Golf Vs Tennis – Which Sport Should You Take Up & What’s More Popular

Golf and Tennis are two of the more exclusive sports that you could choose to play, they both have a sort of ‘country club appeal to them.

Traditionally golf has been very exclusive, with strict dress codes and huge membership fees, but that all seems to be changing in recent times. I even see pro golfers wearing hoodies nowadays, albeit exclusive ones.

Golf and Tennis both involve a swing but that is where the comparisons end. Your ability to play tennis well will depend on your fitness, mobility, positioning and accuracy with the racket while golf is a much more stationary sport requiring accuracy, high levels of concentration and consistency. Golf is a much more mental sport and Tennis is a much more physical sport. Both have a ton of benefits and which sport will suit you best depends on what you enjoy more and are looking to achieve.

If you want to get fit, go with tennis and if you want to enjoy a nice relaxing round on a Sunday or a trip to the range to get out of the house now and again, go with Golf.

Read on to discover how these sports stack up against each other and read to the end to find out our overall winner!

Both Require 10,000 Hours To Master

I remember reading Robert Greene’s book mastery and he said that to master anything, takes about 10,000 hours and the same holds true with these two sports.

Even though one is more mental than physical and vice versa, they both still require a whole lot of skill to master and that means putting the work in consistently to get better.

If you are coming into these sports late, you might not ever make it to being a pro but you can always maximize your potential and get as good as you possibly ever could be.

Tennis Requires A Ton Of Fitness

When we are talking about Tennis, mobility, speed and fitness are going to come into play.

You are most likely going to be running from side to side continuously for however long the game lasts, chasing the ball. The opponent is purposely trying to place the ball where you won’t be able to reach in time before it bounces twice.

It’s a sport that is played at a far higher tempo than golf and if you are already fit, been doing some running, hitting the gym and are in shape, tennis might be a better sport for you to play.

Golf Requires Mental Focus

Golf is a far more relaxed, take it at your own pace, mentally demanding kind of sport.

You see, Tennis is all about hitting a largish target (Tennis Ball) with a large racket, it’s hard to miss.

Golf is all about hitting a small ball with a small clubhead, if your contact is a few millimetres off, left or right, you are going to end up in the bushes or the water.

While you don’t have to sprint after your ball, you have to pick yourself up after bad shots and try not to let it ruin your game.

Then you get to the green and the pressures really on, you have a 5 foot putt for a birdie, all your mates are watching and you start to get nervous.

In Tennis, you don’t really have time to think, it’s all action. In golf you have too much time to think, way too much!

Tennis = Skill + Fitness + Mobility

Golf = Skill + Mental Fortitude + Consistency

Golf Swing Vs Tennis Swing

Tennis is going to be a lot easier for a beginner to pick up and start playing because of the swing and what is involved.

There are a ton of variations to the way you swing the tennis racket from serving to lobs to back handers.

The fact of the matter is, you are hitting a big target with a big racket, it doesn’t require incredible accuracy or technique to play the sport.

Golf is hitting a small ball with a small clubhead and you have all different types of shots to master from driving, iron shots, chips, pitches and putting.

Golf is a lot more difficult for a beginner to pick up and play one as it requires a much higher level of hand eye coordination.

The one thing that makes it easier is that you are aiming at a much bigger target and once you can get the ball moving forward, you should be able to play a round.

Tennis Requires A Partner – Golf Can Be Played Solo

Another advantage that golf has over tennis is that it can be played solo.

You are always going to need a partner for tennis and while there are likely to be plenty of opponents available and willing at your club to play, there is no option for a solo game.

Solo golf is an amazing experience, especially if you pick a time when the course is quiet like early morning or during the week.

You can often play better golf without the pressure of others around and it can be great for stress relief, spending time in nature and getting some good exercise.

Playing solo is a big plus for Golf on this one!

Golf Has The Driving Range – Tennis Doesn’t

You don’t have to go all in and play a full on competitive game of golf every time, you can always go to the driving range and rack up 1 or 2 of those 10,000 hours.

You can focus fully on improving the areas where you are weak and enjoy hitting the shots you are most comfortable playing.

There is no such substitute for Tennis.

As the technology in golf expands, we can also set up hitting nets and home simulators in our house to play virtual golf or just have a personal driving range in the back yard or living room.

Another Win For Golf!

Golf Is More Expensive By A Lot

Ok, so just when you think we are being biased towards golf, there is one major advantage that tennis has over golf:

Tennis is far less expensive.

  • A membership at a decent golf club can cost a least $10k and that is not even for one of the best clubs.
  • Clubs can up to and way about $1,000
  • Then you have to buy shoes, balls, tees, get a push cart or trolley and the dress the part.
  • The costs can quickly add up making golf one of the most expensive sports to play in the world.

With Tennis you need a racket, some balls a pair of Tennis shoes and a membership which can also be expensive but usually not anywhere near golf.

If cost to play is a factor for you, Tennis is going to be the winner every time.

Golf And Tennis Are Both Social Sports

Golf and Tennis are both great social sports for meeting existing friends and making new ones.

In Tennis, you can get matched up against different players any time you like or you can play against you existing friends.

In golf you can play with your friends or enter into tournaments and your local club and meet new people.

Whatever way you play there is always the clubhouse afterwards for some bonding with food and maybe some drinks.

Golf also has an association with meeting affluent people and business people are well known to like doing deals on the course.

This also holds true for tennis to a certain extend but maybe not as much.

Tennis Is Better When The Weather Is Bad

When the weather is bad, golf can become a lot less enjoyable. I’ve been there many times in wet and windy conditions and it’s a struggle at the best of time.

Tennis can be played on indoor courts so you can enjoy a warm and comfortable game all year round.

There are indoor driving ranges and simulators but still..

Definite point to Tennis!

If You Are A Bit Older Which Sport Should You Take Up?

If you are getting a little bit older and your fitness is not that good, Golf might be a better option but if you are fit and active, there is no problem with tennis.

Both of these sports can be enjoyed for life and the key with tennis is to play against players that are of a similar age and level to yourself.

Golf is often known as the retirement sport because you can play by yourself, go to the driving range or play with friends and will take it a good portion of any idle time you have on your hands.

Which Sport Is More Popular?

According to Google, Golf slightly edges Tennis on monthly searches worldwide

  • Golf – 1.85 Million Worldwide Searches
  • Tennis – 1.5 Million Worldwide Searches

Golf produces more male millionaires and Tennis produces more female millionaires.

Golf is a more lucrative game in general as the prize money is split more evenly among the field and there are more tournaments, with their careers lasting longer.

Total Prize Money For Wimbledon Tennis in 2020 Was Almost: $50 Million

Total Prize Money For The Masters Golf In 2020 Was Almost: $12 Million

In terms of popularity it is hard to split the pair, with more people playing golf in the USA and more people playing Tennis worldwide.

Hard to differentiate the two sports on popularity!

Bonus Point For Golf For The Win! Variety & Vacations

Golf has more variety, you can play an endless amount of courses in almost any locality, worldwide.

Tennis is simply played on a court, it doesn’t matter where it is.

Golf Vacations are also popular so you can escape for some winter sun with your buddies and nobody will think any worse of you for doing so.

You can also see the worlds best locations and best courses from Texas to Florida to Sunny Spain, to Thailand.

Overall Winner Is Golf – But go out and play whatever sport you want!