Do you listen to music when you’re playing golf?

Things have changed a lot in the last 10 years. It used to be the case that you would see people walking around with a “Walkman” and a headphone on listening to music. IPod’s came along and it became more popular especially for commuters, joggers, or moody teens wishing to block out the world.

Now just about everyone is wearing ear buds. Interestingly, it seems generational. When I go to speak to an older person I worry if he can’t hear me because I am not talking loudly enough. When I speak to a young person he or she doesn’t hear me either. When they do the conversation is invariably preceded by an exaggerated movement that indicates removal of inconspicuous earphones. I seem only able to talk to people that are about 40 years old because they fall into neither category (LOL).

Music during golf is another matter. I personally like the solitude of repetitive ball striking on the range and don’t necessarily feel the need to alleviate boredom with music. When I do have it on it is to enhance the experience and possibly help my mood and focus. I like to play with music on the course as well for similar reasons. Needless to say if my little one is with me I don’t have an extra hand or ear to be fiddling with controls, however.

Listen to my interview with Ellen Port. We discuss whether people should be allowed to have ear buds in while they are playing, especially during a tournament. She believes that part of the game is camaraderie and it’s downright rude to have ear buds in while playing with others; especially in a tournament. My thought is that they could be listening to something that may be against the rules (like a metronome to maintain tempo) if someone knew about it.

I like to play music during my rounds and on the range because I am often alone squeezing in a round while the little one is in school and just need something to keep me company during that time. Sometimes I just want silence, however.

There are a number of Pros and Cons to playing music during golf:


  • Better spiritual connection with the game
  • Takes away some of the seriousness
  • Helps to get in the zone
  • Distraction from negativity after poor shots


  • Can influence the tempo of your swing and your game
  • Separates you from others
  • Distraction from appropriate focus

My rule is to play music play music using my smartphone speaker so that I don’t have to wear earphones and be deaf to all other sounds. Call me corny but I actually like hearing the birds sing and the wind rush past my ears when I am on playing golf, and I certainly want to hear it if someone yells fore. When I am alone, or with really chillaxed friends, and not in a tournament, I play music to set the mood and enhance my focus. Otherwise it’s off – I don’t want to put anybody out.

What’s your take?


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