Tennis vs Golf?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by a529612, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. a529612

    a529612 Semi-Pro

    May 16, 2004
    Is there anyone out there who plays both tennis and golf? If so, is golf more addictive than tennis? Even some of my hardcore tennis buddies have converted to play golf instead of tennis. It's not that they have injuries or anything but they said golf is a much better game.
  2. thehustler

    thehustler Rookie

    Aug 23, 2004
    A much better game to drink booze during is about all golf has over tennis. You just can't get a workout playing golf. Hit a ball 3 yards, go and hit it again, watch your divot go farther than the ball. Wow real exciting. I've played golf and it really isn't much fun unless you go Happy Gilmore style, then it's somewhat ok. Actually the HG style does work, as long as you don't pull your head. I'm guessing these guys don't like breaking a sweat or are overweight or are just playing for the social aspect since you walk for about a mile in 18 holes and have more time to chat than you would in tennis. To each their own, but I'd take tennis over golf anyday of the week.
  3. Gaines Hillix

    Gaines Hillix Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    Put it this way, golf takes a lot more of your time, is more frustrating(IMO), costs a lot more to play(green fees, clothes, balls, clubs, etc.) and is not nearly as good for your health. The 19th hole is the best part of golf, IMO.
  4. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    In a tent, along the Silk Road
    Gaines said it all.
  5. topspin

    topspin Semi-Pro

    Feb 18, 2004
    Having just played golf for the first time, I can see how it can get addictive. Hitting a drive straight can be loads of fun. As a beginner, it will be very frustrating because you will be spending most of your time looking for your ball or trying to get it out of the sand pit. After about 3 hours of this, you will start to ask yourself what you're doing out there.

    But once you get a hole played properly, it will be very satisfying. I think the reason why golf gets addictive is because of the feeling of being able to place that ball hundreds of feet away with control.

    I was lucky enough to get a lesson from a former pro player, Shawn Clement, at the Taboo golf resort in Muskoka north of Toronto (the Mike Weir home course). This course is very difficult and not the best choice for beginners. The lesson really helped a lot. I got the chip shots right away and impressed the coach. The driving was a slightly different story. The sand pit was also not as hard as some make it out to be if you use the proper technique. There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to get yourself out of the sand with one or two shots max.

    I would say that just having taken one golf lesson and played one round has actually helped my tennis. The whole whipping motion of the club is what you should be doing with your tennis racquet as well.

    But yeah golf is ok as a passtime, I won't mind playing a few times per summer, but it's no tennis. Tennis is much more exciting and technically demanding than golf.
  6. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Feb 13, 2004
    A not so parallel universe...
    Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.

    Any truth to that story?

    Both tennis and golf are frustrating to play. The main difference that I see is that in golf, if you hit a bad shot, you've got to wait 5 bloody minutes before you get a chance to hit a better shot. In tennis, of course, if you hit a bad shot, you'll have the opportunity to hit a better shot within 30 seconds, at most.

    I had a brief fling with golf about 5 years ago. Played 3 rounds - my first three rounds ever. No lessons. Improved by one shot each successive round - 116, 115, 114 - the last two scores being on a much tougher course than the first score. By my calculations, at the rate I was going, it would have taken me approximately 40 rounds to approach par. Of course, that's assuming that I would have continued to improve at the rate of one shot per round - which was unlikely, at best.

    In those three rounds, I hit some good shots. I actually came quite close to a hole-in-one in the second round (on the tougher course). It was a short par three - 180 yards, I believe. From my mish-mash collection of used clubs, I selected a 7 wood at the tee. The ball landed about 9 feet from the hole, bounced a few times, hit the flag stick, and settled only 6 inches from the hole. Birdie. Another shot was a dogleg right - so I deliberately sliced the hell out of the ball off the tee - and, sure enough, it disappeared right around the corner. When I got to my ball, it was right in the middle of the fairway. My best shot was from a 'waste bunker' about halfway between the tee and the green. Obviously, my tee shot was pretty bad to end up in the waste bunker. But from the bunker - which was about 250 yards from the green - I chose a 5 wood, and hit it as hard as I could. The ball bounced up onto the green, and stopped about 15 feet from the hole.

    To me, the most enjoyable part of the golf experience was the club selection. I loved taking out those 5 and 7 woods, while my playing partners were questioning my logic. Those high woods are usually neglected by the majority (I guess they want to swing irons like the pros - even if they miss badly).

