Can You Play Golf Alone?

playing golf all alone
The benefits to playing golf as a single are plentiful.

Unlike many competitive sports, golf is one of the few games where you can play alone and enjoy yourself! 

In fact there are occasions where I prefer playing on my own, and I’ll share with you why that is.

Advantages Of Playing Golf As A Single

Nobody Can See you Play

Yes you read right! Depending on your personality type, you may on occasion prefer having nobody see the shots you take. It’s quite a refreshing change being able to take your time on the green. You don’t have your friends distracting your, nor judging your every stroke!

This is a chance for complete relaxation, and the only person you’ll be competing with is yourself. 

The most rewarding thing about playing golf alone is you get to focus on you. Remember, the hardest opponent you’ll ever face is yourself. And your mind is your biggest obstacle to becoming an even greater player.

Playing as a single allows you the mental space to really hone in on your game, and think more effectively. 

There is no opportunity to show off to your friends, make any wild bets, or any other shenanigans. 


You’ll Play Better Golf Alone

Have you ever asked yourself why do I play better golf alone? If you have, you’re not alone. In fact the majority of golfers find their stroke tally improving when playing on their own.

You’ll see things you have never seen. You’ll discover new things about your game which were hidden before.  Subtle flaws and intricacies about your game will open up, allowing you to learn about your playing style. 

When alone, you can stick to the strategy you came in with. It’s a nice feeling having no pressure to match your opponents playing styles.  

Playing with your friends is no doubt a very different environment. We all love to hit the longest drive, hit a hole in one, and make a lower score than our peers. However this situation leads to poor decisions, and opens up a flood of problems:

Disadvantages Of Playing With Friends:

  • You’re likely to show off
  • You’ll take unnecessary risks
  • You’ll hit harder and aim for longer shots than needed
  • Friends will distract you causing you to not think effectively


You Can Play Your Way

Another benefit of playing golf alone is that you get to play by your own rules. Do you enjoy walking from hole to hole, but your friends prefer to be transported via golf cart? It won’t matter if you’re alone! 

You’ll be able to play from your own preferred set of tees.  This is one situation that can be tiresome when playing with other people. Everyone tends to want to play from their own set of tees, and it causes unnecessary debates.

Playing by yourself is beautifully simply. Choose your favorite tees, choose your own holes, and you get to choose your preferred mode of transport too!


A More Natural Immersive Game

It may sound strange at first to hear me tell you that playing golf alone is somehow more immersive, but hear me out.

When you’re on your own it’s just you, your club and mother nature. I really enjoy playing golf this way. 

This is how golf is meant to be played. When you have no one else distracting you, you really can take in all the sights of a golf course. You really start to understand how beautiful mother nature is, and how life isn’t really all that bad. 

This is also where you’ll really feel the clean air, smell the freshly cut grass, and hear the birds singing. It’s also where you’ll be deep inside your own head, and thinking of ways to play your best game. There is nothing more satisfying then becoming better as you get further into a solo game.

Sure it’s helpful to have a second opinion from your caddie or partners, however sometimes we just have to beat our self.


Story – My First Time Playing On My Own

I remember my first time golfing on my lonesome. I had organized a day out on the green with my friend Johnny. After packing my golf bag and even cleaning the dirt off the grooves of my clubs, I was very keen on playing.

However life can hit us hard at the most unexpected times. Johnny calls me up in the morning and says his partner is sick and needs to go to the hospital.

 I wished them well and hanged up the phone. 

What was I going to do now? My van was already packed with all my golf equipment. Surely I wasn’t go play on my own was I? After initially trying to talk my way out of going, I realized I should just go play. Yes I was a little nervous, but decided to go anyway.

Did my first time go well or was it a disaster? 

All in all, I quickly realized how much I did enjoy golfing by myself. However as I wasn’t told about the etiquette of doing so, I did make some embarrassing mistakes along the way.


Etiquette Of Playing Golf Alone

Hopefully I have made a strong case of playing golf by yourself. However I do need to share with you the proper etiquette to follow when playing alone. I want to save you the embarrassment of the errors I made the first time I ventured out to the green.

Keep in mind, there’s certainly nothing weird about golfing without friends, but it does create some extra challenges. 

Some people will naturally feel annoyed at single players. They may not yell in your face, but they will be more critical. The reason for this is because they will feel like you’re wasting their time. It’s ridiculous, and you have every right to play on the course, but keep that it in mind.


Tips For Playing Golf Solo

A simple way to avoid any conflict is to follow the correct etiquette I have outlined below. I personally use these tips and I have never any problems on the course.


Be Mindful Of Others In Line

One of the best reasons to play golf solo is the extra time given to you. Playing a hole will naturally take less time to complete than it does for partners or groups. With this additional free time, you’re welcome to play multiple balls.  

Taking multiple shots is an ideal way to practice your swing. However only do so if you can’t see anyone else waiting behind you. 


Don’t Act Too Fast

To the contrary acting too fast can be a problem too. If there is a group of more than 2 players ahead of you, then acting too fast as a single can be a problem. Playing too quickly will put pressure on the group ahead of you.

What I would suggest doing is hanging back once your hole is complete and take a few practice putts to kill some time.  A good rule is to wait until all players are putting on the green before you make your way to the tee off.


Partner Up When Possible

Although you may plan on playing solo, it’s not always a reality. If you visit a course and find another single player there, it’s advisable that you two partner up.

I have made countless golfing friends just from partnering up.  You’ll find groups of 3 may contact you first and ask you to join them. Say yes!

This way the course is flowing nicely and everyone is kept in good spirits.


Will Golf Courses Let You Play Alone?

You’ll find most golf clubs are friendly towards single players. While others may flat out refuse your entry. Clubs don’t like holding up their clientele and single players do pose that risk to their business.

Here are some tips to ensure you don’t get turned away:

  • Visit the course during non-peak times
  • Call the club the day you want to play and ask them if it’s a good time to come


Single Golfer Tee Times

A question I know I had before I ventured into golfing alone is “how long does it take to complete 18 holes?”.

Playing on your own is going to cut down the time by hours. In fact you can finish a relatively flat Par 5 course in 2 hours. This time is measured by walking with a carry bag, and doesn’t include any golf cart.

This is a conservative figure and takes into account a few practice swings along the way. You can speed things up by using your golf cart, and choosing a course that is not hilly.


Conclusion – Golfing As A Single Good Or Bad?

If you’re even on my page reading this, there’s a good chance you’re worried about playing alone. Unfortunately some activities are looked down upon if you are seen by yourself.

Activities like eating at a restaurant alone, or visiting the movie theatres without anyone can be seen as weird. But what about playing golf?

Playing alone gets our tick of approval.

Fortunately finding single golf players is more common than you may think. I regularly visit my regular courses and find many people playing on their own.

These players look perfectly happy to me and are quite impressive. In fact I would say on average, they do play a better game than those in groups.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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