Save money, get fit with affordable sports
Even with golf carts, caddies and some post-game suds with your buds, golfing requires physical stamina, says John Miller, division manager for the public golf courses of Miami-Dade County, Fla. It takes strength to drive a ball a couple of hundred yards, and even the standing and walking burns way more calories than sitting, fitness experts say.
"We consider it a total experience," says Miller. "It's a social activity that couples and friends can do together."
It often becomes an obsession as much as a game, which leads to spending on accessories like golf shoes ($60 and up), gloves (around $20) and maybe clothes you won't wear anyplace else. Then again, it's more affordable than most addictions -- and there are ways to trim expenses. Start with clubs: Plunk down $2,000 for a set if you wish, but there are starter sets costing around $200. Garage sales are another possibility. The cheapest way to play a round and save money is during off-peak hours on public courses, where fees run anywhere from $13 to $120 and sneakers are acceptable.