Golf can be a very difficult sport; in fact, most people will admit to the fact that golf is the hardest sport there is. If you have never played golf, the concept of how difficult golf is can be a hard one to grasp. Only a very small percentage of players will ever go on to being great players or a professional.

There are several factors behind why golf is so hard, and if you just came in from a rough day on the course, these could help you feel better. Let’s take a look at why getting a small golf ball into a round hole could be as tricky as it is!

Why Is Golf So Hard

Golf is so hard because of the number of moving pieces that are involved with a round of golf. Each time you head out to play, you will have to deal with physical issues related to your golf swing, mental issues related to the way you think, and environmental issues caused by the golf course conditions and weather.

This is obviously a lot to deal with. There are not many things that stay consistent from one golf game to the next, and therefore trying to put together a perfect golf swing or a day with no bogeys is very difficult.

Here are some details of why playing golf can be so hard.


The mental game is probably the most impactful reason why golf is so hard. Players will hit poor shots every time they go out to play. However, only the ones with a strong mental game can pull off the recovery shots.

The mental game of golf will separate the good golfers from the average golfers. If you hit your tee shot in a bunker, you will need to recover. The same can be said when you make a birdie; you must keep yourself steady and in control.

Players spend quite a bit of time researching and learning the mental game of golf to ensure that they are capable of getting better. An average golfer with a great understanding of the mental side of the game will quickly become a lower handicapper.


image of golfer with pain in his elbow - AEC InfoThe physical part of the game includes your ability to hit the golf ball from the tee box as you approach the green and then being able to get the golf ball in the hole. With the physical side of golf, you must take into consideration the golf equipment that you play with and the fact that this is just another variable in the game of golf.

The current USGA rules of golf allow players to bring 14 clubs with them on a round of golf. However, golfers that do not have much athletic ability are not going to see the ball fly much differently with the clubs that they are using.

Physical factors like a bad back or sore knee can also come into play for golfers. Although it may not seem all that difficult to you to make contact with a golf ball, to strike it well, and play great golf, each time is much different.

The sweet spot on the golf club is relatively small, and it must be hit directly in the center as you play golf. When you miss the sweet spot, the golf ball will not fly as far, and you will be taking more shots to get around the golf course.

Although a golfer may not look like a professional baseball player or an average football player, they will need quite a bit of athletic ability to hit great shots.


image of golf ball stuck against a tree - AEC Info

Last but certainly not least, players need to consider the impact that golf courses have on the game’s difficulty. Although physical factors and mental factors are tough because they are controlled by the player, the environmental factors are entirely out of your hands.

To make golf, easier many players will only enjoy a round on a nice day, with excellent course conditions. Golf is hard enough as it is, and when you add in the weather and environmental factors, things can get even more difficult.

In the end, the environmental factors are going to be out of your hands, and that is partially what makes the game even more frustrating.

Trying to hit a golf ball a long way, keep it straight and get it to land near a pin is hard enough. Add in the hills, green speeds, and bunker shots, and it becomes impossible for some to even figure out what clubs they should use for which shot.

Additional links from AEC Info:


Frequently Asked Questions

As you can see from our description of the game of golf, it isn’t easy. Luckily golf is also quite a bit of fun. Even on those days when you feel as though you may sell the golf clubs, most will still show up for yet another round. Here are a few questions that may help you understand a bit more what makes golf so hard.

How Long Does It Take To Get Good At Golf?

For most players, it takes a solid five years of dedication to the game to get good. If you were to quit your job and work at it full time, getting good at golf can happen in a year or less. The point is that to get great at golf; you must put in quite a bit of time.

For those that have played other sports and have lots of athletic ability, the game may come a bit easier. In addition, it makes sense to have the proper equipment if you want to get good at golf.

Why Is Golf So Hard Mentally?

Golf is so hard mentally because our mind is powerful. Even if you are trying to work on just one swing thought, some other concepts and ideas will come into your head. Playing golf and focusing on just one thing is very difficult.

In addition, we will let anger and feelings impact our decision-making skills on the course. If you have a great mental game, you can look at a water hazard in front of you and not be worried; with the weaker mental game, you will, without a doubt, hit the ball in the water. When it comes down to it, you will need to know which club to use to hit a ball out of the rough, or how to read a green and those can be difficult skills to master. 

Is Golf Difficult To Learn?

Golf is a difficult sport to learn for those that have not played other sports. However, if you have played other sports, golf can be a bit easier to get better at. The key factor in getting better at golf is to have a great instructor and the time and money to put into getting better.


Hopefully, you now feel as though you can understand why golf is as hard and frustrating as it is. This is a competitive game that will beat you, even if you are just playing against yourself. The great thing about the game of golf is that it is still incredibly fun. Don’t let the fact that the game is so difficult keep you from taking it up. The more you play and practice, the more you will fall in love and be motivated to get even better.