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Golf is for the upper class? - Page 5

post #73 of 114

At one time golf was for the wealthy and it still is, but not exclusively. In Northern NJ we have have some classic older and some extravagant new courses.  To belong to a course like Baltusrol, Ridgewood, or Somerset takes money, connections, and the proper social status.  There are some excellent public courses that have opened with several charging well over $100/round on weekends - that takes deep pockets also.  However, there is some great golf to be had at $40-$60/round which is more affordable, but it is still not a poor man's pastime.  Then there are some well-maintained county courses where a resident can play for $35 with a cart.  And of course there are a few decent executive courses or out of the way courses where you can play for $15 - $25 on weekdays.

 

My point is that most people in this State can afford some level of golf if they are so moved, and on a regular basis. Certainly not a poor man's sport, but it can be had at a modest price.  The availability of used, excellent equipment on-line is another bonus today.  I have no statistics but just my observation, but I would put forward that the typical golfer in the US is nowhere near wealthy, and many of them are top notch players.

post #74 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by mailman View Post

In which case the best comparison would be to compare your your pay and play golfing to just turning up at a field with friends to arrange your own soccer game.

However the result doesn't change, golf will still cost you more to play AND take significantly longer and if you don't have either the time or the money you just aren't going to play golf.

Regards

Mailman
You missed my point, which was that as a hobby golf is no more or less expensive than other hobbies which are perceived as for the lower classes. Whether that hobby is actually playing or not is irrelevant.

Time wise, I know plenty of people who spend the entire day at a football game what with drinking and travel. No different to golf.
post #75 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctcampbell View Post

You missed my point, which was that as a hobby golf is no more or less expensive than other hobbies which are perceived as for the lower classes. Whether that hobby is actually playing or not is irrelevant.

Time wise, I know plenty of people who spend the entire day at a football game what with drinking and travel. No different to golf.

They are not playing football, so they can not be compared can they, if so I know people who work in the garden all day and its far cheaper tha golf and rewarding too, for some.
post #76 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfisher View Post

They are not playing football, so they can not be compared can they, if so I know people who work in the garden all day and its far cheaper tha golf and rewarding too, for some.


If the OP's point (and I think it was) was to question whether golf is perceived by many as too expensive for anyone other than the wealthy, then I think it's absolutely appropriate to compare the relative cost of golf to that of other activities upon which people spend their discretionary income.

post #77 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghalfaire View Post
 

 I happen to belong to a private country club and I can tell you that some of the members' kids/grandkids have a significant advantage over the blue collar's kids/grandkids when it comes to playing at a high level.  While excellent programs like First Tee are great they just cannot replace years of private lessons, first rate and fitted clubs and constant participation in youth tournaments.  I see the kids at the club that are 10-12 years old with swings like the pros and shooting close to par on championship courses.  So while I think golf is a game for the masses there isn't really a question in my mind that it is an distinct advantage for the kids from wealthy families to "make the local HS team". 

 

Just so I don't come across as some sort of country club snob here I'll tell you I grew up in much different circumstances than I now find myself.  So whatever I now have I got the old fashioned way, I earned it.  But I can see from my club membership that there is a reason why wealth doesn't seem to last beyond the second or third generation.  While having wealthy grandparents might make an easier road to being a scratch golfer some of these kids are (not all but many) in for a rude awaking when the start life outside of the CC.

Your statement is accurate, but the same can be said for almost any sport today.  Kids can't expect to make their varsity team by only playing little league or having played on school teams in middle school.  My children's friends that play baseball play on 3 different leagues that they have to pay for, they have fielding coaches and swing coaches.  When one applied to college they had to have a video made professionally to send to colleges for scholarship consideration.  Sports are big money today, all sports, not just golf.

post #78 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfisher View Post


They are not playing football, so they can not be compared can they, if so I know people who work in the garden all day and its far cheaper tha golf and rewarding too, for some.

Like anything, gardening can be quite expensive too.  A hobby is something people find enjoyable and decide to dedicate their time and some disposable income to.  I know some people that find photography very rewarding, one uses a cheap point and shoot digital camera ($100), while the other has over $15,000 worth of gear.   They both take great pictures and love doing it.

 

If you love golf you can buy a few clubs and play, Seve and Hogan are two examples of people who did quite well in golf with a very small financial investment.

post #79 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfisher View Post


They are not playing football, so they can not be compared can they, if so I know people who work in the garden all day and its far cheaper tha golf and rewarding too, for some.

Like anything, gardening can be quite expensive too.  A hobby is something people find enjoyable and decide to dedicate their time and some disposable income to.  I know some people that find photography very rewarding, one uses a cheap point and shoot digital camera ($100), while the other has over $15,000 worth of gear.   They both take great pictures and love doing it.

