Why Does Golf Cost So Much?

Why is Golf so Expensive to play

Golf can be expensive to play because of the equipment required, the learning curve, and the cost to play and maintain courses.

Like any sport, golf requires the use of specialized equipment to play. However, this equipment has become more specialized and refined over the years. Clubs hit harder, balls travel further, and even gloves have a better grip. This increase in quality has most likely been a direct contributor, albeit not the only one, to the expensiveness of the sport. Also contributing to the expense gap of the sport are its difficulty curve, as well as the cost of membership associated with joining certain golf clubs or leagues.

Golf Equipment

Golf Equipment

In addition to golf clubs, golfers require a myriad of other equipment to play the sport. This includes bags to hold the clubs, a large number of golf balls, tees to hit elevated shots, rags to clean dirty or muddy golf balls, shoes that are permitted to walk on the greens, and gloves to grip the clubs. To play, each golfer is required to purchase at least a putter, driver, wedges, and irons, at the bare minimum. These clubs often have a steep price tag, seeing as how they are the most essential for play. However, used clubs are typically available at a lower price point.

Golf Club Membership

In order to play a private course, one must be a member of the club. Membership fees for a country club typically range from $1,000 to upwards of $100,000 per year. On top of this annual fee, there is usually also an initiation fee associated with joining the club, which can be even more money than the yearly membership fee.

Golf Course Greens Fees

If you are not looking to become a member of a country club, you can still play golf at numerous public golf courses around the world. To play a casual round of golf, a golfer is typically charged around $50, but this can be higher or lower depending on the prestige of the course. At the top public courses in the world, greens fees can be upwards of $500.

Golf Cart Fees

Golf Cart

If you are looking to ride in a golf cart instead of walking the course during a round, most golf courses will charge an additional fee. Golf cart fees at a golf course will usually only be $10-$20 extra. While this fee is typically not an astronomical addition to the price, it still makes the round more expensive than it already is.

Golf Lessons

Golf is a sport that requires lots of practice to learn the various swing mechanics, techniques, and strategies. It is impossible for someone to learn all of these skills themselves, so most beginners opt for golf lessons with a coach to jumpstart their learning of the game. Professional trainers and coaches are not cheap, ranging from $25 to $65 for a 30-minute lesson.