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All About Golf
Old 10-03-2014, 09:13 AM   #1
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All About Golf

Since we don't golf, we only learn about it from those who do, and what we hear is very confusing. Mainly about cost, but also about the part that golf plays in their lives. So... your experience? Do you golf? How often? Course member? Walk or ride? Side bets? Eat or drink at the clubhouse? Personal friend circle... golfers? Championship courses? Same course? Free Golf? Equipment costs? Alone or with partner/spouse? Plan to continue in retirement?

We all have passions, but it seems that golfers are in a special category that is often incomprehensible for non-golfers.

How say you?
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:32 AM   #2
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I'm semi-retired and have been playing golf regularly for the last 25 yrs. Season here in Illinois is limited (for the most part) to April thru October (even though we do get lucky and I've played in the other months.

I rather walk a course and try to look for good deals. Cost to play range from $25 to $50 (only play public courses). We have a ton of courses here.

Play about 30 rounds a year. Usually play with friends I've known for a long time (some go back almost 50 years). We never bet $ as we play for fun (while of course trying to score well). Usually have a couple of cocktails after the round.

Also, I go to driving range about 2 or 3 times a week and mainly practice my short game. However, my 15 hcp hasn't changed much over the years.

As far as equipment, I' m always looking for deals on equipment/balls on ebay and various golf forums.

It's a great game while getting some exercise (walking 18 holes is equivalent to approx. 5 miles) and enjoying the outdoors.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:00 AM   #3
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I played a bit of golf as a teen then quit for 40 years because I didn't want to spend what free time I had on the course. When I retired 10 years ago I took it up again for a couple of years. It need not be exceedingly expensive. I walked public courses in DC on weekdays and bought a set of clone clubs from Pinemeadow. It was fun but not fun enough to hold my interest. Now I play a few times a year when I visit a good friend who loves it and has a club membership. I will say that for people who are not naturals (i.e. most of us) playing is easy, but getting good is very hard.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:08 AM   #4
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I play in a weekly league with my old mega corp crew. Nice way to stay in touch ... and has NOTHING to do with work.

Also do a couple weekend trips/yr with the old softball crew (complete with a trophy that floats around the crew). We hung up the jock straps decades ago in favor of a truly non-contact sport. Our joints are thankful.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:30 AM   #5
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I was on golf team in high school. Was good but not great. During my business career I have played very occasionally and my game has degraded to less than average and closer to not very good. As I near retirement I have decided to get back into it. I know it will take a long time to be any good, if ever, but looking forward to it.

I have an employee who wants to start golfing in the worst way. I know they are struggling financially so I donate my entire set, bag and all. to him. It was fun.

I am now rebuilding my set from scratch. I am buying Pings from their used trade in site and it is fun waiting for what I want to become available and in good condition. It will probably cost close to $1,800 before I am done but it will be my last set.................
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Since we don't golf, we only learn about it from those who do, and what we hear is very confusing. Mainly about cost, but also about the part that golf plays in their lives. So... your experience? Do you golf? How often? Course member? Walk or ride? Side bets? Eat or drink at the clubhouse? Personal friend circle... golfers? Championship courses? Same course? Free Golf? Equipment costs? Alone or with partner/spouse? Plan to continue in retirement?

We all have passions, but it seems that golfers are in a special category that is often incomprehensible for non-golfers.

How say you?
I say!

I golf a lot. Last year 210 rounds. If I've got nothing else going on I golf. On average four to five times a week whether we are in Colorado or Arizona. We belong to two Clubs. I'd rather pay for the club than do the muni thing and based on how much I golf it is not as expensive as one would think.

I would say that I walk 90% of the time. I track my walking, which equates to about 5 miles per round carrying about 25 lbs of bag and clubs on my back. Since I retired in mid 2009 I have humped about 3200 miles. Averaging about 750 miles per year now that I can play year round. I only ride in a cart if it is extremely hot (over 95 degrees).

Gambling and golf go hand in hand. We don't play big stakes. We play a variety of different games (Nassau, banker, nine point, quota, wolf/pig, etc). On a good day you might win $50. On a bad day maybe lose $50. I keep track of winning and losing as well and fortunately I win more than I lose.

In Az our social life revolves around the Club so there is a lot of eating and drinking there. Lunches, dinners, cocktails, etc. In Co not so much. Just mostly golf and an ice tea after the round. Initiation fees to join a course vary. A decent club is probably going to charge $600-$900 per month in dues. I choose to go this way but there are ways to play the game for significantly less....say $25 per round with discounts, etc.

