It is a pretty universally accepted opinion that golf is very hard.
There are quite a few reasons that golf is so challenging.
If you are new to the game or feeling discouraged about your abilities, we will help clear some of that up.
In this guide, we will explain why golf is so hard, and some things you can do to make it easier on yourself.
Why Is Golf So Hard?
The main reason why golf is so hard is that there are so many different factors involved.
There are physical factors, mental factors, and then, of course, the golf course itself.
The golf course is growing and changing the entire time that you are playing on it.
The pace of play is another thing that makes golf so hard.
You have so much time to think between shots that it makes play quite complicated.
Let’s look a bit deeper into these things that make golf so difficult.
1. The Physical Aspect of Golf
If you follow golf on the television, you may have realized that the game is becoming more and more physical.
Golfers have to be in better physical condition to play the game.
In the years past it didn’t matter what you looked like or what kind of shape you were in, you could learn to play.
When Tiger Woods started getting really good, people noticed that he was spending just as much time in the gym as he was on the course.
This was a relatively new concept for golfers as, in the years past, physical conditioning was not thought to have that much effect on the game.
In the most recent example of how physical fitness is changing golf, you can look at Bryson DeChambeau.
Bryson took some time to work on his physical conditioning to be able to hit the ball longer.
It has had an enormous impact on his game, and he is not outdriving many of the players on tour.
This shows that the physical part of the game is vital.
If you want more speed and more distance you will need that extra muscle and a little less fat as well.
Being in better physical condition helps golfers not just to hit the ball further, but it helps them stay more accurate as well.
At the end of the round, when fatigue starts to set in, people will get tired and begin to hit poor shots.
Those in better physical condition can get through the day without tiring and hitting poor shots.
In addition to being in good physical conditions, golfers need to have good hand-eye coordination.
If you were the cleanup batter for your little league team and you are the ping pong champ at every barbeque, you probably have good hand-eye coordination.
If you can’t make contact with a Wiffle ball thrown at you, chances are golfing is going to be a little tricky.
The better your hand-eye coordination, the better you will be at golf.
2. The Mental Aspect of Golf
The mental game of golf is a significant factor.
If you are new to the game, you may not fully understand how your golf game can be affected by both positive and negative thoughts.
How many times have you told yourself not to hit the ball in the water, and that is exactly where you hit it.
The mind is a huge factor when it comes to your success on the golf course.
If you plan on playing this game for a long time, it makes a lot of sense to start looking into some mental strategies and thoughts.
Along with these mental strategies and positive affirmations, you should also be having a real talk with yourself about your abilities.
If you hit the ball 230 yards, that is great; if you keep saying that you hit it 250, it’s just going to get you in trouble.
Be honest with yourself about how good you are at golf so that you can adjust your mental game accordingly.
There are lots of different exercises you can do to start helping yourself get to the mental level that you need to succeed in golf.
Sometimes all you need is a positive swing thought or two, and you can be well on your way to shooting lower scores.
In fact, sometimes, a change in the mental game is going to be more effective than the physical game.
Don’t forget that the mental game applies to the putting green, chipping green, and the tee as well.
3. The Golf Course
Another reason why golf is so difficult is the golf course.
The golf course changes not only from round to round but during your round as well.
If you play golf at 7 am, the course may be wet, and the greens will be a bit slower because of the morning dew.
By the time you get to the 18th hole, the fairways will be dry and the ball may roll an extra five yards or so.
This does not mean that there is a perfect time of day to play golf; it merely means that the golf course is always changing.
If you are aware of this, it can significantly help your golf game improve.
The weather is also different each time that you play golf.
Humid conditions and cold conditions will change how the ball reacts and how your body reacts as well.
Some golf courses are also just harder than others.
When you look at a golf course like Bethpage Black where they have held a US Open, there is even a warning about the course being challenging.
Before teeing off, you read the warning, and it tells you that unless you are good at golf, you should not attempt the golf course.
If that doesn’t turn off a new player, we are not sure what would.
Golf courses can also be very easy and make the game more manageable.
However, there are not too many golfers that have ever learned how to “master” even an easy golf course.
4. Golf Course Management
Golf course management is a little bit different than the golf course itself.
Golf course management is another reason that golf is so challenging.
When you play a sport like a basketball, the entire court is right in front of you.
You can easily see where you are going, and essential things are planned out for you.
Although you can take shots from many different locations, you are limited to a particular area.
When you look at a golf course, you are dealing with miles and miles of open area.
There is no set way to play each hole.
You could hit a seven iron off the tee, or you could hit a driver off the tee.
Regardless of the club you decide to hit, you will need to navigate the hazards and the trouble on the course.
Some people do this better than others.
If you are a lower handicap player and you can stay out of trouble, then you will have an easier time with the game.
For higher handicappers that hit from one sandtrap to the next, golf can get hard and frustrating as well.
Learning to manage the golf course takes time, and it takes some honesty with yourself about how challenging the golf course is.
