General Question

kevbo's avatar

Golfers, what makes it worthwhile?

Asked by kevbo (24425 points ) September 12th, 2009 from iPhone

I’ve played golf infrequently and casually for 15 years. I had my first lesson a month ago. It helped some, but I still totally suck and it’s getting tiresome to constantly have to play out of the (desert) hardpan and through the trees. I don’t really enjoy it all that much despite efforts to just relax and enjoy the day. My lack of skill more often creates exercises in futility.

By contrast, I am a solid tennis player and as a result enjoycthe game even when I’m getting my ass beat.

What are some mindset approaches, techniques or other suggestions that will allow me to enjoy golf more? Or should I eliminate and simplify?

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13 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Golf takes practice and patience.
I golf sometimes and I find that I do better warming up with a bucket of balls on the driving range before heading out to the first tee. Splitting a bucket with your golf buddy is a good way to go so you don’t tire yourself out by the 8th hole.

Golf is all technique. One of the best ways to get better is to golf with better golfers than you and take some pointers. If you have a few extra $, take a lesson from the golf pro at some point.

After that, you’ll still have bad games but that’s where the patience comes in. The fun comes from spending time with friend and being able to laugh at yourself when you’re trudging through the much looking for your errant ball.

Every once in a while though, you hit a ball beautifully and it just feels right.
That’s what keeps us coming back.

drdoombot's avatar

It’s funny; I’m against golf on principle, partly because of the elitist nature of the sport, but mostly because so much land is used for the recreation of rich folk instead of using it to build housing or set it aside for nature or whatever. Not to mention how environmentally unfriendly it is just to water a “lawn” of that size.

However, I enjoy golf in other forms, as a computer game and on the Wii. I’ve never played actual golf, but I really love to play it electronically.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@drdoombot I’ve been to a lot of low cost courses. While some country clubs have a high level of snoot, most of the municipal course are far less elite. I never find myself at the snooty course because it’s cost prohibitive.

All this golf talk makes me want to go rent Caddyshack now.

lefteh's avatar

@drdoombot Going by that principle, you are also against football stadiums, large baseball parks (the kinds with 10–15 diamonds), and large public parks?
I know that you are probably not actually opposed to public parks, but what makes that any different? A public park could be used to build housing or set aside as a nature reserve just as much as a golf course.

drdoombot's avatar

Public parks are free.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@drdoombot If you like e-golf, why not try real golf?
I pay $20 to play a round.

As for wasting natural resources, if it’s a decision between a golf course and paving over the entire area for a strip mall, I’m choosing golf.

lefteh's avatar

You can play golf at a public-owned golf course for under $10. That is not, by any means, exclusionary. And as @The_Compassionate_Heretic noted, if you are worried about the environmental effect of a golf course…well, there are far worse culprits than a large field of (albeit chemically treated) grass, water, and sand.

se_ven's avatar

I’ve had nearly the same experience as @kevbo. Before this summer I played golf maybe once a year, and was always frustrated with how badly I played. But this past summer something changed and I got hooked.

I started playing with a friend who was also a beginner, so I didn’t feel as bad because we were basically the same skill level and could work on getting better together. Then I started getting better, and would play with better players and pick up tips. I started watching instructional videos on youtube.com and continued to improve. I’m still not that great, and I’ll alternate between a good and bad round, but the improvement makes me want to play even more.

On a more practical note, these are a few things that I have noticed help me:
– Keep your eye on the ball. Try to focus in on a single dimple through your swing and don’t look up until you’re almost through your entire swing.
– Keep your bottom half pretty still in the back swing. As opposed to a baseball swing, the power comes in the rotation of the upper torso and the hips, and keeping the lower torso in place keeps you squared up with the ball.
– Don’t try to power the ball. The harder I try to hit the ball, the worse I seem to do. It’s about a nice consistent swing. You’re not going to drive the ball 300 yards, especially if you can’t hit it straight. Get the swing down and then add the power.

jrpowell's avatar

We have a course at Reed that everyone can play at. I’m not sure if we are allowed to. But nobody has ever said shit. It doesn’t really have fences. I have never paid to golf in Portland.

Why I golf? You can drink while doing it.

critter1982's avatar

Is This how you feel?

I gotta say I’ve always enjoyed golf even when i was terrible and losing sleeves of balls every 9. However I have always been super laid back and always ready for a challenge. However, the past 2–3 years I’ve been playing once or twice every week in a league and I have significantly improved down to a 6 handicap. Golf is a lot more fun when you are not always losing your balls in the rough, woods, and water. Kevbo if you want to stop the stress play more because it is really a “feel” game and playing a couple times a year will continue to be frustrating.

deni's avatar

Can I just chime in and say, while the topic is golf, that I’m 20 and female and watching golf on tv is the last thing I ever thought I’d enjoy, but just recently I started to LOVE IT? It’s strangely entertaining!!

andrew's avatar

I’ve found that finding a 9-hole chip-n-putt does wonders—because you can work on your short game and you don’t feel like you’re wasting half the day fetching balls.

Here in LA there’s one just across the 5; it’s great to go on a fall weekend with a few friends and some beers. Very, very relaxing.

Dr_C's avatar

i agree with @andrew. My friends and i will still sometimse hit the pitch and putt in old town just to mess aroudn some and work on our short game. It gives you great feel around the green. The other thing is some of the guys we play with are by far the worst golfers on earth.. and they enjoy it more than anyone i’ve ever known. The fact that you get to spend a few hours out on the course with friends… in a beautiful landscaped and calm environment is relaxing by itself. Stressing out over the game doesn’t help and defeats the purpose of being out there in the first place.

If a lack of skill make sit harder for you to enjoy the game.. take more lessons or work at getting better.. you might start enjoying it as much as tennis.

The whole point of playing any sport is to enjoy it. Don’t forget the word “Amateur” stems fro the latin amātor,which means “lover, devoted friend, devotee, enthusiastic pursuer of an objective,” and from its Latin-derived French source, amateur, with a similar range of meanings.

An amateur is LOVER OF THE GAME.

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