In 2018, the PGA Tour took a leap forward by introducing walk-up music in one of its tournaments. The sport’s gone from bamboo shafts and feather-stuffed balls to Pro V1, personalized club fitting, and Tupac on the first tee. What a country. 

But why stop there? Each hole deserves an accompanying song to support the player with the challenge ahead. A round of golf is like a roller coaster, and the proper soundtrack is essential to handle the highs and lows. 

Next time on the course, give the following 18 songs a spin on Spotify (get the playlist). Remember, you don’t do this for a living. It’s supposed to be fun.


  1. Aloe Blacc – I’m the Man 
    • The first tee-shot is important. It sets the tone for the round. Aloe Blacc’s 2014 soulful pop hit announces any player with confidence and authority.
  2. Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
    • Whether draining a birdie or scrambling to save a number, the first hole can be unsettling. The Temper Trap’s indie anthem starts softly to settle the nerves before building the player back up to where they need to be.
  3. S.O.B. – Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Night Sweats
    • Golf is a game of disappointment. Like a spoonful of sugar,  swallowing this folksy upbeat song helps ease the pain and provides sage course advice for survival.
  4. Gin and Juice – The Gourds 
    • Golf is a game of disappointment, AND it’s meant to be fun. This Gourds cover of a Snoop Dogg classic mixes boozy lyrics and bluegrass for a little mental respite from whatever just happened or the daunting shot ahead.
  5. The Who – Pinball Wizard
    • The Who’s 1969 Rock Opera hit about a deaf, blind, mute pinball player makes sense after noticing that you’ve hit so many trees the bark has rubbed “Titleist” off the ball.
  6. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
    • The Verve’s catchy, string-inspired hook combined with emotionally driven lyrics mirrors the balance of golf perfectly. The game can feel like a cacophony of catastrophe sometimes, and a little Bitter Sweet Symphony is what’s called for to keep level. 
  7. Avicii – Wake Me Up
    • Mr. Aloe Blacc again lends his inspirational vocals to the golfer. This time, he provides the voice for Avicii’s upbeat “folktronica” hit that’ll help a golfer maintain focus while not losing momentum. 
  8. My Morning Jacket – Believe.
    • Faith in one’s ability is paramount to success on the course. The soft, keyboard-centric introduction quickly gives way to powerful vocals and strong, classic rock and roll sound in this tune primed to lift the golfer’s spirits or keep a head held high. 
  9. Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer
    • Comfort and familiarity can drastically improve a golfer’s chances of success. Heading into the turn, Bon Jovi’s beloved classic about a dock worker named Tommy will guide you into the clubhouse to refresh the cooler and flip the scorecard. 
  10. DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win 
    • New nine. Fresh start. A player needs positive thoughts heading back out to the battlefield. DJ Khaled and about a dozen award-winning rap artists are your cheerleaders with this affirming, hip-hop confidence boost.
  11. Bob Marley – Three Little Birds
    • Marley’s reggae anthem is necessary at least once during a round. If the mental game of golf were this easy, we’d have a lot more Sticks out there. 
  12. Hugo – 99 Problems
    • Entering the meat of the back-nine, everything that’s gone wrong starts to add up. Sometimes that number hits 99 and often the pitching game is one of them.  Hugo crosses Jay-Z’s double-platinum hit with a country twang and chain-gang beat. 
  13. Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
    • If golf ever had an official song, this may be it. While they apparently didn’t write this about golf, The Rolling Stones captures the eternal struggle of a golfer in just under four minutes. 
  14. Corey Smith – Drinkin’ Again
    • Corey Smith wrote an acoustic, ya’ll-ternative jam most golfers wouldn’t recognize at first. However, the words and sentiment are felt and shared by millions of golfers every weekend at about this point on the back nine.  
  15. Wake Up – Arcade Fire
    • With only four holes left, the reality waiting after the round can collide with the previous three hours on the course. Use this Arcade Fire rock-operatic track to help you refocus for the home stretch. 
  16. Mark Ronson (Feat. Mystikal) – Feel Right
    • The last three holes of a round are tough for a number of reasons. Whatever the case, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, and Mystikal channel some funk for a little pep rally on the home stretch. 
  17. Queen, David Bowie – Under Pressure
    • We’re going out on a limb and suggesting this song too wasn’t written about golf. Still, the instantly recognizable Bowie/Mercury rock-duet speaks to Sticks and Hacks alike. 
  18. Eminem – Lose Yourself
    • The last hole is no place to get shy. Hit the driver. Go for the green. Take dead aim. Eminem’s smash, rap single won a Grammy and an Oscar, and it’s got the juice to carry you in. 
  19. George Thorogood – One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
    • Sitting post-round with the crew to tally scores, settle bets, tell old stories and make up new lies feels like a good fit for Mr. Thorogood’s quintessential bar song.  

Listen to Stick and Hack’s entire 18 Songs for 18 Holes playlist on Spotify.

Bud Copeland

A self-taught stick with a hack brain, Bud grew up playing golf year-round in north Florida. Born-again New England, Bud learned what an “off-season” is. He now lives in Salem, MA with his wife, daughter, two cats, and dog, Miller. He is the sole Y chromosome in the house, believes we did land on the moon and strongly advocates for walk-up music on the first and eighteenth tees.