Is golf over priced ?

Boabski

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since taking the game up 4 years ago for some reason i have only started looking at prices around the game?
Bloody hell ! have i been walking around with frosty glasses on or have i been caught up in all the euphoria of really enjoying the game and wasn't bothered about what i paid to play and have decent gear?
Are companies out-pricing the game to the mere mortal worker?
apart from your club fees when looking at new gear the price tags seem to have gone through the roof, Yes i know we have to pay allegedly pay for technology etc , but is there justification that a driver is hitting the 300 + mark or sets of irons are touching a grand maybe more?
 

TonyN

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Yes, but as long as we keep paying for it, they'll keep charging it. I dont think I will be spending on gear for a while, and if i do it will only be trade in.
 

Ken_A

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Yes some kit is overpriced but there is a market for £100 Iron sets and £1000 sets - it just depends on how much you want to spend.
No one is forcing anyone to spend 1k on irons - but if you want to be the talk of the clubhouse while keping ion the pro's good books then buy only the very expensive kit.
 

HomerJSimpson

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It is overpriced particularly the top end (Callaway TM in particular) and will ever be so while there is a market for the latest top end stuff. I am as guilty as the next man for this so have no ground to complain.

Whilst I understand the R&R costs in making clubs puts a degree of premia on new models but my real gripe is with the sundries. Things like branded umbrellas at £25-30 a pop. Apart from the split canopy design for wind which came in 5-10 years ago there hasn't really been any change in designs for generations. How can they cost so much. Its the same with bags. There are only so many innovations you can make and especially in carry bags things haven't really moved on since double shoulder straps came around.

Its the same with clothing. A shirt or jumper that costs the same to make in the far east sweatshop is suddenly inflated 100% just for a Nike swoosh, callaway name etc. Again I buy into this with my choice of golf clothing but is there really the need for companies to continue to fleece us in this way.

I suppose golf balls fall somewhere between the two stools. Yes there are R&R costs mainly in the premium ball sector that inflates the price, but can the majority of golfers worldwide really play any better with a Pro V or a Maxfli. I don't want to reignite the ball debate on here and appreciate that there are definite feel and distance benefits from the top end market but feel that even a mid price ball (AD333 NXT etc) which provides the best of all worlds for most club golfers is still £5-10 more expensive than in my opinion they should be.

As with most of these things, there never seems to be a sliding scale depending on how long a product has been on the market. Most big retailers may offer particular brand discounts from time to time, but unless a product is being superceded (R7 irons to TM Burner etc) then the product is not usually discounted.

I'm realistic to realise that profits come before everything else but with fees increasing in most clubs year on year and the costs of equipment outstripping the inflation rate, there will inevitably be a degree of stagnation within the game as new players feel priced out of the sport. Yes there is budget gear available but many want or feel the need to buy a reputable name.
 

Parmo

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I do think golf is over priced. Since taking up the game and not including green fees, I probably have spent in the region of £1,500 if not more . I wonder about the manufacturing of equipment, in the sense that if the money spent on technology over that period equalled the actual increase costs of the new gear. Every year we get the companies filling the shelves with new equipment but with hardly any change to the previous year, and business being business they are always cutting back anything to decrease expenditure but increase profit so with that in mind I would have though they could have passed on some of the profit to the consumer rather than add 10% to last years prices.

I know for example mobile phone business are more inclined to save you money and keep your business in the long term, which makes us all happy to save costs, I do think though some of the major manufactures of golf equipment should also be looking to keep loyal customers to their brand rather than fund unknown players profits that should be passed on to the consumer.

Ping for example, their equipment seems to hold value for a lot longer than any other in the game, the G5 range is still £250-300 for irons after a few years, whereas if you buy budget like myself I got the MX19 at £250 I am looking at maybe £100 for them now after a few months, should I have spent an extra couple of hundred? Yes maybe, but maybe that is the point, if you buy a set of irons for £400-£500 and after a couple of years you exchange them, you are more likely to get a higher percentage of your money back than not spending large.

EDIT:

Good post Homer.
 

Cernunnos

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Yes golf is overpriced, but just look at how its gone up compared with general inflation & wages & in real tearms golf is actually the cheapest its been for many years.

This is not to say things should come down a lot more.Golf Balls are way overpriced even though they've not in general gone up that much except for certain brands. And I think this is the crux of the matter, as with anything you are paying for branding, as has already been pointed out.

