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Discount Golf Guide

Updated on January 12, 2013

Is Cheap Golf Possible?

One of the sports most associated with the upper crust of society is golf. The sport's origins as an upper class game generally played in exclusive clubs that rejected the lower sort did nothing to alleviate this idea of the sport. Increasingly, however, less expensive public courses have opened across the country to meet the demand of weekend hackers who cannot afford a country club membership.

Is it possible to save even more money? Many courses open to the general public can cost upwards of $50 or more for a round. While this cost is not overwhelming for many people who play only once or twice a year, there are ways around such expense.This article will give some tips to scoring a discounted round of golf.


Play at an Off-Peak Time

One of the quickest and easiest ways to land a cheap green fee is to look at off-peak tee times. Off-peak can mean a couple of things. First, it can mean the time of year. Second, it can mean the time of day.

Depending upon the part of the country a golf course is located in, the peak season can vary widely. For example, winter would be the peak season in Arizona because most people don't really want to spend an afternoon out in 115 degree heat chasing a golf ball. The demand is much higher in the winter when much of the country is covered in snow and unable to get to the course. The opposite is true in more northern states. The summer months are considered the peak season and rates between April or May and August or September will be higher. Those wanting to save on green fees may want to think about going on vacation during the off-season.

The time of day can also impact the cost of a round of golf. Many popular courses will offer twilight rates for their customers. Courses at the major golf destination of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, will begin offering cheaper rates at 1 p.m. during the summer. This allows golfers the opportunity to spend the morning at the beach and the afternoon at the course before hitting a nice restaurant for dinner.

A local golf course in my North Dakota town is an Arnold Palmer signature course. This course offers both types of discounts. During the summer, the course costs $61 for green fees and a cart. The twilight rate starts at 5 p.m. and golfers can play as many holes as they can get in for $33 for the green fees and cart. During the fall, the daytime rate drops $10 from the peak rate and the twilight rate starts an hour earlier.

Check the Newspaper Sports Section

Many people have given up the actual newspaper for an online version. This makes searching for discounts a bit more difficult. One cool thing that can be found in the print version is golf discounts. Courses will sometimes advertise a special rate on a certain day of the week that is traditionally slow to spur business. A few years ago, one relatively nice mountain course near Beckley, West Virginia, offered $25 for green fees and a cart on Mondays. This cost covered as many holes as a golfer wanted to play. I was able to get 27 holes in on one of these Mondays.

Similarly, one of my extended family members scours the paper in his hometown in September every year because many local courses advertise lower costs with a coupon from the paper. While visiting one year, we were able to get two rounds on two courses for about $50 total. One was a course that hosted a qualifier for the U.S. Women's Open.

Coupon Books Often Have Golf Coupons

Most of us have no doubt been approached by some students wanting to raise funds for their school. One of the more popular offerings is the ever-popular Entertainment Book. These books have a variety of coupons for eating and entertainment. One of the sections in many of the Entertainment Books is related to sports and sporting events. Frequently, golf courses will advertise buy one, get one offers with the coupons in the book. These coupons are good for at least a handful of rounds over the course of a year.

Vacation destinations often have coupon guides for their visitors that are set out at various retail establishments. Myrtle Beach is one of the more popular golf destinations in the country with more than 100 golf courses in the area. The Monster Coupon Book has several discount coupons for golf available just for the taking. Golfers would be crazy not to pick one up.

While this list of tips is not comprehensive, it is hoped that some of the recommendations help readers avoid paying full price for green fees. Cheaper is always better when the quality of the product is the same. After all, why pay $60 for a round that could easily cost $40?

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    • cprice75 profile image

      cprice75 5 years ago from USA

      Glad you enjoyed it. Not all courses will advertise that way, but some do. It's a great way to play a number of different courses at a discount (sometimes about 1/2 off).

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

      My dad lives right by a golf course, and he got pretty proficient on a budget by simply playing at off-peak times. I didn't know that those coupon books often have golf deals in them, though. Great tip!

    • cprice75 profile image

      cprice75 5 years ago from USA

      I actually played the twilight rate at the local Palmer course in late July and played the last 7 holes after the sun set. No on was in front of me, so I got the last nine finished in like 54 minutes and shot better than the first nine when I had to wait 44 to 46.

    • tobint44 profile image

      Tyler Tobin 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Great Hub. I am a twilight guy myself. There is nothing better than being the last man on the course. I love seeing the sun go down while playing the 18th. I will say, however, that playing the twilight rates hasn't helped my game any (I think I need some coaching haha.)