Masters Underway, Alabama Golf Courses See Big Numbers

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By Ashley Thompson

The Masters Golf Tournament is underway at Augusta but more golfers are tee-ing off here in Alabama as a result. That makes golf more than just a pasttime -- it's big business.

Sure Football is big business in Alabama but so is another, more quiet sport. Golf. And if you want to get into the sport that's made athletes Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods millions, you may have to shell out a few bucks yourself. Alabama State University Golf Coach Gary Grandison says tells us to tee-off on the green for just one day could set you back up to one-hundred dollars.

"Several factors come into play when it comes down to pricing," says Grandison. "Different courses have different obstacles and you have different grades just like any other product. So typically if you want to play at a course that has more prestige, it costs more."

You'll pay $1125 for a season pass at Montgomery's Lagoon Park Golf Course. To play at a country club, memberships are often required...which cost even more.

"There's a lot of different levels of a private club and the prices vary," says Lagoon's Director of Golf, Mark Savoy. "Between $300 a month for dues to one-thousand a month.

Necessities like golf clubs don't come cheap either.

"It ranges from a one-hundred dollar hand-me-down set to two-thousand dollars for clubs," says Grandison.

Other factors drive up the cost of golf as well. Items like golf balls, collared shirts, and golf carts make this sport pricier than most.

"You really have to watch what you're doing, otherwise it'll be addicting and you'll overspend yourself," says golfer Greg Paramore.

But even with the cost, some golfers say it's money well spent.

"What I like about golf is that you can play when you want to," says golfer Tony Turner. "If you're playing baseball or whatever, you're on somebody else's schedule."

"I enjoy it because of the mental aspect," says Paramore. "It gets you thinking. It gets your brain working and as you get up in age, it makes your brain cells regenerate."

If you're thinking about heading to Georgia for the Masters...tickets start around two thousand dollars.

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