Cheap Ways To Play Golf

Saving money always feels good, I don’t care how wealthy you are.  If you were purchasing your own private jet, I’m sure a 1% discount would make you feel better than no discount at all.

You can save money on golf, no questions about it, you might need to sacrifice time though.  That makes sense because most good deals require searching for unless you get lucky and a good deal just pops out in front of you.  Utilizing resources like GolfNow, Craigslist and the sale area at your local sporting goods store a just a few really good ways to save money.

So, cheap ways to play golf is such a broad question and can be done in so many ways.  I hope you’re ready for a long post because this will hopefully be full of golf saving tips and trick.

I should say, most of my methods involve using Amazon, check out the link to find great deals

#1 Golf Balls

When I first got back into the game, golf balls were one of those things that I didn’t really want to spend too much money on.  I knew the balls would eventually end up in the woods or at the bottom of the water.

I honestly feel like you can save loads of money on golf balls and you can do it a few different ways.

    1. Shopping for deals
    1. Goodwill
    1. Craigslist
    1. amazon
    1. eBay
    1. On the golf course
  1. Garage Sale

First, when you walk into a pro shop and look at the golf ball price per box of three, you might get sticker shock.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a good deal on golf balls in a pro shop, but why would they offer a good deal? If you need golf balls then you’re not going to drive to the nearest Dick’s Sporting Good and look for a deal.  No, you will buy what they have because that’s your only choice and they know that. So don’t show up to the golf course ill-prepared, you will lose money.

Shopping For Deals In A Store

I have found some pretty amazing deals on golf balls at my local store, some golf balls that were on sale weren’t the best but they did the job as I was developing my game.  Some were absolutely amazing and I’m glad I found them. Most times when I have time I will go check out the sports department of my local store, you never know what’s on sale and if you’re already out shopping then might as well.

My local store will generally remove items from shelves if they haven’t been selling well and or they’re out of season.  This is the perfect way to find deals on anything really, but I will generally check around the end of the season or January, February when it’s too cold.  I have found deals that were discounted by 50% on a box of 12 golf balls, I stocked up that day and decided to spend around $120. That was probably 4 years ago and I still have some golf balls left that I use.


They will generally have a sports department but you never know what you will find in goodwill.  I’ve seen new boxes of 3 balls that were priced more than if you were to buy them online or in a regular store.  Occasionally you can find bags of used balls that they will price pretty good but the balls aren’t always good. I would say, if you can get your golf balls from a different place then do so.


They’re a pretty good way to find used golf balls, sometimes golf courses will sell bags or boxes full of balls that they find on the course.  Also, people looking to sell their golf stuff after the season has ended, or in the middle of winter, you might be able to find a desperate seller.

You can usually find a lot of great deals on golf stuff and most times it’s older equipment but it’s still really good.  I would highly recommend Craigslist for golf balls or any golf equipment if you’re looking to save some money.


They have good deals and not so good deals sometimes but I think that depends on what you’re looking for.  If you’re trying to find a deal on ProV 1, good luck! But they do have deals like 5% to 10% off occasionally.  Plus they provide the two-day shipping so if you order your golf balls 3 days before your round then you’re golden.


I’ve purchased many golf items on eBay and sold many items, I think eBay is one of the better places you can find great deals for a couple of reasons.  Sometimes people don’t price the item appropriately in either direction and that creates a buying opportunity if you’re patient enough and can recognize a deal.  Auctions are another great way to steal an item, if the seller never put a minimum bid then you can score big if other people aren’t watching that item.

On The Golf Course

Just like I mentioned golf courses searching for golf balls and selling them back to the players, this is something you can do too.  Although, I wouldn’t recommend you spend a whole lot of time looking if it’s a slow day on the course and you are not holding anyone up, why not?  I’ve found so many golf balls this way, especially on a hole that forces golfers to “go for it”. Those are the holes you want to look the most. If you have time and are not ashamed to look, I would invest in one of these golf ball extension retrievers, they make getting golf balls from water and deep bushes a breeze.  

Garage Sale

This is a hit and miss method but if you’re one of those people that likes digging through other people’s stuff to find something cool, this might be your thing.  Personally, I haven’t had much luck finding a lot of golf stuff at garage sales but doesn’t mean they don’t sell them. Maybe if you’re driving one day and happen to see a garage sale with clubs sitting in front, stop in and see if there’s any other golf equipment or miscellaneous golf things.

#2 Moving on to Tees

Tees are one of those things that you don’t realize how fast you can go through them until they’re gone, and that’s exactly the moment you need a tee.  Tees have multiple uses while playing a round of golf, fix divots, clean dirt from the face of clubs, throw them at a buddy that out drove you.

A lot of the cost-saving ideas are listed above but another way you can save money on tees is to pick up used tees while you’re playing.  This may seem obvious but not a lot of people do this, they will walk right past them. I’ve played an entire round without tees in my bag and depended entirely on finding tees on the ground of each hole, some holes I would find 2 or 3 and some I would find non.

Purchasing tee’s in large quantities is a good plan too, especially if you find a tee that you really like.  Never underestimate the amount of tees you need, you’re always breaking, dropping and giving them to people in your group.  No such thing as too many tees.

#3 Golf Clubs

These can be brand new, latest and greatest or they can be second hand use or dirt cheap.  There is no rule in golf that states someone must spend a certain amount on golf clubs in order to play the game.

If you like a set of clubs whether it be $50 for the entire set or $1,000 for the set, if you can afford to purchase them than I would encourage you to do so.  But if you can’t afford $1,000 or even $500, where should you buy clubs and are they even good quality?

Just because golf clubs are 5 years old doesn’t mean that they’re outdated and doesn’t mean they’re low quality compared to the new clubs.  In fact, most major brands slightly change their clubs and when I say slightly, I mean change the paint color and keep the rest the same.

Gotta Love Craigslist

My favorite place to purchases use golf clubs is Craigslist, there’s always someone on there that is selling a decent set of clubs for a fair price.  But just because they’re asking a fair price doesn’t mean you have to pay that price.

If Craigslist is going to be your method of purchasing golf clubs, I would highly encourage you to negotiate the deal.  Even if the price is low already, you never know with people selling on craigslist. Someone might be desperate or is already thinking that they already priced it too high so they would take less anyway.

Besides, you need the best price that you can get and all it takes is “would you consider $100 instead of $130”.  You really don’t have anything to lose except a few dollars out of your pocket if they don’t accept your offer.

You can also barter on Craigslist, this if a really good way to spend little to no money depending on what you can trade.  I’ve traded my set of Taylormade clubs for me currents set of clubs, I think I paid him an extra $20 and the deal was done.

Pro shops and golf stores like Golfsmith have used clubs but most times these can be expensive.  I’ve found some decent used clubs that didn’t have more than one club, like a single driver or a 50 degree wedge.  

If you are going to buy new clubs, I would recommend that you look at the last years model of whatever brand you’re considering.  The reason for this is because you can save quite a bit of money and while still having the latest and greatest.

#4 Golf Bags

It’s obvious that golf bags can be purchased with the same methods above, but if you aren’t very picky about you golf bag then I would recommend Goodwill.  Not sure if all Goodwill’s are the same around the country, but the Goodwill’s around my area have golf bags at every store.

If you want something new or in really good condition, I would suggest eBay, they have a pretty good selection of new and used bags.  

If you have a Dick’s Sporting Goods nearby then they usually have competitive prices on golf bags, compared to GolfSmith.  Occasionally you will find a heavily discounted bag, I love it when I’m perusing around the store and spot an awesome bag that they just put on sale.

#5 Golf Gloves

Saving money on golf gloves can be a bit difficult, you either need to purchase in quantities of 3 or more to really start saving.  I’m not terribly picky on the type of glove I’m using but there are some bad gloves out there that don’t feel good on your hand.

I purchased my gloves new from Costco when they have a Callaway 3 pack of golf gloves, usually in the summertime. 

I have found pretty good deals on golf gloves while searching eBay, sometimes people are selling their golf gear and you can find a new glove for half off.  

#6 Golf Shoes

eBay is a really good place to find great deals on shoes, especially if they’re on auction.  This could take a couple days to a few weeks to actually purchase the shoes but if you win the bid than it could have saved you a good amount of money.

I’ve found really awesome deals at Goodwill, this could have been because of my locations like I mentioned earlier.  Sometimes the shoes are in like new condition and sometimes they’re in poor condition but will still do the job. Your budget is what obviously dictates what you buy so take your time and choose wisely because Goodwill will only give you store credit if you return an item.

I would recommend higher quality shoes like Nike or Adidas, my first pair of new golf shoes were Tiger Woods.  These shoes were amazing because they were extremely comfortable and water resistant for up to 2 years. I still use these shoes and have never had them leak on the inside and I live in a place that rains 9 months out of the year. 

#7 Golf Hat

I like to wear hats when I’m outside working or doing anything really, so I will wear a golf on the course most times I play.  You don’t need to brand yourself with a golf hat by any means but I must say, golf hats seems to feel better to me.

