In Depth: Can you play too much golf?

WITH the big tours winding down, many amateur and hacker golfers are eyeing off the long summer days with the hope of playing more golf.

IF you could play as much golf as you wanted, how much would you play? Two rounds a day? A round a day? Or maybe something more reasonable like a couple of rounds a week?

The idea of guilt-free golf is pure fantasy for many golfers, with most of us spending the working week simply wishing we can get out on the fairways. Few of us ever have the feeling we’ve played too much. So if you could play more golf, how much more?

Before you go walking headlong into this hypothetical question (that only someone who hasn’t played much golf recently could make up), consider what Jason Day had to say soon after winning the 2015 PGA Championship.

Day was asked for his thoughts on Whistling Straits, the golf course on which he had just won his first major, and not surprisingly he said he loved it. Very few golfers on the planet don’t love a golf course where they play well, but his full response gave us a curious insight into the world of professional golf. 

“I always said to Col that I don't really play social rounds. It's very hard to get me out playing golf. There's only a certain few places where I would actually come back,” Day said. 

“Being a professional golfer, there's a certain few places where I would actually come back and play on a non-tournament day, and this is one of the places.” 

In summary, it would take a lot to get Jason Day out playing golf if it wasn’t for work. But not all professional golfers feel exactly the same way.

Jason Day Pga Trophy

Geoff Ogilvy has made it known that he loves playing social golf with his mates. It’s here where he remembered why he started playing golf in the first place during a recent block of poor form on the PGA Tour. It’s been reported that Adam Scott also relaxes with a bit of social golf with a few of his closest buddies. 

But in general most professionals express a similar sentiment to Day; after four tournament rounds (hopefully) as well as a practice round or two beforehand, the urge to get out and play more golf must be low.

It’s hard to imagine isn’t it?

It’s in stark contrast to the urges of 99% of golfers on the planet who would sacrifice anything to get out and play a few holes (and some of them do), let alone a full tournament any day, any hour of the week.

There are some golfers who play as much as they want and are satisfied with playing once or twice a week. I once played a round of golf with a bloke that had played 281 rounds of golf the previous year. He wasn’t a professional golfer and he appeared unsatisfied that he couldn’t have squeezed in a few more rounds. 

With more and more time-poor golfers shying away from club membership and time on the fairways at a minimum, it seems there are more golfers than ever before wishing they could play more. 

So while the big tours are winding down and the pros are looking to take their gloves off and spend some time away from the golf clubs, many Australian amateur and hacker golfers are eyeing off the long summer days with the hope of playing more golf. And too much golf would be barely enough.

The closest I’ve ever come to playing too much golf was on a golf trip to Barnbougle; 96 holes in three days was paradise but if I had to be honest, I was happy that the fourth day was away from the golf course. 

A golf trip is probably the best way to answer the question, and if you’ve never been on one, book one now. It’s golf all day, for as long as you want - you’ll soon see how keen you are to play more golf.

It’s the thrill of the chase; the expectation of an impending tee time or the banter ahead of that annual golf trip that few of the world’s best players can relate to. It’s the desire to play more that makes playing the game so special.


Michael GreenMichael Green founded AussieGolfer.com.au - Australia's #1 golf blog - in 2007, is a member of The Australian Golf Writers Association and has covered some of Australia's biggest golf tournaments, including the Australian Open, the Presidents Cup and World Cup of Golf.

Michael began playing golf as a 10-year-old in Adelaide where his father introduced him to the game.

He has managed to maintain a single-figure handicap while studying, living and working abroad and keeping a close eye on his three children.

Michael has a PhD in Physics and when not writing about golf, he continues to work in medical research in Sydney.

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