By Sara Bristoll

In Arizona, Golf is a popular pastime. Our beautiful weather means you can enjoy this 18-hole game with your friends practically year round. The only catch, it takes a little more money than it would to pick up a basketball and head to the b-ball court at the park. In fact, cost is one of the main reasons more people don’t continue to play (other than the frustration of trying to hit a 1-inch ball into a hole located 200 or more yards away).

If you’re looking to get into golf for the first time, or just play more, without the hefty price tag, here are some tips that my family uses to keep our golf-addict playing year round.

  • Find gently used equipment. If you’re not at a pro level, or aren’t playing every weekend, it’s not worth it to pay thousands of dollars for a set of clubs with the latest and greatest technology. Many times you can find the previous generation of the clubs with comparable technology for a lot less on resale sites or eBay.
    1. The same goes for golf balls – you probably don’t need top-of-the-line $45 per dozen golf balls until your golf game is better….
  • Stock up on the sales. You’ll find that golfing regularly takes its toll on your golf shoes, gloves and even golf balls. Occasionally golf and sporting equipment stores will have great sales. Use this as the perfect time to stock up – buying a couple of gloves, boxes of golf balls and an extra pair of golf shoes.
  • Play during off-peak times. That sometimes means you won’t get to play first thing in the morning or more during the winter and spring, when prices skyrocket. Instead, find less expensive tee times on some great courses in the middle of the summer or later in the afternoon. Less people want to play in the heat or that close to sunset, so golf courses charge a lot less for a round.
  • Take advantage of special discounts. Many courses offer special ‘membership’ cards that come with their own set of rewards. For example, the WeKoPass is a pass you can buy that gives the holder discounts on every round of golf they play in the summer, and a free round for every five they pay for. Another place to find discount tee times is through websites like GolfNow and TeeOff. Much like discount hotel websites, they negotiate discount rates to help golf courses fill unbooked tee times.

Who knows? After using these tips and tricks, you may find golf the perfect place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors!