The Value of Golf
With the holidays upon us and the New Year right around the corner, everyone I know is counting the money we have for the small things in life. As biased as I am about golf, even I have to freely admit that golf is a luxury, not a necessity. My only qualifier to that idea is this, so is every other sport.
When I talk to parents about getting their kids into sports, I’m told that golf is far too expensive. Of course, I would never tell anyone how to spend money, or where the value of their money is; however, facts are facts, and golf is no more expensive than the major sports played in Tulare County.
We have an amazing baseball/softball community, and soccer is almost as popular as football, but we could never argue these sports are less expensive than golf. With the average Easton baseball bat priced at $300 and a fielder’s mitt averaging $150, how can we argue about price?
Football is easily several hundred for our kids in a year, and soccer is the same. That is unless you become competitive and travel. Travel teams are one of the best ways to test our children’s abilities against the best possible competition and explain why Tulare County constantly sends teams to the national stage in multiple sports.
Travel teams are also a major expense to families and have created a perpetual need to fundraise. Entry fees, lodging, food, and the other costs involved in entering a weekend-long tournament can stop an athlete from competing before they start.
What does all of this have to do with GOLF! With golf specifically, nothing. With the argument that golf is too expensive, everything!
For less than the price of a premium bat, you can get a full set of youth clubs; for less than the price of a midrange fielders mitt, you can outfit your child in the latest golf apparel. If you are not in Tulare where we don’t charge anyone younger than High School age for range balls during the day, there are still plenty of programs for your child to learn to love golf.
Youth On Course is a program for kids between the ages of 6-18 years old and allows members to pay $5 or less to play golf on 1,200 courses all over the United States. For more information on this program, please visit www.youthoncourse.com. We at Tulare Golf Course not only fully support their mission to grow the game, but we are also a Youth On Course member.
We have small leagues locally that can give your child a real competitive environment to grow in. Unfortunately, Tulare Golf Course hasn’t found the right person to help lead a youth team for this league. You can contact Steve Maaske at Exeter Golf Course for more information.
For less than $500 annually, your child can play golf, a sport they will be able to play for the rest of their lives. If they grow to love the game, the opportunities for scholarships are less impacted then the other sports I’ve mentioned, which could be considered a return on your investment. I don’t recommend any athletics be geared as the only way to make it to higher education, it steals the fun out of the sport, but it is a nice potential side benefit.
Golf is also one of the only sports where Grandpa, Grandma, parents, and children can all play on the same field at the same time. You don’t have to yell from the sidelines when you are right next to your child, supporting them, and showing them the values of being a good sport, and the importance of integrity.
The value of family playing together and spending time together is greater than any other thing golf can offer, and hopefully, when you are a grandparent, we can host you and your grandchild for a round of golf.