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So you want to play golf, but you have no idea how to start? Do you want to find out how hard it is to play? Then you’re in the right place.
I get it; playing golf can seem very daunting and complicated. There are so many rules, different clubs, and let’s not even get started on the golf lingo.
“What are birdies, bump-and-runs, and bogeys anyway?” you might ask.
Additionally, you will need to know what kind of clubs you need. What is the best way to practice? When do you know that you’re ready for the golf course?
If you’ve ever watched a game of golf, it’s completely normal to feel that golf is a challenging sport. After all, if you look at it, the main goal is to hit a small ball hundreds of yards away into a small 4 ½ inch hole.
So is golfing hard to learn or play?
Truthfully golf is a combined effort of coordination, balance, speed, power, and mental capacity. So it is a difficult sport to learn. However, golf can be easy to pick up quickly if you do it the right way.
In this article I will discuss why many people consider golf a challenging sport to learn. I will also try to provide some valuable tips for beginners looking to learn how to play golf.
Is Golf Hard To Learn?
Most people consider golf hard to learn because it requires so many different physical and mental capabilities. You’ll need flexibility, mental focus, capacity, balance, speed, coordination, and power.
Because it’s an individual sport, you have no team members to rely on and boost your morale. Most of your success will be attributed to how well you can master the skills that I mentioned above.
If you ignore or neglect any one of these areas, it could adversely affect how well you learn and play.
How Long Does it Take To Learn To Play Golf?
You might be wondering how much time you’ll need to spend learning how to play golf. Generally, the time it takes to learn how to play golf depends on the player.
For example, how much time you are willing to spend practicing and immersing yourself in the sport.
If you practice once a week, you can expect to advance your skills enough to play on a course within 6 to 12 months. Increase the frequency to two sessions a week, and you can reduce this time by 4 months or less.
Of course, if you’re determined and practice every day, you can learn to play golf relatively quickly.
Another consideration you’ll have to think about is your physical abilities. Golf is a sport, and you need to be in good physical shape. You cannot have coordination, power, balance, endurance, and flexibility without being at least a little bit fit.
Besides, golfers walk an average of 6 miles for an 18 hole round; that’s a lot of walking.
How Long Does It Take To Get Good At Golf?
So how long will it take you to perfect your golf once you learn how to play? This depends on your goals. For some, this could mean just getting the ball off the tee box, and for others, it might be playing scratch golf.
For an 18 hole round, the average score is 100. If you want to gauge how good you’ve become at golf, try completing the round without shooting more than 100 points.
For most people it will take multiple years of practice before they get “good” at golf. That is to get good enough to consistently score below 100.
However to become good enough to play professionally will often take decades of practice!
It might take you at least a year to get to this point for beginners but be prepared that it could be much longer. How good you get will depend on your physical ability and how often you practice.
What Is The Hardest Part Of Playing Golf?
The hardest part of a golf game will depend on the player.
For example, one individual might struggle with putting on the greens. At the same time, another player might find hitting off the tee difficult.
Typically putting takes the longest to get good at so it could be considered the hardest to master. Most people will struggle with long irons, driving, putting, chipping, and the mental game.
Which of these is the hardest will vary from person to person
Below I will go into a little more depth about each of these areas where beginners tend to struggle:
1. Long Irons
Long irons are a type of club that is characterized by a low loft. This feature makes it difficult for beginners to hit as they struggle to get the long irons off the ground.
Amateur golf players can have challenges hitting the golf ball off the tee. It’s primarily because beginners try to swing harder at tee shots and partly because it’s hard to control direction with the driver compared to other clubs.
Arguably putting is the most critical aspect of the game. It’s more likely that you’ll hit more putts than any other type of shot throughout the course.
Putting requires a soft touch that takes time to master, and many beginners consider it to be the most challenging part of golf.
Chipping around the green is also an aspect of golf that requires a delicate touch, which most beginners haven’t developed. Your chipping technique should be focused on getting the ball rolling as soon as possible on the greens.
You’ll need to select a lower-lofted club and play a bump-and-run.
5. Mental Game
There is no other sport in the world that requires the same level of mental strength that golf does. As an individual sport played at a painstakingly slow pace, it requires you to control your emotions on the golf course.
Can I Teach Myself To Play Golf?
If you have the patience and the drive then it’s possible to teach yourself how to play golf. However, your journey will be much easier if you have some help along the way.
The great thing is that there are several options at your disposal, such as physical coaching or even online videos.
So while it’s not a rule that you should have a golf instructor, it will be a good idea to frequently use this resource if you want to learn how to play golf the right way.
What’s The Best Way To Learn Golf?
Again this depends on the individual, and methods differ from player to player. That said, none of the ways we’ve listed below will help you advance your skills if you’re not consistent with your practice sessions.
Practice is the best way to learn golf and get good at it. Once you have the proper form down and have learned the basics, spending hours practicing your drives, puts, or chips will help your golf game the most.
No amount of learning will overtake the importance of physical practice. Why? Because golf is a technical sport and requires hours of dedicated training.
So whichever method you choose, be sure to create a concrete practice schedule that you can stick to.
Below are a few additional ways that you can use to learn golf:
1. Online Content
The advantages of living in the digital world are numerous. One of them is the fact that there is so much online content on golf that can help you get a basic understanding of how the game works; the rules, terminology, and styles of playing.
Most of this content is instructional, meaning you can easily use the web to advance your skills. Spend as much time as you can watching videos and reading blogs that will help you improve your game.
2. Online Golf Lessons
Suppose you need a more hands-on approach specific to your playing style without paying for an in-person lesson (which tends to be expensive). In that case, I would recommend choosing an online golf lesson.
There are millions of videos online, and thousands of online instructors have created a series of courses for golf players of every level. The great thing about online golf lessons is that you can tailor-make your sessions and practice the skills you need to improve the most.
For example, one great course called Me and My Golf offers the following courses:
● Ultimate Irons
● Total Driving
● Break 100
● Break 90
● Break 80
Another great course is Complete Putting. It offers a step-by-step approach to assist you in certain aspects of your game.
3. Learn With A Friend
One of the best ways to ensure you stay committed to your goal is to learn with a friend who already knows how to play golf. Your friend can teach you all the basics you need to know and get you started.
This should be a very comfortable and easy way to learn how to play golf.
4. Take Lessons With Your Local Coach/ Pro
Lastly, if you have the money, you can learn to play golf by taking lessons with a local coach or pro. If you have a driving range or golf course near you, approach them to find out if they can assist you in finding a golf coach.
Just be prepared to spend at least $50 or more an hour on a coach. If this is too much for you, you can opt to have a group lesson, this will save you some money as the instructor will have a training session with 2-4 golfers.
This should split the cost making it more affordable to hire a local pro or coach. So grab a few of your friends who are interested in learning how to play golf.
So is golf hard to learn? Truthfully, golf can be a challenge to learn. It requires much flexibility, physical coordination, practice, and mental focus to learn the sport.
However, as long as you do things right and are consistent with your sessions, you’ll definitely master the sport… within a few years.