Golf is played competitively or recreationally. Golf can be played individually, in pairs, or in groups. However, the goal remains the same to advance the ball with each successive swing and ultimately hit it in the hole using the fewest attempts possible. The player with the lowest cumulative number of strokes/hits at the end of a round (generally 9 or 18 holes) is declared the winner.
Alignment sticks are long, skinny rods that a golfer uses during practice to help ensure they are lining up properly to an intended target. To ensure a golfer is aiming properly at a target, they will place one alignment rod directly at the target. The second alignment stick should be placed parallel to the first alignment stick to help the golfer maintain a proper toe line. These are typically cheap and will normally cost around $10 for a two or three pack.
A golfer uses a ball marker to mark the spot of their golf ball when on the putting green. A ball marker usually takes the form of a coin. When marking the golf ball, the golfer must slide the marker directly behind where the ball is resting. When putting the ball back on the green, the golfer must place the golf ball directly ahead of the ball marker. The golfer shall proceed to pick up the ball marker before putting the ball. Markers usually only cost one or two dollars depending on the size of them as they are very small and used by everyone.
A ball retriever is used to reach lost balls that a golfer cannot not reach with their own hands. This is used particularly when golfers hit their ball into a water hazard. You typically cannot or will not want to hit your ball out of water, but you are certainly allowed to retrieve your ball. Golf balls can be expensive, so if you have an opportunity to get yours back you should always take it. These cost anywhere from $20 to $40, but could save you lots of money on golf balls.
A ball shag is a device used mostly during practice sessions. Also known as a "shag bag" this is used to pick up golf balls in a quick and organized fashion. The pipe is just a bit bigger than a golf ball, and picks them up by pushing down on them and stacking them in the pipe and eventually filling the bag on top. Once the bag is full, a zipper on the side can be used to get the balls out. These are mostly used around practice greens where you can walk a short distance to pick up the balls and provided by the course.
A ball washer can be found on just about every course. They are used to clean off any dirt or grass from your golf ball and use a plunger like system to push the ball down into soap and water. On some courses these can be found on every hole, but it is more common for them to be available every few holes.
A headcover is a protective object that covers a golf club in order to protect the club from contacting another club and possibly damaging it. They are primarily used on drivers, fairways, and putters, but are available for purchase for every club in the bag. Headcovers can be bought individually or as a set for anywhere from $10 to $40 depending on what club and if they are customized. These are especially good to use when you walk the course and your clubs could knock against each other a lot.
The clubhouse is the main building where golfers go first when they arrive. The clubhouse usually includes the pro shop, the locker rooms, and a restaurant or dining facility. Not every course has a full restaurant, but it is very common to have some area where golfers can get drinks or a small meal.
The clubscrubber is a small, fine brush that cleans a golf club after hitting a shot, removing dirt, grass, or sand from the grooves. A clubscrubber is normally kept on or in the golf bag. This is the fastest and easiest way to clean your club in the middle of your round and is owned by many golfers because of their cheap price, typically $5 to $10.
A golfer should wear a polo or collared shirt when playing a round of golf. This aspect of golf relates to proper etiquette that a golfer should follow. These kinds of shirts are normally required at exclusive or private golf courses, but are recommended everywhere. A typical golf shirt will cost anywhere from $30 to $100 depending on the brand and where you get it, so be sure to look out for good deals. Things like sweaters or pullovers can be worn over one if it is cold, but it is always good to have one on.
Divot removers are used around and on the greens to fix any ball mark. It is a very important part of golf etiquette to fix any ball mark that you see or make on the green. This is because the green must be kept and a mark could impact your ball's roll or someone else's. Divot removers or repair tools can be purchased in most pro shops for $5 to $15 and every golfer should have one in their bags. They also feature a built in ball marker at the top that slides on and off, making it a great tool for every purpose around the greens.
A divot repair tool is a small metal object containing two sharp pegs that help repair an impact mark on the putting green from a ball hitting the surface. A golfer should always use this tool to repair marks in order to preserve the flat surface of the putting green. These are cheaper than divot removers, costing around $5, because they do not have a ball marker attached on top and are used strictly for divot repairs.
A driver in golf is a very specific club that every golfer should have in their bag. Drivers are used strictly for distance, as they are the club that hits the ball the furthest. Drivers are usually only used off a tee because the face of the club is much larger than every other club, making it very difficult to hit off the ground. Drivers are typically used on the tee boxes of par 4's and 5's to get as far down the fairway as possible. Most par 3's are too short to use a driver.
