How does the cost of playing golf compare to watching other sports?
Golf Biz

How does the cost of playing golf compare to watching other sports?

The up-front cost to get into golf can be pretty pricey. There's clubs, usually lessons, a bag, the clothes, some shoes and a few other accessories. But once you get into golf, it's actually a pretty affordable game.

According to the PGA of America, the average green fee is $28.42. That's not bad at all, especially if you look at the cost of a golf round compared to other spectator sports. The average Major League Baseball ticket in 2014 costs $27.93, within a couple of quarters of a round of golf. Tickets run about $82 per seat for an NFL game, with the gameday experience average of $209 for two people. The average non-premium NBA ticket is $50.99.

While a dragging round of golf isn't a good thing, if you play in 4 hours, 30 minutes, then the per-hour cost is $6.31. Watching a ballgame costs $9.31 per hour with your typical 3-hour Major League game. Add more time if you consider the two-way commute to and from the stadium by car, bus and/or train. And you're getting exercise on the course, too -- which may or may not appeal to you, but we digress.

Bottom line: playing golf isn't as expensive as you think it might be.

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

Ryan occasionally links to merchants of his choosing, and GNN may earn a commission from sales generated by those links. See more in GNN's affiliate disclosure.

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