How much do Golfers spend

How Do You Compare: How Much the Average Golfer Spends Per Year

Golf is not a cheap sport… paired with its addictive nature, it can get expensive fast.

But how much does the average golfer spend per year? 

It’s a good question and one we’ll try to answer today to help you budget out how much golf (and golf accessories) might cost you each year.

How Much Does the Average Golfer Spend? 

After playing hundreds of rounds of golf in the past few years I can honestly say I have no clue how much I spend on the sport. It’s probably best because I know it’s a good amount of money but it’s also my favorite activity that brings a lot of joy (most of the time).

As you’ll learn today there are some one-time fees and a lot of recurring expenses to play this great game. 

Let’s break them down to figure out how to budget for golf. 

Key Takeaways

  • Golf seems to get more expensive as you become a better golfer. It means buying custom shafts and higher end clubs, which aren’t cheap. Not to mention playing better golf courses or joining a private club. 
  • Green fees (or membership fees) usually take up the majority of a golfer’s annual budget followed by clubs and accessories. 
  • To offset some costs associated with buying new equipment it’s a good idea to sell your clubs online. 

Keep reading to learn how much golfers actually spend per year.

Green Fees 

I’d argue the biggest costs associated with golf each year are green fees. 

According to the National Golf Foundation the average round of 18 holes was $60 in 2020. However, these fees have likely increased as golf has grown exponentially in popularity not to mention inflation. 

But let’s use this example and assume you play 2X per week – that’s $120/week. Which is $480 per month and $5,760 per year. 

However, it’s important to remember that green fees change based on time of day, day of the week, and even the season. In Arizona during the prime season it’s not uncommon for average golf courses to charge $100-$250 per round. But the same courses are a fraction of the price in the hot summer months. 

One solution to save money on green fees might be to join a country club

Joining a Country Club

Country Club Fees

Joining a country club might help offset costs if you play a lot of golf but there are plenty of fees associated with it too. You typically have an initiation fee, cart fees, F&B requirement, and sometimes assessment fees if they’re making upgrades to the facility. 

The initiation fee can sting as they range from $5,000 to $100,000 (or more) depending on the golf club. Paired with all the extra costs mentioned above, it might actually cost more. But at least you have a home club to play, can meet a regular group of people, and get your family involved too. 

Golf Trips 

While a normal round of golf isn’t cheap, bucket list golf trips can add up quickly too. 

For example, I played Pebble Beach a few years ago and the tee times were $500/round (now they’re about $600). Not to mention a caddy fee which was another $100 extra and a tip for them.

But the worst part was that you had to stay at the resort to book a tee time more than 48 hours in advance. With a two night minimum and significantly overpriced rooms, the trip costs added up quickly. 

Needless to say, make sure to budget and/or plan ahead for golf trips. Between airfare or gas if it’s a road trip, green fees, pro shop souvenirs, and caddy fees it can add up quickly. 

Tournament Entry Fees 

If you like competitive golf it can also make the game even more expensive. 

Green fees increase for tournaments to account for a prize fund and other fees to run the event. It’s not uncommon for entry fees to be 1.5X (or more) the price of a normal round of golf. Plus, you might pay for a skins game too. 

Practice  

Lastly, let’s not forget about the cost of hitting range balls either as prices have soared in recent years. When I was a kid a small bucket of golf balls was a few dollars, while a large bucket might have been six dollars. But now, a small bucket might be $10 and big ones are up to $20! 

If you’re practicing a few times per week alongside playing, it can add up quickly. To offset some of these costs make sure to inquire about a range pass and/or unlimited practice plan.

Golf Club Reviews

Golf Equipment

Equipment is the second-biggest cost associated with golf including clubs, balls, and other accessories. 

New Clubs

So how much do golfers spend each year on equipment? 

