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5 Reasons Why Golf Is The Most Challenging Game

golfer tees off

If you’ve stumbled across this article, then it’s safe to say that you’ve taken an interest in playing golf and you’re frustrated with how your progress is going. Whichever the reason might be, rest assured that you’ve come to the right place. 

Golf, in general, is considered by many of its players to be a difficult sport to learn and an even more difficult sport to master. You have to be dedicated and consistent with the required practice to make a difference. You’re probably thinking, what is it that makes it so difficult?

To answer your question, here are my 5 main reasons why golf is the hardest sport to play.  

1. Underestimating the Physical Requirements

To an outsider looking in, golf can seem like a tame, almost boring sport compared to soccer or football. Most people unfamiliar with the game might not realize the amount of physical activity involved. Situations like trying to get your ball out of the rough can be difficult for both newcomers and seasoned professionals.

Now, if you are thinking, what is the rough in golf? It is the area of the golf course that is covered in tall grass. It takes a lot of strength to get the ball back to the course if it goes in the rough due to the physical challenges.

Overall, to play golf, one has to have a high level of flexibility, power, muscle, core control, and physical fitness. Let’s take a deeper look into all these requirements. 

Flexibility and Power 

Being flexible is key to playing golf. If you’re not flexible enough, meaning you’re not twisting or extending all the different parts of your body enough, then chances are your swings will come off as weak. 

Similarly, power is also necessary to play golf. For instance, you’re driving the ball, and you want it to go as far as it can, but to achieve this, you’ll need to have well-developed upper arm muscles. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should skip out on leg days. You need muscles in your legs to support and balance you during your game. Golf requires a mixture of being strong and graceful at the same time. 

Strengthening Cores and Muscles

Having strong muscles is not only about improving your game. Not only do you have to stand while other players take their shots, but an average game of golf lasts 4 hours. This is where having strong muscles will help you during your game. 

Being in a static position is just as challenging as making energetic movements. Unless you have a strong core, you’ll find yourself suffering from severe back pains just from standing for an hour or two. 

Physical Fitness 

As we mentioned, a normal game of golf lasts for 4 hours. This requires you to be physically fit and strong. 

That means you need to do a lot of training to acquire a significant level of cardiovascular fitness. Even if you use a golf cart to travel between holes, it can’t take you near every hole. Hence the reason why you need to have a certain level of fitness in order to survive the game.

2. All Golf Clubs Are Different 

Normally, a golf set has twelve to fourteen clubs, and they’re all different. All golf clubs come in different shapes, sizes, and lengths. 

Differences in Club Heads and Irons

Some have a variation of club head shapes and have to be used differently. Others are diverse in length. Longer clubs will help you add more power to your swing and are best for playing long shots. They vary in length and have a diversity of club head shapes that need to be used differently.

Irons that have an increasing loft, which is the angle between the ground and the clubface, help to give the ball a lift. That being said, the angle also causes backspins, which means you need to have better control. 

In order to gain more control, the irons need to have shorter club shafts. This may result in you sacrificing some power, but you can use it to make shorter shots as well.

Differences in Club Length

As all clubs come in different shapes and sizes, golfers have to adjust their swing accordingly for each club. In comparison to cricket or baseball, where the players need to have a good stance for batting, golf has ten to fourteen stances just for swinging. 

The right stance depends on every individual based on their wrist-to-ground distance, height, and personal preference. While you can learn the basics of a decent swing stance, you’ll eventually have to figure out what works best for you as a player.

3. Not All Shots Are the Same 

There are a number of ways you can influence a single shot during a game. In fact, players often joke that good shots are all thanks to luck. This is because of the sheer number of details that need to be lined up in order for the shot to be successful. 

This is what makes golf so hard to master, but the key is to keep practicing, and you’ll get luckier and luckier over time. 

Differences in Clubs 

For single players, they have to deal with not only the different club lengths but also the constantly changing swing stances.

Clubs are made with a number of different materials. For instance, the irons can be created using either graphite or stainless steel. Whatever material is used to make the club will have an impact on the way it responds and can help figure out the normal length of the club. 

Weather Impacts

It’s not just the clubs that you have to adjust to. Weather plays a big part, too, in playing golf. Keep in mind that the golf ball is small enough to be affected by high wind speeds. Check out how you can find the right ball for your game!

While it’s safe to say that you won’t play golf when it’s raining heavily, that doesn’t mean you can’t play when there’s light rain. Even light drizzles can change the way the ball rolls on the grass and how you grip your club.

Terrain Influence

There’s a myriad of golf course terrains – sand bunkers, fairways, putting greens, and even the roughs. 

When playing on each of these golf courses, players need to come up with different approaches. They have to consider the ranges in angles, whether it’s an uphill or downhill play. 

The key to playing a good golf game is being able to adapt to each of these terrains! 

4. Investing Time and Patience 

Golf is a hard sport to play in general, but many see it as being more tough than it already is. This is mostly because people tend to underestimate the work that goes behind improving one’s skills.

Dedication and Consistency is Key

When it comes to playing golf, there’s no such thing as an occasional player if your aim is to rely on anything other than being lucky. There will be moments where you’ll be frustrated at your own lack of progress.  This can happen if you’re only playing for a few hours every other weekend.

It goes without saying, but there are lots of facts regarding playing golf. Just think about the many different things that can influence a single swing! Playing golf will become so much easier once you figure out the right stance for the club you use. 

After that, you can start to concentrate more on the power of your swing and new techniques to play in the different golf course terrains.

5. The Psychological Aspects of Playing Golf 

Not only do you have to focus on the physical aspects of playing golf, but there’s also the psychological side. This is important because it can impact how you play and can even make a game more challenging.

A Matter of Luck and Experience 

We’re all familiar with beginner’s luck. Imagine a novice player who manages to shoot a hole-in-one on their first game. Meanwhile, a professional player has yet to achieve this. Witnessing this kind of disparity can seriously mess with their mind.

Many players who have managed to play an excellent hole struggle when the next hole doesn’t go as planned. They know they are capable of achieving that feat, and yet when it doesn’t play out in the same way, it affects their mentality. 

What it Says About the Player

This is why many businessmen have meetings on the golf course. It gives them an idea about who the person is and what kind of people they are.    

If you end up psyching yourself out, then chances are you’re less likely to concentrate on the other factors of your game. This will only make you play worse, and you’ll end up being stuck in a vicious loop. 

So my final thoughts on how to play a decent game of golf, you need to be gentle, powerful, flexible, and also in control. 

Underestimating the physical conditions will deter you from making any progress. Learn more about the wind speed, terrain, and different clubs – their shapes, sizes, and lengths. Don’t forget that you need to dedicate a lot of time and effort to this game, too!  

Once you’ve covered all your bases, you’ll find that golf is actually fun to play. So, let us know about your struggle and how you persevered to play this wonderful game in the comments below!