That is a a great analogy and shows there are lots of ways to spend money on a hobby. Just like almost any other hobby/activity, modeling and golf can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be.
Right now I am working on a 1:700 scale MADDOX which I got for free after my daughters father in law passed away. The price was still on the box: 4.95.
I have decided I want to update it from its Second World War fit to 1962. I have purchased many after market upgrades which have cost me close to $80.00 and counting (Steve, I'll be getting a set of your 3"/50 twin mounts too). I'd never have done that as a kid, but I also didn't know anyone who served aboard MADDOX in 1962 until the past few years.