Can I become a golfer?
Cheap golf in Germany: do you need a golf club membership?
Few sports have grown as immensely as golf. There were 635,097 registered golfers in 2012; at the end of 2019 there were 642,677 golfers. A large association stands in the background, the German Golf Association, which even initiated the German Golf League, comparable to the German Bundesliga.
Golf even became an Olympic sport again in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. It was the last time in 1904. Germany could not keep up in the medal table, but there is a new chance at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Well. But what do I do if I don't belong to the sports or the wealthy elite and just want to golf cheaply?
It is important to know that in Germany you have to take a golf course license, comparable to the driver's license for the car, and also need a golf club membership in order to be allowed to play golf at all.
The easiest or cheapest way to do it is certainly if you play so-called "public spaces". An overview of public golf courses can be found at www.d-golf.de. In any case, you save several hundred euros for a golf license test, as this is usually not required in most public places. Membership in a golf club on a public course is also not an entry requirement. Anyone who wants can play golf there for a fee - the so-called green fee.
OK, so why don't everyone do it when they just want to play golf?
Public facilities are mostly only short courses with three, six or nine holes. That's a fine thing, but it might be a bit boring in the long run. Especially since the public golf courses can only be found very sporadically in Germany.
For almost all "real", ie 18-hole golf courses, it is necessary that you are a member of a golf club and have acquired the (DGV) golf license. And especially once you are infected by the golf virus, you want to play really hard - assert yourself on different courses, test them and that also on vacation, abroad or on the next city trip. Or just play your favorite place around the corner, preferably 3 times a day (the whole day;)).
In addition, there is of course the attraction of working on your entry-level handicap PR and improving your handicap. A handicap administration is only available with a DGV golf club membership.
So I need a long-term golf club membership in a golf club, or what?
You definitely have to answer this question with “yes” in Germany. Only those who can present a golf club ID, primarily from a German golf club, may use the golf club to play green fees. This ensures that the player also contributes to the costs of the golf spot through membership. Many other countries are more relaxed about it. There you are happy about the (usually higher) green fee that the golfer pays for the round of golf. Often you don't even need a golf club membership abroad.
And what do I do to golf cheaply?
Basically, it should be said that every sport costs money. Either you pay per use or you pay club / annual fees that serve the maintenance, management and renewal of the sports facility. The golf courses also cost money, which must first be there so that the fairways are beautiful and the greens are well-kept.
Nevertheless, there are also various green fee cards on the German golf market that reduce the respective green fee. In order to play golf cheaply, we have tested a number of providers of golf discount cards: our tests are here. The clubs also offer various green fee tickets, 5 or 10 tickets or association tickets with clubs in the region.
For families and young people, the golf clubs sometimes offer very good prices for golf club memberships, so it's worth asking. For everyone else, we still recommend a long-distance golf membership to golf cheaply in Germany. This at least keeps the fixed costs low.
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