Golf can seem like a sport with a complicated set of arcane regulations, but one axiom is clear: it can be expensive to play. Clubs, balls, and the latest gadgets can siphon your bank account. There are ways, however, to enjoy yourself while you’re out on the links—and save some money at the same time.
Case in point: My first time out this year, I played 9 holes with two buddies on a Wednesday evening at a public course. I walked using my own pull cart, brought my own drinks (which included a frozen bottle of water to keep my other two bottles cold) and stashed a package of cashews in my golf bag for a snack. The cost? $20.50. Had I taken a riding cart, bought a burger and a Gatorade, and played 18 holes on Saturday morning, the price tag at that same course would have been roughly $75. Even if you add in the cost of my snacks from Costco, I could have played two more 9-hole outings for less than the weekend round.
The key to saving money in golf is to know what you’re getting into, what options you have, and how some simple decisions—like booking a later tee time—can put some green back in your pocket.