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Can You Play Golf By Yourself? (& Why You Should Play Solo)

Many people believe that golf is a social sport played in groups of two, three, or four players. But if you’re new to the game, you might wonder if you can play golf by yourself?

You can play golf by yourself, and many golfers enjoy playing solo. However, most golf courses won’t let you play alone at peak times when it is busy because, as a sole player, you will catch other golfers up. You may be paired up with another player to reduce waiting times.

Nonetheless, being out on the course alone, especially at dawn or around dusk, has a particular mystery and magic to it. There is something profoundly peaceful and almost spiritual when alone in that vast expanse of fairways, bunkers, greens, and water – let’s take a walk.

A golfer putting. Can You Play Golf By Yourself?

Can You Play Golf Alone?

You can certainly play golf by yourself, and it’s a good idea to do this every so often as there are certain things you can do when playing by yourself that can help your game improve beyond anything you can do at a driving range or practice facility.

Although you often play golf in pairs or more, the truth is, even in those groups, you are still playing by yourself. It’s not a team sport, even if you’re in a team – it’s always just you, the ball, and the course.

Why You Should Play Golf By Yourself

Playing golf alone has some very tangible benefits for your game, and it is something you should look to do as often as you can. Let’s look at why you should play golf alone.

You Can Find Your Pace And Rhythm

Playing golf by yourself means you can play at your own pace and find your rhythm, as you aren’t rushed by your playing partners or groups ahead or behind you.

When you play with others, it takes a great deal of discipline to stay focused on playing rhythm, mainly when other players express negativity and frustration during their rounds.

As a golfer, you need to have your own pace and rhythm for your pre-shot routine and execution, and to find that, it’s much better to play the round alone as you can focus solely on your processes without distraction.

You Gain Valuable On-Course Experience

While practicing at the range or your golf facilities has value, nothing can replace actual course experience, which is another great benefit of playing golf alone.

Being alone on the tees, fairways, and greens means you can execute and test shots and techniques under playing conditions, which is worth its weight in gold.

For example, I sometimes tee off two balls. With one, I play the hole as I would usually play it. On the other, I would use a different combination of clubs, thus changing distances and choice of approach shots. I have found that the change had suited my game better on more than one occasion.

Buggy on a Golf Course

You Hold Yourself Accountable

Playing golf by yourself, there is no one else to check your scores and shots and whether you are playing by the rules or bending them a little. It tests your integrity, and only you (and the golfing gods) will ever know the truth.

The downside to this is that if you do shoot your first ace, no one is there to witness it, but the plus side is you don’t have to buy drinks for the whole clubhouse!

There Is No Pressure To Perform Or Chat

Let’s face it. Every player in the golf group wants to ‘outgolf’ the others, which creates a playing pressure that can be detrimental to your execution. When you put yourself under pressure to play good shots, the opposite often happens, and while golf can be glorious, it can also be humiliating.

Playing golf by yourself, there is no one else to impress, and you can go out and enjoy the round and just play your game.

When you play golf alone, you don’t have to engage in the chatter players feel they need to; you can get on with playing the round.

Flexible Tee Times, Fast Play & Extra Shots

As a single, you can get to the course when it opens or when it’s about to close and still squeeze in a half or full round. Not only that, but you can play quickly as you aren’t waiting for playing partners to take their turns.

A lone player should be able to complete a round in about 2.5 hours, almost half the time it would take for a three or four-ball to do the same.

This means that if you are self-employed or have an understanding boss, you would be able to structure your playing time without taking too much time away from work.

Another great benefit to playing alone, especially if you have a group ahead of you, is that you can hit multiple shots, try a fade, draw, or chip, then a bump and run from a specific position. Or, as I have already stated, play a hole using two balls with different combinations of clubs.

You can also go and play when the inclination strikes you; just pack your golf gear and head to the course without having a barrage of Whatsapp messages regarding tee and meeting times!

For example, you might take a new driver you are trying out before buying and test it under course conditions or even make adjustments, which you could not do when playing with a group.

Golf Course

Playing Golf Alone Can Be Therapeutic

Getting away from your world for a few hours and being in the quiet of the outdoors is therapeutic, and not having your phone go off or emails to deal with or kids in your ear can do you a world of good.

Out there, in the field, it’s you and your thoughts, plus golf is excellent exercise too, and being out in nature is revitalizing and refreshing – even if your score doesn’t show it!

Playing Golf Alone Allows You To Play The Game Your Way

Too often, you may need to compromise when playing with others, from the tee boxes you use to whether you walk or ride and even the round format. Some of these may not suit you, but playing golf by yourself means you can play how you want.

Another aspect of playing alone is that you will be less nervous, especially on the first tee and around those tricky little chips and 3-footers. You can relax, take your time, breathe and play without feeling that intense scrutiny – especially on that first drive!

Playing Golf Alone Means You Can Also Meet People

While this may seem contradictory, as a single, you can often ask or be asked to join other single players or 2-ball groups, especially if the course is busy. Most times, they will be happy to have you.

Especially if a four-ball ahead is playing at a snail’s pace and doesn’t have the etiquette to let anyone ‘through,’ which is sadly becoming more apparent in my part of the world!

Who knows, you could find some new golfing partners for the future.

Final Thoughts

Playing golf alone should be something every golfer regularly does. However, there are some downsides – like no one to see that incredible chip-in birdie – but the benefits of solo play outweigh the negatives.

So, wake up early or turn up late and head off to your course with the sole purpose of playing golf on your own and taking in the sights and sounds as you stand alone on the tee, ready to head off into your golf adventure.

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