Why is Golf Addictive?

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JULY 10: Donald Trump plays a round of golf after the opening of The Trump International Golf Links Course on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. The controversial ?100m course opens to the public on Sunday July 15. Further plans to build hotels and homes on the site have been put on hold until a decision has been made on the building of an offshore windfarm nearby. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Most golf players are far from being ashamed of their addiction to the game. Many are even proud of it. Why is that so? In today’s article, we’ll discover some scientific facts about golf addiction, what it can bring out of us, and when this addiction is healthy.

Also, we’ll mention how factors like acquiring equipment and the need for social interaction contribute to this elegant addiction. So, if you’re ready to learn more, keep on reading!

Intermittent Reinforcement

Let’s talk about science. The social scientist B. F. Skinner used pigeons to conduct an experiment that helped him discover the power of intermittent reinforcement. He rewarded the first set of pigeons with food every time they pecked at a bar. They learned quickly to stop pecking once the rewards stopped.

The second set of pigeons got rewards at intermittent intervals in response to the pecks. This action caused them to peck at the bar zealously. In addition, once he withdrew the food, it took them much longer to stop pecking than the first set of pigeons.

Brain-imaging research has shown that rewards given out intermittently bring about notably higher releases of pleasure-inducing dopamine than the rewards distributed on a predictable basis.

The same goes for golf. Most golfers hit only two or three outstanding shots per round. Also, they don’t know when those shots are coming. For this reason, the pleasure, once they hit an excellent shot, is pretty addictive.

New Toys

Many people are materialistic to some level, and the impulse to obtain shiny new things is intense. In this direction, golf offers more than enough options. That’s why most golfers become somewhat addicted to equipment, whether that’s the newest model of a golf ball, a glowing set of irons, or the latest driver.

But that’s not all. Many golfers see enormous potential in advancing technologies. Golf equipment producers are continually researching to develop more advanced golf kits to help players improve their game and live up to their potential. Don’t miss out on a golf game at indoor golf in NYC this winter and check all the state-of-the-art equipment offered.

Science is pretty persuasive, and our intellect recognizes the facts that support it. The piece of equipment displaying how it can help players improve their game becomes captivating with research and testing behind it.

Quest for the Unattainable

Practicing golf to obtain absolute perfection is like searching for the holy grail, but that’s what makes it so compelling. Amateur players tend to leave many shots on the course each round through mistakes that they are sure they won’t make the next time. Even the best golfers in the world never played a round of golf that couldn’t have been slightly better.

This knowledge that more is always possible is the quest for the unattainable that keeps us coming back for more. Falling in love with the idea of trying to master a game that you know you’ll never master is a positive way of shaping the addictive nature of golf. That’s why golf brings out of us positive traits such as self-belief, determination, and perseverance. Additionally, advances in golfing techniques contribute to this factor.


Anything repetitive tends to tranquilize us. Doing the same thing time and time again has a calming effect on the human mind. Golf provides quite a few repetitive actions. For instance, walking the golf course at a constant pace and striking shots at the driving range both have a soothing effect.

Simply going to the golf club, gathering the kit, and completing 9 or 18 holes is also repetitive and can be assuaging. No wonder why the repetitive nature of golf makes it compelling as we seek ways to relieve stress and tension.


We are social beings, and this is how we survived through the millennia. We are all addicted to social interaction to varying degrees, and golf offers plenty of it. Few hours with the company while playing along with those we might meet in or around the clubhouse or course is beneficial for our mental wellbeing.

Addictions to things like golf, fitness, or other sports in rational quantity are a healthy way to please the addictive sides of our personalities. This is especially true when enjoyed with friends and family.

Final Thoughts

All in all, although golf can be pretty addictive, it doesn’t mean it’s no good. It’s one of the healthiest addictions there is if played in reasonable proportions. Its repetitive nature has a soothing effect on the human mind. Also, it can draw out of us good attitudes like determination and perseverance due to the desire for mastery and perfection.

What’s more, it’s a great way of socializing and having fun with family, friends or colleagues surrounded by nature. So why not get hooked on golf?

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