Get Inspired: How to get into Golf
|Why get into golf?||Because it's exercising while socialising. Catch up with friends, and have a bit of friendly competition.|
|Who is it for?||It's a game for all ages and abilities. Plus its unique handicapping system allows people of different abilities to play and compete together.|
|Is there a cheap option?||Taster sessions and beginner courses are not as expensive as you might think, and there are driving ranges available across the country.|
|Do I need my own equipment?||The majority of beginner courses will provide equipment, and clubs are available to rent at most golf courses.|
|Can I take it to another level?||You can play competitive golf at club, county and national level and turn professional.|
|Is there a disability option?||PGA pros are trained with the skills to coach a range of disabilities.|
|Is there a family option?||Golf is a sport for the whole family as you can learn together, play together and compete together.|
There's no better sport for bringing people together and, with its winning combination of exercise, personal challenges, competition and social interaction, golf is the perfect tonic for good health and happiness.
The amateur game is managed by National Governing Bodies: England Golf,Irish Ladies Golf Union,Union of Ireland,Scottish Golf Union,Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association and Golf Union of Wales who provide beginner opportunities, membership support, championships and development of the national teams. The R&A is the golf governing body who regulate the rules of the game.
Traditional golf is played on a green where a course of 18 holes are played to determine a winner. A shorter version is the 9 hole game. Scottish Golf provides a club finder to help you locate your nearest course, as does England Golf. The Golf Union of Ireland runs a golf academy, while Golf Development Wales allows you to find your nearest club as well as join New2Golf. Not sure if it's really for you? Then read this to bust some of the myths about golf and maybe help change your mind.
Get into golf
If you have never played golf before, or are just a bit rusty, Get into golf is the best starting point for you. The sessions are fun and sociable and held in a relaxed atmosphere where you'll learn the basics and find out about follow-on opportunities. They can help you find an activity near you, as well as guiding you on what to wear, the etiquette and rules of game.
The Ladies Golf Union is the voice of women's and girls' amateur golf across Great Britain & Ireland. They provide opportunities to participate at the highest standard through a series of championships and international matches; manage the GB&I teams and they own & run the Women's British Open.
The handicap system in golf makes it easy for players with a disability to play along-side able bodied players. The Disabled Golf Association is a good place to start if you are looking for opportunities to play, but all of the national governing bodies can help you find an inclusive club near you. Played with the assistance of a caddie, Blind Golf is played to the official rules and standards of the game. Find out more in England and Wales and in Scotland.
As well as being a great way of developing hand-eye co-ordination and spatial awareness, golf also teaches social skills and self-improvement. There are initiatives to encourage young people to get into golf across the UK. The Golf Foundation is a charity committed to giving children and young people the opportunity to experience golf and the benefits it has to offer.
Thinking of becoming a PGA Professional golfer? The first, and most popular, route is to become a registered assistant at a PGA recognised golf facility. Trainees complete a Foundation Degree in Professional Golf Studies, accredited by the University of Birmingham, and delivered by the PGA's National Training Academy. A second route is via a BA Hons Degree in Applied Golf Management Studies (AGMS) at the University of Birmingham. The AGMS is ideal for golfers interested in pursuing senior managerial roles in golf. The PGA support the professional golfer by educating and training their members to the highest quality, so they can then work to engage golfers of all levels and abilities through coaching.
If you are keen to practise your swing and hit some balls but don't have the time for a round on the course, the driving range is perfect. Although you won't get the benefit of the walk between holes, you can spend as much or as little time as you like getting your putting right by hitting a bucket of balls. You'll still get the muscular benefits of playing and you can do it in any weather as covered driving ranges platforms are readily available.
Although it is still only played in pockets of the UK, disc golf is hugely popular in the USA. As with traditional golf, the object of the game is to complete each hole in as few shots as possible. The main difference is that you use a disc similar to a Frisbee instead of golf balls. To complete a hole you have to land the disc in an elevated metal basket. Wherever your disc lands, that's where you make your next throw or 'play your next shot'. To find a game near you, speak to the British Disc Golf Association.
Whether you have golfed in the past or just have a keen interest in developing talent, volunteering is an excellent way to become involved in the game of golf. Many parents support their children and junior club section without actually realising they are the next generation of golf volunteers. The types of roles you can do are endless - administration, supporting coaching sessions, helping within schools programmes, events, marketing, editing clubs websites and many more.
If you would like more information or would like to get involved contact your national governing body. Join In UK,Volunteer Scotland and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland can also help you find a club that needs your hands on attention.
Aspire to be like: Stephanie Meadow
1. Go to our Activity Finder to find golf activities near you.
2. Contact Get into Golf and get involved.
3. Share your story and inspire others.
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, visiting us on Facebook or email us on email@example.com.
See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.