Beginners guide: So You Want To Play Golf?

Everything you need to know about taking up golf from the editors of Golf Digest.

We get it. Golf can seem terribly complicated to the uninitiated. So many rules, so many different kinds of clubs. And then there’s the lingo: birdies, bogeys, bump-and-runs. At Golf Digest, this may be the language we speak every day, but we also know it’s a language that can scare prospective golfers off before they ever pick up a club.

That’s where this online beginner’s guide comes in. To those who know nothing about golf, our goal is to shepherd you through this uncertainty. What kind of clubs do you need? How do you practice? When do you know that you’re ready for the golf course?

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10 Weird Facts About Golf

Brush up on your golf trivia with this list full of facts about the game.

  1. Two-times is not the charm on the green. The chances of making two holes-in-one in a single round of golf are one in 67 million!
  1. The first ever golf balls were made of thin leather, stuffed with goose feathers. ‘Feather balls’ were used up until 1848, when they were replaced with the ‘Guttie’ ball, named for the rubber-like sap of the Gutta tree, found in the tropics.
  1. The term ‘birdie’ comes from the late 19th century, when an American gentleman named Ab Smith came up with the phrase, ‘bird of a shot,’ while playing, which eventually turned into the term we use today.
  1. Feeling inadequate about your high handicap? The truth is that 80% of all golfers never achieve a handicap of less than 18.
  1. The longest golf hole in the world is the 7th hole of the Sano Course at the Satsuki Golf Club in Japan, measuring a whopping 909 yards.

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Golf for fun?

Traditionally if you wanted to play golf you would join a club and play in competitions to get a handicap. This would let you play in more competitions and you would normally play the same course week after week…

Times are changing.

As more limitations are placed on our personal recreation time many people now want to play with a group of friends for fun – not with a group of strangers in a competition.
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Why is playing Golf good for your Health?

Although golf is often seen as a leisurely sport and one enjoyed by those who aren’t into hardcore sports, it’s actually a great form of exercise. Studies prove that people who get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 to 4 days a week reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, bone disease, and arthritis. For golfers who carry their own clubs, golf offers both cardio and weight bearing exercise. Since many golf games take between two and four hours, you can get the recommended amount of exercise with just one golf game.
– Cardiovascular Exercise
– Improved Sleep
– Mental Health
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