Financial Planning

Looking for a Financial Advisor for Golf Lovers?

By  Brian Thorp

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Get to know the financial advisors who help golfers spend more time on the greens with less money stress throughout their career and into retirement.

Avid golfers know the game doesn’t stop when the cart is turned in. Nor is it over after leaving the course. These golfers know it’s not just a sport; it’s a way of life.

But a life on the links doesn’t come cheap. From country club dues to the best new golf shoes, the lifestyle costs can be steep. And setting aside sufficient savings that will get you into your dream golf retirement community can feel like you’re constantly chipping out of the bunkers.

The good news is that you can hire a financial advisor who shares your passion for golf and knows how to get you back in the fairway.

You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor who truly understands your priorities to spend more time improving your game and less time worrying about how to pay for it.

Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live. This means you can choose to hire a specialist financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge and experience working with golfers is a better fit to help with your unique financial planning needs and aspirations.

Financial Planning for Golf Lovers

💡 In the Q&A below, you’ll gain insights from financial advisors who are golf enthusiasts, too. With their expert financial guidance and support off the course, you’ll gain the confidence you’re seeking to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

🙋‍♀️ Do you have questions not answered below? Use the form on this page to submit your questions, and we’ll update this article with answers from the financial professionals and educators in the Wealthtender community. You can also contact the financial advisors featured in this article directly to set up an introductory call or ask your questions by email.

⛳ Smart Money Insights for Golf Lovers

This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:

  1. Q&A with Financial Advisors Specializing in Serving Golf Lovers
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Financial Planning for Golfers
  3. Browse Related Articles

Q&A: Financial Advisors Specializing in Serving Golf Lovers

Six Questions with Doug Oosterhart, CFP®

We asked Weldon Spring, Missouri, financial advisor and golf enthusiast specialist Doug Oosterhart to answer six questions about the unique financial planning needs of golfers.

Q: What are the parallels between financial planning and golf?

Doug: One of the reasons I enjoy golf so much is that there are so many similarities between golf and financial planning/investing. Golf is a sport with TONS of variables that the golfer cannot control. A golfer can play the same course two days in a row, but the conditions (weather, pin placements, green speed, etc.) can be totally different from round to round. The best thing a golfer can do is control what they can control, live with the outcome of each shot, and move on to the next.

In a golfer’s bag, they have 14 clubs. Those clubs have varying lofts, shapes, sizes, and purposes. One might say it’s diversification at its best. A golfer wouldn’t carry a full bag of 7 irons, just like they wouldn’t allocate 100% of their portfolio to one investment.

Lastly, having the right mindset in both golf and investing is key to ultimate success.

Bobby Jones once said, “Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears.” The same can be said for investing. Even though the hero shot in golf looks appealing, the probability that you’ll pull it off is lower than you think.

As a golfer, you constantly have to train your brain and fight human nature. You could be standing over a tee shot and remember a tip you heard online that you might want to implement – you try it out on the 18th hole tee box, slice the shot out of bounds, and lose your $5 Nassau. What you should have done is save that tip for the range.

Investing works in similar ways. When the market is down, people get nervous and want to move to cash. Instead, they should think about their overall game plan and know that there are ups and downs and they can’t control the market. Easier said than done in both golf and investing!

Q: Among your clients who share your passion for golf, is there a financial planning challenge unique to golfers that you frequently encounter? How do you work with them to overcome this challenge?

Doug: The golfers I work with are generally the type that takes the game seriously enough to want to improve continuously, but not so seriously that they don’t have fun. They’re also generally fast movers in their professional lives (often doing lots of different tasks, making quick (but well thought out) decisions).

With golf, there are many factors that play a role in the shot selection a golfer might choose. They have to account for the lie, carry distance, target, wind, temperature, etc. when deciding how to play a shot.

Although this challenge maybe isn’t unique to golf, a challenge I face with clients is how to structure a retirement income strategy that fits their specific style. I have to know how they react when the market goes down, when the market goes up, what their goals are, their tax situation, and more. I wouldn’t recommend a flop shot when a bump and run with a 9i still accomplishes the goal (it might not be as sexy, but it works!).

Get to Know Doug Oosterhart, Financial Advisor for Golf Lovers:

View Doug’s profile page on Wealthtender or visit his website to learn more.

Q: Golf can be an expensive pastime for people interested in playing regularly throughout their lives. For young adults just beginning their careers who aspire to play golf frequently without hindering their ability to retire comfortably at a reasonable age, what advice can you offer? 

Doug: Location can play a big role in deciding whether or not to join a golf club/country club. If you’re only able to play 4-5 months per year, it might not be worth joining a club.

As someone who has moved around the country multiple times, I’ve always looked for the best “value” when it comes to joining a club. I’ve been able to find reasonable rates ($1,000-$2,000 initiation fees with anywhere between $200-600 monthly). One thing to look out for is extra fees that will nickel and dime you. For example, locker fees, food minimums, cart fees per round, etc.

It’s important to do the math on how much you’ll play, what you’re looking for (extra amenities like a pool or wine/whiskey tastings), and overall what the members think about the club. No club is perfect, but there are usually some great options at different price levels. Ask about junior memberships (sometimes called “birdie” memberships – usually they’re available for members under 40.

Q: For individuals and couples who are a few years away from retirement and hope to hit the course daily, what steps do you suggest they take now with their finances to improve their ability to enjoy their retirement without breaking the bank?

Doug: Usually, we are talking to clients about what communities they live in or want to live in when they retire. There are communities out there ranging from trailer park communities to 6-figure initiation fee golf clubs.

That said, there are some really nice 9-hole courses in some trailer park communities in the US. It truly depends on what the client’s goals are. Most of the time, my clients are somewhere in the middle. They might not be a member at the most prestigious clubs, but they play golf with people they enjoy being around and don’t have to act pretentious to fit in.

Q: From a financial planning perspective, what is your perspective on the value of retiring to a master-planned golf retirement community?

Doug: When people retire, they tend to hang around other people with the same hobbies. The idea of living in a community with a golf course for my clients who golf is very attractive. Oftentimes, it’s one of the ways to make playing golf every day affordable and convenient. Being able to drive your own golf cart down the road to the tee box is a big value add!

Q: As a golfer who is also a financial planner, is there a particular course you believe is one of the best values for your money that you would recommend to other golfers?

Doug: If you haven’t taken a trip to Boyne Highlands near Petoskey, MI, you are missing out! Every year, my friends and I take a weekend trip to Michigan and play courses like Bay Harbor, which rivals any premier golf course in the country. Depending on the time of year, a 72-hole golf trip can range from $600-1200 per golfer (cost of lodging and golf).

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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

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Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.