Golf doesn't seem to like a difficult game to play from an outsider's perspective. You have a club, a ball, and a debatable fashion sense too; how hard could it be?
If you are new to the game or a professional player, it's understood that the reality of the sport is a little more complicated than one might think.
Let's say you hit your ball even an inch too far to the left or right, you may watch it fly right into a lake, strike the ball too hard you'll wind up in the sand, or if you swing too low, you could end up with more dirt in the air than the actual ball!
All of which adds extra layers of difficulty. Along with the rules of the game, sports terminology, and the number of clubs available, this costly pastime activity can be overwhelming, making it a pretty universally accepted opinion that golf, in theory, is very hard.
Golf Is Unique
Golf is outstanding in the aspect that it's simple enough to pick up and play. The key element of this sport is that players are trying to hit balls in a series of holes on a course, in the fewest strokes as possible, using various clubs to achieve their goal.
When it's your first-time playing golf, it's a foreign concept whether the idea of the game, assortment of clubs, or the techniques all aspects are new and go against your natural instincts, as most movements have never been done before until your decision to take up this sport.
When driving your golf ball as far as possible, it would make sense to lead with the club's head, wouldn't it? Well, instead, you actually need to do the opposite to get the desired shot you are looking for. A good driving hit is led by your head, arms, and lastly, your driver, a seemingly unfamiliar but important concept when first starting out.
Now, to hit a golf ball as far as possible, it's right to assume you need to use all your strength to make a powerful hit, right? No! Harder hits can implement tension, and the speed could be lost, resulting in a pretty cheap shot.
The sport is unique for being majorly centered around body language and strategy rather than brute strength and endurance. With the number of possibilities, it offers players who play alone or with friends, this sport can be hard to resist.
Why Is It So Hard to Play?
Hitting a golf ball is tricky because there is lots of room for failure as it involves so many mental and physical facilities compared to other sports such as running or basketball. For being a recreational activity, a surprising amount of time, and often money, is usually required to make significant improvements in playing, becoming an activity that is hard to stick with for beginners.
So, what makes golf difficult?
The golf course
Golf courses are made to be challenging; not only do they change from grass to sand, but they also consist of rolling hills and shifting ground levels through each round.
Cold or humid weather conditions can change the way the game is played, from how your body reacts to how the ball reacts as well; cold weather can reduce the distance the ball will travel because the transfer of energy from the swing is weaker.
There are over nine styles of golf shots a player could use during the course of their game, such as a Putt, Chip, Approach, etc., each requiring its own specialized set of clubs and distinctive etiquette to be successful.
The sport of golf requires a certain level of mental fortitude, especially for beginners, involving but isn't limited to controlling emotions, strategic planning, and making decisions that would create a successful game.
For those looking to improve their skills, most experts estimate that it takes up to six years of regular weekday playing to achieve a possible score of 90, which is equivalent to above-average playing ability.
The Best Way to Learn Golf
A major reason golf can be challenging to learn is that it is rarely taught correctly from the beginning. With no guidance, bad habits can form and stick with a player, negatively affecting their performance level. It has been well stated by professionals that trying your absolute best to ignore what you've been told in the past and begin by simply learning proper stances and how to control the clubface will cause better succession in a player's success rate.
Of course, someone who commits to practicing every day can learn to play the game relatively quicker than someone who plays every other season. It cannot be emphasized enough how important consistency and reputation are for anything.
The only difference being you have to be consistent in every type of shot in multiple different situations.
Swings and postures should be aimed to become second nature through practice, eliminate errors and minimize chances of easy mistakes. The best way to practice this is by continuing to work hard, not giving in to frustrations, and allowing friends or instructors to guide you.
It's best to go in with a good attitude and a willingness to learn, not being afraid to admit what you don't know, and remember to have fun. A simple concept behind the idea of the sport being hilariously quoted by many as "Endlessly complicated and stupidly simple.
There is no denying it; golfing can be difficult. But, like anything with consistent practice, getting better at your responses, dealing with setbacks, and repeating proper techniques is the surest way to improve performance and find your best possible frame of mind for the next shot and the many more to come.
Trying to better yourself in those moments after each shot is when you know you've made the real success.