Learning to play golf is one of the most rewarding and important things that you can do for yourself.
As a golfer, you will have a sport that you can play for the rest of your life.
In addition, golf is a great way to make friends, enjoy spending time with people, and get in some physical exercise as well.
However, the downside to golf is that it is difficult and takes quite a bit of time to learn.
If you want to learn to play golf, you will have to make a time commitment to the sport.
It is not an easy game to learn, but any serious golfer will tell you that it is well worth it.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Golf?
Learning golf typically takes about six months to a year.
Of course, the rate at which you learn the game of golf is going to change based on your athletic ability, prior knowledge, and the rate at which you practice and play.
Some people are very dedicated to their golf careers, and they put in a lot of time.
Those people tend to learn the game quickly and get to an advanced level in a short amount of time.
Other golfers will take ten years and still feel as though they are beginners.
Part of the problem with learning how to play golf is that you will need to learn more than just how to swing a golf club.
There are several rules about etiquette, dress code, proper conduct on the course, and more which all need to be learned.
We have put together a list of some of the most important things that beginner golfers need to learn.
When you read through this comprehensive list, you will see why it is that golf takes so long to learn.
Why Does Golf Take So Long To Learn?
Here are the major reasons that golf takes more than a year to officially learn.
Golf can take a lifetime to master, and there are very few people who truly get to the level of perfecting or mastering this sport.
Professionals on the PGA Tour are a very small percentage of the total population of golfers.
Their abilities are extremely impressive, and they did not get to this level accidentally.
Golfers on the PGA Tour spend more hours than a full-time job working on their game and trying to get better.
Here are some of the reasons that golf takes so long to learn.
1. Very Exact Game
When you really break down golf and look at all that it is, you have to hit an area on the sweet spot of a club that is about the size of a quarter, with the size of a dime (the areas that are a sweet spot on the ball) and get it to travel hundreds of yards.
When you swing the club, it has to be done at top speeds.
In addition, the ball has to drop into a hole that is just a few inches in diameter.
Thinking about golf, stepping outside of the sport, and looking in will make you quickly realize how difficult the game is and why so many people struggle with it.
This is not to say that other sports are not difficult.
Of course, you will need some more physical strength to be a football quarterback or a basketball player, but even these professional athletes admit that golf can be much harder.
The major reason behind this is that golf is a very precise game.
If you miss the hole by a quarter of an inch, you hit a golf ball, and the position is off by 3/8th of an inch, your shot will be terrible.
Those who are new to the game of golf have a hard time picturing and understanding the difficulty of the sport and why it takes so long to get better.
The fact that golf is such a precise and accurate game is also why some players want to keep playing as often as they can.
Etiquette is another reason that golf takes such a long time to learn.
Having poor etiquette is going to make it hard to get other people to play golf with you.
Simple etiquette includes not speaking while others are hitting, standing still if it is not your turn, marking your ball properly, and more.
Beginners need to play golf several times before they will understand the way that etiquette is going to impact the game.
You won’t run into all of the situations and circumstances your first time out on a course, so it takes some time to learn what is acceptable and what is not.
Find friends who have no trouble telling you that you are doing something wrong or that you need to change.
You will then have no issues when you are playing with strangers and having to worry just a little bit more about the way etiquette works.
It makes sense to purchase books that deal with etiquette and learn to get better at the overall process.
The more aware you are of other golfers and their needs, the better the chance you have of becoming a very enjoyable golfer to compete against.
Overall, golf course etiquette just makes the process of learning the game of golf quite a bit harder.
3. Pace Of Play
The pace of play seems like it is so simple.
Of course, you want to play golf as fast as you can, but learning how to do this is hard.
Golfers have a natural tendency to try and slow down, make sure they hit perfect shots, think about what they are doing, and overall, play quite slowly.
The pace of play for new golfers is going to be a tough balance between playing fast enough and rushing.
If you rush your golf game, you won’t be able to properly think about the things that you are working on.
If you swing too fast, you will even tend to miss the ball completely.
Learning golf will take some time, and if you are not willing to invest this time, you will continue to struggle with things like the pace of play.
Remember that the golf course is not the place to practice.
You should be able to take one practice swing and then make contact with the golf ball.
If you are taking two, three, or four practice swings, it will slow down the pace of play considerably.
You should take one swing and then hit the golf ball.
In addition, beginners need to learn to look for their golf balls.
Don’t expect that others are going to watch the golf ball for you. You must learn to track the ball and play ready golf.
When it is your turn to play, have your golf club ready and be set up to take a swing.
The little bits of time that you can save as you progress through your day on the course will make a big difference in the total time the round will take.
Sometimes just saving a minute or so on a hole could end up being a half-hour at the end of a round.
The difference between a round of golf that takes four hours and one that takes five hours is a major one and something that most golfers are going to need to learn at some point.
4. Rules Of The Game
Very few amateur golfers have a good understanding of all of the rules of golf.
Golf gets very complicated, and the many rules situations are varied, making it harder to find quick and simple solutions to all situations that arise.
