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Which is more difficult: Fishing or golf?

By Staff | Jun 3, 2014

While attending the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin, Ohio last week, and spending time watching most of the top 100 PGA professionals in the country, I began thinking about the differences between golf and fishing on a professional level. Since I am a professional angler and absolutely love to play golf, my take on the two sports should be at least somewhat interesting.


Golf is a fantastic sport that requires incredible determination, skill, drive, physical fitness, luck and patience. On the professional level, it is not enough to simply go to the course and play rounds of golf. Countless hours are spent on the driving range, putting and chipping greens and in the bunkers in order to conquer the hundreds of shots needed to score well on the golf course. I watched Phil Mickelson hit over 200 practice shots on the driving range each day before hitting his first shot of the tournament.

Equipment is also crucial to golf. As technologies improve, new drivers, irons, wedges and putters find their way into golfers’ bags. Professional golfers must adjust to new equipment and seek to master its use. Then, there is the mental side of the game. It’s not enough to simply shoot low scores, golf professionals must conquer their minds and be able to perform under the pressures of tournament conditions. Each week, many PGA professionals struggle to hold up mentally under pressure. Even Bubba Watson, easily one of the top ten golfers in the world, mentally lost his swing on the back nine of this week’s event, losing the lead and eventually the tournament.

However, with all their travails, PGA professionals golf on the finest, best groomed and most beautiful golf courses in the world. Though they must deal with weather conditions that range from super hot to super cold, they do seem to be a “pampered” class.


Fishing is also a fantastic sport that requires incredible determination, skill, drive, physical fitness, luck and patience. As in golf, on the professional level it is not enough to go to the lake and catch fish. Countless hours are spent learning to make better presentations, to flip, to pitch, to throw a drop shot or a spinnerbait, crankbait or any other of the hundreds of presentations and lures available to catch fish. Then, there is the mental side of the sport. It doesn’t matter how well anglers cast or make their presentations: If they can’t get the fish to bite they won’t be successful. The mental side of fishing requires knowledge of fish behavior and how to get the fish to bite even though they may not be in the mood.

Then there is the equipment, and I’m not talking about just rods and reels. The equipment I refer to are electric trolling motors, fish finders, outboard motors and live well pumps that must all be working in order to finish a fishing tournament. So not only do professional anglers need the skill set to find and catch fish, they must get back to the weigh in on time and their boats and equipment must be running to do so.

Of course there are other aspects to fishing and golf that could be mentioned but the point of this comparison is to weigh in with an opinion as to which sport if more difficult. Since this is my column, and I don’t mind being a little controversial from time to time, I think fishing on a (high) professional level is more difficult than golf.

Now that you’ve heard my opinion I would like to hear yours. Which sport is more difficult on a professional level, fishing or golf? Let me know how you would answer this question and in a later column I will include some of your responses. Let’s have some fun with this one!


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