Golf in its essence is a very social game, and it’s quite a rare scene to come across a person who is golfing solo on the course.
So what are the reasons for that? Is playing golf alone frowned upon by others? Can you play golf by yourself? Or is it just a rare scene in the club?
In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a quick guide that walks you through the advantages and the disadvantages of playing golf alone.
Is it Bad to Play Golf on Your Own?
The honest answer to this question is “it depends”. Ideally, golf is supposed to be played with others, whether they’re your friends, colleagues, or other competitors. So, if you play solo in order to avoid playing with others, you might be doing it wrong.
However, if the golf course is slow and not many players are around, it wouldn’t hurt to play a few rounds on your own by golfing solo.
All in all, golfing solo comes with its perks and drawbacks, so it depends on your current situation.
Will Golf Clubs Let Solo Golf Happen?
In the majority of cases, golf clubs encourage players to play in groups because this means fewer waiting and service times. In fact, some of them might outright ban playing golf on your own.
However, on a slow day where not many people are at the club, you can book a single session. Yet, some clubs retain the right to pair you with other players or groups if the course is busy or you’re playing in high-traffic times.
This is understandable from a business perspective because if you have the entire tee by yourself, they’ll make less money for the same time slot.
How Can You Benefit from Playing Golf By Yourself?
One thing you should know is that playing a round of golf alone can have a few benefits. So, if you’ve found yourself playing golf solo on a golf course, you can still book a solo session to reap the following benefits.
1. You Can Practice Shots That You Can’t Take in Groups
Since you’re playing as a golf single player, you’re not holding anyone up. This means that you’re able to practice and learn from your mistakes, which allows you to become more consistent in your style and technique. By learning how to replicate a successful shot, you’ll become a much better golf player!
2. You Can Try Different Clubs and Adjust Your Technique
In some situations, you might struggle to find the right club to hit your ball off the tee for the maximum distance and speed.
In that case, having the golf course to yourself will let you play several balls with different clubs using the same technique, which will help you figure out the properties of each one and the best situations to use them.
3. Playing Fast Will Help You Build More Confidence
Since you’re golfing alone and not waiting for other players to take their turns, you’ll be able to finish the course at a faster time.
Playing faster will give you a confidence boost by helping you develop a certain playing routine and rhythm.
4. Higher Level of Focus Means Improved Scores
Even if it’s not necessarily fun, a lot of players have reported that they were able to up their game and improve their scores by playing golf alone.
This is because golfing as a single provides a less distracting environment where you’re able to focus on various aspects of the game that you’re not used to keeping in mind playing with others.
What Are the Disadvantages of Playing Golf Alone
Of course, there are a few drawbacks that come with playing golf alone. In this section, we’ll take a quick look at them:
1. It Can Get Boring Quickly
The first and most common problem that many players have with playing golf by yourself is that it can get quite boring very easily, especially if they’re used to playing the game with friends and colleagues.
If you have to play solo, there are a few workaround methods to play and keep the game fun. For example, you can play using two balls and play as well as you can with both balls, which helps you view your margin of error at very similar conditions.
2. You Might Be Discouraged to Play Against Others
This happens to people who play golf solo all the time. Some people call this “pairing paranoia”, in which you’re used to playing alone for so long that you’re anxious about your performance in a relatively competitive environment, even if you’re far better than your competitors.
3. No Peer Validation
It’s in the nature of humans to seek peer validation, which is the cheers of joy from your group when you hit that sweet spot or make a nice shot.
Yet, a lot of players go by the rule of “If you have no witnesses, it didn’t happen” when it comes to golf. So making the rare 4 birdies in a row won’t have the same clout with your buddies.
4. Some Might View It as Bad Etiquette
While many players understand that some people might enjoy golf alone, others might think that it’s bad etiquette to hold up a group of 3 or 4 in order to take a shot, which can put pressure on the solo player and throw them out of their focus.
5. Not Supported by Golf Handicap and Information Network
According to the “Peer Review” rule of the United States Golf Association (USGA), any plays or scores achieved during a solo play are not counted for your handicap, so you won’t be able to input your scores to the GHIN.
Golf Games to Play by Yourself
There are a lot of ways to make a round as a solo golfer a competition with yourself. It can be a great opportunity to practice your course management, tee shots or even short game shots.
Playing solo allows you to hit two shots, your original ball, then hit a second shot and keep track of how often the first ball is closer than the second ball. Or you can throw two balls down next to the green and see if you can get them both up and down.
One excellent way to play more golf in the same amount of time during a solo round is to hit your tee shot. Then when you are at your approach to the green shot, hit 4, 5 or even 6 golf balls. Treat each one like it’s the real ball for your round.
Full shot routine on the shot, then full green reading and shot routine on the putts and chips. It’s great practice and simulation of a real golf game. Other groups can show up behind you without you knowing they are there.
Golf Etiquette as a Single Player
Playing without playing partners is pretty much the same set of etiquette as a normal round of golf. The main difference is to be aware of how fast or slow you are playing.
Without others in your group it can be easy to lose track of how fast or slow you are going. Especially if you are trying some of the different solo games to create internal simulation of a real round.
So pay attention from the first tee to the final green to see what’s happening behind you and in front of you.
Playing Golf Alone as a Beginner
One of the major benefits of playing without a playing partner is the ability to hit horrible shots and not have others see it. When it’s just you out there on the golf course there is a lot of space to be a newbie and not know how to play yet.
The average golfer who is just getting started can take their time on the tee box or on the putting green and try different shots with multiple golf balls. It allows you to do some learning at your own pace.
This wraps it up for today’s guide that answers one of the most common questions that we receive. So, is playing golf frowned upon?
Of course, you can enjoy golf the way you prefer it, so if you feel comfortable playing alone, you can always do it on a slow day on the course.
However, if the course is a little busy and multiple groups are playing, it might be better if you play in groups, especially if they invite you to play with them.
After all, golf is a very social game and you can build some excellent friendships on the course with people who share the same interests as you!