Tennis being a racket sport and golf a club sport, there are surprisingly many people asking about the two and the differences between them. I decided to take the question into my own hands to answer that question thoroughly in this article.
So what are the differences between golf and tennis?
The differences between golf and tennis are that golf can be played alone whereas you always need two players for tennis, golf is more mentally challenging when tennis requires more physical capabilities, and of the two expensive sports, golf is far more expensive.
The main differences are quite big, so they aren’t alike as tennis and badminton are. Anyways, there is so much more to the answer than that, so if you want to know all the differences, then stick with me a while longer and find all about it below!
Differences in equipment
Let’s start comparing tennis and golf from the equipment.
Golf clubs have 3 main areas: grip, shaft, and clubhead. The grip is where you will take your hold off, and it is made of either rubber or synthetic rubber materials.
The club’s shaft can be made out of many materials, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, graphite, and reinforced epoxy. There are some titanium shafts as well. Clubhead material is often similar to shaft material, so it can be made of steel, graphite, carbon fiber, or titanium.
Let’s talk numbers. A tennis club weighs 11.6oz (330g) on average, which is slightly more than tennis rackets. A set of golf clubs weigh 15lbs (6.8kg) on average.
The frame is the body of a tennis racket where the grip is applied to and strings attached to. Tennis frames are made out of either aluminum, the cheapest option, or better materials such as graphite, carbon fiber, fiberglass, kevlar, or titanium.
There are 4 kinds of tennis strings that are:
- Natural gut strings
- Synthetic gut strings
- Nylon (multifilament) strings
- Polyester (monofilament) strings
In short, natural guts strings are used often by professionals and are by far the expensive ones, synthetic gut strings are the cheapest option, nylon strings are a great cheaper alternative to natural gut, and finally, polyester, which is great for durability, control, and spin.
For the weight of a tennis racket, they are slightly lighter than golf clubs weighing 10.6oz (300g) on average.
The difference between golf and tennis balls is that a golf ball is harder and smaller than a tennis ball, and it isn’t hollow. On the other hand, a Tennis ball is softer, bigger, and hollow from the inside that can be filled with pressure or not. Also, tennis balls will float, and golf balls will sink.
Golf balls‘ minimum diameter is 1.68″ (4.26cm), and they weigh no more than 1.62oz (45.9g), so they are smaller and lighter than tennis balls.
The golf ball’s build starts with its core, often made from rubber; however, some balls have a liquid core. An important thing to understand is that these cores are compressed into three categories: 80, 90, and 100.
- 80: For juniors and seniors
- 90: The average golf ball fit for most players
- 100: Such hard core is for advanced golf players
The ball doesn’t end to the core as you might suspect, and it is covered either with Balata or Surlyn cover. Balata cover reminds of rubber which gives the ball a soft and control-oriented feel. Surlyn cover is made for distance, so they fit more for beginners as they are cheaper as well. Balata cover is for more advanced players.
Tennis balls are 2.57″ – 2.7″ (6.52cm-6.85cm) in diameter and weigh between 1.975oz and 2.095oz (55.9g-59.4g), so they are both bigger and heavier than golf balls.
When it comes to the material, tennis balls have a rubber shell covered in fuzzy wool felt, or they can also be made from synthetic materials. The biggest thing to know about tennis balls is that there are pressurized and pressureless tennis balls.
Pressurized tennis balls are better in quality, bounce, and overall feel, but they cost more and last far less. On the other hand, pressureless balls are often used as recreational or practice balls, and the bounce isn’t as good. However, they can last for years, and they are cheaper as well.
The main difference between golf and tennis shoes is that they often have spikes beneath them, whereas tennis shoes don’t. Also, tennis shoes are more focused on lateral support and cushioning, unlike golf shoes. In addition to golf shoes, you can get boots and sandals as well while not in tennis.
The most important thing about golf shoes is the traction on the golf court. That’s why most shoes have quite big spikes on the bottom; however, there are spikeless ones as well.
For tennis shoes, you need great support because of all the sudden side-to-side and back-to-front movements, so your ankles need to be covered. Also, tennis shoes are included with increased cushioning, especially on the toecaps because of the sudden stops.
Learn more: Are Tennis Shoes Worth It?
The bags are very different between golf and tennis. When there isn’t much to say about tennis bags either that there is enough room for multiple rackets, ball cans, and other items, there is more to say about golf bags.
Golf bags are quite big given that they need to fit 14 clubs at max simultaneously. Depending on the golfer, they might organize their clubs entirely different than the other, and there often isn’t a compartment for each golf club, so some of them need to be held in a group compartment.
Finally, there are 4 kinds of golf bags:
- Stand bags
- Cart bags
- Pencil bags
- Tour bags
In short, stand bags are the lightest option; all included with 2 retractable legs for the bag to stand. Cart bags are great with their big wheels and a handle where they can be pulled from or attached to a golf buggy. Pencil bags are really slim and lightweight bags to be easily carried upon the shoulder, and tour bags are the largest, heaviest, and most luxurious bags on the market, as the name might suggest.
Golf courses vary in size because each one is built differently with different holes that vary in distance and obstacles. Generally, a golf course has 18 holes, and it goes from hole 1 to 2, 3, 4… and finally 18. A game of golf is won by the one that completes the course with fewer overall strikes.
The main material of a golf course is grass, as you already probably know. However, there are other materials used as hazards, such as sand and water. Golf courts often have trees, bushes, rocks, pits, bunkers, and more that make the game really interesting and beautiful.
There are three kinds of tennis courts: Hard, clay, and grass courts. Hard courts are the most popular ones following by clay courts. Grass courts are the original lawn tennis courts, but they aren’t as popular nowadays because of the high maintenance needs.
