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Making Golf a More Affordable Retirement Hobby

With the world watching The Masters this weekend, taking place at the storied Augusta National course, you might be thinking, “Golf! That’s what I want to spend time on in retirement.”

And then you might think, “ah, but the greens fees, and the club memberships, and the supplies! So expensive.” How does one make golf more affordable as a hobby?

Luckily, our guest poster today is Jordan Fuller, a golfer and a writer, and he has suggestions for making golf much less expensive, especially when it’s being played consistently. When he’s not on the course improving his game, Jordan can be found researching and writing value-packed articles for his website, Golf Influence.

Retirement is something many of us look forward to with anticipation. Sleeping in, spending time on our hobbies, having our days free to do what we want…

While rest, relaxation, and luxury are parts of it, it’s also important that we dedicate time to staying fit and healthy. This is one of the reasons golf is such an amazing retirement hobby!

The biggest problem with golf is that it’s pricey. But with just a bit of thought and preparation, making golf an affordable hobby in retirement is definitely a possibility.

Here are our top tips for playing the game without paying an arm and a leg, as well as some information on why golf is such a great choice of retirement hobby!

Making Golf an Affordable Hobby

While golf is known to be an expensive sport to play, it doesn’t have to be! Here are some easy ways to reduce the cost associated with golf so you can enjoy it as a retirement hobby for many years without draining your bank account!

Volunteer or Work at a Golf Club

Head down to your local golf club and see if they have any open positions that you could volunteer for or apply for. Depending on your skill set, you may be able to get work as a Driving Range Volunteer, Golf Shop Pro, or even rangering.

There may be a number of duties that you’d need to do, such as refolding merchandise, cleaning displays, gathering driving range balls, or providing general information to visitors.

As fun as this can be to do in your spare time, there are financial perks to it. You may be able to make some money working at the club, or as a perk, you may be offered free rounds of golf.

If you’re looking for a way to fill up the free time that gets you some extra golf-related perks, this is an excellent idea!

Play at Low-Traffic Times

One of the biggest perks that come with retirement is that you don’t have to worry about competing for weekday tee times!

Due to the low demand for late-afternoon tee times, golf courses are often quiet at this time and will offer reduced green fees.

You can also contact the golf courses in your surrounding area and find out if they offer a twilight golf membership, which will allow you to play during late afternoon and evening hours.

In some cases, the golf course may include a buggy in the green fees to help speed up play, so that you can play as many holes as possible while there’s still light.

However, in general, the pace of the game will be quicker in off-peak times as the courses are quieter. This can make your playtime more efficient while you enjoy the longer game.

Buy Used Gear

There are many advantages to buying used golf gear, especially if you feel that your current golf gear is outdated!

Many golfers will trade in their relatively new golf clubs when they get the latest club models. This allows you to pick up a great set of clubs that have minimal wear at an affordable price.

You can even look at trading in your old clubs, which could help reduce the price of the clubs you’re looking at buying.

While a set of premium golf clubs can last a lifetime (new or secondhand), you’re always going to lose a ball or two during a round of golf.

One of the best ways to save some money is to buy refurbished or recycled golf balls. You can purchase balls from websites like www.lostgolfballs.com, which allows you to buy by quantity and brand.

Learn Smartly

While there are many benefits to taking lessons with a certified golf instructor, they can be expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives that can help save you money and help you improve your game.

Many golf blogs offer free tips and tricks to help improve your game, or you could watch instructional videos on YouTube. Just be careful swinging your clubs in the house!

Consider getting a membership at a club with a practice facility or golf training center, as they may include membership benefits such as discounted lessons, unlimited range time, or free instruction.

You could also look at taking group golf lessons, which will greatly reduce the price while you learn the basics. It’s also a great way to meet other golfers who could become regular foursome or good friends.

With a combination of group lessons, instructional videos and apps, and regular practice, you can expect your skills to improve fairly quickly!

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Buy Snacks Beforehand

Having healthy snacks and water on hand is vital to sustaining your energy levels, especially if you’re going to be playing a full 18 holes.

Instead of grabbing a granola bar and sports drink at the golf club, stock up on your favorite snacks at your local grocery store. Grocery stores like Piggly Wiggly and American Discount Stores may offer reduced senior rates on certain days of the week.

You may be able to buy water, sports drinks, and your favorite snacks in bulk all at discounted rates which can help you save more money.

Golf clubs are notorious for their high prices, so taking your own snacks and drinks instead of buying theirs will make a difference.


Making golf an affordable hobby in retirement isn’t as difficult as you may think! All it requires is some forward-thinking, some preparation, and a love for the game.

Whether you’re playing on your own or with a loved one or friend, implementing these tips will go a long way towards keeping costs down.

Although golf is known as a fancy, pricey game, there’s no need for it to be. It’s accessible to everyone, everywhere, and with every budget as long as you have a love for the game!

So make your retirement more exciting! Grab those clubs, head out of the house, and make memories on the golf course!

What do you think? Have you used any of the above ideas to save money? What hobbies do you splurge on?

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5 thoughts on “Making Golf a More Affordable Retirement Hobby”

  1. Another one: most state golf associations sell a discount golf card as a fundraiser. Gives weekday access to many clubs, including some private clubs, usually just for cart fees.

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  3. Pingback: Making Golf a Extra Reasonably priced Retirement Interest
  4. There are so many YouTube videos that can help get you started, it’s a paradise of free lessons out there. I always love looking around for balls on the course–saves me a ton of money since I lose so many of them!

  5. New to golf and absolutely fell in love with it. The costs can definitely get out of hand. My group implements several of these techniques!

    None of us are retired yet so we have not volunteered at a course, but we have met several retired staff who do this very thing. I am the group’s defacto tee time deal finder. I usually am able to find times 30-70% off normal prices. Yes it means adjusting your schedule around the time, but if you are playing weekly these savings add up.

    Packing your own snacks and water saves a ton as the course will mark these items up heavily- however, caution, as certain course will not let you bring in your own food/drink outside of water.

    Several websites (I am not a paid endorser) such as Callaway Pre Owned, 2ndswing, etc you can get like new or very lightly used golf clubs for a fraction of the cost. You can even get the newest generations at discount pricing.

    Finally, one way to save a lot of $$ is to walk vs ride. Eliminating the cart fee can save $15-30+ off your tee time fee. It also is great for your cardiovascular health. Knocking out 3 objectives- fun, health, $$ savings in one action sounds like a mega win to me!

    Thank you for this article!


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