Here’s what Golf.com said after conducting a player study. “When asked how much they spend on golf equipment annually, the majority (43.8%) said between $500-$1,000. That barely beat out a group of 40.1% that said it spends less than $500 a year. Only 13.4% said between $1,000-$2,000, and just 2.7% said more than $2,000.” 

If you replace your entire set of clubs and or buy a new golf bag, it’ll be a lot more than $1,000! The average driver from TaylorMade, Callaway, or Titleist is nearly $600 alone. While iron sets are usually north of $1,000 too. 

If you upgrade clubs regularly it’s going to cost you (but it’s worth it). 

Golf Balls 

Golf balls are another cost associated with the game and not a cheap one by any means. For example, Titleist Pro V1 – the most popular golf ball – costs about $50/dozen (assuming you buy them online). If you buy them in a pro shop at a golf course they can cost up to $70.

For this example, let’s say they cost $50 – that’s about four dollars per ball. According to this news article, “An estimated 300 million golf balls are lost or discarded in the United States every year, according to research by the Danish Golf Union.” 

Click here to stop losing golf balls. 

Golf Accessories 

Lastly, don’t forget to factor in other accessories like rangefinders, launch monitors, and GPS watches. These are more of a one time investment than a recurring fee but can add up quickly. Not to mention golf simulators can cost $5,000 to $50,000 (or more). 

Best Golf Accessory

How to Save Money in Golf 

As you can tell, golf is not a cheap sport but there are plenty of ways to save money. Here’s how:

  • Avoid holidays. Rates increase a lot during holiday weekends, not to mention the course is packed as most people have the day off. Try to avoid these weekends and/or play later in the day for lower prices.
  • Play at off times. Mornings and weekends are the most expensive tee times to book. Try to play in the afternoons and/or weekdays to save money on green fees. 
  • Ask about passes. If you don’t want to join a country club but want to play more golf, make sure to inquire about monthly or summer/winter passes that allow unlimited golf. 
  • Buy used golf clubs. While new clubs are nice, it’s kind of like buying a new car… they depreciate a lot after their first swing. To save money and still benefit from new equipment, buy used clubs to save a ton of money. 
  • Sell your old clubs. Instead of letting your old golf clubs and equipment sit in a golf trunk or your garage, sell them online. Click here to learn how to sell clubs fast

Hopefully these tips help you save money each year so you can play more golf. 

FAQs 

Do you have more questions about golf? If so, keep scrolling through our most frequently asked questions and answers below. 

How many people play golf on a regular basis?

Golf was trending down in popularity until 2020 when it became one of the few activities you could safely do outdoors. Since then golf has been booming around the world! 

Some experts guess there are more than 66 million players around the world. 

Is golf the hardest sport to be good at? 

It’s tough to argue otherwise. After playing golf for 20+ years I am constantly amazed at how difficult the game is even for great players. It is not uncommon to watch golf on TV and see the world’s best still hit terrible shots – despite making millions of dollars each year. 

Is golf an addictive sport? 

While I’ve never seen a study about the addiction of golf, I would say it’s quite addictive. Once you hit a good shot or have a great round, it’s easy to want to keep coming back. 

People love a good challenge and there’s no doubt that golf is the ultimate test. Not to mention it’s one of the few sports you can play at any age. 

My Experience

Golf is not an easy or cheap sport by any means but it’s also wildly rewarding. 

Some of my best memories have been on the golf course with friends and family or competing in tournaments. Not to mention it’s a great place to meet new people and even make business deals as well.

While there are a lot of costs associated with the game, try to think of them as investments in your future. Golf is a rare sport that you can play until later in life and a great form of exercise too. Use the tips mentioned above to save money so you can play/practice more often.

Final Thoughts  

Green fees tend to make up the bulk of an annual budget followed by equipment. If you play a few times a week throughout the year and buy clubs, it’s easy to spend $5,000 or more each year. But as mentioned, there are tons of ways to save money.

Remember, enjoy the game as it can provide you with some of the best memories ever.