Can You Play Golf by Yourself?
Golf is usually played in the company of others, and it's not difficult to see why. The great camaraderie that arises from strolling around a beautiful golf course together, the wonderful blend of sport and conversation as you go, and, of course, that competitive edge that many of us love. However, golf is certainly not a game constrained to a group activity. Playing alone is not only usually possible, but it has several benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Playing Golf Alone?
For many who work stressful 9-5 jobs that require mental or physical exertion, those periods on your own to recharge can make all the difference. Your preferred relaxation method might come down to whether you're an introvert or extrovert, but if you're the former and love golf, playing a round by yourself after work or on the weekend might sound like absolute bliss.
Focus on Your Game
The social aspect of golf is great, but it can sometimes get in the way of your game. With an easy-going, flowing conversation happening constantly, it can be easy for your mind to wander away from the golf and focus instead on the joke that Phil has just told the group.
Playing by yourself allows you to focus entirely on your game without the distraction of having others around. It also removes that competitive edge and allows you to play with significantly more freedom than when you're keeping score and worrying about the numbers that others around you are posting.
Didn't like that long putt you just attempted? Do you wish you could retake it to practice a difficult shot? No problem. Retaking a shot while playing with others is usually considered unacceptable, but when you're on your own, go for it! If you're the only person around - and there aren't any groups behind you - take as many shots as you want. This allows you to practice repeatedly until you get a shot right - often the only way to learn.
Playing by yourself is significantly faster than playing with a group. The math is pretty simple - if there are four of you playing, a solo round will take a quarter of the time, if not less, so if you're in a hurry and only have a short amount of time, playing alone can be a great option.
The Drawbacks of Playing Golf by Yourself
May Feel Boring
For extroverts who thrive on having others around them, playing a full round of golf can be a dull, even lonesome experience. There's none of that conversation between holes, none of those congratulatory remarks after a shot - none of those drinks with your friends in the clubhouse after the round. People who love to be around people may feel completely turned off by the idea of walking around a golf course on their own.
While some people might thrive by not having people around them, plenty of people feel the complete opposite. Playing solo removes that competitive edge many people relish, which drives them on. There's no right or wrong way to do this, but if you operate best under competitive conditions - even friendly circumstances between friends - playing on your own might not be for you.
A Different Game
Golf is inherently competitive, so playing by yourself completely changes the game. You could argue that you can play against yourself to try and beat your previous round, but solo golf will always have an air of practice to it rather than genuine competition. If competitive play is something you want to improve on, then playing by yourself will not address this.
The downside of playing solo regarding speed is that you can sometimes get through a round too quickly. If you have a few hours to spare, you might find yourself finished in one without the option of going back and playing more holes. Another pitfall is that you can easily get stuck behind groups and need to try and play through them - a frustrating experience if you just want to get on with things.
Pro Tips for Playing Golf Solo
Check Before You Arrive
Before arriving at a course to play a solo round, you must first check that it's possible. Some courses don't allow you to play by yourself at certain times - usually peak periods - while others may ask that you pair with somebody else playing alone, which may negate the entire purpose of playing alone.
Expect the Unexpected
Playing alone might not always be an option, so you'll need to be open to the unexpected. You might arrive early in the morning, but several groups have had the same idea. If this is the case, officials might ask you to join a group or find another solo player, so flexibility is needed.
Make use of a Rangefinder or GPS
If it's only you out on the course, you're free to use whatever gadgets you have that aren't typically welcome when playing with others. Utilizing a rangefinder or GPS can be a great way of fine-tuning your game by allowing you to accurately determine how far a point is, usually with an accuracy of up to 1/10 of a yard. If you're starting out in the game, using one of these can help with club selection.
Playing alone can sometimes feel aimless without competition, so it's best to have a predetermined purpose before stepping onto the course. This might be to shoot below a specific number, beat your previous round, or simply focus on your approach shots or putting. Clear focus and purpose keep the mind concentrated and your game sharp.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Play Golf Alone?
Playing golf alone is the same as playing with people - but with less talking and a faster pace. Instead of waiting for others to play, you hit your own shots and move on to the next hole.
Can I Play as a Single on a Golf Course?
During peak times, when many people are lining up to get onto the course, you may be asked to find a partner to play with. Solo players tend to get through rounds faster, but having them on the course reduces the number of people who can play.
Can People Golf Alone?
Yes, people can golf alone, but you might need to go during off-peak times when fewer people are around. Early mornings and dusk during the week are often great for solo rounds, allowing you to hone your skills without the pressure of gameplay.
Look Great on the Course — Shop Stitch Golf!
Whether you're alone or in a group, golf is a game that allows you to look your best. Stitch Golf has been providing top-quality golf gear since 2012, including golf bags, head covers, and a range of apparel to suit every taste. So whether you're striding onto the course with your buddies or some potential clients or arriving at the crack of dawn for a peaceful round by yourself, look great while doing it!