5. The Pressure
If you have ever stood on a tee box with a group of people behind you, you know the pressure involved in golf.
Pressure makes this game much more difficult.
Most people don’t want to stand on the tee box and hit a shot that flies about sixty yards.
This makes golf embarrassing and will make some people quit.
When your friends are all good at the game, and you struggle to keep the ball on the golf course, it can result in a lot of pressure.
Of course, this exists in other sports, but with the difficulty level of golf, it gets a bit more complicated.
Usually, a person can learn to catch a ball, hit a tennis shot, or kick a soccer ball; not everyone can learn how to hit a golf ball.
When you start factoring in hitting the golf ball well with high launch and proper spin, the difficulty and the pressure only increase.
Is Golf The Hardest Game To Play?
Some people will tell you that golf is the hardest game to play.
If you talk to professionals and golfers of any level, they will tell you that if it’s not the hardest game out there, it comes pretty close.
With all of the aspects involved in golf and how much the game can change from one day to the next, it certainly presents a challenge.
Another sport that often ranks as hard as golf is Polo.
The good thing about golf and how hard it is is that you can play golf and shoot 100 and still have fun.
You don’t need to shoot par to enjoy yourself on a golf course.
That is what makes this game so appealing for a wide range of players.
Sometimes all it takes is just one significant hit, and you will want to try it again next week.
Why Is It So Hard To Hit A Golf Ball?
When you look at a golf club and a golf ball, you may not think it should be so hard to get the golf ball to do what you want it to do.
The thing is you cannot consider the entire golf ball and the whole golf club.
You need to look at just the center of the clubface and a spot on the golf ball about the size of a dime.
Now think of taking a quarter, swinging it at 100mph, and having it hit a dime.
This game seems much more difficult, but when you play golf, this is actually what is happening.
Ways To Make Golf Less Complicated
Golf is hard enough on its own, but many people end up making the game more complicated than it needs to be.
There are a few things you can do to make golf a more straightforward sport and potentially more fun.
Stop The Swing Thoughts
When you have a lot of swing thoughts, you will start to lose your ability to hit the golf ball.
Too many thoughts in your brain will eventually make it almost impossible to swing the golf club back.
It is entirely acceptable to have a swing thought or two, but when you have four or five or six, this is when things get bad.
If you want to make the game more straightforward, you need to choose one or two swing thoughts that work and stick with them.
Play With The Proper Equipment
If you are playing with equipment that is old or not cut out for you, then you are making the game more complicated than it needs to be.
The latest golf equipment releases have large sweet spots and very forgiving club heads.
The club heads allow you to get the ball much higher in the air and let the ball travel further as well.
If you are using golf equipment that is not forgiving or too heavy for you, it’s going to be challenging to drop your scores.
One of the biggest mistakes that amateur golfers make is keeping the long irons in their golf bag.
Long irons are tough to hit, hitting a hybrid is going to be much easier and make the game more fun.
If you are over a ten handicap, there is no reason for you to have three iron in your golf bag.
If you are over a fifteen handicap, there is no reason to have four iron in your golf bag.
If you are over a twenty handicap, there is no reason to have five iron in your golf bag.
Replace these irons with hybrids, and you will immediately see a difference in the ability to hit shots out of the rough and land softly on the green from very far out.
Play From The Right Tees
Another way to make golf easier is to play in the right place.
If all of your friends shoot 80 and they are playing from the tips, this does not mean that you need to join them.
Find a tee that makes the game more manageable for you.
Do not try and push yourself to play from a challenging tee.
As a general rule, you should aim to play from about 6000 yards if you shoot about 85 or lower.
If you shoot higher than 85, do not be afraid to find a tee that is less than 6000 yards.
You will enjoy the golf game much more and start shooting some scores that make you want to return and play the game again.
Learn Good Tempo
Trying to swing out of your shoes is not going to make the game of golf less complicated.
Learning to swing at an even tempo is going to help you stay more balanced and hit higher quality golf shots.
If your tempo is off, you will lose balance and have a hard time making solid contact with the ball.
One of the best ways to start to learn to improve your tempo is to practice with a weighted golf club.
You can swing the golf club while remaining balanced and in control, and it may slow things down for you just a bit.
Lots of players with high swing speed can still have great tempo; you just need to learn how to apply clubhead speed correctly.
Don’t Always Keep Score
If you want to get better at golf, you should take some rounds where you don’t keep score.
Go out and enjoy the game.
Focus on making great golf shots and taking very few putts.
Don’t keep your score and put that added pressure on yourself.
Especially if you are new at the game, your score does not matter.
As hard as the game of golf is, it is equally as fun.
If you love this game, the fact that it is hard will not keep you from coming out and enjoying round after round.
The fact that golf is so hard is not something that keeps people away as much as it is something that attracts them to the game.
With how easy things have become in this world, people like the challenge of a difficult game that allows them time to be outside.