4 years ago, I thought I had played my last round of golf.
Nothing went according to plan. Even though I struck the ball well, my luck had dried up. The frustration with my scorecard led to me taking time away from the game. In this post, I share my experience of quitting golf and why you shouldn’t.
Besides sharing my personal experience, I will discuss the top reasons why golfers quit the sport. In addition, I have provided ways to make golf more enjoyable to ensure that you love the game for as long as you live.
If your confidence is low and your performance makes you want to quit, don’t do it. Read our guide on how to play golf and go back to the basics before making your decision.
Why So Many People Quit Playing Golf
Aside from injuries, the cost of golf is a key reason why people give up the game. Admittedly, it is not the most affordable sport on the planet. A new entry-level set of clubs sets you back around $500, while green fees are $50 to $100 a pop.
As much as one loves the game, golf expenditure may not fit into your budget when times are tough. However, you do not need to completely give up the game. There is still the option of visiting your local driving range, Top Golf, or pitch and putt course. It may not be first prize, but if you can still enjoy the game, why not make the most of it.
The reality is that golf is a challenging sport, and it can break the calmest individuals. You need to know how to aim at your target, swing a golf club, and judge the power of the shot.
The inability to combine these factors leads to erratic distance, accuracy, and an inflated scorecard. Not to mention that it adds to your frustration and drives you insane. Even those with the biggest egos are not immune to the wrath of the Golfing Gods. This humbling experience can cause some to outright quit the game.
Issues With Swing Mechanics
Golfing professionals make swinging a club look like a breeze. However, executing a shot is another story. Casual golfers struggle with accuracy because of damaged swing mechanics that produce hooks and slices.
When players struggle to grasp the concept of rhythm and tempo, they never produce the intended result. This leads to much time spent searching for golf balls in the woods. In addition, your scores are too high to fit onto the scorecard.
You can forgive this a couple of times, but after a while, it gets old, and the frustration overtakes your enjoyment of the game. This is when the average golfer decides to hang up their golf clubs.
Golf is a complicated sport, and you do not become good overnight. It takes years for some to achieve and requires constant practice and dedication. Once you reach that level, you need to continue working on your game. Otherwise, your hard work quickly unravels.
The issue I see with some golfers is impatience. They want to be a solid golfer instantly, and their inflated expectations only increase frustrations. Instead of taking the small wins, players feel hopeless if they do not break an unrealistic score.
Breaking 100, 90, or 80 has to be earned, and if you remain patient and work hard, those days will come. Unfortunately, many quickly give up and choose to wallow in self-pity instead of training at the driving range.
I acknowledge that injuries may be out of your control, but it is a chief reason why people stop playing golf. Common golf-related injuries spring up in your back, knees, and forearms. Although most injuries will not end your playing career, they may hamper your swing and the ability to optimize rotation.
If players feel like they cannot play the game the way they previously did, it might propel them to hang up the bag.
Limited Golf Courses In The Area
A buddy of mine moved to Montenegro 2 years ago for work and has effectively given up the game. The nearest golf course to him is in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which means he would need to cross the border for a round. When he adds the 3-hour travel time to the round, it is a full-day affair.
Naturally, if it becomes a mission to get a round of golf in, it could push you to quit the game.
Why You Shouldn’t Quit Playing Golf
Best Sport In The World
Golf is the best sport on the planet. Sure, I love rugby, soccer, cricket, American football, and tennis, but there is no sport like ours. It is challenging, frustrating, rewarding, and the ideal way to spend 4 hours and 30 minutes.
In addition, it offers a way for you and your buddies to get out and enjoy the fairways well into your old age.
Health And Wellness
My non-golfing buddies always joke that golf is not a sport, and you get no exercise. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When possible, able-bodied individuals are encouraged to carry their clubs and walk around the golf course.
Most amateur golf courses measure around 6000-yards, which is 3.4 miles. That excludes the extra distance you walk searching for your golf ball. The R&A reckons that the average golfer walks 4 to 5 miles in a round, and burns 2000 calories.
