Golf is a luxury sport (some would suggest a necessity) that has the potential to be very expensive. By the time someone buys all the equipment and takes lessons, the bill can become quite high. There are cheaper ways to get into golf, but the reality is that the expense can be daunting for many people. Additionally, the cost of playing golf is not going to drop anytime soon. In fact, the cost of golf (like everything else in our lives) is increasing and soon might be a prohibitive factor for players trying to enter the sport or those already playing. This is a reality for many players regardless of where you live or like to play.
I ran poll recently and found that most golfers are still able to play their beloved sport despite of the rising costs. I am not really surprised with the results because people passionate about something will always find a way to participate and golf is no different. The challenge I identified about asking this vague question is the number of variables to ask a more specific question to zero in on a reason. However, I was directed into a specific direction that is becoming a detractor for playing more golf.
At first I thought that the price of equipment would be the primary factor for playing less or no golf. However, the respondents pointed me in another direction. Of the players who said that golf is starting to get expensive, the cost of travel was the limiting their play. They indicated that due to the rising cost of travelling to play golf they would be spending more time at their home course. The do feel that the value is there an as such have started to curtail their golfing experiences.
I understand this situation. Personally, I play 90% of my golf at my home golf course. I do enjoy playing 10 different courses during the year, but do not go out of my way to plan a specific, prolonged trip. It is something that I never have really thought to do. I do take advantage of playing different courses when I travel or in competitions like the Senior Men’s Ryder Cup, however to specifically plan a golfing vacation is not something I generally think about during any given golf season.
My current thinking is changing. There is one trip want to take and have talked about it for years. This trip is in Canada and I am still working out the details in my head. So, I am going to keep you in the dark a bit longer. When I finally decide to make the move to plan this trip, I will let you know.
The cost of golf is rising. The cost of travel is rising even more and is starting to be road block for some players. Limiting the number of away courses to play is likely to be more common place in the future. The real litmus test is the value of golf to the money that is paid. There is no correct answer to this situation because everyone has different stressors that they manage. Regardless, golf is becoming more expensive to play and I can see it pushing more players out of the sport.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!