Cover story: The Happiness IssueAugust 4, 2015

America's Most Miserable Golfer?

He's 39, a member at a West Coast private club, short, a walker, a teetotaler--and a 14-handicap thanks to good putting

OK, it's possible you know a guy who fits the above description to a tee, except that he's as happy-go-lucky as they come. Our research method didn't exactly meet Nobel scientific standards, nevertheless, we think we've uncovered something. In our national poll, we analyzed the downtrodden 13 percent who reported feeling "often not happy at all, but frustrated" on the golf course. Against the majority, it was little surprise they skewed shorter in stature (the direct correlation between height and things like self-esteem and income are well-documented). But the greater representation near the West Coast was curious. Maybe all that extra sunshine and medical marijuana doesn't make up for the fact that 71 of Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest Courses

are east of the Mississippi River.

As for being a walker, we predicted the added exercise might boost moods, but sometimes it's hard to get cheerier than a cold beer in a cart dashboard. Good putters usually grind harder, which can be emotionally taxing. As for the other stuff, we leave you to your own theories. All we do is run the numbers.--Max Adler

AND THE HAPPIEST GOLFER IS ...

Our poll (below) indicates America's Happiest Golfer is 37, a public-course player, taller, and likes to ride in a cart with an alcoholic beverage while he plays. He's an 11-handicap whose strength is hitting the ball far.

survey