Why Is Golf So Addictive?

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“The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.” 

Definition from Oxford Languages 

Habit, Craving, Compulsion, Weakness.  Hopefully you don’t have any negative physical or social consequences? No worries! Nothing another quick nine cant heal!

Is golf addictive?  Yes absolutely.  But why?!?

Why do people pay their hard earned money to spend four to five hours out in the sun trying to hit a small ball into a small hole far away? Seems crazy to many people but for those of us who’ve had the game in our souls we know there is nothing that can compare. The game has been around longer than many countries. Why?

Because there’s no game like it.  You can play everyday on the same course and never get bored.  You can shoot the same score as the day before but never have the same shot or putt.  The game is always challenging and fun.  It’s also a great place to relax and spend time with friends or meet new people.  

It’s also unpredictable. You can be having your best game ever and lose it all on one hole or even with just one swing or even an unlucky bounce. There’s nothing more frustrating than making bad scores coming down the final three hole stretch. “Choking” as we call it. There is no telling what you will shoot until the last putt is rolled in. Even the professionals can lose it on the last green. And thats part of the beauty of the game.

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On the other hand finishing with a good hole or few holes is a great feeling. Dealing with the pressure of closing out a solid round and overcoming your nerves is a wonderful feeling. This is part of the essence of why golf is addictive. Because golf is a game of self mastery. You have no teammates to lean on and help you though. No coach to give you guidance. No corner man to help you calm down. You’re on your own.

Why is golf so addictive? And why has it been around for so long?

Golf is a beloved game with a storied past.  It has never to be forgotten moments like a ‘Hole in One’ or your first driver down the middle off the sweet spot of the club face, or the sound of the ball dropping into the cup. Golf is addictive because of the feelings it brings us through in the course of a game. Emotional highs and lows in the game are difficult for non golfers to understand. These feelings are what keep us coming back for more.  

 I’ve never had a hole in one before but I have been in groups where its happened and it’s absolutely unforgettable. 

 Once it was my father who made a one.  We were down in Florida and it was a short par three about 128 yards and he hit a pitching wedge.  The ball was flying directly at the pin, landed on the front, hoped and rolled gently towards the flag and then disappeared. We screamed and jumped up and down and the guys on the adjacent green let off some shouts and there were high fives all around!

I remember it like it was yesterday, but it was well over ten years ago.  Thats how memorable golf can be. (It may have been an eight iron but for the sake of the story its always a pitching wedge)

The Golf course is where I learned to always be on time.  I’ve never missed a tee time and I’m an extremely punctual person, I credit golf for that.  The golf course is also where I learned to be polite and a gentleman.  Etiquette is very important on the golf course and being a gentleman has paid off for me in my life.

Treasured time spent with friends.  At the end of life you wont think about the money you made or the time you spent working.  You’ll think back to the great relationships you had and how they brought you joy.  And the golf course is a great place to spend time with friends and make new friends.

There’s a competitive dynamic on the course even between friends or strangers.  And even if you’re alone you are playing against the par for the hole and course, which is not always easy.  

Golf is a tough game.  And the main goal should be to outperform your previous scores.  In essence you’re playing against yourself.  Which is a great challenge.  

Even playing the same course everyday for ten years you will find new places and new shots to make.  A golf course or even one golf hole has limitless situations for you to find yourself in.  You can never get bored.  

There is a diversity of shots to make on any given hole.  

Golf provides an endless source of ups and downs. 

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Golf holes can be picturesque or look like a dog track.  You still need to hit the ball straight and roll it into the cup.  

Golf courses provide beautiful landscapes and the chance to be outside with nature.  You can see birds, deer, fox, squirrels and much more.  Its a great way to get some sunshine.    

Golf is great because it’s refreshing to get away from the ‘real world’.  Whether thats your family, children, work, pets  or neighbours. 

The rejuvenating feelings of making a birdie or a great shot are certainly addictive.  The celebration of your shot or that of your playing partners feels fantastic.  It’s great to see others doing well (unless its matchplay)

The course is a great place to have a laugh and be outside.  And sometimes for post game drinks and celebrations.  Festivities at the nineteenth are some golfers main reason for showing up.

It’s a recreational activity to help keep you young, and can also be entertaining to watch.  

Rolling the ball into the cup and hearing the sound it makes is deeply satisfying.  Hitting the ball pure brings feelings of pure joy.  You can also see others going through highs and lows.  Four and half hours can go by in a flash.  

Golf is a timeless game and a lasting tradition for many. People all around the world are addicted to golf for many reasons and there’s no sign of it letting up. So you should get out there and see what all the fuss is about!!  Enjoy!!  

6 thoughts on “Why Is Golf So Addictive?”

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