For instance if you go into Sportsworld & buy a pair of Dunlop Golf trousers, you are paying £7-49. Start looking at the Nike stuff in there & you can trebble that figure, but then start shopping in your local golf store or proshop & start picking up Galvin Green, Ping, even Stromberg & you are paying between £40 & £50 a pair unless you start shopping around.

And this really is the answer if you are at all concerned with the costs, you shop with your trolley, to use the analogy, you get canny with your money, this goes for greenfee, shoes, trousers, tops balls & memberships. You look for the best offers the best deals, you use two for one offers on anything when available.

I don't know whether anyone has noticed, but certain clubs that are renouned for having large joining fees have had to reduce these joining fees to encorage new members & others will do deals where at certain times of year they offer a waiver of the fee, this csn be either waivered altogether, or say as a promise to be with the club for 3 seasons or more.

I paid £520 for my S57 irons.Now this is expensive for any set of irons, but if you look at what Ping normally charges & 8 clubs if I'd paid the usualprices I'd have had to part with £720. A saving of 200 smackers I'm then able to spend on putters, hybrids, balls & clothing & then I worked out a discount.

"The deals are there to be had, you only have to look"; like mulder & scully would say...rofl. (bastadized misquote)

My Scottish heritage is showing through I think rofl
 

muttleee

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Equipment-wise, remember that anything you can buy in the UK is usually substantially cheaper in the USA, which makes me think that people here are being ripped off, pure and simple. I once saw an article about this difference in prices on TV and the conclusion was that Americans simply wouldn't pay what we put up with, so companies *have* to cut prices there. As I think I've said before, my wife is American and is constantly amazed at the prices here. It's not uncommon to see food/household items etc twice as expensive as the equivalent things in the States.
 

madandra

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Is golf over priced ???

Do fat babies sweat !!!!!!!!!!





Of course it is.

Titleist D1/D2 driver £279 ... Ben Sayers Benny £99 with Grafalloy Red shaft !!!! Its a no-brainer in my eyes.


As if equipment changes weren't bad enough it seems that now (and I am bu99ered if I can recall when) we are all fashion victims as well as gear addicts. I was looking at a shirt in AG last week and the guy said to me 'Oh, thats new for this season' I said that the season was almost over and he replied 'No ... Autumn/Winter season' I nearly bitch slapped him.

Since when did golfers change their attire 4 effin' times a year??? Am a tight Scotsman FFS and to add insult to injury my FJ ReelFits are down by a third because they are 'OLD' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are only 5 months old.


I guess there are folks out there with a need to be seen with the latest gear but I will just plod on a spend what I can afford WHEN I can afford it and NOT because some limp wristed designer thinks my dress sense is OBSOLETE !!!!!!
 

StuartD

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Is golf over priced ???

Do fat babies sweat !!!!!!!!!!


Of course it is.

Titleist D1/D2 driver £279 ... Ben Sayers Benny £99 with Grafalloy Red shaft !!!! Its a no-brainer in my eyes.

Totally agree. TM hve charged people i know extra for the Grafalloy Red shaft on top of the £250 they are already paying.

Does the Superquad have £200 more technology in it than the Benny?. I doubt it. Does TM spend £200 more per club on flashy advertising? Possibly!! You are paying for their advertising costs and the name.

I tried the Benny last night and was quite impressed. I have always gone for the big name in the passed but i am seriously tempted with the Benny.

My 8 week old son was at the doctors for his first check up and was told he was overweight. So i can confirm that fat babies sweat :D :D
 

Cernunnos

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As if equipment changes weren't bad enough it seems that now (and I am bu99ered if I can recall when) we are all fashion victims as well as gear addicts. I was looking at a shirt in AG last week and the guy said to me 'Oh, thats new for this season' I said that the season was almost over and he replied 'No ... Autumn/Winter season' I nearly bitch slapped him.

Since when did golfers change their attire 4 effin' times a year???
Am a tight Scotsman FFS and to add insult to injury my FJ ReelFits are down by a third because they are 'OLD' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are only 5 months old.


I guess there are folks out there with a need to be seen with the latest gear but I will just plod on a spend what I can afford WHEN I can afford it and NOT because some limp wristed designer thinks my dress sense is OBSOLETE !!!!!!