Now that I don't work most of my friends are golfers. Most are older than myself but that is fine. My significant other golfs as well. We play together once, sometimes twice a week. She prefers to just play nine so many days I will play 18 and then play 9 more with her.

Free golf? Not unless you want to play in some farmers field. Just doesn't exist.

Equipment costs run the gamut. Last time I bought a complete set (2 years ago) I paid about $1200. Of course you can get equipment for much less. Used sets might run you about $100 max to get started.

I plan to continue this as long as my body holds out. We have 90 year olds at our club in Az who still play pretty much every day.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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Have been playing golf since about 1964 or earlier. My Dad played and parents belonged to a local country club back then. For them it was pretty much for the social aspect although my old man was a pretty decent golfer back in the day. I didn't really start taking the game serious until I was in my late twenties and since then I have played on a pretty regular basis. I have had course memberships, walked and carried clubs, pushed or pulled a cart or taken a golf cart. To this day I still play about once a week and hit the driving range on almost a daily basis. My advice for someone thinking about taking up the game is; take lessons, buy decent equipment, places like Dicks or Golfsmith stores will be happy to fit and get you set up. Golf is a physical game in some respects and requires one to be somewhat flexible. I regularly play with folks in their late sixties, seventies and even eighties and the topic of conversation on the first tee is usually what is ailing you today, as kind of an excuse for sandbagging or hedging in case you play like crap. It is a great game as long as you don't take it too seriously and go out with the mindset of having fun. I can play with the same people or play with people I've never met before and have just as good of time. Also a good game for couples to play, although my wife doesn't play, she's tried but no interest, which is fine with me. As far as gambling, it is pretty much up to the individuals to agree on, I've never felt pressured to gamble but I do like a skins game format for a quarter or buck a hole or something not too expensive. Usually whoever wins the most ends up buying lunch or drinks afterwards so it is pretty much a cost neutral event. When I lived up north I used to take a couple of golf vacations a year to the warmer climates and have many good memories from those trips. Currently I have no memberships as the guys like to play different courses during the week and of course get the senior rate. Played a Nicklaus course this week for $39, 18 and a cart which isn't bad. Very seldom do I play on the weekends any more as it pretty much shoots six hours in the butt by the time you drive to and from the course. During the week it is more like four hours as the people I play with, play ready golf and all are decent golfers and the courses aren't as crowded. Golf is a great game and glad to say I've had two holes in one with both witnessed. These days I suck (90-100) as compared to how I used to play (low 80s)but I play for the fun, exercise and just being with friends and acquaintances. I plan to play until I am physically unable to. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Since we don't golf, we only learn about it from those who do, and what we hear is very confusing. Mainly about cost, but also about the part that golf plays in their lives. So... your experience? Do you golf? How often? Course member? Walk or ride? Side bets? Eat or drink at the clubhouse? Personal friend circle... golfers? Championship courses? Same course? Free Golf? Equipment costs? Alone or with partner/spouse? Plan to continue in retirement?

We all have passions, but it seems that golfers are in a special category that is often incomprehensible for non-golfers.

How say you?
I took up golf in my 20s and until I retired played occasionally. When DD was young, I belonged to our local country club and play on Saturday mornings with FIL and BILs and in their men's league but as the kids got older and I had less time I quit the CC and played in our company's league. So until I retired, I was an occasional player.

Since retiring, I have joined the local country club and played a lot more (probably 40 rounds + this year). I typically play with some friends at our club on Tuedsays (including lunch afterwards) and on a "Tour" with a bunch of local retirees on Thursdays (breakfast on the way and a light lunch when we are done) and a mixed couples group (with DW) at our club on Sunday afternoons (aka duff and dine).

We live in a pretty low cost area so our costs are quite modest. I budget $3,000 a year for golf (includes club membership (~$1,100), carts, greens fees and carts at other clubs, breakfasts, lunches and dinners) and we're about a budget now but the season still has a month and a half left so I guess we'll be slightly over budget for the year.

On the "Tour" we usually have 16-24 guys and golf for $20-$40 a person (greens fees and cart).

I usually take a cart, but only because the people I golf with usually do. My home course is quite hilly, so sometimes I'll walk the front (with my pull cart) and then get a cart for the back nine.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:13 PM   #9
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I picked up the golf bug after I retired. I play twice per week - but only during the summer. On Tuesdays, I'm part of a men's 50 and over league at the local course. On Thursday's, I play with a friend and we don't keep score.

I've really learned a lot about the game participating in the golf league.

I just bought my second set of clubs over 9 years of golfing.