Then there is the added workout of swinging a golf club. The Titleist Performance Institute explains that your forearm muscles, latissimus dorsi (back), gluteus maximus (posterior), pectoralis major (chest), and core impact your golf shot.
Consistently playing the game, and activating these muscles, is one way to keep them operational when you move to seniors tees.
Besides physical wellbeing, golf helps you keep your mind active. The game requires planning, strategy, and the ability to aim correctly. These factors force you to think and analyze each shot. This keeps your mind working and healthy long after retirement.
Golf offers a way for you to make lifelong friends. Although it is an individual sport, it builds a community around the game. If you stop playing golf, you begin to miss out on this camaraderie. While networking is good for business, it also helps you build close ties with buddies who will have your back through thick and thin.
You will also feel left out of all the war stories your buddies share from their day on the links. This creates a detachment from the group and can lead to a lonely feeling.
Ways to Make Golf More Fun and Less Frustrating
Pick Days With Nice Weather
One way to enjoy your game more is to pay attention to the weather forecast and pick clear days to play on. If you play in the rain, heavy wind, or severe heat, it is a miserable experience that won’t entice you to hit the golf course anytime soon.
There are countless weather apps to use. However, my farming buddies put me on to Windy a few years back, and it helps me plan my rounds of golf in advance.
I know that you would rather shoot the breeze with your buddies before you tee off. Instead, I suggest taking 10-minutes before your round to thoroughly stretch your shoulders, chest, and gluteus maximus.
Michael Breed from the Golf Channel provides 3 simple stretches that you can do in the below video. This reduces the risk of you pulling a muscle or inducing a herniated disc:
Not all golf courses have a range for you to warm up on before your round. In that case, hit the chipping and putting green and get a feel for the course. Next, take your 2 longest irons, hold them together and take a few practice swings. That will loosen the muscles.
Don’t Play For Score
I went through a patch where I focused on my score so much that the game became unenjoyable. I was not looking at any positives. Instead, I beat myself up over my net scores if they were higher than the previous round.
I started to hate the sport and forgot that it was only a game. I eventually came to my senses and began playing without scoring. It relieved self-induced pressure and made me appreciate every shot.
I suggest heading out to play without a scorecard. Focus on the minor wins, such as better ball striking or more fairways and greens in regulation.
Take A Cart
Now, I prefer walking over a cart because it gives me added exercise. However, I recognize that golf courses are long, and some players struggle to carry a bag, walk and swing their clubs. This leads to fatigue and makes the player wish the round would end rather than enjoying the journey.
If mobility is becoming a challenge, and you feel like you cannot walk 18-holes, take a cart. It does not need to end your golfing days.
Use Forgiving Clubs
This is an easy fix. Please, I urge casual golfers to use game improvement golf clubs. They provide the forgiveness and consistency needed to enjoy the game of golf. Your golf ball still gets into the air and travels an adequate distance, even on mishits.
Golf is hard. There is no need for you to play with unforgiving clubs that make the endeavor more challenging.
Play Off The Front Tees
Last year I spoke with a senior at my home club in Cape Town about his love for golf. He explained that he almost quit as he entered his 70s. In his prime, he was a scratch golfer. So, it was difficult for him to accept that his body was changing, and he no longer produced the same distance.
However, his group encouraged him to put those days behind him and embrace his situation. As a result, they encouraged him to tee off the ladies’ tees, and he started to enjoy the game again.
The club tees were too far back, and the gentleman struggled to make pars on holes he previously birdied with ease. Fortunately, the ladies’ tees enable him to keep playing and enjoy the game with his buddies.
With That Said… When It Might Be Time to Quit Playing Golf
There are only 2 instances where I can accept individuals quitting golf.
- The first is injury. If your doctor suggests never playing again, you should take their advice. There is nothing you can do to get around that.
- The second reason boils down to finances. Some golfers cannot balance the game on top of their everyday expenses. When you reach this point, survival comes first and leisure later. Get your finances in order and work towards a day when you can play the sport again.