Is golf a good hobby? If you are thinking about taking up the game of golf you may have asked yourself this question.
In fact, I asked myself the same question just a few months ago when I was considering restarting the game.
I played golf as a teenager with my father but hadn’t played in more than a decade until I visited home about 6 months ago. On the trip, due to good weather, my younger brother, and my father played nine holes at our local golf course.
While I, expectedly, didn’t play very well, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and decided to restart the game as a hobby after returning to South East Asia.
I’ll tell you right away that I am loving it and would encourage any young or older man to take it up.
For those of you who may be considering it, here are the pros and cons of golf as a hobby.
The Pros Of Golf As A Hobby
01 It’s a great way to spend time in nature
Playing golf is a great way to spend time in nature. You get to walk around the golf course in a natural setting and be outside getting some exercise.
If you love the outdoors, or just want to get out and get some fresh air, this is a great opportunity.
Personally, I find this very calming. This is especially true if you live in a city as I do. There is truly something very relaxing about spending a morning or afternoon out on the course.
02 It’s a great way to get physical exercise.
You might be surprised by how much exercise you get from playing a round of golf.
First of all, you do a considerable amount of walking. While how much you walk will depend on the specific course, this article by Golf Monthly suggests that you could be walking more than 6 miles in a round.
Sure, it’s not a 10-mile run but it shouldn’t be scoffed at especially if you consider that you carrying a bag full of steel sticks. Additionally, you don’t really feel it. When I am playing, I am focused on my game rather than the distance I am walking.
Second of all, it’s great for flexibility. For reference, I am 32 years old, and not particularly out of shape.
However, I can honestly say that since returning to the game, I feel much more flexible. In fact, when I first got back into it, I had pains in places that I didn’t know I had muscles!
03 It also provides good mental exercise
Golf doesn’t just get your body going but it also provides excellent mental exercises.
It requires focus and mental discipline. If you take up the game you will learn that to succeed in it requires a lot of attention to detail.
Scoff at my nerdiness if you like but I often find myself adding up distances to find the best (ie the safest) way of making it from the tee box to the green.
Not only this, things like chipping and putting require much concentration to get right.
04 It can help you to meet new people
Golf is a great way to meet new people or deepen current relationships. You can play with coworkers, neighbors, or new golfing friends.
Even if you don’t have any friends that play golf, you can let the club you are playing at know that you are alone and willing to join a group.
While I don’t do this often, it can be a great way to get to know new people.
You might be surprised to find yourself enjoying a well-earned post-18-hole beer with your new golf buddies!
05 It may benefit your career
It’s no secret that golf is a game that is commonly played by men and women in the business world.
In fact, some people might even find themselves in situations where their career depends on getting a spot on a golf team.
No joke, I have heard stories of junior staff being invited to play golf with senior management simply because they could play it well.
You may disagree with this but you can’t argue that those junior staff members may well be considered for promotion before their non-golf-playing colleagues.
To be honest, I haven’t seen any benefit in my work. However, if you are looking to get ahead at work, playing golf could be worth your time investment.
06 Healthy competition is promoted
One thing that I love about golf is the healthy competition it promotes.
Unlike other sports like basketball or football, scores are typically not absolute in golf; they are relative.
Unless you are on the PGA tour, most clubs will take your handicap into consideration. If you are not familiar with this, it is quite simply a number that denotes how skilled or unskilled you are at the game. The lower your number, the more skilled you likely are.
The point is not the number but the fact that this system allows for weaker players and better players to compete against one another in a measurable way. This means that even if you are just starting out, you may get a win or two under your belt before you know it.
07 It can be a lifelong hobby
Unlike other sports that require more physical exertion, golf can be a lifelong hobby.
It can be played by young and old alike. Let’s say you’re 25 years old now, you will probably stop playing football or basketball by the time you are 35 or 40. You have another 15 years or so.
With golf, however, many continue playing well into their sixties and even seventies! According to this article, Jay Haas holds the record for the oldest player to make the PGA tour cut. He was 68 years old and still playing at the highest level!
The Cons of Golf As a Hobby
As you may have gathered, I am a big fan of golf and have been enjoying it immensely since I took it up again. However, the game is not without its disadvantages.
01 It is often weather/season dependent
Unless there is an indoor practice facility close to you, golf can be dependent on the weather.
Some courses close entirely over the winter months and even in the summer, a storm of some heavy rain can ruin the experience.
Of course, this all depends on where you are based.
02 It can get expensive
It’s no secret that golf equipment and membership fees for a club can be expensive. .
According to the author of this article, some clubs charge more than 400,000 thousand dollars as an initiation fee and more than 20,000 dollars per year thereafter!
A set of golf clubs can also set you back thousands of dollars.
However, this isn’t the norm. According to Golf.com, in 2021 the average cost to play 18 holes in the US was $38. To me, that doesn’t sound bad given how much enjoyment you can get from it.
Also, nowadays many companies sell clubs that are aimed at more budget-conscious players making it easier to get into the game. If you are not sure you will continue the game, great deals can be found if you choose to buy used golf clubs.
To be honest, I couldn’t be happier that I started playing golf again. It’s something I look forward to and something that helps may stay physically fit and mentally sharp.
Despite having some cons, if you are thinking of taking the game up as a hobby, I would encourage you to do so.
If you are interested in getting into the game and considering buying second-hand clubs, you may be interested in our post Are Old Golf Clubs Any Good?
As always, I hope you found this post useful. If you can think of any other pros or cons that may be helpful to other readers, we’d love to hear them in the comments!