    My concluding sentiment about golf, however, was that I may very well try it again - but only when I reach the defective point where I can no longer run after a tennis ball.
  7. AndyC

    AndyC Semi-Pro

    Mar 31, 2004
    having played both extensively and at a reasonable level (NTRP 5 and 8 handicap at my best) I can say both are very addictive. in fact for 12 years I played nothing but golf :) and it was only last year that I came back to tennis.

    don't underestimate the rush u can get from hitting a driver 300 yards or hitting a par 5 in two or seeing an iron shot float beautifully over the pin.. land and spin back to within a foot of the hole. I still remember the first great shot I hit in golf.. it was the first time I played on a course and I hit a 3 wood of the tee long and straight 240 yards.. I was hooked :). and in a lot of ways it's even more mental than tennis.. in golf it truly is you against the course. when u hit that ball into the water off the tee it's not because your opponent's serve must have been travelling at 120mph :).

    one of the reasons I play more tennis than golf at the moment is for the physical conditionining (and after all that time I've rediscovered my love for tennis). golf just doesn't push the heart rate up enough and I figure I'll still be able to play a good golf game in 10 years when I'm struggling to keep up with the 25-40 something players :).
  8. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    I played as a teen and later in the military. Somebody on this board years ago described it as mental torture and I agree. You are never going to beat the course and there never was a sense of completion for me, even if I beat the other guys, the course beat me. I will take it up again in about 3 years and see if I still want to play again. I usually shot around 92, the 3 wood and my pitching wedge were my favourite clubs. I found the approach game to be the most mentally demanding and enjoyable part of golf. I think my handicap was around 16, but I don't remember. I see it as more of a game than a sport.
  9. 007

    007 Professional

    Feb 20, 2004
    Take Off Eh!
    I play a lot of both and love both for very different reasons. If I had to give up either I'd give up tennis because the scenery never changes....a tennis court is a tennis court. Surface is irrelevant in that regard. But each golf course in the world is different and unique and some are just plain works of art. Aside from alpine skiing in the mountains, cutting the waves in a boat or being on some exotic beach, a golf course is, IMO, about the most pleasant place you can spend time at. For me, the 4-5 hours of walking with your freinds is the best part, and while it doesn't matter if I play well or not, just being out there is a great experience. I'm about a 14 handicap and a 4.5. is a sport of a lifetime and you can play good golf well into your senior years. Not so with tennis. Once I get to that age I'm sure I'll find a round of golf much more satisfying than a game of 'bunt the ball' tennis with my fellow cronies. I love tennis, but I can get my fitness other ways. Golf has too many addictive/appelaing intangibles to give up. I've been on many golf trips but would never base a vacation around tennis.
  10. devwizard

    devwizard New User

    Feb 25, 2004
    I am in the same boat as AndyC here. I also played golf for a number of years with a pretty low handicap (14) and still have come back to tennis to play at a pretty high level.

    The key the AndyC points out here which is absolutely true is the mental part of golf. Though it may not be as physically rigorous to walk 18 holes as playing a round of tennis, I honestly believe it is even more mentally demanding.

    And the margin of error in golf is so incredibly small, especially at the professional level when compared to tennis players. Consider this: If, in the over 12 feet that a golf club head moves before coming into contact with the ball, should that club get off by less than an eighth of an inch, that difference could cause a difference of over a hundred yards in the resulting shot. Though there are some shots which have a similar margin of error in tennis (say a serve for instance) the results are so much less multiplied. And just missing a fairway by say 15 yards on the pro tour could shatter any winning chances for a golfer should the ball, say, land in the water.

    In golf, there is no defense. It is all offense. You can't make the other players play bad from your play. As the reference noted earlier, there is no 120 mph serve excuse in golf. You mishit because of yourself. The entire conflict within golf is contained within the individual. You are at odds with yourself. Nobody else. This means that, yes, you'll feel great with youreself after making some incredible par save after going in the trees, but the opposite is true also. One mishit ball can send you into a spiral that would take you out of the match.

