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Golf vs. Polo: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 20, 2023
Golf is a sport where players use clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible, while polo involves team players riding horses to hit a ball into the opposing team's goal using long-handled mallets.

Key Differences

Golf is played with a variety of clubs and a small ball on a course that typically consists of 18 holes, each with unique landscapes. Whereas, polo is played with a long-handled mallet and a larger ball on a grass field, with players riding horses.
The objective in golf is to hit the ball into each hole on the course in as few strokes as possible, with lower scores indicating better performance. In polo, teams aim to score goals by hitting the ball into the opponent's goal, with the team scoring the most goals winning.
Golf is typically an individual sport, though it can be played in teams in certain formats. In contrast, polo is inherently a team sport, with each team usually consisting of four players.
A round of golf can take several hours, with a more leisurely and individual-paced nature. Polo matches are faster-paced and typically divided into periods called chukkas, each lasting about 7 minutes.
Golf has its origins in Scotland and has a long history as a leisure sport, associated with precision and calm strategy. Polo, originating from ancient Persia, is known for its speed and has a strong association with equestrian skills and teamwork.

Comparison Chart


Clubs and a small ball.
Mallets and a larger ball, with horses.


Achieve the lowest score by completing holes.
Score goals by hitting the ball into the opponent's goal.


Individual or teams in certain formats.
Teams, usually four players each.

Game Pace

Leisurely and individual-paced.
Fast-paced with short, intense periods.

Cultural Significance

Associated with precision and strategy.
Known for speed, equestrian skills, and teamwork.

Golf and Polo Definitions


An individual sport where scoring is based on the number of strokes taken.
In golf, lowering your stroke count is a sign of improvement.


A fast-paced game involving teams, horses, and a long-handled mallet.
Polo is as much about horsemanship as it is about hitting the ball accurately.


A sport in which players hit a ball into a series of holes with clubs.
He played golf every weekend at the local country club.


A team sport played on horseback, aiming to hit a ball into a goal.
They watched a thrilling polo match at the equestrian club.


A game of precision and strategy, played on an outdoor course.
Golf requires careful planning and a calm approach to each shot.


An equestrian sport with origins in ancient Persia, played on a large field.
Polo has been played for centuries, evolving into the modern game we see today.


A competitive sport known for its quiet etiquette and outdoor play.
Golf tournaments attract players known for their skill and composure.


A competitive outdoor sport where players score by driving a ball into the opposing team's goal.
The polo team practiced daily to improve their coordination and goal-scoring ability.


A leisure activity involving a ball and club on an 18-hole course.
The golf course's scenic beauty added to the enjoyment of the game.


A sport known for its combination of speed, teamwork, and equestrian skills.
Polo players must be adept at riding horses and wielding mallets simultaneously.


A game played on a large outdoor course with a series of 9 or 18 holes spaced far apart, the object being to propel a small, hard ball with the use of various clubs into each hole with as few strokes as possible.


A game played by two teams of three or four players on horseback who are equipped with long-handled mallets for driving a small wooden ball through the opponents' goal.


To play this game
She golfed every day on her vacation.


Water polo.


What equipment is used in golf?

Golf clubs and a small ball.

How long does a typical round of golf take?

It can take several hours, depending on the course and players' skill levels.

Is golf an individual or a team sport?

Primarily individual, but it can be played in teams in certain formats.

How does the pace of golf compare to polo?

Golf is more leisurely, while polo is fast-paced.

What is the main objective in golf?

To hit the ball into a series of holes with the least number of strokes.

What skills are important in golf?

Precision, strategy, and patience.

Is polo a team sport?

Yes, it's played in teams of four.

What kind of horses are used in polo?

Polo ponies, which are selected for agility and speed.

How long is a polo match?

Typically 1-2 hours, divided into chukkas.

Are the scoring systems in golf and polo similar?

No, they have different scoring systems based on their objectives.

How do the historical origins of golf and polo differ?

Golf originated in Scotland, while polo has ancient Persian origins.

Can both golf and polo be played professionally?

Yes, both have professional levels and tournaments.

What's the typical attire for golf?

Collared shirts, slacks or shorts, and golf shoes.

Are there different types of polo?

Yes, including traditional outdoor polo and arena polo.

What is the main objective in polo?

To score goals by hitting a ball into the opponent's goal.

What equipment is essential for polo?

A mallet, ball, and horse.

What skills are vital in polo?

Equestrian skills, teamwork, and quick reflexes.

Do both sports require a specific playing field?

Yes, golf requires a course, and polo a grass field.

Is golf considered a good exercise?

Yes, it involves walking and physical activity.

What is a handicap in golf?

A system that levels the playing field by adjusting scores based on ability.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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