4 Ways To Play Golf For Less
Updated: Jan 6
Playing golf is not cheap. It requires greens fees, clubs, balls, and tees, not to mention range time if you want to practice. Sure, golf clubs can be a one-time expense, but golf balls (which you will lose), golf tees (which you will break), buckets of range balls (which you need for practice), and greens fees can really add up. But you don't have to empty your wallet just to play this great game and have fun. Here are some useful tips for you to play golf for less.
1. Download the GolfNow App
The GolfNow mobile app is the best way to book amazing deals on tee times at over 9,000 courses worldwide. For instance, right now I can book a tee time at a great nearby course (4.4 miles away from me) for only $10 to play 18 holes. Yes, you read that correctly. Download the app right now and see for yourself. It's available for both iOS and Android mobile devices. There isn't much of a catch, other than paying a small convenience fee of $3.49 for each booking, and having to choose from only the tee times that are offered. But $13.49 for 18 holes is a lot better than the $35 I would normally have to pay. If you're flexible on tee times, you will save a TON of money using this app.
And if you want, you can shell out an extra $9.99 per month or $99 per year for a subscription to NBC's GolfPass (or $199 for GolfPass+), which gives you a $10 credit every month that you can use on tee times, one dozen TaylorMade golf balls, over 4,000 instruction tips, access to exclusive shows and videos, custom coaching plans from top instructors, a $100 travel credit at popular golf resorts, exclusive member support, and the Trip Manager tool by GOLF Advisor.
TIP: The $10 monthly tee time credit alone, which comes out to $120 annually, basically pays for the membership. And a subscription to GolfPass+ waives the convenience fees on GolfNow tee times, along with a few other bonus perks.
2. Find a college golf class
I was able to find a class at my local community college to play golf. I paid about $100 for the entire semester, and that gave me access to unlimited range balls, use of the putting greens, and free 9-hole rounds. The only catch: range use and course play applied only during class times, which were twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays for about 3 hours each day). The instructor's syllabus outlined what we would do. Some days we would just stick to hitting balls on the range. Other days we were completing bunker drills, chipping drills, and putting drills. And sometimes the instructor would group us together for friendly competitions. But we were able to play 9-hole rounds at least once per week; sometimes Monday, sometimes Wednesday. If you ask me, I'd say it was a steal.
3. Play during "twilight" hours
Twilight hours come into play toward the end of the day, usually around 2pm or 3pm, although I've been to quite a few courses where twilight rates start as early as noon. During these later hours, prices go down, and you can usually play a round of golf for about $10-20 less than if you played earlier in the day. It allows a golfer to complete as many holes as possible before dusk, and it's designed to encourage players to use this time at the end of the day. Some courses even have super-twilight rates, which are even lower. It can be harder to play during the winter months when the clock rolls back and the sun starts setting earlier, but if you time it right, it's another great way to save some bucks.
Here are some tips to maximize your twilight golf playing experience:
Arrive at the golf course on time when twilight begins to maximize your playing time
Don't spend too long looking for lost balls; you're just burning daylight. If you lose a ball, just approximate where you think you lost it and take a drop
Don't be afraid to skip holes or play quickly to go through slow groups ahead of you, especially if you're alone or with just one other person
Remember: twilight golf should be used just to get some playing time in. So get out there, relax, and have some fun!
4. Play a 9-hole round
You don't have to play an entire 18-hole round every time you go golfing. Playing 9 holes is one of my favorite ways to just get some playing time in. And it costs less! I can usually clock a 9-hole round in about 2 hours, so it's a great way to get some practice time in without taking up your entire day.
TIP: try finding a 3-par course; you can oftentimes play 9-holes at one of those in under an hour! What a great way to spend a lunch break 😎🏌🏼♂️⛳️
Honorable mention: check out Groupon for golf deals. Most of the coupons you'll find for less on GolfNow anyway, but I figured I'd mention it, just in case.