Go onto Instagram and you will see a host of accounts poking fun at those who go golfing solo. Not everyone has buddies who love the game and wish to play, while others like myself need to work when playing.
There is nothing wrong with playing a 1-ball, so in this post, I tell you my 8 favorite things about golfing by myself. As a professional introvert, I actually enjoy the alone time and will explain why.
Alternatively if you’re tired of playing solo, you might fish yourself a partner with our 50 golf pick up lines.
Table of Contents
Is It Common to Play Golf Alone?
Showing up to the course as a solo player is common. However, before the pandemic in 2020, I would see far more golfers play golf alone as I do now.
Golf courses are capitalizing on the boom. Every time a 1-ball tees off, there are 3-unoccupied tee-time options for that slot. For example, if every player coughs up $80 for a game of golf, it means the course has missed out on $240 in revenue.
So, these days you are bound to get paired with a stranger or a few unless your local course is quiet. I suggest playing on weekdays (especially in the mornings) if you intend on playing single golf.
However, if weekend mornings and early afternoons are your only available times, prepare to play with new people. It’s like a lottery. Sometimes, you meet interesting people and gain a new playing partner. On other occasions, you are paired with a scratch golfer, which puts a lot of pressure on mid and high-handicap competitors.
One Saturday when I was 13, I decided to take a chance and drop in at the course without a tee time. Apparently, the club champion had the same idea and we were paired together.
He was a +4 and had just accepted an offer to play for the Columbus State Cougars. I was an 8 and did not want to embarrass myself in front of the older brother of a now-famous Victoria’s Secret model. Fortunately, I had a solid round, and he was a legend. He taught me a few lessons that boosted my golf game for life.
8 Reasons Why I Love Playing Golf By Myself (Sometimes)
Since I am not much of a people person, you can imagine that I thrive off the serenity of solo play. I enjoy the peace and quiet and welcome the opportunity to not hear the latest news or make small talk.
As a South African kid, I love nothing more than being surrounded by nature. Hearing the birds, the bees, and the ping of sweetly struck golf shots is all I need. The alone time gives me hours to think and recalibrate.
Ultimately, it is an efficient way to clear our heads of all the noise we fill them with these days.
2. Play at Your Own Pace
Playing golf solo allows you to play at your own pace. That gives you a chance to soak in the surrounding beauty and take extra time with each shot. You are not rushed by playing with partners or even held up, for that matter. The beauty is you are driving the round and it is up to you how long it should take.
The only requirement is that you do not hold up the players behind you. If you are a 1-ball and hold up a 4-ball or a couple of twosomes, you need to get moving.
My advice to avoid feeling rushed is to hit your home course early morning and be one of the first out. That will give you a head start on the rest of the field, allowing you to take all the time you need.
3. More Relaxed
Golf is a funny game. One day you play like Scottie Scheffler and lose no golf balls. The next day you are known as shanks for consistency off the hosel. The latter often occurs when you are playing with new partners and are petrified of humiliating yourself.
Playing solo removes the pressure of others watching and judging you based on your skill level with golf clubs and a dimpled ball. Removing anxiety allows you to think clearly and focus on your next shot.
If you are more relaxed, you do not take your bad shots as seriously and should even make a par or two. Lower handicaps should be thinking about more birdies.
4. More Time to Work on Your Game
Playing golf with partners means that you do not have the time to work on your game. You hit your shot and move on to avoid holding up the rest of the field. When you play alone, you have a few moments for a mulligan or practice shot to understand your mistake on the first shot.
I use this to my advantage around the greens more than anything else. I can replicate a chip or putt and try a different line or shot to see how it turns out.
Course practice enables you to hone your skills on the links and is totally different from the practice range. There are more obstacles, angles, and slopes to deal with. Plus, you need to factor in the wind, moisture, and temperature.
In addition, you can also play two golf balls and see which one you card a lower score with. This is one of the fun ways to play golf solo by adding an element of competitiveness.
5. Fast Golf
Even if you play two balls or hit a couple of practice shots on each hole, a solo round of golf speeds up the overall pace of play.
Obviously, if you are one of the singles on the course, other pairings may allow you to play through. Therefore, you will finish your round in record time.
That means that you can get a round of golf in and still have ample time in your day to enjoy other activities. You are not burdened with waiting for other players in your group to find their balls, deliberate over club selection, and read lines.
If you are driving a golf cart, you can expect to race away from the field at a record pace.
I have always found that the peace and quiet on a golf course provide inspiration. Whether for work or personal reasons, the environment enables you to focus only on your next shot.
It eradicates noise from your head and allows you to think clearly. That is when the ideas begin to flow.
7. Time to Search for Balls
I have no issue helping a fellow golfer look for a golf ball. However, when it happens on every hole, and the player is hell-bent on finding it, you waste time. Plus, it quickly becomes annoying.
You do not need to endure this pain when golfing alone. However, it can backfire badly, and you can become a victim of lost golf balls. I’ll explain how at the end of this post.
8. When You Are Tired, You Walk Off
There are those rounds where you are not exactly up for it. Maybe you’re just overly frustrated, or simply exhausted. When playing with others, you do not want to be that guy and walk off mid-round. However, playing alone allows you to do whatever you please.
If you decide that you want to walk off the course on the 12th hole, you can go for it, and there is nobody to answer to. Admittedly, I did this last week on the 13th at my home club. It was 95-degrees out with 80% humidity, and no, I did not feel bad for leaving the course early for a swimming pool.
Disadvantages Of Playing Golf Alone
1. Ball Spotting
I spoke about the pain of looking for others’ golf balls, but it can bite you in the posterior when playing a 1-ball. When you are alone, you do not have the luxury of playing partners spotting your ball. Therefore, if you lose sight of the line, you will walk around aimlessly hunting your golf ball.
This is an easily solvable problem if your local country club or public course has caddies for hire. Taking a caddie along for the round will reduce your stress levels further, but you probably need to make some small talk with them and buy them breakfast or lunch.
2. Swing Errors
I appreciate that my playing partners rush to the rescue when my game is in turmoil. They notify me when they spot an issue with my swing mechanics, and I can immediately correct that.
My playing partners have played for 30-plus years and know a thing or two about the game. I am reluctant to accept advice from any average joe. The point is that when I play alone, I don’t have that luxury, and it can take longer to detect where I am going wrong in my swing.
The final downside to playing golf alone is the funniest. Your buddies will never accept your score. You could be as honest as Abraham Lincoln, but your mates will remain skeptical for eternity.
Hopefully, you do not shoot your best round because nobody will believe you.