often, beginners will purchase a set of clubs and be frustrated when they find that they aren’t suitable for their game and then feel like they wasted money on something that’s unusable.
You absolutely DO NOT need a set of high end clubs when you first begin playing golf nor do you need something brand new. Pre-owned equipment can easily be found at most box stores and if you know what you’re looking for, there are online options as well. What’s more important is finding a set of clubs that fit your game.
DO: Splurge on a fitting.
Having equipment that’s tailored to your game will make golf much easier and much more fun to play. Without a proper fitting, it’s hard to determine what shaft flex or head type would be most beneficial for a player and it’s much simpler to work with a fitter to get you in something you’ll enjoy instead of trying to guess what would work well for you.
Also, just because you pay for a fitting at a certain store or pro shop doesn’t mean that you are required to purchase your clubs from them. Get your specs from the professionals and go online to find better deals on new and used equipment. You never know what you’ll find on eBay, Craigslist, or even Facebook Marketplace!
DON’T: Sign up for lessons with the most expensive instructor.
When you’re just starting out or looking to improve your golf game, it’s important to seek out some kind of formal instruction just to learn the fundamentals from a trustworthy source. It can be easy to assume that the most expensive option is the best option, but that’s not always the case.
It’s not worth your time or money to take lessons unless you jive with and understand the teacher you’re working with. Don’t just go with the most highly certified, highly priced person you can find in your area. If you choose to go with professional instruction, seek out someone that’s good with beginners, that you aren’t afraid to ask questions to, and that you feel comfortable working with.
But, there are other ways to learn the game if this isn’t your style or you’re trying to keep things cost effective.
DO: Seek out clinics at your club or through your local PGA of America section.
Your local PGA of America section and many public courses and country clubs host clinics or seminars for those wanting to learn golf in a group setting. Most of the time, the cost for these events is a lot cheaper than private instruction and it’s much more fun trying to pick up this new skill with other people. Invite your friends for a girls night out at the course and make an evening of it! You never know…you could find yourself a foursome for life!
DON’T: Purchase a whole new golf wardrobe.
Again, you do not need to spend a whole bunch of money on things you absolutely do not need, including a golf wardrobe. Many courses do have a dress code that players must adhere to, but it’s not required that you spend hundreds of dollars in the pro shop to fit in. now that we live in the era of dri-fits being acceptable golf attire, it’s much easier to find clothing suitable for the course than you might think.
DO: Check out discount department stores like Marshalls or TJ Maxx for cheap golf clothing and don’t be afraid to hit up the clearance racks!
It’s surprising how many discount clothing stores have golf clothing from brands like Adidas, Puma, and Nike hanging on their racks for under twenty dollars. You can find everything from polos and skorts to golf shoes at these kinds of places and avoid overpaying for something of the same quality in a golf shop or at a major sports retailer.
It’s a much more cost-effective way to look the part and if you’re lucky, you may even score a better deal on the clearance rack. It’s one of best ways to save yourself money.
There are so many ways to make golf less daunting for beginners from a financial standpoint and cheapening the price of playing the game is the easiest way to do it. In this day and age, you absolutely DO NOT have to spend substantial amounts of money to take up golf.
All you need is a good attitude, a willingness to learn, and enjoyment of the game, all of which come free of charge.