Why is Golf so Addictive?
Whether you’re an avid golfer, looking to start your golf journey, or are simply curious about the game, you may notice that golf is one of the most addictive sports in the world. While not a physical addiction, akin to nicotine and cigarettes, golf does elicit a similar response from players worldwide, waiting for their next journey to the golf course.
But why, exactly, is golf so addictive? Below, we are going to review some of the main reasons why golf remains one of the most addictive sports and why golfers continue to return to the sport day-in and day-out.
Golf Mixes in Camaraderie and Competition
Perhaps one of the main reasons why golf is so addictive is due to its ability to eloquently mix in a sense of camaraderie within a level of competition. While golf is inherently an individual sport, it is generally played with other golfers.
This mix of individualism within a larger group can create a feeling of belonging and community. And as human beings, we tend to gravitate towards a larger collective and identity. Golf allows us to not only belong to a larger group but does so in a manner that still allows for competition and jovial one-upmanship.
If you are looking for a sport that combines aspects of individualism within a larger collective, than golf is a natural choice.
Golf is Difficult to Master
We’ll admit, nearly all sports are difficult to master. But in golf, there is always a shot, or a putt, or a tee that could have been just a bit better. And that knowledge, that more is possible, attracts golfers back to the course day-in and day-out.
And in golf, the perfect game is nearly impossible to achieve. But striving for that holy grail is what keeps golfers motivated, disciplined, and even addicted. It is the knowledge that perhaps with a little more practice, a bit more training, they could finally achieve the perfect game.
Golf Offers Some of the Most Beautiful Views
Unlike other sports, boxed into regimented squares and rectangles, golf allows for play on some of the most beautiful, manicured lawns. From the deep sand groves to the smooth, perfectly trim fields, to shining, reflective water holes, golf is a beautiful game played on beautiful courses across the globe.
These beautiful courses are a natural, innate calling back to nature. The rush of the wind and the sound of the club hitting the ball are visceral feelings, beckoning us back to the course for just one more round.
The Shiny New Toys
Many of us, to a certain point, are materialistic. And while all sports have certain requirements and equipment needed for play, none are seen to be as necessary as that in golf. Let’s face it, basketball and football and baseball technology has essentially reached its limits and little improvements are made to those equipment’s year-over-year.
But golf is inherently different. And golf manufacturers are always looking to improve on their offerings. Whether it is a new golf driver, a more efficient golf ball, or even a sturdier golf tee, the improvements in golfing equipment tie in directly with achieving that perfect game.
In addition, the material side of our brains is naturally attracted to the newest and best equipment. While these improvements may be small, we are inclined to purchase and test our luck, hoping that the next big thing truly delivers the results we hope.
Golf Doesn’t Discriminate on Age
Whereas most other sports have an unofficial cutoff based on age, particularly within the professional leagues, golf does not. Rather, for many golfers, age can help them to become better, more seasoned, and more experienced players.
But golf also does not discriminate on age when you first start. From Michelle Wie to George Burtoft to Kenny Leseur, young golfers have proven their abilities and won major tournaments. And with such a wide swath of golfers playing at nearly any age, golf becomes a lifelong habit and hobby.
A Calming Repetition
As humans, we are creatures of habit and repetition, and golf provides one of the best forms of repetition. From walking the course, to striking shots at the driving range, to placing your ball neatly on the tee, these repetitions are both calming and soothing.
And if you ask people who meditate on their repetitive breathing, or runners on their high after a run, or basketball players after their free-throw drills, they’ll tell you that the repetitive nature brings them a sense of calm and relaxation unlike any other routine.
And as we look for ways to break free from our anxiety, clear our heads, and develop a sense of calm, golf can be one of the best outlets to do so. The repetitive nature involved in the sport has a calming effect on our minds and develops an addiction, forcing us to seek relief whenever we can.
Golf is a Great Exercise
Golf is also a great form of exercise. A simple hour of golf can burn between 350-475 calories. And while you may not realize it, this exercise quickly becomes addictive in our brains. Exercising causes the release of certain chemicals in the nervous system and these chemicals create both a sense of pleasure and reward.
This pleasure response can be quite addictive. And as golf is a form of exercise, by playing it, you will release pleasure signals, making you seek that reward time-and-time again.
Golf is a Sport of Etiquette
Few sports encourage a natural form of etiquette quite like golf does. And while many of these rules of etiquette are unofficial, players are still expected to maintain them. From the brisk walk between plays, to the more sophisticated dress code, to repairing of divots, golf requires a certain level of etiquette.
And this etiquette can be appealing to many. In a world where etiquette seems to be overrun, golf brings back a semblance of normalcy and expectation. When you head out to the golf course, you know what to expect and you know how to act.
And knowing what to expect and how to act can have a calming effect for many. When you are stressed, overworked, over-concerned, and anxious, golf can bring some normalcy back to your life. And that’s what makes it so addictive, it is a world where expectations on the course can be met.