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Golf is for all

There are many ways to enjoy your love of golf with a reasonable cost. Golf guru Robert Bicknell will help you find the answer.

One of the biggest drawbacks in golf is the cost. Building a golf course can cost a million dollars per hole (depending on the location, the designer and level of perfection demanded), not to mention the cost of staffing the club, maintenance and, of course taxes.

On the players side, there is the cost of equipment, balls, clothing, transportation to and from the venue, lunch, beer… more beer… and more beer, clothes, green fees, caddie fees, and, of course… more beer.

Did I forget to mention beer?

Yes, beer does seem to make the game a little easier to deal with, but there is a fine line between “lubricating the machine for optimal performance” and sliding off into oblivion. Most start by priming the pump, as it were, before eventually losing control of conscious thought.

Yes, not being able to over-think can be a good thing, but not being able to think at all does tend to create problems. Trust me…


So, with all the costs involved, why do people continue to play golf and, more importantly, why do people keep building golf courses?

Probably because we’re stupid…and the fact that golf is an addictive game. It’s actually more than a game – it’s a test of character and despite some people not understanding that, their character is on display for everyone to see every time they tee it up nonetheless.

However, despite the high price of golf in some places, it doesn’t have to be expensive.

For example, you can build a nice public course for around $10 million (for the whole thing – except land use cost in Vietnam) and if you have a good location, you can make money without charging an arm and a leg. Add lights and business improves significantly in summer time.

If someone would do that, they could really help promote the game and draw in more new players – especially juniors.

Golf equipment doesn’t have to be expensive either. For example, there are many places which sell “starter sets” which are relatively cheap and are good to learn with. If you destroy them, no big deal. But when you get better, you can then decide to invest in a higher quality set.


Think about it the same way as buying a car.

When you first get your driver’s license, it’s always better to get an old beater to run around in so if you have a fender bender, it won’t cost a fortune to fix it – provided you decide to fix it at all.

You’re not going to buy a Lamborghini as a first car (unless you want to kill yourself and waste half a million bucks in the process), so why do it with golf clubs?

Actually, most accidents involving high-performance cars such as Lamborghini’s or Bugatti’s happen within 10km of the car dealership. Think about it.

So,it’s better to get something cheap or mid-range just to see if you really like the game. Once you improve, you can then decide to go all the way in.


The same thing goes for choosing a golf ball. Many new players immediately buy the top of the line ball, like the Titleist Pro V1 or the TaylorMade Tour Preferred, without understanding that these are “high-performance” balls and spin like crazy. If you fade or draw a Pinnacle or other type of rock, you’ll have trouble controlling a top tier ball.

My advice, go for beginner / mid-line clubs and a bag of rocks. Forget the expensie stuff until you have a better grip on the game.

Also, forget about learning golf from friends (unless they are qualified teaching pros) or from the Internet. Invest in some lessons and you’ll get off the driving range and onto the course much faster. You’ll also lose fewer balls so that too saves you money.


Some clubs in Vietnam charge very high fees, but not all.

Many clubs have weekly specials with offer a nice discount on green fees and lunch. Take advantage of these when you are just beginning. There are fewer players during the week and that puts less pressure on you. Enjoy the day and learn how to play properly.

Weekend players have very little tolerance for rank beginners who take 20 shots per hole.

I still believe that the best way to grow the golf industry in Vietnam is to promote junior golf and for clubs to find ways to make it either free or vastly discounted. We need younger kids to pick up the game and carry it into the future.

Golfer Wearing Golf Glove Holding a Twenty Dollar BillGolfer Wearing Golf Glove Holding a Twenty Dollar Bill

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