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The rise in cost-of-living has caused many of us to look for ways we can economise in all aspects of life. But economising doesn’t necessarily mean doing without. Golf may not be the cheapest activity out there, but there are ways to play golf for less. One method for saving money on your golf is to look for the cheapest green fees available, either if you play as an itinerant golfer or as a club member who enjoys visiting other courses. Here we take a look at the cheapest places in the UK to play golf.
VIDEO: How To Save Money On Golf
Municipal, publicly owned courses generally offer low rates and good value for money. There are many great municipal layouts across the country. At Hazlehead in Aberdeen, the MacKenzie Championship course was designed by the great Dr Alister MacKenzie, of Augusta fame. It’s a superb layout set through woodland. A round at Hazlehead will cost you just £25.
At the other end of the country, Queen’s Park Golf Course in Bournemouth is a fine and testing, mature layout with a great selection of holes and a rich history. It played host to the 1939 Daily Mail Golf Tournament. Green fees at Queen’s Park start as low as £18 per person
Cleeve Hill in Gloucestershire is a former municipal, now being managed on a 125 year lease, that also has a long and impressive history. The original design was by Old Tom Morris and Dr Alister MacKenzie added his touches. It offers wonderful, natural golf, running up hill and down dale at the highest point in the beautiful Cotswolds. Green fees start at just £20 for the round.
One way to play golf more cheaply is to play a nine-holer. Fewer holes means less cash. There are some cracking nine-holers out there and you can, of course, choose to take another trip round if you want to make it up to 18.
At the very far north west tip of Scotland, Durness is a striking nine-hole layout with tremendous views. You’ll pay just £25 for the privilege and there’s the novelty of popping your payment in an honesty box. You’ll also encounter honesty boxes at Corrie on the Isle of Arran, another spell-bindingly beautiful nine-holer, where the fee is just £15. Further south at Wooler in Northumberland, it’s just £10 for nine holes. It’s a great little track and there can be fewer venues where golf can be enjoyed at better value.
In the south, there are some great heathland nine-holers offering great value. At Holtye Golf Club you’ll find tree and heather-lined fairways over rolling terrain and pay just £16 for one loop of the course.
There are also courses that simply offer great value for money. One of Golf Monthly’s absolute favourites is Kington Golf Club in Herefordshire. The highest course in England, playing here is a real experience as the holes rise and fall over rumpled terrain with incredible, expansive views. A green fee at this excellent layout is just £30.
Established in 1885, Borth and Ynyslas Golf Club was a founder member of the Welsh Golfing Union. The course hugs the edge of Cardigan Bay and delivers a great test of links golf with rolling fairways, pot bunkers and gorse.
Harry Colt added his touches to the layout in 1945 and his handiwork is apparent across the links. There are five par threes on the course, the shortest of which measures 170 yards off the back pegs. Green fees at this famous track start at £32.50
At Broadway in Worcestershire you’ll find a beautifully maintained track in a beautiful setting, surrounded by history. You can play nine holes for as little as £27 and 18-holes for just £42.
There are also cheaper times to play golf. If you’re prepared to play outside of the summer season, most courses in the UK will offer discounted winter and shoulder season rates. If you are able to play later in the day, many will also offer twilight rates.
There are also numerous tee booking sites where tee times will be priced against availability and demand. If you are flexible and can play when fewer people are trying to book, there are often deals to be had.
There are cheap green fee rates to be had across the UK if you’re prepared to do a little research. At a time when every pound counts, it’s great to find some cheaper courses - hidden gems - to enjoy – there are plenty out there.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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