Is Golf Hard To Play

golfer swinging golf club
While millions of people love golf, it definitely is a hard sport to play well.

Is golf hard to play?
Yes, golf is a very hard sport to play.  Golf is a game that is difficult to learn and has an extra level of difficulty to master. Many golfers have spent their whole lives trying to become good at golf, only to be left frustrated with their progress.

Why Is Golf So Hard

On the surface, golf doesn’t appear to be such a complicated game to play. You have a stick, a ball and maybe some bad fashion sense too.

The aim of golf is to hit the ball with a metal stick, and hope the ball rolls inside a hole in the ground. This initial simplicity is what draws most people to the game.

So why is golf so hard then? The sport is difficult because it requires precise technique to be any good at it.

Every millimeter in golf counts and this is no exaggeration.

If you hit the ball 1 mm too much to the left or right, you may watch your ball fly into a lake! If you the strike ball a little too hard, you could end up in the rough.

Once the average golfer hits a ball, it’s usually a case of hoping the ball travels in the direction they aimed for.

This added layer of difficulty presents a challenge, which millions of golfers are addicted to overcoming.

Golf requires a large amount of trial and error. The only way to improve is of course to practice regularly.

I would say it takes about 100 hours to become a semi-decent player. However it can take up to 5,000 hours to become a great professional player.

Another reason why golf is hard to master is because it’s an individual player sport. When playing golf, there is no team to. You can’t hide behind better team mates. It’s just you out there, and your skills are exposed for the world to see.

This is why year after year, you often see the same professional golfers winning tournaments. You have a few of the best, and then you have all the rest.

This is why I’ve spent the last 20 years being absolutely in love with this sport. It can test your whole being, and can drop you to your knees if you let it.

Golf’s difficulty is the reason why professionals tend to enjoy long lasting careers, spanning many decades. There just isn’t enough of a playing pool for new players to enter the sport.

While the professional circuit may be limited in numbers, many average Joes love playing golf. You’ll find millions of amateur players, friends and business men enjoying golf on the weekends.

There is nothing I enjoy more than grabbing 3 or 4 friends, and betting a small amount on a competitive golf match.

Why Is It So Hard to Hit a Golf Ball

Hitting a golf ball is very hard because there’s a large opportunity for failure. Every millimeter counts in golf and because of this, many people give up too early.

A good golf shot requires you to know multiple things simultaneously.

You need to know:

  • How to swing the golf club correctly
  • The exact area on the golf ball to hit
  • The speed in which to hit the golf ball
  • The weather conditions such as wind speed and direction

Why Is Golf Chipping So Hard

Chipping the golf ball is one of the harder golf shots to master. This is where golf lessons can really be helpful in mastering the chip shot.

The reason why chips are difficult for amateurs is because it requires a less than natural shot to get it right. I’ve always said, a golf player only knows what he knows, and what he doesn’t know will hurt him.

The easiest way to chip is to keep your shoulders level. We want to create a stable and straight posture when chipping. Let the club do the work, not your body. To practice a golf chip we will want to use a 52 to 55 degree wedge.

Keep your shoulders and body straight, and aim for solid front contact with the ball. Move your body weight forward, not backwards. You’ll want your left shoulder to be slightly in front of your left foot when chipping.

While it’s tempting to bend backwards to attempt to chip the ball higher, this is a poor technique to use.

Although its incorrect form, players have a natural inclination to hit the ball up when chipping. This will cause you to hit the ball too hard, and create bounce.

A bouncing ball is definitely bad when chipping. Instead you’ll find the pros hitting the ball low to create a rolling ball on the green.

While high shots with a big bounce makes for exciting television, it does make things harder for the player.

If you want to chip the ball 10 to 15 yards, I always recommend chipping the ball lower, and roll to the hole instead.

Reasons Why Golf Is The Hardest Sport

In this article I have discussed with you some of the main reasons why golf is such a hard sport to play.

In fact it’s not uncommon to see people refer to golf as the hardest sport in the world! I don’t think that’s too farfetched.

Wherever you think golf ranks in terms of difficulty, it is a hard sport to excel at. Aside from the main reasons we have already mentioned, there’s more you need to be aware of:

1.      Golf Requires Good Fitness:

If you thought golf was a slow boring sport, you’re sadly mistaken. Surprisingly, golf requires you to be extremely fit! If your fitness is not up to par just yet, this sport is a great way to exercise and burn calories.

If we take an 18 hole course, the average golfer walks 5 miles per golf match (8 Km). This is a significant distance and will cause you to burn many calories.

The average golfer will burn around 1400 calories per golf match. This figure is for an 18 hole course, and assumes the golfer is carrying his/her own bags. Carrying your own bags contributes to 40% of the total calories burnt.

2.      Golf Requires a Lot of Practice

If you have dreams of becoming a professional golfer, get ready to put in the practice. Most professional golfers reached their level by first practicing 5 to 6 hours per day.

If you’re serious about golf, I would invest some money in a golf lessons. A coach may not make you the next Tiger Woods, but he will point out basic errors in your technique and stance. I know I saved years of time by investing in a good coach.

3.      Golf Is a Mental Game

Once you master the basic techniques in golf, it becomes more of a mental game. Emotions can and will run wild on the course. You’ve seen even the calmest players lose their temper during high pressure moments. It’s not uncommon to see thrown and broken clubs on the pro circuit.

Even the best golfer won’t get very far if he or she’s mental game isn’t on point. Golf requires tremendous mental endurance, and discipline for you to succeed.

You must keep calm, and adjust to many outside conditions that are out of your control. Crowd noise, extreme weather temperatures, wind are just the tip of the iceberg.

In my own experience I have found several ways to keep my mind sharp on the course. You should have a read of another article I wrote that will really help you regain your golf swing.

Golf Is Hard Quotes

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated” – Arnold Palmer

“To find a man’s true character, play golf with him” – P.G Wodehouse

“If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball” – Jack Lemmon


It may sound strange, but the reason I love playing golf is because I hate it! Not literally, but it does test your complete mental and physical being.

Golf is wonderful that it’s simple enough to pick up and play. However like I have mentioned throughout this article, it’s a very hard sport to master.

If you seriously want to improve your game, you should invest in a golf coach. A good coach will iron out any incorrect form you have, as well as teaching you some solid shot techniques. A few lessons are all you need, before you can venture out on your own.

This is one sport that’ll improve your work ethic, mental toughness and fitness; all at the same time.

20 years later, I’m still having the time of my life.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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