A controversial opinion is that golf is extremely difficult to learn. You may have heard about some specifically hard terms in golf, like the tees, lies, putting, or chipping.
So is golf hard? Yes, golf is an arduous sport to play. It requires a combination of balance, power, coordination, accuracy, and mental concentration to hit a perfect shot.
This article will look at the reasons why golf is such a challenge and what you can do to improve your skills and become a pro golfer. Let’s check it out!
Is Golf Hard?
Every golfer needs to know that golf is a hard sport. Golf is a cool option if you want to put yourself in a physical and mental challenge. Out of all demanding sports, golf is really a tough guy.
The task is to hit a small object using a small clubface to a small target from a far distance. If a player can perform it precisely, he has a super high level of skill.
How Long Does It Take To Learn The Skills?
The time it takes to pick up the skills varies for different players. Some need several months, whereas others spend their whole lives learning how to play golf.
Not only does it depend on whether you have a talent for this sport but also on how much time you devote to training.
Generally, a player going to the course once a week can learn the skills at an average level within 6-12 months.
Besides, a player practicing two sessions a week can pass the beginning class in about four months.
Obviously, those who put all their spare time into training daily can acquire the essential skills even more quickly.
Your fitness level, or initial physical condition, also has a vital role to play in determining the length of your learning progress.
It’s surprising that many people from other demanding sports, like baseball or hockey, can excel at golf quicker than the average player.
The main reason is due to their adequate physical fundamentals, including power, balance, and coordination, which are all critical to golf.
How Long Does It Take To Be A Good Golfer?
Of course, after months of practicing, you don’t just want to know how to play golf. On top of that, you desire to be a pro golfer.
The time it takes to become a good player depends on how you define the ‘good.’ Is it the ability to play shooting par (scratch golf) or just hit the tee box?
Generally, once the average player successfully shoots 100 consistently, he can get on course without a coach. And it’ll take a beginner at least one year to be able to do so. If your athletic ability or speed is not at a high level, it may take much longer.
All in all, how quickly you can learn and develop the skills is up to your physical condition and consistency.
Is Golf The Hardest Sport?
Many people consider golf the most difficult sport in the world as it involves a broad range of different features.
For instance, players physically touch the ball to make it move in other sports, like football or basketball. Meanwhile, in golf, you use a club to drive the ball toward the hole.
As players never directly touch the golf ball, the game demonstrates a high level of difficulty.
Plus, the golf swing must happen at incredible speed - above 115 MPH for a pro golfer. It requires excellent timing to generate a straight shot. That’s the reason golf is never a breeze.
Indeed, we can rarely say which sport is the most difficult. Most sports lovers would be reluctant to get into golf due to its complicated technical requirements. However, some don’t find golf hard since it doesn’t require physical contact.
Why Is Golf Hard To Play?
Why is golf so hard? There are so many reasons attributed to the fact that golf is among the most challenging games.
The major reasons include fitness, which we’ve already mentioned, mental factors, intense practice, and the golf course itself.
The Golf Course
Unlike other sports, there’s no standard dimension for a golf course. Its shape varies so that a player can show off every skill, ranging from heading the ball exactly, chipping and putting, hitting short and long iron shots, to putting and sand shots.
Besides, the course’s conditions change between two rounds and during a round as well.
For example, at 8 a.m, the pitch is wet, and the green is slightly slower due to the morning grass dew. When you reach the 17th hole, the fairway turns dry, and the ball rolls more rapidly.
Thus, we can’t tell exactly when is the perfect time to play the game. The course just keeps changing.
Besides, the weather is another factor affecting the course condition. Humid weather and cold weather change the ball’s reaction and your body’s reaction as well.
What’s more, the hardness of golf courses can also add to the game’s difficulty. Many courses are specifically harder than others, such as the Bethpage Black course - the arena of a US Open.
There’s usually a warning sign saying that the course will be challenging. You should check through the warning before the tee time. If you’re confident that you can tackle such rough courses, then go for it. Otherwise, you’d better not attempt them.
Being aware of the features of a golf course can improve your performance significantly. You may want to start from a manageable and easy course first before trying any tough one.
Golf Requires Fitness
At first glance, you may claim golf is a slow, tedious sport. However, it turns out to be the opposite! Golf requires a high fitness level to make nice strikes.
When you drive the ball, you have to repeatedly coordinate a large number of body parts and muscle groups.