    Now to the point of this: whether it is addictive or not. Though golf is addictive, I can't say it really is any more addictive than tennis. I mean, if I go out and hit a few 300 yard drives and sink some 40 foot putts, yeah, it feels good. But I honestly get the same sensation from, say, smashing a forehand winner past your opponent or pulling out an incredible ace.
  11. Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip New User

    Mar 19, 2004
    Look at the shape a typical steady 60-70 yo tennis player is in, and then look at the same in golf. Whichever is more enjoyable, its pretty clear which one is better for you.
  12. finitewisdom

    finitewisdom Guest

    I don't know if I would say that golf is a better game, but it is more addictive than tennis (at least in my case) because it presents a different mental/psychological challenge.

    I started playing tennis as a teenager in 1973, and was a frequent and enthusiastic player for 20+ years. I was a solid 4.0/4.5, played in leagues and tournaments, taught kids for our local Parks and Recreation department during the summers, and coached middle school boys' and girls' teams for a couple of years.

    I was introduced to golf as a child, but never really took it seriously until 1987, when I got hooked. I continued to play both sports frequently through the mid-90s, but a variety of life changes during that time (dad's death, career change, marriage & stepfatherhood, etc.) meant I had to cut back somewhere.

    Tennis lost out due in part to my own laziness, but also because of the more introspective nature of golf. As other posters have mentioned, in tennis you have to be focused, at least in part, on your opponent and/or your doubles partner. In golf, on the other hand, it's just you and the course. Also, tennis is more reactive and there's very little time to think about what you're doing. In golf, there's almost too much time to think, which can really get you into trouble. Finding a way to overcome that excessive thought is a great mental challenge that really hooks a lot of us golf addicts.

    I've probably played tennis fewer than 50 times in the last eight years, but I've gotten the itch again and have decided to come out of semi-retirement. I'll have to start slowly; I'm closer to 50 than I am to 40, and I've gained 30 pounds since I last played regularly. I won't give up golf, but I've got to strike a better balance between my mental and physical pursuits.
  13. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    I really hate golf. I had a brief fling with golf in high school, I really don't know what I was thinking. It was too frustrating, too expensive, and too time-consuming. It is fun to hit drives, but that's all I'm going to concede to the sport for lazy men. If you can smoke a cigarette during a sport (and you're not Bobby Riggs), that sport is not worth playing.
  14. topspin

    topspin Semi-Pro

    Feb 18, 2004
    It's a fun sport once you get pretty good at it. I really didn't expect to catch the golf bug but it seems to have hit. I like driving but that is still the hardest part of the game. The part I like the most are the approach shots. Those are a lot of fun once you start to get them right. The putting is the most frustrating part.

    Tennis is still much more technical. But I like golf because it's a good excuse to head out on some beautiful terrain and walk around and enjoy a precision game. I don't really care for the score when I'm playing, I just enjoy hitting decent shots and being able to play the game at a good level.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  15. I like golf, but I play maybe once a year. I'd take tennis over golf any day. But miniature golf, that's where ITZ ATT!!12!1!
  16. VashTheStampede

    VashTheStampede Semi-Pro

    Jun 28, 2004
    I haven't played golf, but between watching them on tv? NO COMPARISON.
  17. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Feb 19, 2004
    picked up golf 2 months ago, it is VERY addicting. when I am at work I go out during lunch hour to practise my short game. when I am at home I hit plastic wiffles in my backyard. I think I have come a long way in 2+ months without any lessons. I am a 4.5-5.0 tennis player with a strong net game, the hand/eye coordination and feel at the net certainly helps my golf. There are also common things between the two: how to generate power, how to maintain balance, how to have the right mental approach.

    4 weeks ago I played 9 holes at James Baird in upstate NY, 1st time on a golf course... it's like having sex for the first time. I was nervous and hurried and it was all over before I knew it... after sending 5 balls into the water.

    3 weeks ago I went to a pitch & putt course nearby, 18 holes all par 3's, shot +10. the holes are 40 - 65 yards in length and I missed only 1 green out of 18. I have been only practising putting on my house carpet, so that explains the few 3-putts.

    2 weeks ago went to play a 9-hole cow pasture muni... relatively easy flat course, shot +12.

    yesterday played my first ever 18 holes at Bunker Hill in Princeton NJ, it was a great experience for the $12 twilight walk. the rolling terrain, the elevated T's, greens, the creeks and ponds and the ducks in the ponds are just awsomely beautiful. shot a 98 total for +26.

    I am glad that I have get up to a level so fast where I can play social golf with friends who have been playing for a while.

    between the 2 sports tennis still gives me the endorphin fix I need regularly.. but golf seems more addicting in a different way.

Share This Page