If you are new to the game of golf, you should have a general idea of scoring, how to properly score, and what happens if your golf ball makes it into a hazard.
Most golf facilities have water hazards and out-of-bounds markers throughout the entire golf course.
If you are not sure how to manage your game should you hit it in one of these areas, you will need to work on the rules of the game.
There are golf rule books and apps that will quickly let you search for ruling decisions and situations.
However, it is important for all golfers to have a basic understanding of the major rules of golf.
Over time, golf rules will change slightly, but for the most part, they are very similar from year to year, and you will only need to learn them once.
There are golfers who have been playing for 15 years and still don’t know how to properly follow the rules.
This is a problem and one that should not happen.
There are plenty of resources available to help you learn the rules of golf, so you simply need to invest the time.
Read through the rule book at least once.
It is completely fine if you don’t remember all of the different rules all the time.
Instead, have a general understanding of how the rule book works and where you can look when you need answers.
If you have this information, you should have no trouble enjoying a round of golf by the rules.
Several variables are involved in the game of golf, including your physical ability, the course you are playing, the weather, your equipment, and more.
When new golfers are trying to learn the game, they are not consistent in every situation.
This means that each time they head out to the golf course to try and learn about what is necessary to play better, they will struggle with constantly changing conditions.
Players need to learn to hit from the rough, the sand, the fairway, and more.
If you are not prepared for these variables, you will continue to struggle.
Learning all of the things that can change and how your golf game should adjust takes years of experience.
If you have ever noticed one of your friends is very good at playing golf in the rain or the wind, chances are they have been playing a long time.
Gaining experience with how these situations are going to impact a day on the course is a major reason golf takes so long to learn.
Golfers who play almost every day are going to be able to get better more quickly because they understand how to adapt to these different variables that they will come across.
6. Hard To Improve On Your Own
Golf can be hard to improve on your own.
Even if you want to put in the time to get better, you are going to have a hard time improving on your own.
This means that you will need to watch instructional videos, purchase training aids, and work with the help of a professional to improve your golf game.
This can be a lot of work and money, and it will only increase the amount of time that it takes to learn the game.
Many sports and activities are going to be easy to get good at just by putting the time in.
However, golf is not one of these.
If you are not careful about the time that you are spending out on the golf course, you are going to find that it could take years to simply lower your scores by a few shots.
If you have a friend or family member who is very good at the game, let them teach you what you need to do to get better.
They will help you understand the types of shots you need to learn, drills for practicing, and general ways to improve and enjoy the game more.
Finding people who are willing to help will certainly make the time it takes to get better relatively shorter.
The golf terminology takes a long time to learn.
There are words like a birdie, bogey, and par that will have to be learned.
In addition, there are many golf phrases like up and down, draw, dogleg, etc. that will impact your understanding of the game of golf.
The more terminology you can learn, the better your chances of sounding like you know what you are doing when you are out on the golf course.
If your terminology is not very clear, you may not even understand what other golfers are saying to you.
It will take time to learn everything that golfers can say, but you will eventually pick up on it and be able to speak as a golfer does.
The most important thing to remember is that you should not use golf terminology until you understand precisely what it means.
There is no better way to let golfers know that you are a beginner than to say that you have been slicing the ball when it is really a hook.
Take the time to study and read about golf, and you will absorb a lot of this terminology naturally.
Talking and looking like a golfer is a very important part of learning the game.
Is Golf Hard To Learn?
Golf can be very hard to learn.
If you are a golfer who does not have the patience or a very high level of commitment, you are going to struggle to learn to play.
Don’t take up the game of golf unless you have a strong desire to get good at the game.
If you simply take up the game of golf because you are being told to by your friends, chances are you won’t make it as a golfer.
You will take thousands of bad shots before you start hitting good golf shots.
These bad shots can be enough to get anyone to quit and move onto another sport.
There are, however, some positives to getting involved in the game of golf.
Once you have the basics down, you will likely have those skills for the rest of your life.
If you don’t keep working on your game and your scores, you are going to shoot some high scores, but you will still be able to play.
The more time you take to learn the game of golf and get better, the easier it is to learn.
Until you have that time to put towards it, put your golf career on hold.
Is It Worth Learning To Play Golf?
Golf is worth learning to play.
There are so many tremendous benefits to being a golfer that the time you put into learning the sport will be well worth it.
For instance, you can use golf as a way to work on business and close business deals.
The golf course is also a great place to make friends and get to know people.
In addition, if you learn to walk the golf course, you can get in quite a bit of physical exercise.
Golf teaches you to be honest with yourself, it can be very humbling, and it can be challenging to want to stick with it.
In the end, if you put a solid year into learning the game, the difference between the way you start as a player and where you end up will be incredible.
Many golfers look back to their early days on the golf course and wonder how they could have enjoyed the game with so little ability.
Overall, learning to play golf is worth it because it’s such a fun sport, and it can be something that you play for the rest of your life.
Don’t let the difficulty of the game keep you from getting involved.
This is not a process that you will soon regret.