It seems that the sport of golf is still having an economic recession along with the rest of the country. In an article that can be viewed here only supports my claim. But the question is, what can be done to stop the slide?
I know that many Americans are in a stranglehold when it comes to their personal finances. So it's only natural they have to give up the luxury of golf that once offered them an escape from reality if only for a few hours a week. As families financial strain becomes more and more prevalent, there are ways that you can still enjoy the sport of golf. Below I have come up with a few ways for you to maybe still enjoy a round or two of golf a week.
Less Frequent Play
During the height of my playing days, I used to go out and play golf 3-4 times a week. I worked third shift at the time so it was no problem getting off work at 10 A.M. and go hit the links. But that's when economic times were good. Now when time allows I'll play 1-2 times a week. I may not be out there as often chasing down a little white ball and look foolish doing it, but at least I can still enjoy a round or two a week. After all. It's not the frequency of playing, but the mere fact of still getting out there and playing the sport I'm passionate about.
Have I Got A Deal For You
Most of the time now when I book a tee time, I look to Golf Now. I know that in some instances that I can get as much as 60% off the regular rates for greens fees. But that is usually when a foursome is involved. We all love a good deal! And we all love to golf with our friends!
Join The Club
There are so many courses now that are offering discount or "daily membership" rewards. Remember, golf courses are feeling the crunch of the recession also. With courses closing at an alarming rate (see side bar) they need to retain as many players as they can, and keep those players coming back. So by offering V.I.P. cards, they are trying to stay afloat like any other business is trying to do in these tough times. I currently hold two V.I.P. cards at two separate courses. One offers me 25% off regular greens fees. The other 30%. Not a bad deal!
Think Local, Think Park District
Many Municipal and Park District courses give their residents significant breaks in their greens fees. All you need to do is go to the course with some kind of proof of residency.
Play Off Peak Hours
Think about early morning hours to play golf. Or maybe twilight hours. Typically from around 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. are you peak hours to go out and play golf. If your an early riser or get off work early, this might just be an option for you. During the dog days of summer, my favorite time to go play is early morning. I beat the afternoon heat, tee off before the world wakes up (leaving virtually an empty course) and able to be back home to get some work done. Twilight works out great also (usually after 4 P.M.) leaving room for work in the early part of the day and still getting a full 18 holes in before dark.
Don't Play On The Weekends
All courses, I don't care where your located, have higher rates on the weekends. Typically Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some courses consider their weekend just Saturday and Sunday. But by playing Monday through Thursday, your guaranteed lower rates. In addition you'll most likely play a faster round because of less people playing.
Join A League
At some courses around the area, being on a league they have offers you a reduction in your greens fees. Also by joining a league you may make new business contacts and definitely new friends. You'll get your weekly competition fix in also.
Play Nine Holes Instead of Eighteen
If most of you are like me, your just getting warmed up after nine holes. But if your budget doesn't allow for a full round, a half a round is better than no round at all. At least in my opinion.
Walk Instead Of Ride
I was never one for walking the golf course. But over the years, if it came down to walking the course or not playing because of a budget issue. I'll walk now. It's not going to save you thousands, but over the course of a summer your savings can be significant to walk over riding in a cart.
Subscribe To Newsletters
I get a newsletter from a few of my favorite courses around the Chicagoland area. Many of those newsletters have printable coupons for reduced greens fee rates in them. The Forest Preserve courses around the area are a great resource for these newsletters. They always have coupons in them.
Work At The Course
No, not as a male stripper. Juniors and seniors, this is a great way to for you to get all your golf paid for during the summer months. If your out of school for the summer, or retired, I can't think of a better way to spend my summers than on a golf course telling a group of players, "your holding up the group behind you. You need to pick up your pace of play". Just make sure you give this strategy some forethought, like during the winter months. Free golf is appealing to all golfers!
Hopefully I've given you some ideas as to how you can still enjoy golf in these hard economic time we live in today. If there are ways that you can think of too help out your fellow golfer deal with the cost of golf, please leave a comment below.