Golf has gotten more expensive than ever. Between land-use, water irrigation, and groundskeeping costs, golf courses have no choice but to raise their greens fees. Climate change has played a role as well. But there’s also golf equipment with the latest technologies and eye-popping price tags that are likely to send a lot of golfers to the secondhand store. This is all part of the reason why Red Bird Golf Links is interested in expanding the definition of and access to a round of golf. So, we thought we’d put together our best list of modern hacks for playing golf for less money and less time.
How to Keep Playing Golf When Money and Time are Short
- While golf remains highly popular in many areas, not every area has enough popular demand to meet the number of courses that have been built in that area over the years. One of our best hacks if you’re able to find an off-time to get to the course, or if you’re just fortunate enough to have nobody behind you, is this….play two balls. If you or if you and one other player know how to play quickly, and if you know how to take care of the course as you play, there’s usually no trouble at all to do this. Though we admit we never start with two balls off the first tee as a courtesy to the starter.
- Find the off-times for playing at various golf courses in your area. It’s not going to work every time, but even if you can’t play two balls, you’re more likely to get around the course without spending 5 hours. It’s also part of the modern lifestyle. The gig economy, young entrepreneurs, and work-from-home employees all have greater schedule flexibility than ever, so use it to play golf.
- Splitting membership cards. Tread lightly here. If they provide free rounds of golf for large upfront fees, if they have a photo ID, you don’t want to get in trouble or, worse, banned from the course. But if it’s just a 10 or 20 percent discount for a modest annual fee and you’re splitting it with someone who plays on opposite days of the weekend, a lot of golf courses won’t care. You may just need to look a little harder to find attractive Groupon or other online incentive programs.
- Talk to your employer about sponsoring an event. One of the reasons people are playing less golf is because they have less time in their schedule with work. Meanwhile, the employer is interested in building teamwork and a positive work culture. An annual work golf event is an easy sell especially if a local golf course can offer incentives to manage the total event costs—whether the bill is picked up by the employer, employees, or some combination of the two.
- Work part time at the golf course. This is a great option for younger and older golfers especially. It can be that job that puts gas in your tank and car insurance paid, or it can be that job that helps make your retirement plans easier to make work, while also being able to more or less play as much as you want.