Golf has a rep for being an expensive sport, with all the gear, greens fees, cart rentals… But don’t be scared off! Whether you’re just starting out or looking for ways to cut costs, here are some ways to save some green when you’re on the green.

1. Pre-loved clubs: buy ‘em used

First things first: you’re gonna need clubs, of course. Whether you’re shopping for your first set, or looking to upgrade, you know how crazy expensive brand-new clubs can be. But here’s one of our best savings hacks—you don’t have to buy them new.

A lot of stores specialize in used sports gear, and they often have top name clubs with plenty of life left in them. The beauty of secondhand clubs is not just the price; it’s also the chance to try different brands and types without committing a small fortune. 

You can also find good deals on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace—a lot of times people buy expensive clubs and then don’t really get into golf, and sell their like-new clubs for great prices. Check out demo clubs at your local pro shop, too—often they’ll sell last season’s demos at a discount.

2. Public courses

Private clubs are fancy and impressive, but public golf courses offer the same fun at a fraction of the cost. Many municipal courses are well-maintained and challenging enough to help you improve your game. They usually have lower greens fees, especially during off-peak times like late afternoons and weekdays. And people don’t pay as much to play there, so if you’re a beginner they’re less likely to be mad if you end up on their fairway. (Ask us how we know!) Bonus tip: look out for loyalty programs or season passes, which can save you even more.

3. Buy buckets of balls in bulk

When it comes to practice, driving ranges are a budget-friendly training ground. Buying your range balls in bulk often comes with a discount, so go for the larger buckets. You’ll get more balls for your buck, and also more chances to perfect that drive. But moving on from balls—before we make a joke we shouldn’t— frequent practice at the range can make your rounds on the course more fun and less likely to require do-overs (aka mulligans in golf speak!).

4. Split the cart costs, or… walk!

Driving a golf cart is a fun part of the golfing experience, but it can also add an extra level of expense to your game. If you can walk the course, that’s a win-win—it’s great exercise, gives you a better feel for the course, and saves you the cost of renting a cart. If you really don’t want to walk, try to share a cart with a friend so you can share the cost.

5. Timing is everything

When you play can have a big impact on what you pay. Playing during peak hours is usually most expensive. If your schedule allows you to, try to play during less-busy times. Many courses offer discount rates during twilight hours, early mornings, or mid-week days. Playing on a less crowded course is always good, and you can save money besides!