With the cost of living continuing to climb, most of us are looking for ways to save and save money. Golf isn’t the cheapest pastime, but for those of us who love the game, it’s an essential expense. It provides physical exercise and mental stimulation, it is extremely sociable and a great way to spend time with friends and family outdoors.

There are, however, ways to save money on your golf and one of them is to find the cheapest green fees available when playing different courses. If you are ready to play at certain times, it is possible to find discounted rates and save money.

winter golf

Old St Andrews Course

The Old Course St Andrews

(Image credit: Getty Images)

First, and obviously enough, if you’re willing to play all winter, there are usually deals to be had. Most courses offer deep discounts on full price green fees during the colder months. As an example – At the Old Course St Andrews, venue for the 150th Open Championship in July, low season rates are half the price of summer charges – £135 vs. £270. Half-price winter fees are not uncommon – At Hollinwell, The Home of Notts Golf Club, the winter fee is £75 compared to £150 during the summer. At Duff House Royal Golf Club in Banff, Scotland – A conception of Dr Alister MacKenzie – the winter rate is just £20 compared to a summer rate of £70 – Almost a quarter of the price.

Weekday Golf

Knole Park Golf

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

If you can play on weekdays, you will often find cheaper green fees than on weekends. At Knole Park Golf Club in Kent, it’s £20 cheaper to play Monday-Thursday than Friday-Sunday, for example. At Nicklaus Designed Machynys in Carmathenshire, the summer rate is £60 Monday-Thursday compared to £75 Friday-Sunday.

If you go through one of the golf green fee booking sites, you will also find reduced rates on quieter days at some clubs. If you’re able to be flexible, you’ll find deals to be made, especially near the day you want to play, as courses look to fill their tee sheets.

Twilight Rates

Illustrated Royal Dornoch Golf Links

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Many clubs will offer a cheaper rate if you are willing to play later in the day, while there will generally be less demand on tee times. These discounts are often referred to as “twilight” rates.

At the Royal Dornoch Golf Club in the north of Scotland, the twilight ticket (playing after 6pm from May to July and after 5.30pm in August) gives a fee of just £125 to play the championship course compared to the full price of £210. You can play the Struie course for just £30 on the twilight ticket. Some clubs offer twilight rates earlier than this. Across the country, at Royal North Devon, England’s oldest course, there is a sunset fare of just £40 after 4pm, half the price of the Saturday fare and £30 less than the standard fee, Sunday through Friday. At Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club in Lancashire, a dusk pass is available – £460 for a fourball after 3pm on weekdays from a posted rate of £175 pp – that’s a saving of £60 each.

The rule of thumb with green fees is that if you are willing or able to play off-peak hours – during the winter months, on a quieter weekday, or after a certain time in the afternoon , you can find discounted green fees: These are the cheapest times to play golf.