The main compensation is the social aspect

Can you play by yourself?

I think not. However I quite enjoy the lack of competition, just going around and hitting maybe 3 balls off the tee.

The problem with that is that I tend to lose a couple of balls. I forget where they all went especially, as usually happens, they spray across the fairways.

The benefit is no pressure to perform and you can practise things on a course rather than in a driving bay. To explore more social issues have a look at Compete  or how to survive club golf and 19th hole stories, all of which are true!