The courses I play range from $14 - $50 for 18 holes here in Oregon. There are more expensive ones, but I don't play them.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:42 PM   #10
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Been golfing for 37 years and probably could have retired earlier if not for all the equipment I purchased. I play 2-3 times a week and practice once a week.
Not as good as I used to be but still love to play. I now buy clubs that have been out for a year or longer. Much better deal.
I pay $25-$50 a round and really prefer to walk. I do public golf courses mostly and play a few private when invited. Cannot force myself to join a private club due to $$. By the way I had my best round this year shooting a 77 with 3 birdies( I missed 3 others by inches). It was my birthday week so God gave me a great present.
Ohio golf in the fall is just great no crowds and if the weather is good just perfect.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #11
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After 50 years of playing lots of golf, I have found less expensive and faster ways to punish myself these days.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:58 PM   #12
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Ah golf... my only vice. I started playing about 15 years ago and was quite obsessed for 5 years or so. Got down to a 7 hdcp and that's with working 60hr weeks (I'm single lol). Golf is my number one social activity. I've played with the same group of people for the last 10 years or so. We play once a week and have a large enough group that we have some purchasing power when it comes to green fees. We play for @ $25 in the summer and we usually drive 40-60 min in the winter/tourist season and as a rule never pay more than $30 for green fees. I take one out of town vacation a year with the same group of golfers. We split expenses rent condo's or houses for the week and split gas, food etc. This year it cost me just under $1300 for 7 days (minus poker winnings) We have a friendly wager that we modified a couple of years ago so the max loss is $10. I buy used clubs-It's the indian not the arrow lol. All in all not that expensive a hobby. I'm on vacation this week so it's off to the range.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:35 PM   #13
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I've been playing for 40 years. In the last 2 weeks, I've learned 2 big tips that have finally turned me into a golfer. I've gone from a 15 to a 7 handicap, if that makes sense. And I think it will be going lower. So golf for me is truly fun after all these years, I feel I've actually become a golfer instead of a hacker.

The other day I shot a 74, playing from the blue tees. I always play from the forward tees but I played with a foursome and they all played from the back tees. Also I only play with 9 clubs, because I try to carry as few as possible being I use my motorcycle to carry the clubs. In fact, I've designed a system where I carry the clubs straight up on my motorcycle so I can still lane split (I live in LA).

BTW, the 2 tips I learned? Go to Youtube and watch Bobby Clampett (played PGA tour and announcer for CBS Golf) about the Impact Zone, and also watch videos about flipping the hands in the golf swing.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:57 PM   #14
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I was a member of a golf club for my first 3 years of retirement but eventually got bored playing the same course 3-4 times a week. If you live in an area with a lot of golf courses you can usually find good rates using one of the online tee time booking sites. I live in an area where one can golf year round but since I travel a lot (~3 months a year) it also seemed like my golf membership was going unused too often, another reason for given it up. I like golfing in Phoenix/Scottsdale and Palm Springs and regularly vacation there since I live close enough that I can drive to both but rarely go during the premium season (Jan-Apr), it's just too expensive and not worth the cost IMO.
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:16 PM   #15
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The site - Golfnow - is great for tee time costs.
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:40 PM   #16
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....... a good walk ruined.................................
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:01 PM   #17
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Totally suck at golf, but that's because I've never taken lessons, and have only played maybe twenty rounds ever.

May grab some clubs and play a bit more next year after fiRE, but I refuse to take it, or any sport/game, seriously.
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:58 PM   #18
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After 50 years of playing lots of golf, I have found less expensive and faster ways to punish myself these days.
I've not been playing quite that long, but I have quit several times for the same reasons. Guess I'm a slow learner
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:17 PM   #19
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Through my ups and downs.... I have always loved playing scrambles. I can always find some way to contribute (the occasional spectacular shot)
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:29 PM   #20
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I took up golf about 15 years ago. I've never gotten very good but enjoy it none the less. I'm in a group that generally gets two foursomes out twice a week, playing year-round when weather and course conditions permit. I play about 70 rounds a year. We play public courses, one course probably 40% of the time. Several in the group are club members but mostly prefer playing with us. Walkers pay $25 or $30 a round, riders $10 or $12 more. We get in a few splurge rounds at fancier courses each year, maybe $80 to $120, and a couple of scrambles a year for about the same. Betting is a big deal for some in the group, but rarely does anyone pay out more that $5 or $10. I've only spend a few hundred dollars on equipment.

It's good exercise, gets me out in the fresh air, and socializing. I miss it when winter weather shuts things down for a few weeks at a time.

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