Saturday, March 23, 2013

Playing A Round With Your Money - 7 Ways to Save Big Bucks on Golf

Article written by Phil Oscarson - Guest Poster
Pardon the pun but---no matter how you slice it---the game of golf is great fun. It can also be fairly expensive, to the point of putting a sizeable handicap on your pocketbook. Although limiting your playing time is one way to cut costs, where’s the fun in that? Here’s a look at 7 practical ways to save big bucks on golf and still spend a fair amount of time on the fairways.

1. Buy a golf ball retriever: Sometimes you need to spend money to save money. And with the high cost of brand new golf balls these days, buying a golf ball retriever will give you a great return on investment. These handy telescoping tools allow you to not only reclaim your wayward balls, but to rescue the lost balls of other golfer’s to tee-up as your own. If using a ball retriever seems like a hassle, there are plenty of sources available from which to buy very nice, slightly used balls at a deep discount.

2. Don’t practice on the golf course: You want your valuable time on the golf course to be as fun and frustration-free as possible, right? Then why not save your money and your practicing for the driving range? For the nominal cost of a large bucket of balls you can hit up to 100 shots. Hopefully, that’s more shots than you’d be hitting on a par 3 eighteen-hole golf course. All that practice (if done properly), should make for an improved long game when you’re out on the actual course. And while you’re at the course, be sure to put in some free time on the putting green to polish your short game. A lower score on the course will give you a better experience for your money---the same money you might foolishly spend hacking away in frustration.

3. Resist the urge to splurge on equipment: Every year the golf club manufacturers offer “new and improved” versions of last year’s clubs, the implication being that the latest and greatest technology will clearly up your game. But the fact remains that for a majority of golfers, these fancy and often very pricey new clubs will make little if any difference in how well they play the game. Older models will work just as well while saving savvy golfers some serious money. The same rule holds true for golf apparel. While golf courses often require players to wear a collared shirt, there is no law that says that shirt can’t come from the local thrift store.

4. Rethink your tee times: Face it. When it comes to golf expenses, green fees can really set you back. Especially when you book prime tee times. Fortunately, many courses offer reduced green fees for those who are willing to play during less popular times. Although it may take some creative scheduling, playing on a Tuesday afternoon as opposed to playing on weekends can save you a lot of money. You can also save big on most courses by playing early morning or twilight rounds on the back nine, as opposed to playing a full 18 holes.

5. Park the cart: Although golf carts may appear to enhance the golfing experience, they come with an added cost. Walking the course will not only save you money on the day, the health benefits of the extra exercise will benefit you in many ways---and for many days to come.

6. Pack a lunch: You may have saved money on your golf game, but if you’re not careful the costs of eating at the clubhouse can offset much of the savings. In the long run, packing a lunch or some snacks can be healthier on your body and your pocketbook.

7. Take a deduction come tax time: As enjoyable as your round of golf may be it will be even more so if you can legitimately deduct your golf costs as a business expense come tax time. Business owners who discuss business with their clients on tees, greens, fairways and clubhouse restaurants, should check with their accountants to make sure they qualify for the tax reduction.

About the Author: Phil Oscarson is an avid golfer/golf enthusiast. He has learned his fair share about golfing tactics, and frugalities by playing the game for over 30 years. If you’re looking to elevate your golf game, there are always public courses near you that you can find.

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