In the spirit of Halloween, let’s talk about something scary – playing golf alone!
Maybe you’ve never considered it before, and maybe you balk at the idea. But there are some reasons why flying solo on the course from time to time might be great for your golf game.
Let’s tackle the spooky stuff first:
Cons of Playing Golf Alone
Nobody Will See Your Awesome Shots
You sink a birdie during your round. You want to brag to the crew later, but nobody was there to see it! Your friends might even hesitate to believe you. It’s way less cool than having your best friend Steve slap you on the back and say, “I saw it, it was an incredible shot!”
Judgement of Other Players
Playing solo is pretty uncommon. If YOU saw someone walking alone on a golf course, you’d probably think a few thoughts – their partner is in the bushes looking for a ball, their friend cancelled last minute, they are playing with a ghost, there’s an invisibility cloak involved, etc. – all before settling on the idea that they are actually golfing alone.
Difficulty Snagging Tee Times
Courses typically don’t want to book single players. Why would they want to fill an entire slot with one person when they could fill it with four? If you want to try to book a tee time for yourself, go ahead – but don’t be surprised if they reject your request. Showing up in person on the day you’d like to golf is your best bet. The club will be happy to sell you an empty last-minute slot.
Because it’s such a social sport, it’s unusual to see someone golf alone. But consider other team sports before you veto the idea. Basketball players work on their free throws by themselves, and tennis players volley against a wall. You hit balls at the range all the time, so why not actually put your skills to the test and go out on the course?
Here’s why playing golf alone might help your game:
Pros of Playing Golf Alone
You’re Not on the Range Anymore
The range creates pretty perfect golf conditions, but they aren’t reality. Grass is unforgiving, wind is cruel, and the ground isn’t flat. But when you’re by yourself, you can forget all of that! If you slice a shot into the rough, don’t worry about it yet. Play another ball. Then, if you want, play another after that. You’ve probably got some time to kill so that you don’t overtake the group in front of you. Thus, you have the wiggle room to take some extra shots and learn from your mistakes in real time.
Try Those Tougher Clubs
When you play with a group, you’re more likely to stick to your best clubs. You don’t want Steve to know that you can’t hit your 3 wood worth beans, so it stays covered and tucked into your golf bag. But, if you’re by yourself, you don’t have to fret about your friends/partners/coworkers/anyone judging your shots (except those people staring at you from afar, wondering where your partner is). Go ahead and hit your 3 wood. If you hit it terribly, you can always just take another shot with another ball (and another club, if need be).
Enjoy the Peace
Take in the nature around you! Instead of constantly focusing on the other people in your group, their shots, and your competition, focus on feeling peaceful and at ease with the nature around you. Breathe in the fresh air, appreciate the scenery, and calm yourself before you hit your shots. Being relaxed will definitely help your game – you’ll have reduced tension in your back and more focus up in your brain. If you make a habit of relaxing on the course, the next time you play with others, some of that calmness will stay with you.
If you tend to get nervous and freeze up when you have to golf in front of other people, steal some tips from our post on Having a Bad Golf Day.