Playing Golf

Roughly 60 million people worldwide play golf, making it one of the most widely played sports in the world. At its most basic level, it is a game in which a player, using a club, tries to hit a small, round ball into a small, round hole in as few shots as possible.

With players standing side-on to the target, play begins with a shot struck from the teeing ground using one of up to 14 clubs, selected according to the distance the player wishes to hit the ball.

There are a number of different formats of play ranging from Match Play, where one or two players compete against another one or two opponents, through to Stroke Play, in which the competitive field is limited only by the number of hours in the day. There are, of course, many other enjoyable competitive formats which are used the world over.   

It is one of only a few sports which is not played on a standardised playing surface; one of few sports where a 59-year-old can continue to compete on an equal footing with players less than half their age; and, thanks to a handicapping system, one of few sports where players of varying abilities can compete evenly against each other.

If you have a driving range nearby, they will often have clubs available for you to borrow, so why not have a go?

The Golf Course

Golf is one of few sports that are not played on a standardised playing surface, meaning that, providing you have a hole, a teeing-ground, a club and a ball, it can, theoretically, be played anywhere!


Golfing equipment is undoubtedly the area of the game that has developed most rapidly in recent times. Everything from clubs to balls, and from shoes to waterproof clothing, has been revolutionised in terms of technology and design. The basics, however, remain largely the same.

Golfers with Disabilities

There is no reason why golf shouldn’t be enjoyed by all, including those with disabilities, and there are many organisations for disabled golfers throughout the world offering opportunities for disabled athletes to learn the game, to play and to compete.

Spirit of the Game

Honour, integrity, honesty: three words that have come to represent the spirit in which the game of golf is played. Click through to find out more about this abstract but, nonetheless, essential quality.

Quick Guide to the Rules

This guide focuses on commonly encountered Rules situations and attempts to provide a simple explanation of these Rules. This guide is not a substitute for the Rules of Golf, which should be consulted whenever any doubt arises.

For more information on the points covered, please refer to the relevant Rule.


One of the characteristic features of the game of golf is the handicapping system. A handicap allows players of all levels of golfing ability to compete against each other equally and, consequently, is essential to the popularity and prosperity of the game.