Is Golf An Expensive Sport? (Overview)

Golf is an amazing game played by people of all ages.

Golfers enjoy the outdoors, the connections with family and friends and the challenge of trying to play their best golf and improve every season.

There are new golfers that take up the game every year and it is difficult to know the right amount of money to spend to start the golf journey.

We often receive the following question?

Is Golf An Expensive Sport?

Golf can be an expensive sport due to the cost of new clubs, shoes, golf balls, golf bags, accessories and of course the green fees.  However, there are ways to start the game on a tight budget and over the years improve your equipment and the courses you play.

The good news for the beginner or someone helping a golfer enter the game as there are options.  Below, I will lay out the “new” cost of all items and then give you 3 examples of how to enter the game at different budget levels.

What you can expect to pay for certain items in golf:

  • New Driver = $300-$500
  • New Irons = $600-$1200
  • New Putter = $80-$300
  • New Bag = $80-$150
  • New Golf Balls = $20-$50 per dozen
  • New Shoes = $50-$150
  • Round of Golf – $30-$100

These are the basics to get started in the game of golf.  Of course if you went out and purchased all of the items above you would have $1130 in expenses before you even pay for a round of golf.  On the high end you would spend $2450.

And then there are other items that might interest you:

  • Golf GPS Watch = $150-$500
  • Push Cart = $50-$250
  • Training Aid = $50-$250
  • Lessons = $50-$200

The range above is another $300 to $1200.

Ultimately, every golfer must decide his or her budget to start the game.  Below, we lay out several different options for golfers to get started.

Look at the beauty involved in golf! Find a way to get started regardless of your budget!

Budget Under $250 – Player A

If your budget is under $250, you are going to end up looking for a lot of hand me downs from golfers that already play the game.

Are New Golf Clubs Worth It?

I would recommend reaching out to some of the people you know who golf to see if they are willing to donate or give you any of their old clubs.  From there you can mix and match a set.  With the $250 you have to spend, you might consider a pair of shoes or a golf bag that you can call your own.

Other options are to watch online auctions or local garage sales for people trying to get rid of a complete set of golf clubs on the cheap end.

Oftentimes, if someone in your family golfs, they will be more than willing to give you their old set for free or sell it to you for a cheap price.

Pros: The benefits of this approach is that you get started in the game of golf for relatively cheap and you can explore to see if this is a game you will enjoy before spending big time money on the sport.

Cons: The golf clubs might not be right for you.  Different drivers have different flex shafts and they can be difficult to hit.  If you can spend some extra money and get a driver that is right for your swing speed, you might experience success quicker and more often.

Are Used Golf Clubs Worth Buying?

Budget Under $750 – Player B

If you have a bit larger budget, the first item I would recommend buying is a driver.  The driver is a big part of the game and if you have an ill fitting driver, you may never truly enjoy the game and struggle.  The driver is an important club and should be properly fitted for your swing speed.  Go ahead and spend the $300 or so for last year’s model and start your set right with a quality option with the driver.

The next step would be to explore online sites that sell pre used clubs.  Oftentimes, they will regrip every club and you can find a complete set of irons between $200-$300.  Of course if you wanted new irons, you would have to spend more.  I believe the pre-owned irons are a great option for the beginner golfer.  You can get a quality set of irons that are maybe 6-8 years old for a rather affordable price.

With any of the remaining money you might have I would recommend a pair of golf shoes or a golf bag.

Pros: With this setup you have a quality driver and an above average set of irons with new grips.  You will have to piece other items together from donations or garage sales.

Cons: You still don’t have a complete set of “new” to you golf items, but you are on your way and can add in the coming years.

Are Expensive Drivers Worth It?

Budget Under $1250 – Player C

At this level I would still follow the advice above on the driver and the irons.  Buy the new driver and a pre-owned set of irons.  You will have a solid foundation at around $600-$700.  

From here I would recommend buying a lower costing stand bag for around $100 and then head back to a pre-owned golf website for some wedges, putter and a 3 wood.  This should take your budget pretty close to your max, but should leave you enough for a pair of golf shoes.

Overall, you should be in a good place to start your golf journey and have a blast!

Pros: All of your clubs are “new” to you and have good grips.  You will have a complete set and can start to enjoy the game with some quality golf clubs.

Cons: Not everything is new or fitted for you, but you can start the game with confidence that you have quality golf clubs.

Is A New Putter Worth It?

The key on irons are finding “game improvement” level irons!

Cheaper Models vs Pre-Owned Golf Clubs

The battle that most new golfers face is that they head to their local sporting goods store and see the complete set that includes every club and a bag for a price that is affordable.  I would recommend avoiding this option as the quality of the club and especially the driver is pretty poor.  

Instead, I would recommend using a pre-owned site and piecing together different clubs.  I would recommend looking at some of the major manufacturers like Callaway and TaylorMade as a beginner golfer.  Most of their clubs are considered “player improvement” clubs and are designed to help the golfer hit the ball solid and give a larger margin for error.

Are Golf Rangefinders Worth It?

1-3 Years Later

As you play the game and access your game and your set of clubs, it might be time to upgrade several of your current clubs or the golfer might decide to add a push cart if they enjoy walking frequently or a GPS Golf Watch or Rangefinder.  

Adding these extra items to your golf collection can help you play better and enjoy the game more.

Also, as you play more you might decide to play better quality courses or even consider a golf membership to maximize your dollar and your overall experience!

Are Expensive Golf Balls Worth It?

Final Thoughts: Is Golf An Expensive Sport

Golf doesn’t have to be expensive and the good news is that golf clubs can last close to a decade if you care for them and treat them well.  Don’t feel like you have to rush in and buy everything brand new. Your game will improve from playing more often and you will get a better idea of what clubs might benefit your game from watching others or testing out golf clubs.

Online Golf Lesson for Beginners!

Whatever your budget might be, make sure to enjoy the journey and make sure to practice your short game!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

Recent Posts