Especially when there are really only two seasons in scotland.. Cold & wet..... And bl**dy wet cold & windy

Actually I've been to scotland on a number of occasions in the past when its been lovely, even in February. Though I remember on that same holiday having to drive through flooded roads...rofl

Got a bit of Scots blood running through these veins.. or is that antifreeze from the bulgarian Merlot, either way, I always look for the bargain,I'll look to see what the shopis selling off in the sales for the previous year before the two & a half days of summer roll along & buy the golf sweaters on the 2 & a half sunny days when they are reduced.... Either that or keepmy eyes open for the red price labels in TK maxx. Who needs to pay £40 or even £80 for that Polo branded top or jumper, when I can get it for 20 quid or even £8 on the bargain rail.

Picked up eighty quids worth of last years addidas shoes for thirty five quid in direct golf.
 

viscount17

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Is golf over priced ???

Do fat babies sweat !!!!!!!!!!


Of course it is.

Titleist D1/D2 driver £279 ... Ben Sayers Benny £99 with Grafalloy Red shaft !!!! Its a no-brainer in my eyes.

Totally agree. TM hve charged people i know extra for the Grafalloy Red shaft on top of the £250 they are already paying.

Does the Superquad have £200 more technology in it than the Benny?. I doubt it. Does TM spend £200 more per club on flashy advertising? Possibly!! You are paying for their advertising costs and the name.

I tried the Benny last night and was quite impressed. I have always gone for the big name in the passed but i am seriously tempted with the Benny.

My 8 week old son was at the doctors for his first check up and was told he was overweight. So i can confirm that fat babies sweat :D :D

no you're paying for TM's sponsorships.

and as for branded designer labels - if they want me to advertise their gear - pay me! otherwise it's Tescos and Asda
 

Cernunnos

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Yeah when we go buying a driver or set of irons, we can't help but buy the cap or visor in the same brand, the golf bag, the golf towel & the brolley. They should be paying us or offering up these items free when we pay out for their top of the range equipment

The pro's get paid for wearing the manufacturers logo'd gear, but Joe public get sod all for walking on the course looking like Monty, Jiminez, Poulter, Casey, Tiger & co'

Yet we all want that same visor or hat we see our favorites wearing, or the same as the guy who uses the same brand we do.
 

cm_qs

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Is golf overpriced? Yes - but it aint necessarily a bad thing.

The very nature of the sport means it's always going to be a game for investors.

You can learn and play most sports on the cheap if you want. Football and rugby can be played in any open space for the cost of a ball and some jumpers for goal posts.
In order to play golf (as opposed to practice) then you need a golf course. Even the scabbiest nine hole municipal course represents a massive capital investment with equally massive maintenence and running costs. This coupled with the amount of kit required to play the game mean that anyone who wants to play regularly needs to invest financially in the game. This investment tends to attract the sort of people who take it seriously and will treat their kit, the course and the people they meet along the way with a respect that might not be evident if they could dabble on the cheap.
Go to any council muni on a Saturday and you'll likely find a couple of shirtless jokers with a Tesco bag containing 4 clubs, some range balls and a bottle of cheap wine, all of which they intend to share between them but these guys will either get bitten by the bug and follow the investment route or they'll get fed up and chuck it.

Don't get me wrong I'm not criticizing anyone who does this or the courses they play. I was one of them ( albeit wearing a shirt and it was a safeway bag with Irn Bru in it) I just believe that the high cost of playing the game also helps raise / maintain the standards of the punters who play it.


Are the equipment manufacturers tearing the a*se out of us? - Absolutely!
Who's to blame? - We are.
If we didn't covet all the latest shiny stuff in the mistaken belief that it will make Tigers out of us then supply and demand would limit the costs.

I play with a set of 7 year old irons, a 20 year old putter and a second hand driver. I don't think I'll be changing them anytime soon..........but I really, really need a shiny new Vokey wedge
 

Cernunnos

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Its just vanity, what we play with, those of us amatures with expensive equipment, as I know full well, I'd be more than happy with My Lynx Irons I still own, the Yonex Driver I still own, The hippo wedges I still own, or the MD.NV Drew wedges I found that are excellent for the money. & the John Letters Putter I have somewhere which never lost a beat when I was using it.

What I've used recently is all for vanities sake. Yes the ping Irons are nice & go well, but I don't really need them.

As for the Vokey wedges, save your money, get the NV Drew wedges, look stylish & work just as nicely at about half the price of a Vokey & will probably last twice as long as the forged equivelent.
 

krokodil

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Irons I have were bought in the early 90s and were second hand when purchased-no need to buy the new 'muscle backed'irons or whatever the buzz word is now.
My carry bag is 9yrs old.
Shoes I will pay more for cause I figure that if i'm marching around for the best part of 4hours then I should do it in comfort and believe that you get what you pay for in the footwear dept.