When buying a driver, as with any club, it is very important to make sure it is the right height for you. You also need to make sure you are comfortable with it. It is very common for golfers to get fitted for clubs, which is when an expert takes your measurements and finds the right club for you. You want to be very careful when buying a driver because they tend to be the most expensive individual club (costing about $200 to $500), so you will want to like the one you choose.
In golf, a flagstick is located in the hole on each green on the course. Their main purpose is to show the location of the hole to golfers in the fairway or on the tee box. This is extremely useful because when you are standing away from the green, it would be very difficult to see the hole location without the flagstick. The colored flag at the top of it is also very helpful for seeing hole locations because it catches your eye from almost any distance on the hole. It is uncommon for golfers to buy flagsticks, as the course will have them already in every hole.
A golf glove is an accessory that most golfers have, but is not mandatory to use. Although you do not need to have a glove, it is nice to have because it gives you a much better grip on your club. It is common for golfers to only wear one glove; right handed golfers wear it on their left hand, and left handed golfers wear it on their right hand. This is because those are the dominant hands for golfers and take most of the control of the club. If you do not wear a glove, your club could slip as you swing and ruin your shot. When buying a glove it is very important to look at the size and make sure it fits tight. If your glove is too loose, it defeats the purpose and your club will still slip. Gloves typically cost around $20, but are well worth the purchase.
A golf bag is a large bag that every golfer should have. The bag is used to hold every club and every accessory to keep everything in one place during a round. While holding clubs is its main use, golfers also keep gloves, tees, balls, rangefinders, snacks, and more in their bags. The bag can either be placed on the back of a golf cart, or it has shoulder straps for golfers who prefer to walk. When buying one you need to make sure that it can fit all of your things without being too big to carry. Depending on what kind/size bag you get (some are bigger than others to hold more things) they will cost anywhere from $100 to $300.
A golf ball is a small ball with a diameter of 1.680 inches. A golfer uses a golf ball to play a round of golf and tries to hit the ball into the hole in the least strokes possible. Some golf balls are softer, meaning they are built to generate more spin on shots around the green. Some balls are harder, meaning they are built to generate more distance on longer shots. Everyone has a different preference and there is no true way to say what ball is right for an individual, so the best way to find your perfect ball is by practicing and seeing what you like. This is very important because golf balls are expensive and can cost up to $4 each, but can also be found cheaper for $2 to $3 each, and always come in packs of three (a "sleeve" of balls) or will come in boxes with 3-4 sleeves per box. Titleist balls are typically the most expensive while brands like Top Flite and Pinnacle have cheaper options.
A golf cart is the vehicle that golfers use to drive around the course while playing. Carts fit two golfers in each, so if you are playing in a group of three or four people you will need to get two carts. Most carts have cup holders, tee holders, and places for two golf bags to be stored on the back of them. It is not mandatory to use a cart, as they almost always cost extra(prices vary dramatically depending on the course you are at). If you do not want to pay the extra money for a cart, walking the course is always a good alternative.
A golf club is a metal club used to hit a golf ball. A golf club contains a grip and a shaft that attaches to the club head. A golfer is allowed to have up to 14 golf clubs in a bag during the course of play. There are several kinds of golf clubs a golfer can use. The most common clubs for a golfer to have in their bag are; a driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, hybrid, 4 iron, 5 iron, 6 iron, 7 iron, 8 iron, 9 iron, pitching wedge, lob wedge, sand wedge, and putter. It is important to find clubs that you like and feel good with, because a full set of clubs can cost anywhere from $400 to $1500 depending on what brand and how nice the clubs are.
It is common for golfers to wear a hat or cap when playing a round of golf. Golfers often wear hats because the brim of the hat protects them from the sun. A hat also helps prevent sweat from dripping down a player's face and getting into their eyes. Hats are also a good way for pros to show sponsor logos and get them seen on TV. Hats typically can be bought in stores or will be available in the pro shop for about $25 to $40.
A hybrid is a specific type of golf club that is used when the golfer is a long distance from the hole. It has the look of a small driver, and serves the same function as a three wood, only does not go as far as they do. A hybrid is a good club to use when your longest iron is not enough, but your three wood is too much. Hybrids are also a good alternative if you struggle with hitting long irons as they are more forgiving. While they will not be included in most basic sets of clubs, it will most likely be included in a full set or can be bought individually. An individual hybrid can cost about $100 to $200.
