Despite it being expensive to play, golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and is enjoyed in almost every country. In the US alone, there are an estimated 28 million golfers, most of whom can only dream of breaking 80 on their next round. One of the big appeals of golf is that you can play it alone or with friends, and it is also one of the few sports where you can play on the same ground where the game’s greats routinely play – Pebble Beach, Augusta and St. Andrew’s.
If you are thinking of taking up golf, you will need some clubs and although you can spend almost as much on clubs as on a new car, you certainly don’t have to. A good set of used clubs is adequate for any beginner, and a half set is also all you need to play the game; as the name suggests, this set of clubs consists of 6 or 7 clubs, including driver and putter. Of course, you will need balls, tees and a golf bag although all of these items can be picked up second hand at sports shops, or at thrift stores. Unless you take the game seriously, you don’t need to pay full price for any of the equipment, and you can also rent a set of clubs at many golf courses.
One of your biggest expenses will be the green fees, the cost to play a round of golf and these can often be hundreds of dollars. Look for a public golf course that doesn’t require you to pay a membership fee, and look for seasonal specials, weekday specials or time of day specials. If you tee off late afternoon during the week, you will probably pay a lot less than on a busy Sunday afternoon. Many golf courses offer pre-booked tee times, and some will match you up with a player of similar ability.
If you are a beginner at the sport of golf, choose a golf course to match your ability. In addition to the actual cost of playing, look at the yardage of the course, the number of bunkers and water hazards, and generally how challenging the course is. You want a challenge when you tee up on the first tee, but at the same time you want to enjoy the game and most beginners prefer a course that isn’t too long or challenging.
Golf can be one of the most frustrating sorts there is; often it seems as though the worse your score, the more you want to play. Regular practice is key if you want to improve, and setting yourself realistic goals is also a must. For many novice golfers, breaking 100 is their first real goal, and if you really want to be good at the sport it’s well worth paying for a few lessons. Many golf clubs have a driving range, where you can hit a bucket of golf balls, and just as importantly interact with other golfers.