If you play on continuously varying terrain for hours, your entire body starts to function robotically. Plus, golf causes you to burn tons of calories.
For the average golf match, which typically has an 18 hole course, you’ll walk 5 miles (8km) and burn about 1400 calories.
To put it in comparison, you burn 470 calories more than a full soccer game and 622 more than a three-set tennis game.
We’re talking about how much effort we take walking around the golf course. What about hitting the ball over and over again? We can say that the essential physical skills make golf a hard sport.
Golf Requires Consistent Practice
Should you be serious about golf, you need to be ready for intense practice. Most excellent golfers conquer this game by practicing 6-7 hours a day. Needless to say, consistency is the key to anything.
You take the very first shot and feel pretty confident. Soon, you’ll end up with the next sloppy ride. No one remembers your successful shots when you fail to make the easiest 6-foot putt.
You can’t call yourself a pro golfer if you’re only good at an individual type of shot. And only when you keep practicing consistently can you beat every part of this game.
To stick to your practice progress, you need to turn your thoughts into habits. This way, you will find an incentive to your daily training routine instead of a demotivation.
After all, practice makes perfect, doesn’t it?
Tough Mental Game
Staying mentally healthy is more like a challenge in golf. When it comes to a fantastic outperformance on the course, the mind can make a world of difference.
Should you be a newbie, you might not totally understand how the game is prone to negative thoughts.
Emotions can run wild while you’re standing in front of the ace. Sometimes, even the most experienced players lose their temper at nerve-racking moments. You may have seen them throw or break their clubs right on the circuit.
No matter how good you are, you can’t get far if your mental game is not on point. Exceeding mental endurance is the discipline for success.
Even a small change of your thought can affect the shot. This change may make you pay the price.
Beginners will find it terribly hard to keep their minds at peace when many audiences are watching.
If you go with friends, and sometimes they laugh at your amateur postures, the sarky jokes distract your concentration and confidence. As a result, you end up missing more and failing. Eventually, you’ll start to think that golf is such a hard sport and give up.
So, one of the significant factors adding to golf’s difficulty is the mental side.
If you intend to take up this challenge, it’s advisable to develop your own positive affirmations and mental strategies.
How To Make Golf Easier?
We’ve discussed the reasons why golf is so hard. Next, let’s move on to the methods that you can adopt to enhance your skills.
Start From Easy Games
Beginners should play the courses that suit their abilities first. This way, they can avoid wasting hours seeking the ball and getting tremendously depressed with increasing scores.
We suggest choosing easier game formats to play first as you can practice the basic skills before leveling them up. Plus, if you start from tees fitting your standard, it’ll boost your confidence and eagerness for the sport.
The beauty of golf is that there are plenty of formats and types of games for players to choose from. You can play ones that don’t require you to finish all the holes.
Apply For Golf Classes
Another way of improving golf skills is to find a coach and the right classes.
Please bear in mind that golf lessons are typically costly (about $50/hour). If you don’t want to spend up your budget, it’s a good idea to take part in group lessons.
Going for this option not only saves you tons of money but also brings you a crowd of friends who share the same amusement as you. These people would motivate your interest to learn and train.
Plus, finding a suitable instructor can remarkably speed up your improvement.
Finding an instructor you trust can really speed your improvement. That teacher should be an experienced coach, who you can ask some silly questions without being afraid.
As golf requires great physical endurance, you should do more workouts to step up your fitness level.
Some exercises that are good for your muscles are lift-ups, running, and light jogging. Through these, you can lower the chance of hurting yourself.
Doing workouts regularly and properly will result in quick improvements.
Free Golf Content Online
You can take advantage of free learning materials from golf forums, websites, and especially Youtube. There are thousands of blogs and videos relating to golf lessons that can be useful for you.
We recommend you watch ‘Beginner golf basics,’ ‘Golf swing basics - easy steps for beginners,’ or ‘How to swing a golf club.’ The video content is practical and easy-to-follow, assisting you greatly in learning the basic techniques.
Is golf hard? To say golf is among the toughest sports in the world is not too far-fetched. One of the best quotes of Arnold Palmer is that: “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.”
Despite the tremendous difficulties, the uninitiated can quickly pick up golf if they know the right methods. And with adequate effort, patience, and time, you will soon master this challenging game.
Hope to see your amazing performances on courses!
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