We all see the articles and hear on the news about the decline in golf participation. More times than not the three main reasons cited regarding the decline are invariably the same:

  1. A round takes too long;
  2. The game is too hard;
  3. Golf is too expensive.

The fact that all the articles and news stories repeat the same explanations makes me question if the reasons are valid. And, while the first and second points contain some truth, the third is nonsense. Golf is not cheap, it’s ridiculously cheap!

So, why do people say golf is too expensive? What are they comparing it to? In my opinion, golf offers great value when compared to most other activities or forms of entertainment. Not to mention the health benefits and the fact it is a game you can play for life.

I would like to start my comparison with Canada’s favorite sport, hockey. According to an article posted in the Hockey News on July 8th, 2015 the average cost of an NHL hockey ticket in Canada during the 2014-2015 season was:

Toronto Maple Leafs – $113.66

Winnipeg Jets – $79.28

Vancouver Canucks – $84.87

Edmonton Oilers – $72.63

Montreal Canadiens – $73.67

Calgary Flames – $63.07

Ottawa Senators – $51.76

So, if a family of four drives from Sudbury to Toronto to watch a Maple Leaf game they will pay an average of $454.64 for four tickets. Plus, they will pay for parking, food, beverages, hotel, and gas. The bill would easily reach a $1000 for a one-night stay and a 3-hour hockey game. Now that is expensive entertainment!

Don’t get me wrong, I love hockey and the values we learn playing team sports as a youngster are invaluable. My daughter recently finished her first season of organized hockey in Sudbury. Her coaches did an outstanding job and I can see her grow as a person and an athlete every game or practice. But, I estimate we spent roughly $2000 on her entry fees, equipment, hotel rooms, and fuel for our cars. She has taken a liking to hockey so I don’t see these expenses going down anytime soon. And, we will do whatever we can to ensure she continues to play but I am thankful her younger sister can at least use her old equipment.

Here are some other examples of my entertainment expenses:

  • The last three times my wife and I went out for dinner our bill ranged from $80-$150.
  • My cable and internet bill is $180 a month and I hardly watch TV.
  • I spent over $1500 on insurance, trail fee’s, and gas this past winter for my snowmobile. Not to mention what I paid for my machine!
  • We took the kids to Disney this past November and I can assure you our one-week vacation cost a small fortune.

We could go on comparing other sports, entertainment or events and none, in my opinion, offer anywhere close to the value provided by golf. Here is an important fact to consider:

  • The average prime time adult green fee in Sudbury in 2018 was $35. 

I assume a round of golf at a Sudbury facility takes four hours to complete which equates to $8.75 an hour. There is very little entertainment to be had for that hourly rate.

So let’s stop the rumor that golf is too expensive.

Golf is a fun, healthy, and inexpensive form of entertainment!