 

If you love golf you can buy a few clubs and play, Seve and Hogan are two examples of people who did quite well in golf with a very small financial investment.

 

All else being equal, that person with the $100 P&S is going to be limited to a very narrow range of images (although there are some high end P&S cameras _in the $500-$600 range - which can approach the capabilities of an entry level DSLR), and they can never be brought up to the level of the guy with DSLR,   That is a simple fact.  It's the same as saying that a golfer using one club can never score as well as one using a full set, skill level being equal.  In both cases case the equipment is a limiting factor.

 

But that doesn't rule out buying on the used market, for both golf and photography.  I can find outstanding deals on 4 or 5 year old used, and even refurbished, cameras and lenses.  A person can get a solid DSLR with a good lens for $350, and never spend another dime (assuming that he has a computer to download the photos to) and have most of the capabilities of the guy who spent $15000.  The same is true of golf.  A set of good clubs can be had for a song with a little patience and research.  However, the spending doesn't stop there, as it costs money simply to play, even if you only use found balls and tees (I don't count extras like gloves because they aren't actually necessary).  So even low budget golf actually does require more of an ongoing investment than even a frugal approach to a fairly high level of photography.  

 

I've been an amateur photographer for as long as I've played golf.  I currently have at least 5 times more invested in photography equipment than I do in golf.  The reason is that I can't play golf down here, but I can take pictures.  When I was still in Colorado, I had a $200 P&S after I gave up on film shooting, but I was playing golf every moment that I could get on the course.  I'm fortunate to have two such hobbies which I can mix and match, but I've had to channel my discretionary spending into one or the other, never both at the same time.  As I mentioned way back at the start of this discussion, for most of us, budgeting is necessary to make everything work.

post #80 of 114

If we were to draw these well thought out points back to "Golf is for the upper class?"

 

My summation is No for munis and community golf courses, I don't believe its for the wealthy only. Here in the northeast I would say I would describe a golfer is someone who plays 20 times over 35 week season. People that play golf 4-5 days per year I don't consider enthusiast for the game

 

My answer is yes to clubs that offer a membership ( not a QTY play discount) to both private and semi private Clubs.  Clubs that maintain a level of income from lessons, booze and food and daily course maintenance, tournaments etc.

 

When I first read the question, my immediate answer was YES, 

1)  I play at  a semi-private course and other times the more exclusive private courses in the region- so the answer is obvious

2) Golf rounds regionally & nationally are down, golfer picking up the sport have been down for almost 2 decades- leaving the majority of golf enthusiasts  rounds to SP and P clubs where it costs money, time and commitment. I believe the biggest detriment of new golfers coming in to play 20 times or more is Money, time and availability. Much of which is offset by wealth.

post #81 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

Nope not at all. Maybe back before Tiger hit the tour. Since him golf has become very affordable and has reached many wealth levels. 

 

I don't agree with your opinion. Golf is still a game of upper class. A common man can not afford it nor he/she can play it. It is a high class game.

post #82 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by andymetheu View Post
 

I don't agree with your opinion. Golf is still a game of upper class. A common man can not afford it nor he/she can play it. It is a high class game.

 

Funny, I see a lot of guys making $35k/year playing a lot of golf.

 

Please define "high class." And please follow the rules re: promoting commercial URLs, or be banned, too.

post #83 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by andymetheu View Post
 

 

I don't agree with your opinion. Golf is still a game of upper class. A common man can not afford it nor he/she can play it. It is a high class game.

Wait ... are you this guy on the left:

 

 

I could walk into a Play It Again Sports down the street and buy an entire set a usable clubs/bag for under $50.  I could buy a dozen balls for $8.  And a bag of tees for $2.  I could then take those clubs to a local 9 hole course that charges $9 to play nine holes.  I could head over to a nearby 18 holes course and play that for under $20.  There are a handful of other courses around in the $30-$50 range ... and this is in Orange County, CA ... where I can also find several courses charging over $100.

 

Anywhere else in the country, I think you could get by for even less.

 

If you want to play golf, you can play golf.  It's not that expensive.

post #84 of 114
Just played the t-shirts and jeans course I frequent this morning. Lot's of guys there enjoying the $12 9 hole rate.
post #85 of 114

golfnow has made golf affordable.      Otherwise, I wouldn't play nearly as much as I do.     Not even close.     Playing $18 a round at an otherwise $45 course is the norm if your schedule is flexible.   Unfortunately, this is at the expense of the country clubs/courses - from what I understand, they don't make much if anything at all off golfnow tee times and all they get out of it is wear and tear on their golf courses and a filled up tee sheet.   Seems like a necessary evil though - not many courses don't use it anymore ...

post #86 of 114
Actually the rate at my home course is less than GN with a $188 annual membership, and that comes with a free round. I pay more booking with GN but I do it to get the GN rewards. I still buy the membership because it gets me 10% discount in the restaurant and for pro shop merchandise, there are a few other benefits that make it work it. I earned a total of 10 free rounds with GN so it makes it worth it. I used those on expensive courses I usually wouldn't play. At my former home course the rates are tiered but what they list on GN is always the highest rate so makes more sense to walk on. People that want to save money will find a way.
post #87 of 114
An interesting question.. I can remember when Tennis was considered a sport of the elite, played with white balls, wooden racquets, in white clothing (often long pants), on courts found mostly at country clubs. The tennis revolution that began in the 70s resulted in the construction of many public courts, us regular folk took up the game. Tennis has, I think, lost much of that elite imagery.

