Get Inspired: How to get into Golf

Get Involved in Golf 

There are thousands of golf courses across the UK, ready for you to explore.

Golf takes many forms - from hitting a few balls on the driving range to improve your game, to a quick nine holes with friends, to the full 18 holes and tournaments over the course of several days.

For beginners, pitch-and-putt and par-three courses allow a gentle introduction to the game and most courses have sets of clubs available for a small fee.

Why is it good for you?

Some research suggests a round of golf is better for you than a quick, intense workout - that's according to Get Into Golf, a campaign run by Sport England and England Golf among others.

The campaign adds that walking around a golf course - nine holes can take as little as an hour, while 18 holes might require three or four - cuts the risk of heart disease. A game of golf could involve walking up to five miles and burn off almost 1,000 calories.

Golf is a great game for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. People of widely different abilities can play and compete together, thanks to the handicap system  .

Further research also suggests golf can help to reduce stress, though that, of course, depends on how well your round goes...

Get involved

Get Into Golf offers a helpful guide to starting out  in golf, from what to wear through to golf etiquette and the basic rules. There is also an interactive map of events  taking place for new golfers in England.

England Golf provides a club finder  to help you locate your nearest course or driving range, as does Scottish Golf. Golf in Northern Ireland is served by the Golf Union of Ireland,  which also runs a golf academy. 

The website of Golf Development Wales allows you to find your nearest club as well as join New2Golf,  which provides a welcome pack with discounted lesson vouchers for a small fee.

History

The Old Course at St Andrews

The Old Course at St Andrews

Golf's origins stretch back for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, but the modern game is closely associated with Scotland.

The Old Course at St Andrews - considered the home of the game, and world governing body the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews  (R&A) - has seen action since the 1500s.

The Open Championship, the oldest golf tournament still in existence and the first of four top-level international events referred to as "the Majors", was first contested in 1860.

Only in the 20th Century were the dimensions and form many of golf's crucial elements, such as the ball and clubs, standardised. The equipment used to play golf now is far removed from what would have been available a century ago.

Are you inspired to try Golf? Or maybe you are an enthusiast player already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the game by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired  or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.