What Is the Hardest Part of Learning How to Golf Well? (Four Things)

Golf is one of the few sports that will make you really happy one moment and extremely frustrated the next

After all, the main objective of the game is to make the tiny ball travel hundreds of yards into a 4-and-a-half-inch cup.

Nonetheless, the complexity of the game varies from first-timers to seasoned pros.

What Is The Most Difficult Part Of Learning How To Be A Competent Golfer?

Generally, the most challenging part of golf to master will often vary from player to player. You might find it difficult to hit off the tee, while another player might struggle with putting on the greens. That said, many new golfers struggle with skills such as chipping, putting, long irons and driving.

In this article, we explore all the parts of golf that might take you a while to master and provide you some helpful tips to make your golfing experience more fun!

Why Is Golf Considered a Hard Game?

Golf has been dubbed the hardest sport to learn and play due to its high technical requirements and lack of physical contact with the ball.

Some of the reasoning behind this opinion is described below:

1. Speed

The average pro golfer can swing their club at an average speed of 115 MPH.

Similarly, you will require incredible timing and speed when swinging your club if you wish to produce accurate shots.

This is one of the most challenging aspects that a golfer has to master.

2. Faculties

Golfing often requires you to employ several physical and mental faculties at once.

To excel at a game, you will need great flexibility, coordination, speed, balance, power, and mental focus.

3. Lack of contact

Golf is quite different from other sports like basketball, where you are in direct contact with the object of the game.

When golfing, you never touch the ball and instead have to propel it towards the hole using a golf club.

These aspects of the game can indeed make it a little challenging to become a pro golfer.

In fact, it is no secret that golfing requires a lot of practice hours out on the course.

Nonetheless, if you are really interested in playing golf, you can easily overcome these obstacles if you put in the work.

How Long Will It Take To Get Good At Golf?

For an average player, who practices golf once a week, the projected time it will take to learn golf is about 6-12 months.

If the learning frequency is increased to two sessions per week, you can master the right golf skills within four months or less.

Realistically, your dedication to golf practice (and playing) will ultimately indicate how it’ll take to get good at it.

Additionally, the duration you take to learn golf will depend on factors like your physical abilities. People that play other sports tend to pick up golfing skills faster than the average person.

The Five Hardest Parts Of Golf

Players will face different levels of difficulty for every aspect of the game.

Nonetheless, there are areas that many players consider the toughest to master. They include:

1. Chipping

Chipping is the art of lightly striking the ball with the goal of placing it directly  on the greens.

However, as a new golfer, you might not be able to comfortably chip the ball since it requires advanced golfing skills.

It is advisable to choose a lower-lofted club to make chipping much easier.

2. Driving

Most golf players often find it difficult to hit the golf ball off the tee.

This is because they usually have trouble controlling the direction with the driver compared to other clubs and tend to swing harder at tee shots.

3. Mental Game

Golf is a sport that requires a certain mental fortitude.

This is because your mental game will influence how you control your emotions and make strategic decisions while on the course.

Consequently, some players consider ‘getting in the right headspace’ one of the toughest aspects of the game.

4. Putting

Compared to the other aspects of golf, putting is most certainly the most important.

Nonetheless, most new players consider putting as the most challenging part of golf since it requires a very soft touch.

5. Long Irons

Due to their low loft, long irons are probably the most demanding clubs in the bag to hit.

Furthermore, most golfing amateurs surprisingly find it more difficult to get the long irons off the ground.

Related: Golf Alignment Sticks

Scoring Vs. Skill Improvement

Apart from the above-listed most complex parts of golf, some pros say that the ability to distinguish skill improvement from scoring is one of the tough-to-master areas of golf.


If your focus is scoring, you will often only concentrate on your strengths and avoid your weaknesses.

You will be more inclined to try shots you can make – in a bid to improve your scores – while neglecting other shots that you find hard to make.

Skill Improvement

When you focus on skill improvement, you will constantly be raising your target but with the understanding that you will be scoring less frequently.

Your goal will be to improve your weak links and perfect your strong points.

Which Do You Need?

To be a successful golf player, you will need to blend both scoring and skill improvement.

This means focusing 50 percent on improving your golfing skills and the other 50 percent on raising your scores.

Remember, scoring yields short-term benefits while skill improvement makes you a better player in the long run.

How to Improve Your Scoring and Golfing Skills

Improving your scoring will require a lot of golf simulation practice.

You can start by throwing nine balls randomly around the green to see how many you can sink and then, for your long game, running through the whole round on the driving range to see all the shots you can hit.

For your golfing skills, you will need to focus on block practices.

You could work on a system that provides you with a means of measuring feedback, so you know where you need to improve.

Four Ways To Get Better at Golf

Golf is the one sport that will require many weekends of practice in order to perfect your skills.

Here are a few of the best ways to do that:

Tip: You can use one of these methods of learning golf or a combination of several. Regardless of how you practice, it is essential that you create a practice schedule and stick to it.

1. Online Lessons

Online golf lessons are ideal for people looking for a more hands-on solution to their golfing problems without having to be on the field.

Some good online golf instructors you can check out Andy Proudman and Piers Ward of Me and My Golf.

Through the series of golfing courses they offer, you can learn anything from simple putting to some pro skills.

2. Free Online Content

To further improve your golfing skills, you could opt for millions of words and hours of instructional video content on the sport of golf.

This resource is free (YouTube and blogs), and you can learn at your own pace.

3. Learn from a Friend

Another effective way of improving your weak golfing areas is by involving a friend who is already a good golfer.

You can shadow them around the course picking up playing tips directly and indirectly.

Even better, your golf learning experience will be much more enjoyable since you are with a friend.

4. Train with a Local Pro

The most effective way to get good at golf is to learn from your local golf pro.

However, golf lessons are quite expensive since they usually charge an average of $50 per hour.

Hence, it is advisable to try group training sessions that usually consist of 2-4 golfers since your golf instructor might charge less per customer because there are more paying customers.

This means you have to practice regularly and work on your weak areas to perfection or until you are satisfied.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that golf can be a difficult sport to learn thanks to the combination of skills required to excel at the game:

  • balance
  • speed
  • power
  • mental focus
  • and coordination.

But the best answer to ‘what is the hardest part of learning how to golf well’ is it depends.

You never know; you might excel in areas where other people struggle, such as driving, chipping, sinking a hole in one (one of the toughest feats), or driving.

Overall, the key is to practice a lot, stick to your routine, and improve your weak areas.


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