Hard courts are the easiest to maintain, and they require hard instead of regular duty balls because they can withstand the rough surface. Clay courts are great for regular duty balls, and if you want to play on grass, you should invest in grass-court shoes because they have spikes on the outsole. What about the dimensions?
Tennis courts are 77.11ft (23.77m) long and 27ft (8.23)m wide, so they aren’t small, but it may seem like it when comparing to a baseball field.
Is tennis harder than golf?
According to ESPN, tennis is the 7th hardest sport in the world, whereas golf is 51th. In tennis, you need to hit the ball that comes towards you at high speed and spin under pressure, however, the racket’s head is 20 times larger than the head of a golf club, but in golf, you have time and peace of mind to hit the ball.
According to most studies, tennis is harder than golf because of the pressure, reflexes, and strike difficulty that comes with it. In golf, you have a lot of time to strike the completely still ball, which is why most people say that learning a golf stroke is harder than a tennis stroke, but tennis strokes are much harder when you get to the advanced levels.
However, golf strokes are different in another way because the distances are long, and the hole and ball are so small that it requires a tremendous amount of accuracy.
Tennis requires much more physical endurance because you need to run from side to side constantly and react to powerful strikes, whereas in golf, you can walk or even take a cart from hole to hole, which really doesn’t take much energy.
Finally, the mental toughness on both are really tough, but in tennis, your body will lead you to hard strikes, whereas, in golf, you really need to focus and get the stroke right to succeed. The debate which one is mentally tougher has been going on for a long time, but if I had to say, I’d say golf is a little harder mentally, but overall, tennis is harder.
So, in conclusion, tennis is harder overall than golf.
Which is more popular tennis or golf?
It’s safe to say that tennis and golf are extremely popular, but they aren’t as easily accessible as many other sports. Take a look at these numbers!
According to NGF (National Golf Foundation), there are 36.9 million golf players around the world, which is quite high given that golf is expensive and not so easily accessible compared to many other sports. Also, there are 450 million golf fans, so that’s a really high number!
ITF (International Tennis Federation) has estimates 87 million tennis players worldwide and a fanbase of 1 billion fans.
Given the numbers above, tennis is more than twice as popular as golf globally. However, the numbers would be different if we were to consider accessibility.
Anyways, that is global. Now, check out the top 5 countries where each sport is the most popular.
|Top 5 Tennis Countries By Popularity
|Top 5 Golf Countries By Popularity
|3. New Zealand
|3. United Kingdom
|4. United States
|5. United Kingdom
|5. South Africa
Do top golf players earn more than tennis?
Tennis and golf players are on the top of athlete earners in the world. However, it is tough to get to the top because golf and tennis are single sports, meaning there are far fewer spots open to the tournaments and competitions.
I have gathered the top 5 players from both sports and their all-time career earnings so you can see how many millions they have made.
|Tennis Player and All-Time Earnings
|Golf Player and All-Time Earnings
|1 Novak Djokovic $151.9 million
|1. Tiger Woods $120.9 million
|2 Roger Federer $130.6 million
|2. Phil Mickelson $94.8 million
|3 Rafael Nadal $125 million
|3. Dustin Johnson $72.6 million
|4 Andy Murray $62 million
|4. Jim Furyk $71.5 million
|5 Pete Sampras $43.3 million
|5. Vijay Singh $71.2 million
As you can see, no one on the list suffers from poverty, and the best ones have made over $100,000,000. That’s a lot of money! Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal have made more than the richest golf player of all time, Tiger Woods.
However, the earnings of the best tennis players quickly decrease below the top golf players, so overall, golf players earn more than tennis players except for a few tennis players that make astronomical figures.
When it comes to the playing expenses that each and everyone needs to pay to practice these sports, tennis, and golf are quite expensive golf in particular.
However, don’t think that you need to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to get even started because, with a little thinking, you can get off with a reasonable price. However, if money isn’t an issue, you can get the latest stuff and best playing conditions. Let’s take a further look!
Golf is more expensive than tennis in all aspects, so let’s make that clear from the beginning. I have gathered some average information about the equipment, court time, and lesson costs. Take a look at the table below.
|Average Price Of
|Price per golf/tennis ball
|1 hour of playtime
|1 Hour of Private Lessons
Learn more: Tennis Ball Cost: Brand Comparison & Examples
These are some interesting numbers. You need to think about a couple of things after seeing those prices because if you don’t, the actual price is hidden.
First of all, the average tennis player has two rackets in case of the first breaking a string; however, a full golf club set includes a maximum of 14 clubs, so the price is 7 or even 14 times higher than the clubs.
When it comes to the playtime, an average price for a set of golf is 36$, so I divided that with the average time to complete one, which is 4 hours that gives us the $9 hourly price.
You should be aware that you pay the full price alone from a golf course, whereas a tennis court is paid by the courts so you can divide the cost with your partner, making tennis cheaper than golf.
How to play tennis and golf cheaper?
As you can see, you will need money to play tennis and golf. However, don’t net those numbers intimidate you because you can get off with cheaper. Here are some tips.
- Buy used tennis rackets, golf clubs, and balls.
- Use a public tennis court that is often free or find a cheap golf course.
- Buy a seasonal ticket to courts and courses (Huge % savings in price).
- Buy balls in bulk or cheaper practice balls.
- Learn everything from YouTube.
With these tips, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually, so if you are on a budget, don’t worry; there is usually a way around it.
Videos of golf and tennis
If you want to see what kind of equipment, how hard the sports are, what the environment looks like, and more, check out the videos below of the best moments both tennis and golf have.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.