Below is a selection of Frequently Asked Question (FAQs), these have been added to help you to start playing golf.
For a more detailed selection of FAQs, myths surrounding playing golf and further information we recommend you visit the GET INTO GOLF website set up by England Golf, the governing body for Golf in England.
WHY PLAY GOLF?
It’s better than a fast and furious gym session
Golf burns more calories than you’d think: playing an 18-hole game of golf burns at least 900 calories. Golf also combines all the known weight-loss benefits of walking combined with the toning and muscle strengthening benefits of swinging the clubs and carrying or pulling your golf bag.
It’s a great social sport
Golf is a great way to meet new people – especially if you have recently moved into a new area or town. Wherever there’s a golf course, a host of rewarding new friendships awaits you and the ready-made social life at the clubhouse afterwards.
It helps combat stress
Golf really does tick all the boxes for things you need for optimal wellbeing… It offers some important feel-good factors, such as an active social life and regular physical activity.
It’s good for your heart
Golf’s powerful combination of stress-busting exercise, fresh air and camaraderie can help promote long term heart health. It can reduce blood pressure and raised cholesterol and cut your risk of stroke and diabetes – especially if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
It can help you live longer
Golf’s unique combination of outdoor exercise and social interaction can help you live a longer, healthier life. Playing golf can help you live longer – and make those extra years healthier.
WHO CAN PLAY GOLF?
Golf can be played by people of all ages and abilities. It is a game that the whole family can play….Golf spans all generations and can become a game for life.
A disability should not be a barrier to enjoying and getting the full benefits from playing golf. Many clubs are able to provide the right support and facilities. For more detailed information follow the link below to the Disabled Golf Association which is a charitable organisation with the sole purpose of getting more disabled people onto a golf course for therapy and general well-being.
HOW DO I START?
By taking advantage of the free and low cost “Get into Golf” taster sessions and beginner courses on offer from many clubs in Nottinghamshire. You’ll receive a basic introduction to golf from PGA professionals, together with information about club membership and follow-on coaching opportunities. Equipment will be provided so all you have to do is turn up on the day in comfortable clothing.
Or approach a golf club close to you who will be able to provide information on the teaching and learning opportunities they offer
WHAT DO I NEED TO PLAY?
You will need golf equipment to play but many golf clubs will offer equipment on loan for those wanting to try the game for the first time. A golf professional at a golf club will be able to give you all the information you will need.
You will also need to wear clothing that will allow you to swing a club freely to hit the ball and also clothing and footwear appropriate to the weather conditions. Again a professional will be able to give you good advice about this.
DO I NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF A GOLF CLUB?
No. The ‘Get into Golf’ starter sessions do not require you to be a member of a golf club although by completing the sessions the participating golf clubs often offer good deals to allow an easy transfer to club membership should you wish to do so. But there is no obligation to do so.
There are also a number of ‘pay and play’ courses where you can turn up and pay a green fee which allows you to play a round of golf and to use the clubhouse facilities.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING A MEMBER?
Clubs often offer a number of different membership packages and you should make contact with a golf club to ask what these might be. These might include full membership when you can play at any day of the week, five day membership or a “points purchase” membership system where you redeem points for a round of golf.
Membership gives to full access to the facilities of the club house and the course and its practice facilities. These could include changing and washing facilities, a bar and food at subsidised prices, access to social events and of course a place to socialise with friends.
You will also be able to get a handicap which will mean you can play in competitions and play on other courses. As your club is affiliated to the County Union and Association you will also be given a County Card which offers discounted golf at more than 1500 cubs in England.
The club professional will often provide lessons at subsidised rates to members and will have a range of competitively priced golf equipment and clothing available to you.
HOW CAN I BECOME A MEMBER OF A GOLF CLUB?
All clubs will have their own rules which determine how people can their club. You should make contact with the Club Secretary or Manager to ask what these are. Some clubs may offer some incentives to new members.
Often boys and girls joining as junior members can join at very reasonable rates and for those aged between 18 and 30 also are offered membership at discounted rates. You should ask whether the club offers these.
WHAT IS A HANDICAP?
In simple terms the handicapping system takes account of the different playing abilities of a golfer and allocates a handicap to each golfer taking account of the average score achieved for completing the course. People of all ages and abilities can compete and play against each other on a level playing field as the handicap you have is taken off your score for the round (or hole) and the person with the lowest net score is the winner.
When you first join a golf club you will be asked to play three rounds and submit a score for each. The club will average these your handicap will relate to this. So, if your average for the three rounds is 20 over the par for the course your handicap is likely to be 20. As you play competitions your handicap will be adjusted as to how well you do. If you improve it will come down and therefore the better golfers have very low handicaps.
WHAT ARE THE RULES OF GOLF?
There are two aspects to the rules in Golf:
First is the “Etiquette” which describes how the game should be played in terms of behaviour and respect for you competitors and the course itself.
The second are the “Rules” which determine how you should deal with certain situations as you play. For example, what should you do if you lose a ball, hit a ball into water or you find your ball in the middle of a bush with no prospect of retrieving it? In these situations the rules provide guidance and advice and how you should deal with these situations.
Golf relies much on the fairness and integrity of the individual player so all golfers should be familiar with the main principles of the rules and there are lots of ways available to do this. Don’t be daunted by what you may see as many of the situations you will find yourself in are covered by some very straightforward and common sense principles.