How Much Does The Average Golfer Spend? (Plus How To Save)

Golf has long had the perception of being a game of the elites. Many believe it’s a sport only played by those who are rich, not only in terms of financial wealth, but also in terms of time.

Historically, golf is a game that has always been played by those with plenty to spend.

Nowadays, that’s not so much the case. Golf has become more accessible to the general public, though the fact that it’s an expensive game to play remains the same. So, how much should the average golfer expect to spend? 

Check out the article below for an in-depth view of what the average golfers spends per year, what it costs to first start golfing, and how you can save when playing golf. We have a lot to cover so let’s jump in!

How Much Does It Cost For The First Year On Average For A Golf Beginner? 

When you are starting out on your golf journey, your biggest initial expense is going to be equipment. How much this will cost depends largely on the equipment you decide to buy.

If you take the budget route and only decide to purchase the bare minimum, then your initial costs can be kept reasonably low. 

So what are the bare minimum items that a golfer needs to start teeing it up? Golf clubs are the most important and costly component of starting to play the game.

New golfers will need a driver, putter, wedges and irons. A golf glove and golf shoes are also essential as well as golf balls.

The cost quickly adds up even if you opt for the cheaper options. New golfers are still looking at hundreds of dollars to get started. 

Unfortunately, equipment such as clubs, shoes, balls, is far from the beginner’s only expense. When you are first starting out, you are going to need a lot of practice. The best place to start this practice is at the driving range.

The cost of balls at a driving range varies, but usually golfers will pay 10 or $15 per bucket of balls. Going to the range regularly and this soon mounts up. 

What is another typical cost for a golf beginner? Lessons. Lots of players choose to practice on their own or with friends, and many people can get on just fine that way.

However, many players want to kickstart their golfing adventure by taking golf lessons.

This is a great way to learn the fundamentals and build positive golfing habits from the word go.

Unfortunately, though, lessons are expensive. You could be paying up to $60 per 30-minute session, and you’ll probably want quite a few sessions, so be prepared for a hefty outlay. 

Golfers at Trump Turnberry

Golfers Average Spent When On A Budget

Basically, there isn’t one answer to this question. It really depends on which route you take.

If you opt for cheaper clubs and equipment, skip the lessons, and play only a couple of times per month, you’re probably looking at an outlay of somewhere between $500 and $1500.

That’s based on spending around $200 dollars on the bare minimum in terms of bag, clubs, shoes, hitting the range a few times and playing a few public-course rounds per month, which tends to come out roughly $50 per round. 

Golfer’s Average Spent For Best Golf Gear

Now, if you want to go down the more expensive route, then it really is a case of how much do you have to spend?

High-end clubs aren’t cheap. Golfers are looking at somewhere in the region of $2000 for a top-quality full set.

Throw in maybe another $500 for a new golf bag, balls, shoes and the costs can really add up.

If you take a set of lessons, say ten at $50 per time, that’s another $500. Throw in a membership at a private course (instead of paying individual green fees) at something like $1500-$2000 for the year.

All of a sudden, you’re at a figure nearing $5,000 for your first year as a golfer. That is quite an investment.  

How Much Do Pro Golfers Spend on Golf?

Interested in learning about the expenses of PGA Tour Players? Check out our articles on Pro Golfer Expenses and PGA Caddy Expenses.

How Much Does The Average Golfer Spend Per Year?

The good thing is that you won’t need to buy equipment on a yearly basis, especially if you’re in a position to invest in some good-quality stuff when you start out.

This means that each year going forward is unlikely to be as expensive as your first year as a golfer.

Alternatively, if you opted for the cheap route initially, and now want to start playing more often, then you could start to spend more on a yearly basis. 

On the driving range, green fees, balls, and other bits such as tees and gloves, which don’t have the longevity that clubs/shoes/bags do, the average golfer spends around $200 dollars per month. Yearly, the average golfer is looking at a cost of roughly $2500.  

How Much Do Golfers Spend On Golf Over A Lifetime?

Again, there’s not an exact answer. The first thing to address here is how much golf do average golfers play during their life? This really does depend on the individual. Not everybody is the same.

