Being a broke college kid has its challenges. Do I order pizza tonight or save my money for books next semester? Do I buy those shoes I really liked at the mall today or save it for gas money so I can drive home next weekend for Thanksgiving? College, surprisingly, teaches you budgeting without an expensive textbook.
Being a golfer presents even more challenges.
Golf, as we all know, is a pretty expensive sport. You invested in golf clubs and clothes to wear golfing, so now you can play. But when you’re at college it isn’t that easy. Obviously if you go to college near your home town you know all the local spots, cheapest spots and maybe your family is even a member somewhere. Perfect, you’ve got it made. This is about the kids that drive a couple hours or longer to get to their college.
Getting used to a new area is a headache. Finding the closest Dunkins is pretty simple but a good course is hard to find. So, Thursday you hop on Google, hopeful to play Saturday morning. Type in “golf courses” on your computer and start the search. Oh sweet, there is one 20 minutes away. You click on the link and see that a greens fee is pretty much the price of one of your textbooks, and that is without a cart. Nope. Finally!!! You found a course that’s relatively cheap and has decent Yelp reviews. You get there and there is a hoard of people and takes about five hours to play 18. Miserable. You are devastated thinking there is no way, between homework and work, you have time for this every other weekend or even every weekend if you’re an avid golfer.
If you’re anything like me, you brainstorm. This all happened to me. I came to a college a couple hours from home, excited to play new courses in the Boston area. But I struggled to get out because of the price and time restrictions. I had other more important expenses like gas and food, but it sucked not to golf.
So what can a college kid in this situation do?
Actually there are some realistic options.
Twilight Golf: When you go to school it is usually early September so the sun doesn’t set until pretty late at night. Most course
offer a “play till dark” rate. This is awesome because you pay a few bucks and play as many holes as possible. Usually the people there at the time are trying to squeeze in holes as well so pace of play is nice. Do extra homework the night before and boom, problem solved.
Walk: If you are deciding to go or not based on a few bucks. Walk. Places usually charge 10-20 bucks for a cart fee. So save that money, get a little exercise and pretend you’re a PGA pro and walk. You may not be up to walking 18 but walking nine on a Sunday afternoon is a reasonable affordable opportunity.
Driving Range: It is not playing a round. But If you’re that tight on money, going
and hitting a few buckets is the cheapest way to swing the sticks. The driving range can be a very useful tool to improving your game. It is very low cost and you leave when you want. And on you’re way out hit a few practice putts on the practice green because we all know, if you’re a college age kid (not on a golf team), you’re probably pretty bad at putting.
Work at a golf course: Last but not least. I personally work at a golf course and you could say it was an accident. I was at school, looking at my sad depleted bank account. My only source of income was eight hours a week in the school’s mailroom. So I used the magical Google machine once again and searched for jobs around me. Sure enough the local country club was hiring. I love golf, play golf, hey why not. Long story short I got the job and it is the best thing to ever happen to me. Not only do I hang out with other people that like golf, I get free golf. What is better than that? I get a paycheck for going to work, I hang out with other people who like golf and when I have an off day I can play golf? Sounds like a dream job. Oh and you make tips and the employees get discounts in the pro shop. I went from looking for a part time job, to finding the biggest blessing ever.
If you are in college and love golf, there is no excuse to why you aren’t golfing at least every other week. If you really like the game, look into a job at your local course and thank me later.