They say a bad day on the golf course is better
than a good day at work. And if you can cut some costs while
you're shaving strokes, it's all the better.
Golf is not cheap. The median price of 18 holes
on the weekend runs about $36 at a municipal course and $40
at a public course, according to the National Golf Foundation.
But if you know the tricks, you can play for
less. And while cutting costs won't cure your slice, you can
always invest that savings in a few extra lessons. Here are
14 ways to save:
1. Play during the week
2. Enjoy twilight
3. Investigate other off-peak times
4. Act your age
5. Know the specials
6. Join the club
7. Shop around
for honors programs
it short and sweet
1. Play during the week.
Everybody wants to play golf on Saturday morning. So, going
by the law of supply and demand, that's the most expensive
time. "With each facility, times of day and days of the
week will make a difference," says Marty Parkes, senior
director of communications for the United
States Golf Association. "During the week is not
2. Enjoy twilight. A
lot of clubs offer what they call twilight specials. After
a certain time in the afternoon, the price of 18 or nine holes
falls dramatically. The catch: You might not be able to get
in a full round before night falls. "They don't guarantee
you're going to finish," says Pamela Swensen, vice president
of sales and marketing for the Executive
Women's Golf Association. The discount: "Probably
at least 20 percent," she says.
For nine holes, the cost "might be two-thirds
of a regular nine-hole round," says Parkes.
But at some clubs, the discounts are even deeper.
Play after 5 p.m. at Stow Acres Country Club (Stow, Mass.)
and you'll shave 50 percent off the price while you perfect
3. Investigate other off-peak
times. OK, so you don't feel like racing sunset to get
in a game. You can still save some money by golfing weekday
mornings or weekday or weekend afternoons. At Stow Acres,
the price drops from $44 to $24 when the clock strikes 4 p.m.
on weekdays and 3 p.m. on weekends. "The point is that
if people pick their times, they don't have to pay full rates,"
says course owner Walter Lankau.
4. Act your age. A lot
of courses have special rates for older or younger golfers.
Sometimes the discount will also be linked to a particular
day or time.
5. Know the specials.
"Some clubs will have special days where they cater to
certain clientele" and offer discounts, says Parkes.
For instance, husbands and wives, women or seniors. "Look
for specials," he says.
6. Join the club. Membership
in certain organizations will win you a discount. For instance,
the Executive Women's Golf Association gets its members a
10 to 15 percent discount at a national network of courses.
Membership averages about $100 per year.
7. Shop around. If you
don't belong to a club, take the time to comparison shop in
your area, says Parkes. "Most area newspapers print comprehensive
lists of local courses with information, so it's relatively
easy to do that," he says.