Clothing-I will buy sweaters and shirts from a bog standard shop, the only golf labels are those given as presents from the other half.

As mentioned previously, we wouldn't be getting shafted sideways if there weren't so many vain, gullible people willing to throw money at the emperor's new clothes...
 

medwayjon

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IS golf overpriced, what a great thread indeed and some great responses also. For what its worth here is my take on the various areas of golf.

Playing golf - In my eyes this is NOT too expensive. With the amount of golf I play at my club the annual subs will equate this year, to the princely cost of £5.60 per round which is incredibly cheap in my eyes. As for green fees, they vary but tbh if I play a good course I dont mind what we pay. My last society was £29 per head, that included bacon rolls & coffee, 18 holes, Ham egg & chips and the prize-pot. This is great value for the superb track.

Golf Clothing - Absolutely YES, this is overpriced. The minute a pair of trousers or a waterproof jacket are dubbed golf clothing the price leaps. I pay £35 for a ralph lauren polo if I am feeling extravavgant but this is hardly ever. My trousers are 2-for-£25 at bhs and my stock polos range from £3 primani to £12 for BHS. My waterproofs were £39 for a decent breathable set froma workwear retailer, a similar suit from the golf shop were £75. As for shoes, cant complain, I spend £100 or so for my non-golf shoes and in my eyes you get what you pay for with footwear.

Golf Epuipment - NO, when you look at the amount of use and life-span of your equipment it isnt really that expensive. Yes at the point of initial outlay it is painful but that soon subsides. Obviously the big-brands have huge ad campaigns and player sponsorship so the consumer ultimately has to pay for this. Many brands change their gear every 6 months yes but whats the problem??? If you bought last years model so what??? It still does the job it did back then so unless you are the equivalent of a fishing tackle-tart you havent a concern there. My titleist irons were £150 inc p&p 2nd had but were £500 new 2 years ago, I really dont care that they arent the latest model, they do what I ask so thats good enough for me.

The other thing to remember is resale value, quality-brand gear may seem expensive but in terms of residual worth it is worth buying. A £100 set of irons will be worth nothing as a trade-in when 3 years old whereas a set of titlesit/callaway/ping etc will still have a significant value. I was offered £200p/x for mine a few weeks ago and my G5 driver £120 in January has a trade-in value of £90 where I buy my gear so that prooves that point in my eyes.

So to conclude I would say that golf IS NOT overpriced, it is no longer a rich-mans sport and hasnt been for ages.

Think of fishing..... £40 on bait every trip, £1.20 for every lead weight lost (4 on average), £2.00 for every rig lost, Leaders lost at £1.50 a pop, line lost at £12 a spool, diesel at £20 for the average trip, a couple of beers and a bit of grub and the average trip has cost of around £100.

What price to put on your enjoyment I say... If you have had a great time and you can afford it, enjoy it, dont moan about it.

As a side, A chum of mine was moaning about how much golf costs him, he says club subs are far too expensive but spends £50-£60 a week on green-fees. My club costs £840 and a top club locally £1200, the numpty couldn't see my point that a club is hence good value.
 

andycap

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Agree with most comments about golf kit , in this day and age it takes a very principled person to not be sucked in to must have 'designer gear' not only golf but in almost everything now you are judged buy what you wear , what you drive, where you live etc.
Aside from golf kit what about membership and green fees? in threads that have run in the past it seems that mainly in the south of the country we are charged far more than elsewhere , how can that be when land prices, labour costs etc are fairly consistent :D
 

DCB

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Like all addictive things, you have to pay to get the buzz that makes you want to come back for more!

It is only because we the golfers are willing to put our hands in our pockets that the equipment manufacturers and the venues seem to be able to charge what they want knowing that we will pay it.

Golf used to be a working mans game up here in Scotland; nowadays you need to be a well paid working man to play at some of our more prestigious courses. If a course gets on one of the "Hundred Best" type of lists it is a licence to print money!

Mind you, compared to our friends from south of the border, golf is still relatively easier on the pocket than some places mentioned on these forums.
 

Marko77

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What price to put on your enjoyment I say... If you have had a great time and you can afford it, enjoy it, dont moan about it.

Well put Jon. There is so much choice out there suiting all budgets. Obviously the brand names will cost more but its the same with everything, food, cars, electricals....
 

Imurg

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if you spread the cost of setting up your kit and your fees over the years you probably would end up paying much more to watch ManU, Chelsea, etc etc

So really its not that bad....
 
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