Some people play in stops and starts, playing regularly for a few years, then they don’t hit a ball for a decade, before becoming a regular golfer once again. Some people play weekly from being teenagers right up into their eighties. 

In general, though, the average golfer plays once per week, and the average green fee is around $60, which means that on green fees alone, the yearly cost is over $3,000.

Now, many golfers shave something off this cost by becoming a member for a flat yearly fee, which on average is around $2000-$2500.

If the average golfer plays for 50 years of their life, then that’s $125,000. Throw in several equipment changes during that time, and you’re getting on for $150,000. 

What Are The Types Of Expenses For Golfers?

There are numerous costs involved with playing golf. These have been broken down below. 

Green fees

The biggest expense for a golfer is green fees. How much are green fees? Well, that depends on the course.

Some public courses cost around $30 dollars for a round, while some prestigious private courses can cost $500 per round. It is reported that golfers spend an average of $60 for an 18-hole green fee. 

Golf Clubs 

A less regular expense but an expense, nonetheless. Regular golfers don’t change their clubs every year, but they’re often updating a club here and there, while a new set is usually called for every five years or so. 

two man standing near golf clubs

Golf Balls

For the average golfer, balls are a huge expense for two reasons. One, they’re expensive to buy, with balls from the top brands costing up to $6 per ball.

Two, what with water hazards, hedges and tree lines lurking, the average golfer gets through quite a lot of balls.

How Can Golfers Save Money? 

There are many ways in which golfers can save money, some more creative than others. Here are some of the best ways for golfers to spend less. 

Purchase Used Balls 

As mentioned above, golf balls are a serious expense, particularly for the average golfer, who doesn’t always hit the ball perfectly. Cut down on the amount of money you spend on golf balls by purchasing used balls. 

What are used balls? Used balls are nothing other than golf balls that have been found after people have lost them somewhere on course, often in lakes or other water, and then cleaned.

Many lake balls have only been hit a few times, so after cleaning, are in near perfect condition. And the best part?

They’re perfect for golfers looking to save a few dollars because they’re considerably cheaper than brand new balls. 

Play Twilight Golf Or Take Advantage Of Reduced Green Fees 

Many courses offer a twilight green fee during the months of the year where the days are longest. Purchasing twilight green fees when they’re available is a great way to shave a few dollars off your outlay.

In addition, lots of courses offer reduced green fees on certain days, say Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or they offer a discount for playing in a group of four. Taking advantage of such offers is another useful way to cut down on your golfing costs. 

Find Your Own Balls 

Buying used balls is a cheaper alternative to brand new balls, but do you know what’s an even cheaper alternative? Finding your own golf balls!

Sure, you’re probably not ready to pull on the diving gear and go head first into the lake in pursuit of golf balls, but just a little searching around other parts of the course can pay dividends in free golf balls. 

Buy a golf ball shagger if you’re interested in this approach to make your used golf ball hunting a bit easier.

Buying Second Hand Clubs 

The biggest expense aside from green fees and memberships is buying golf clubs, which nowadays, are very expensive.

A set of top-brand irons can easily set a golfer back $2000, while putters and drivers can fetch $500 on their own, and then there’s wedges, bags, and the expenses goes on and on.

There are plenty of people selling perfectly usable second-hand golf clubs, and it’s not trash either.

It’s far from unusual to find top brands such as Titleist, TaylorMade, PING and Callaway selling for bargain prices, and there’s nothing wrong with clubs that are a few years old.

The average golfer can save himself plenty of cash by choosing second hand, and still get the same results on the course!

Final Thoughts

What’s the bottom line? Well, the takeaway is that golf is expensive. Sure, you can cut corners and take the cheaper routes, but even if you skip the golf lessons, play public courses and opt for second hand gear, you’re still going to spend considerably.

Unfortunately, even though more and more people are playing golf these days, it’s still an expensive sport, and as such it is mainly the preserve of those earning above average salaries.

The reality that is you’re going to play regularly, you’ll need to reach quite deep into those pockets!

Hopefully you liked this article and found it informative. Check out our other blog posts if you liked this one!

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