So maybe it is an issue of access. I would submit that golf has become much more accessible and thus, like tennis, is a recreation available to the common man (and woman).
post #88 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

Actually the rate at my home course is less than GN with a $188 annual membership, and that comes with a free round. I pay more booking with GN but I do it to get the GN rewards. I still buy the membership because it gets me 10% discount in the restaurant and for pro shop merchandise, there are a few other benefits that make it work it. I earned a total of 10 free rounds with GN so it makes it worth it. I used those on expensive courses I usually wouldn't play. At my former home course the rates are tiered but what they list on GN is always the highest rate so makes more sense to walk on. People that want to save money will find a way.

LOL, I have almost the exact same situation.  Regular round at my "home" course is $85 weekday, $95 Friday, and $110 Saturday.  With the players card its $55/$66/$77 and it comes with year round twilight starting at noon for $45/$55/$60.

 

The Players card costs $199 and comes with one free M-th round, one free mon-fri round, one free weekend round, and 5 free large range buckets (and a couple of other perks I've yet to use).  (I actually don't play there that often - I'll make sure to use my 3 free rounds, but beyond that, probably not much)

 

That is only one example, but there are all kinds of ways to save some money playing golf.  It's certainly not a cheap sport, and you can make it really, really expensive if you want ... but the idea that it's only for the upper class is absurd.

post #89 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfisher View Post
 

My answer is yes to clubs that offer a membership ( not a QTY play discount) to both private and semi private Clubs.  Clubs that maintain a level of income from lessons, booze and food and daily course maintenance, tournaments etc.

 

When I first read the question, my immediate answer was YES,

1)  I play at  a semi-private course and other times the more exclusive private courses in the region- so the answer is obvious

2) Golf rounds regionally & nationally are down, golfer picking up the sport have been down for almost 2 decades- leaving the majority of golf enthusiasts  rounds to SP and P clubs where it costs money, time and commitment. I believe the biggest detriment of new golfers coming in to play 20 times or more is Money, time and availability. Much of which is offset by wealth.

You don't join a private country club if you're only interest is playing golf.  Most people won't ever play enough golf (with possible exception of southern states) or ever cover the initiation fee, annual dues, bar / meal quota and other fees they hit you with.  Even if I played 200 rounds a year (which is almost impossible), my average cost per round would be over $100 per round.

 

Is it nice to have guaranteed tee times and a beautiful course to play, sure, but not at $100 per round.  People join private clubs for the extra's; pool, dining, socializing, tennis, networking, etc.

 

If my only interest was golf, I'd pay a $100 player membership for preferred tee times and discounts on green fees so the cost would be $50 with cart.  If I wanted to save even more money, I'd play on some muni's and pay the $30 during the week for a cart.  People smoke $30+ of cigarettes a week or drink $30 in alcohol and no one says drinking or smoking is only for the upper class.

 

A hobby costs what you want to spend.  I know guys that think nothing of opening a $60 bottle of wine or but don't want to spend that on a round of golf.  It's about priorities not cost.

post #90 of 114

Frankly I am surprised how affordable it is relative to other sporting pastimes. If you look at it from an hourly perspective it's pretty enticing. My home course is $28 when I can play, almost always twilight for me. That is riding in a gps cart and the range is unlimited balls for those that are into that. They put out pyramids. If I use the range for a little practice and putt for a while getting out of there in 5 hrs total costs me $5.60 an hour to have fun, get some fresh air and walk a bit. Two dozen balls last me a long time. Besides the beer, which I'd drink anyway here and there, it's cheap.

 

Didn't even spend much on my equipment. I used coupons, rewards, ebay deals, trade-ins etc. to build a pretty sweet setup. IMO the golfer that gets priced out of the game is the person that puts as little effort into learning the game as they do trying to make it affordable. They overspend on gear, get frustrated and quit because it's hard and they make no progress. For me it's more than golf. It's a way to spend time with family and occupy my time recreating doing something that is rewarding. There is a sense of accomplishment playing half decent, especially when most don't. I make good money but I'd find a way to do it if I didn't. Even then the good money still hasn't stopped me from pinching pennies to golf.

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