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Why You Should Give Golf A Go

4 MIN READ • 1st December 2021

Think golf is an ‘oldfashioned, men’s’ game? Here’s why it has a place in the modern world

Do you know your birdies from your bogeys, or your drivers from your divots? If you’re a woman, statistically the answer is likely to be no. According to, Britain has one of the worst ratios in the world for the proportion of women who play golf compared to men, and just 25 percent of men want to play golf with women. Globally, only a quarter of active golfers are female. You may be thinking it’s no big deal, or that you’ve never been interested to give it a go, but we’ve turned to the experts to show you why taking up golf could be key to improved confidence, higher selfesteem and reduced anxiety levels!

A men’s game

As the statistics show, golf still is very much a man’s game, even in 2021. That said, there has been some improvement in equality, as Iember Gordon, head of marketing at Online Golf (, explains. “With the lifting of restrictions and high numbers of people taking staycations, we’ve seen an increase in the number of women taking up golf,” she says. “Golf is the ultimate outdoor activity (in fact, golf courses were the first sporting activities to be allowed to reopen) and it’s accessible to anyone of any age or ability.”

So, given that it is something that anyone can do, why do the experts think that the majority of women are still put off picking up a club? “As with any sport, it can be intimidating when you are unsure of what you’re doing when you first start,” says Gary Swift, spokesperson for

“The worry of not being taken seriously is what dissuades many women from playing golf, or even engaging in the sport at all. This further highlights the importance of driving away the stigma around golf being a ‘man’s sport’.” Iember agrees, adding that nerves can play a big part. “Women can often feel nervous when they first take up the game because they feel exposed when they tee off, like everyone is watching, and it’s definitely something that takes practice,” she says. “However, new players can rest assured as people are more focused on their individual performances than analysing others’ shots.”

One way that clubs are trying to encourage more women to join is by offering cheaper memberships, as Gary tells us. “A small number of membership clubs currently offer discounted memberships to women. If we applied this across all golfing ranges and built upon it by offering beginner sessions for women and even family golfing days, more women may be inclined to take up the sport.”

Par for the course

You might be discouraged from taking up golf because of a preconception that it’s boring, or perhaps not even consider it a sport, but it actually has a huge number of benefits. “Golf is a game of discipline, focus, patience and stamina,” says Anne Dawson, the first female golf president at Carden Park ( “It’s also a game of immense frustration. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that spending two to three hours in the fresh air has huge benefits for your physical and mental health, especially in today’s world when we’re all glued to our screens! To walk off the course, having hit a decent round, is a unique joy. Golf should be an opportunity to switch off for a couple of hours and escape life’s troubles, particularly in today’s world with the enforced hardships through COVID-19.”

As Iember explains, aside from the physical gains of walking and being outside in the fresh air, research has shown that golf can help individuals improve their confidence, selfesteem, and anxiety levels. “As well as that, golf is a great way to socialise,” she adds. “Many women join golf clubs so that they can play with their partners, but end up making a larger circle of friends and joining the women’s leagues which play on dedicated ladies-only days. It also makes for a fantastic family day out, so those with children can enjoy watching youngsters’ putting skills develop from an early age.”

Meet you on the fairway

If you’re interested in taking up golf but are put off by the thought of having to invest in new kit, you’re in luck. “Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need much equipment to play golf,” says Iember. “You’ll need a golf bag for sure, but you can begin with just a few of the essential clubs – like a driver, a fairway wood and a putter – and gradually add to your collection as you improve. Clothing-wise, of course there is always the option of buying a whole new wardrobe and there are lots of on-trend golf clothing brands out there, but really all you need is a pair of long shorts or trousers and a polo top.” Iember’s top tip for beginners is to not take it too seriously. “It can be a frustrating game, and sometimes the harder you try, the worse you hit the ball,” she says. “Just relax and enjoy any good shots you do manage to make, and remember that practice makes perfect.”

Anne recommends starting with a wedge, a putter and a seven iron. “Focus on building your confidence before stepping onto a course,” she tells us. “I would recommend regular trips to the driving range and, depending on your budget, investing in a few lessons from a golf pro so you don’t pick up bad habits early on, particularly with the swing.”

Gary agrees that mastering your grip and swing is fundamental. “However, make sure your clubs are the right height and weight for you first,” he warns. “Golf is a long game and it takes time to hone your skills. With that in mind, practice as often as you need.”

In the swing of it

Learn all the golfing lingo you need to feel like a pro before heading down to your local course

Birdie: A score of one under par
Bogey: A score of one over par
Bunker: An obstacle on the course, filled with sand. You’ll need to use a sand wedge to get your ball out
Divot: The small bit of grass that’s dislodged from the ground when it’s hit by a club
Double bogey: A score of two over par
Driver: The longest club with the biggest head, designed to hit the ball the furthest
Driving range: Here, you can practice different shots and prepare for the next time you play a round of golf
Eagle: A score of two under par
Fore: If you hear this shouted by another golfer – cover your head. They’re warning you they’ve hit an errant shot
The 19th hole: The clubhouse bar!
Par: The number of strokes a first-class player should need for a particular hole
Rough: The long grass that borders the fairway
Woods and irons: The two main types of clubs – woods are big headed clubs, while irons have smaller, thinner heads

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