Article Date:
May 2006

Word Count:



How to Make Golf Deductible

Follow the Golf Rules to Deduct Fishing, Tennis, and Scuba Diving


If you play golf or tennis, fish or scuba dive, you likely have a host of deductions waiting for you. Harvesting the deductions requires knowledge and documentation.


To make the rules easy to understand, we are writing this article as if you play golf. If golf is not for you, just replace the word “golf” with your activity. No matter your game, the rules remain the same.


Here are two things to keep in mind while you read this article:



Golf does not qualify as a deductible expense just because you talk about business on the golf course.


Golf does qualify for a deduction as associated entertainment when you have the right business discussion in a valid business setting before or after the golf, generally the same day.


Editor’s Update: Directly-related entertainment is deductible prior to January 1, 2018. See Tax Reform Wipes Out 50 Percent Business Entertainment Deductions.


The business discussion in the right setting creates deductions for the cost of



golf (greens fees, guest fees, electric carts, caddies);


beverages and snacks; and


breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

In this article, you will learn



the types of golf that qualify for deduction;


that the business discussion must occur in a business setting;


what constitutes a business setting;


how golf fits the associated-entertainment deduction;


how Charles Urbauer won his golf deduction in court (a great real-world golf-deduction example);


what makes for a qualifying business discussion;


how to properly document the golf deduction;


that conventions automatically meet both the business discussion and the clear business setting tests;


five examples of the golf deduction;


how the law treats lodging on trips to ... Log in to view full article.

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