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» How Much Does It Cost To Play Golf?
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Oct 20th 2007
<h2>Cost Of Play</h2>
The cost of an average round of golf in the United States is USD $36, and the sport is regularly enjoyed by over 26 million Americans and many more world-wide. Most regions of the U.S. feature public courses which strive to be affordable for the average golfer. Excepting public courses subsidized by local governments ("municipal courses"), green fees tend to be lower in areas of inexpensive real estate, especially the American South and Midwest. Michigan has more courses open to the public than any other U.S. state.
By contrast, green fees are more expensive, sometimes dramatically so, in more urban areas with high real estate values. Also, greens fees at some of the more picturesque and prestigious courses can be quite sizeable. Despite golf's popularity in densely populated East Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan, the citizen of average means is limited to hitting balls on driving ranges as play on an actual course requires memberships priced at several times the average worker's annual salary.
The fact that golf tends to be a sport associated with wealthy businesspeople and professionals (doctors playing golf on Wednesdays, corporate golf days, etc), not to mention the high prices and wealthy clientele that can afford to pay to join elite country clubs, contribute to the perception that golf is expensive. By contrast, there is no other single sport that might be compared to golf as a sport for affluent people. (Hunting may be on par, so to speak, as the sport of business in the American south, but golf is still pervasive in the south. Hunting is common in the American north and midwest, but is less prevalent as a business sport -- golf remains the standard).
To compare golf against other sports is to quantify what makes it more expensive:
* Golf is not a game in which equipment can be comfortably shared. By comparison, 22 people can share one soccer ball and 10 people can share one basketball. Buying or even renting an entire set of golf clubs immediately becomes more expensive.
* Playing golf requires paying greens fees to enter a golf course. By comparison, playing soccer or touch-football or basketball at a school field or public playground is free of cost.
* Exposure to golf is also not as accessible as other sports. For example, many children will play baseball, hockey, American football or soccer in school or youth programs, and the equipment is provided (often for a registration fee that has been subsidized or sponsored privately). However, few high schools or youth programs offer a golf program where kids can be exposed to and learn the game at a relatively cheaper price. Those that do usually provide access to a golf course with limited access.
* Comparing golf to other individual (rather than team) sports, golf is still more expensive. One racquet for a racquet sport (tennis, squash, racquetball) is still much cheaper than a set of clubs, and registration at a racquet club or even a local YMCA for a month can be cheaper than one day at the golf course. Moreover, kids can borrow an old racquet and hit a ball against a school wall for free. It is difficult for a golfer to practice hitting shots longer than short pitch shots unless one pays to play golf or pays to practice at a driving range or indoor golf training facility.
Further, the social status of better (and usually more expensive) equipment cannot be overlooked. Few will notice or care the condition of a baseball glove as long as it can catch a baseball adequately. Similarly, as long as a basketball has enough air to bounce evenly, its brand name and condition are mostly irrelevant. Yet, in order to be outfitted with the latest golf equipment, including rather expensive clothing, shoes and gloves, one can end up spending quite a sum. Because golf has become the platform through which business people interact, evaluate each other, and generally talk/negotiate, the game presents opportunities from which commerce emerges through the development of personal relationships.
Oct 22nd 2007
Thanks for the information again. Around here we pay 30 for a round of 18 holes. Not bad considering the average is at 36 dollars.
Oct 23rd 2007
It costs about 28 dollars here for a round of 18. I like the prices here. I am willing to spend more though if need be. If I was to go anywhere to play golf, I would be paying more.
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