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How to Play Golf: Rules and History

Want to play golf, but not sure where to start? Read this guide on how to play golf to learn the rules and history of the game that’s been played for centuries. Knowing the ins and outs of golf will get you playing like a pro in no time!


Fundamentals of Golf

As with anything else, it’s important to have a good grasp of golf’s fundamentals. For example, if you don’t understand how gravity works—at least in relation to a golf ball—then you’re going to struggle once you start playing. You don’t need an expert-level understanding of Newton’s three laws of motion or any other advanced concepts, but some basic knowledge will go a long way. If you’re starting from zero, we recommend spending some time watching instructional videos on YouTube or browsing through beginner guides online. We have plenty of suggestions for further reading in our overview of golf basics.


The Rules

The sport is governed by a number of rules, established by governing bodies

How to Play Golf
How to Play Golf

such as The United States Golf Association. Even for experienced players, it’s important to be familiar with these rules before you head out onto the green—you never know when you might need to cite a rule at your local golf club. Moreover, not knowing a rule isn’t an excuse for breaking it; if you’re caught breaking one, you can be penalized. Some of these penalties include strokes and disqualification from matches, as well as monetary fines.



What Do You Need? The equipment you need to play golf isn’t expensive, but it is specialized. That’s why you should take your time selecting what you need before heading out on a course for your first game. Beginners can get away with renting clubs, as avid players who only golf occasionally. Remember that used or second-hand clubs will likely be in poorer condition than those that come from a pro shop, so keep that in mind when shopping around.


Golf Etiquette

As you play more often, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with golf etiquette. When walking from one shot to another, remember that it’s polite for one group of golfers (the foursome) to let another foursome pass—and never use a cart on a busy course. On top of helping maintain a fairway mentality, practicing good golf etiquette will make you more welcome in any setting. After all, respect goes a long way in life.



The first thing you should know about golf is that it’s played on a pitch-and-putt course. You can often get onto a pitch-and-putt course for very little money. Many professional golfers actually practice their swing at these courses because they are able to tailor their game based on how much or how little they want to spend. It’s also good for beginners since you’re not investing a lot of money in equipment. Pitch-and-putt courses are always available, so it won’t matter if it rains or snows, you’ll still be able to play.


Courses Around the World Section

Here you can find a list of golf courses in your area. Get onto these courses as often as possible. As mentioned earlier, practice makes perfect! You’ll want to play for at least two hours each time you go out, so if there’s more than one course around where you live (and there probably is), try playing at least once a week. See how many other players are on your skill level by competing against them instead of losing balls in every bunker and water hazard like most beginner golfers do (trust me). This will build your confidence going into tournaments and feel good when you shoot lower scores, even if it takes months or years before that happens.


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