You can find pretty good deals on amazon and eBay, I haven’t seen many deals on Craigslist or in Goodwill.  Back when we had a Sports Authority nearby, I could find golf hats for $6 – $12 which is a great deal for a golf hat.

#8 Golf Shirts & Pants

These two things are dependent on the golf course you’re playing or practicing on.  Most courses around my area don’t have a dress code to play but some of the clubs that are more expensive usually require collar shirts.

This doesn’t mean it needs to be a golf shirt, it really just needs to be a polo of some kind.  You can get these anywhere but if you want quality golf shirts most of the major brands make really nice golf polo’s. amazon

I don’t generally wear golf pants of any kind, I wear khakis and jeans usually.  This is what’s comfortable to me and I don’t usually play at places that would complain about the jeans that I wear.

#9 Practicing Golf

Figuring out how to practice my swing and actually hit golf balls was a bit difficult for me because going to the driving range isn’t cheap.  I decided to build my own ball catching net in the garage, this took more time than it did dollars but I had more time than dollars anyways, so it worked out.  Obviously if I had less time and more dollars I would have purchased a nice net that returned the golf ball every time. 

Driving ranges can charge anywhere from $6 for a small to $14 for a large, maybe more.  This net cost me around $75 + a few hours of my time to buy the parts and set it up.

I mostly used this net to warm up before I would go play a round but I started using it for regular practice and it worked out great.  The only downside to practicing in my garage was that I couldn’t hit my long clubs like the driver or long irons.

Practicing chipping, putting and sand shots was something I could do at a few local golf courses, for free.  This is a great way to shave strokes off your game, people seem to focus on the golf swing only, take advantage of the free practice if you have that option.  

Putting in your house and small chip shots can be fun and you don’t need to drive to the course so you’re saving money by not using gas.

I strongly recommend trying to save as much as you can on your practice because this can be just as expensive as playing a round of golf.  That’s why if you have space for a golf net either inside your house, out back or in the garage, it’s a great investment.

Let’s do some math:  You want to practice every day, but you don’t want to pay for the expensive golf net up front.  So you start going to your local golf courses driving range, they charge $12 for a large bucket of balls.

If you’re consistent and go every single day for the first month, you will have paid $372 if there were 31 days in that month.  Now if you’re consistent for the remaining months, which is very difficult to accomplish, by the way, you will have spent $4,380 per year.

That was definitely an extreme scenario but people do get the golf bug and want to play as much as possible.  A golf net will save you so much money in one year, don’t give me the excuse that you like to see your ball fly through the air!

#10 Playing on the Golf Course

This is the big one, if you are just starting to play golf then this will surely drain your bank account.  But if you do it the smart way, you just might be able to advance your skills while saving loads of money.

This is how a typical round of golf can go:

  1. Golf cart: $7 per 9  holes   Total=$14 for 18 holes
  2. Round of golf: $21 per 9 holes $42 for 18 holes   Total= $42 for 18 holes
  3. Golf balls: $2 per ball and you lose 2 balls   Total= $4 for 18 holes
  4. Food before the round: $6 for a sandwich or something equivalent in value
  5. Drinks before the round: $10 for beer or soda or whatever you like to bring on the course
  6. Food after the round of golf: $15 for a meal
  7. Drinks after the round of golf: $5 – $25

Now, if you enjoy playing 18 holes of golf and like to get a cart and like all the other things that come with playing golf, this can be really expensive.  With the above example, 18 holes, golf cart and all the food/drinks you would spend $96 on the low end and $106 on the high end.

The example above isn’t common and if you are spending that much every time you play golf then you better have a good income.  But you can see how a day on the golf course can add up quite quickly.

Save a Buck

There are a few ways to save a buck playing on the golf course, you just need to have the right information.  If you don’t have the app already, get it, it’s called GolfNow. Not all the deals on the app are great but they have “hot deals” where the golf course sets aside a few time slots where it’s extremely discounted.  These can be extremely discounted, I have seen deals that were 80% off.

Golf courses usually offer early bird specials that are discounted quite a bit but these are deals you would book through the course.  You would have to tee off at 7 am at the latest and they generally only offer that deal Monday through Thursday.

There are also twilight specials where you would tee off sometime around 4 pm or 5 pm (summer time hours).  These are fun rounds because nobody really likes to play golf this late so if you’re just starting out this is a perfect time.

Another easy way to save your money is to plan your round, meaning if you are playing 18 holes then you will need to bring 4 water bottles or beers.  You need your calories so make a sandwich and bring some chips to snack on and throw in a banana. Just by making yourself some food and bringing your own drinks could save you loads of money.

There you have it, 10 ways to save money on golf.  I hope you got a lot of useful information from the post and you decide to share it.

Recent Content