Get Inspired: How to get into Golf

Amateur Bryson DeChambeau at Augusta
Fast Answers
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 to play and compete together.
So how do I take part?Go to our Activity Finder to find golf activities near you.

Golf is an almost unique sport, combining periods of intense concentration and skill with much longer periods of walking around beautiful landscapes.

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.

And with the sport returning to the Olympics in 2016, there's never been a better time to play golf.

Aspire to be like: Stephanie Meadow

Aspire to be top female golfer Stephanie Meadow

Stephanie Meadow was a prodigious talent at the University of Alabama, and announced her talent on the international scene by finishing third at the 2014 US Women's Open on her professional debut.

Golf

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Fastest hole in golf world record is broken

Golf is played on a course of 18 holes, with the winner being the person to take the least shots. A shorter version is the nine-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.

Still 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

Get Inspired: Gary Player's putting tips.

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Get Inspired: Gary Player's putting tips.

If you have never played golf before, or are just a bit rusty, Get into Golf is a great starting point.

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.

Women's Golf

Woman on the beach carrying a golf club

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Golf is for everyone - women too.

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, own and run the Women's British Open, as well as helping young girls get started in the sport.

Disability Golf

Nathan Hill Inspirational film

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Louise Hazel meets inspirational blind teenage golfer

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,Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Junior Golf

Lee Westwood teaches a young girl golf
English professional Lee Westwood providing guidance at Royal Troon golf course, 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.

Get back into golf

BBC Get Inspired: BBC producer improves golf swing

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Get rid of your 'chicken wing' at the driving range

If you've already played golf in your past and are thinking about trying it again, you won't be alone! "I wouldn't feel embarrassed playing," says 2014 Ryder Cup player Stephen Gallacher.

"Take the family out with you. There's not many sports you can go out and play with your kids and your wife and compete."

Coaching and volunteering

Rory McIlroy on the phone using a payphone

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Rory McIlroy Big Thank You

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 - with administration, supporting coaching sessions, helping within schools programmes, events, marketing and editing clubs websites among the activities you can help with.

Join In UK, Volunteer Scotland and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland can also help you find a club that needs your hands on attention.

What's next?

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 getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.