How Hard of a Sport is Golf?

Everyone makes statements and some people agree or disagree. I have had some people, in this forum and other places, laugh at me when I have said. Golf is very hard to play. It is a battle between you, yourself and and course architect. Kinda like a casino…the architect wins 98% of the time. Nice to have a GOAT athlete, who has played all the sports agree with the way you feel! What do you all think?“hardest”-to-play/ar-AAP5G5V

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I guess it depends on the standard you want to use. How close to perfect performance do you need before you’re performing to the desired standard.

While acknowledging that Jordan’s done all of those sports, done them at an extremely high level, and disagrees, I’d think the toughest feat in sports is hitting a 98 MPH that looks like it’s going for your head. And! Being able to tell in hundredths of a second that it is actually a fastball, and not an 80 MPH curve ball that’s going to break downwards two feet. Of course, you can get away with only successfully hitting that ball less than one time in eight (counting fouls, balls, strikes), and be one of the best in the world.

As Mickey Mantle apocryphaly said to Sam Snead, “What?! This game can’t be that hard. The ball doesn’t even move!”

“Yeah, Mickey. But we have to play our foul balls…”


Just to make you laugh…Here’s what I’ll tell you. Before I took up golf, one of the sports I played was baseball at both Legion and college level. I’ve had to face a pitcher (just 1 guy) that threw over 100, and he had, shall we say, not the greatest control. The first pitch, I never saw it, I only heard it. I turned and looked at the ump and said WTF 3x, What, where and why…LOL. He laughed and said Son, I sure hope that helmet fits right! At which time, I put 1 foot in the bucket! I went 0/3 with a walk. We lost the game on a no hitter. The pitcher was drafted by Baltimore, but never made the majors. In baseball, I never touched him, he was way outta my league, BUT I still could get on base. Ya can’t hide in golf…too many aspects and in general, depending on who we are comparing ourselves to…i either suck or my game could be a 15hdcpers dream.

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I think anyone on this forum, and other forums like it, is also on their own personal quest to get “better” - whatever the term means to you - both with their golf swing and at the game of golf.

How each golfer defines their own success will vary from individual to individual.

Some people are happy to ride in a cart on a weekend afternoon and drink a few beers and smoke a few cigars, or whatever, just to be out with buddies.

But the game at its core is really the external you swinging the club vs …
…the internal you analyzing and making decisions and
…vs the course architect’s plan and
…sometimes vs the weather and vs how you and your body are feeling that day.

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Yes, many variables at one time! Then there are physical condition/injury issues. After a year off, I MAY get a game or two in, another warm fall here! Will do a game practice at the driving range first, may have forgotten how to swing! Hopefully my carpal tunnel issue will allow me to hang onto the club now.

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The strange thing about golf is that every day is different.
The best way to approach it is to realise there are many factors that you cannot control including how you wake up in the morning. Just be thankful that you are playing golf with your mates and enjoying life.
As a Scottish mate of mine said to me- is there anything else but golf in life!
Enjoy every day as you never know what comes next.


To the first, it’s really surprising to me how addictive this game can be. I read of a new technique and I want to try it. “Want” is not strong enough of a verb there. Intermittent, unpredictable rewards. That Skinner guy was really onto something…

But really, I chimed in to plus 1 your second point. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Even though it’s really, really likely to happen again for us, we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, next week, next month.

Act accordingly.


There are essentially two different types of Golfe™ -

  • Golf
  • Golf when you and your wife both play

Trust me, these are two different games! It’s like sex, only different.

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Yea…I say Fudge alot more than I say Fire Truck! I enjoy the one with the wife alot more when we get home tho…lots of extra puttering around!


Still better than your wife and you in a tandem kayak or bicycle… -1, would not recommend.

My current GF doesn’t like golf, but doesn’t mind me practicing/playing it, within reason. Oh well.