How Much Does the Average Golfer Spend Per Year?

Sports expenses can vary greatly depending on your level of investment. You can either splurge on top-tier gear and apparel or stick to the basics, depending on your engagement with the sport. Golf, however, comes with certain unavoidable costs.

First, there’s the essential equipment: clubs, balls, accessories, and green fees. But what does the average golfer spend annually on the game? Continue reading to find out the typical expenses you might face. If you’re already a golfer, see how your spending compares to the average.

Types of Expenses for Golfers

When you think about golf expenses, clubs, bags, apparel, and other gear and accessories probably come to mind first. However, there’s a less obvious cost that can add up over time: green fees.

Unlike basketball, baseball, and soccer, where enthusiasts can often find free fields to play on, golf requires a specialized playing area. Nearly every golf course operates on a pay-to-play basis.

The ”green fee” you pay at a golf course covers the price of admission and sometimes includes a cart fee. Occasionally, you might need to pay extra for the cart. Playing without a cart has its advantages, though. Recent research indicates that golfers over 65 experience significant improvements in lipid and blood glucose levels after walking an 18-hole round.

Many courses offer annual passes, which can save you money on green fees if you play frequently enough.

Golf Clubs

One advantage of golf clubs is their durability; once purchased, they can last for many years. These sturdy, well-built instruments are designed to withstand repeated use without significant wear from hitting 1-ounce balls.

However, for beginners, the initial cost of new clubs can be substantial. Here are the average prices for the four main types of golf clubs if bought new:

  • Driver: $350 – $650
  • Iron set: $400 – $1000
  • Wedges: $100 – $250
  • Putter: $100 – $250

Buying used clubs is a perfectly viable option. As mentioned, golf clubs are resilient and can perform well even after years of use. Here are the average prices for used golf clubs:

  • Driver: $80 – $300
  • Iron set: $350 – $750
  • Wedges: $50 – $200
  • Putter: $75 – $200

Golf Balls

Ideally, golf balls would be a minor annual expense for golfers. However, since they need constant replenishing, the costs can accumulate.

The average price of a golf ball ranges from $2 to $4. High-end brands might charge up to $8 or $10 per ball, but here’s a tip: they don’t necessarily perform better than standard brands. You can save even more by purchasing balls in bulk.

Golf Accessories

Accessories such as apparel, club socks, and gear like rangefinders should also be included in the projected annual expenses of the average golfer. While not as essential as balls, clubs, or green fees, these items significantly enhance the playing experience. Particularly vital gear like rangefinders can greatly improve your game.

Annual Expenses for the Average Golfer

Estimating annual expenses for the average golfer can be challenging due to the wide variation in individual habits. Factors such as whether you play with a full set of clubs, the number of balls you use, and whether you have a membership or pay per round all influence the total cost. However, let’s make some general projections.

On average, a golfer can expect to spend between $2000 and $2500 per year on the sport. This estimate includes the cost of clubs, so after the initial purchase, your annual expenses may decrease. In 2022, 20.8 million non-golfers expressed a strong interest in starting to play. If these individuals began spending around $2000 each on golf, it would significantly boost the golf industry.

Lifetime Spending on Golf: What to Expect

If you’re frightened by shockingly steep cost estimates, avert your eyes. When projecting the average annual cost of being a golfer to a lifetime of golfing, that $2000 to $2500 range extends up to at least $125,000 and at most $150,000.

The biggest source of the expense is green fees and green memberships. There’s simply no way around them. But think of it this way: every dollar you give to your local links helps them maintain the course, pay the staff, and keep everything in working order so you can perfect your game. It’s money well spent.

Annual Spending on Golf Balls

Golfers spend an estimated $250 to $400 per year on golf balls. Used golf balls can be just as effective as new ones, so consider buying used if you’re looking to save money.

First-Year Costs for Golf Beginners

The initial year of playing golf can be expensive as you need to acquire all your equipment from scratch, including clubs, balls, apparel, and gear. Additionally, trying out different courses means green fees can add up. Expect to spend between $3000 and $3250 in your first year.

Final Thoughts

While golf can be costly, the experience it offers is invaluable. There’s nothing better for your nerves or spirit than spending a balmy afternoon on the green. For high-quality golf gear and apparel that doesn’t compromise on style, check out Stitch Golf.

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