What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


Active sport
Arts & crafts
Hobbies & pastimes
Index A-Z


What is it?

  • Golf is an extremely popular game, played by one to four people at a time.  It involves hitting a small ball with special clubs around a prepared course, trying to use the minimum number of strokes to complete the course.  

  • The most common game is played out of doors, on a course with either 18 or 9 "holes" or stages.  These courses are quite long and a full 18 hole game involves quite a lot of walking and can take 3-4 hours to complete.  

  • There are shorter more informal golf games on different courses, notably pitch and putt and clock golf, as well as indoor playing systems.  

  • The competitive aspect of the game is important, though many people also play on their own for pleasure and exercise.

Find out more


English Golf Union 
Ladies Golf Union 
Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews 
The Golf Foundation 



Club Golfer 
Going for Golf 
National Club Golfer 
PGA Golf Guide: Where to Play & Where to Stay 
Tee to Green 
The New Golfer 
Today's Golfer 
Women & Golf 

Getting started

  • Find a local golf course or club (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or lessons at your local course.

  • Consult books or magazines on the basics of golf.

  • Check in your local library/paper for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Formal golf involves a certain amount of skill but it can be played by people of most ages and both sexes.   

  • You can easily play golf on your own, though most people like to play with others for the stimulus and social contact.   There is a complicated system of handicapping which means that people of different standards, age and sex, can play against each other. 

  • Golf is a highly social game and many players belong to clubs to gain access both to their special playing courses and to the related social life.  Some clubs have special rules about when women can play.  

Equipment or clothing
  • Golf clubs (the ones you hit with) and balls are essential equipment,  together with a bag or trolley in which to take them around the course.  

  • The beginner may be able to hire golf clubs from the place at which he or she is learning.

A place or facilities
  • Formal golf must be played on a special course, which has been designed and landscaped for the purpose.  

  • There are many golf courses all over the UK.  Some are owned by clubs and are accessible only to members.  Others, which may be either commercial or local authority owner, are accessible on a "pay and play" basis.  

  • There are also golf driving ranges where you can go to practice your shots.

Have a go - get started now


The content of these pages is copyright (c) Leisure Consultants 2002-14