Irons are a group of golf clubs that are used from varying distances on the course. They are typically bought in a set but can also be purchased individually. When you buy a set of irons, it typically includes a pitching wedge, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4 irons. Each club makes the ball go a different distance and gives the ball varying heights when it is hit. A four iron will travel the furthest and keep the ball the lowest, and a pitching wedge will go the shortest distance while getting the ball the highest in the air. Irons are typically bought all together in a set and will cost anywhere from $400 to $1000 depending on the set/brand.
It is common for golfers to wear pants while they play. On the male professional tour, it is required that the players wear pants to keep tradition, while on the female tour players are allowed to wear pants or a skirt. When amatuer golfers go out to play, they do not have to wear pants, but if they want to there are many pants made by sporting goods companies that are made specifically for golf. Golf pants can also be bought in pro shops or stores and will typically cost $40 to $90.
Pencils are used by almost every golfer while they play. They are used to write down scores on the scorecard and are usually provided by the course and given to you with your scorecard. Golf pencils are typically much smaller than a normal pencil to make it convenient and pocket sized for golfers.
It is typical golf etiquette for golfers to wear a polo or collared shirt. This has been tradition for quite some time and is required at many golf courses around the world. If it is too cold to just wear a polo shirt, golfers are allowed to wear an undershirt or something over it, but a polo shirt is still required or at the very least recommended. When buying a polo shirt comfort should be at the top of your list. Buy shirts that fit you and will not cause discomfort while playing because they can get expensive, costing about $40 to $100 each.
The pro shop is an area inside of the clubhouse that serves many purposes to golfers and the course. The main purpose of the pro shop is it is the place where golfers check in and pay for their round. You can also buy balls, tees, gloves, and many other accessories you may need during your round. The pro shop also serves as a sporting good store as you can also buy golf clothes and clubs.
A pull cart is a device used by golfers to carry their clubs when they are walking the course. You rest your golf bag on the bottom platform of it, and pull the handle behind you as you walk. These are used as a good alternative to golf carts because they are typically a much cheaper option, but the course still controls the price of them just like the carts. They also allow golfers to walk the course without having to carry their golf bag on their back.
A pullover is a piece of golf clothing that is worn when golfers play in cold temperatures or rain. Many golfers prefer windbreakers, vests, or sweaters. They are great to use when golfing in the fall or early in the spring, as it is typically nice enough weather to play but a bit cold. Unlike polo shirts, these do not need to be collared. However, just like polo shirts, when buying one you should focus on comfort and size as they are just as expensive and sometimes more.
A putter is a very specific club in golf and is one of the few clubs that is only used in one situation. Putters are used strictly on the green to roll the ball towards, and hopefully in the hole. Putters are only used on the greens because they do not get the ball off the ground. Their purpose is to roll the ball along with the break to the hole, and unlike other clubs they are not used for distance. When buying a putter you should mainly make sure that it is the right height for you and that you are comfortable with the grip on it. A good putter can be expensive, costing anywhere from $100 to $300, but is a good investment for most golfers.
A rangefinder is a handheld device that calculates an exact yardage to the physical object at which it is pointed. A golfer uses a rangefinder to help decide which club to hit based on the provided distance. These are not necessary to use, as many yardages are marked on the fairways and around the course, but if you want an exact number a rangefinder is extremely useful. Rangefinders are not permitted on the PGA Tour during events, but they are able to be used by any casual golfer or in some amateur events. These are very helpful, but also expensive, costing anywhere from $100 to $400.
The rulebook is a small book that lists the rules of golf that a player can reference during a round. The book contains every single rule of the game and can be used at any time to check or learn a ruling. While they may not be used during a casual round, the rules are strictly enforced on the Tour and in any form of a tournament and it is crucial for golfers to know and understand the rules. Every rule of golf can be found for free online.
A scorecard is the piece of paper that players use to write their scores on as they play. There are spaces to write each player's score under each hole, and extra spaces after nine and eighteen holes to write total scores. Although this is the main purpose of a scorecard, there are many other reasons why they are useful. Scorecards will show the distance of each hole from tee to green, what par the hole is, and what the handicap of the hole is. A hole's handicap is its ranking of difficulty on the course. For example, handicap 18 holes are the "easiest" holes on the course, and these rankings go 1-18. Scorecards are always provided by the course and are given to you in the pro shop or are waiting in your cart.
Golf shoes are shoes made specifically for golfers and are great for keeping a grip on the grass surfaces golfers are used to. Golf shoes should be used instead of sneakers because as you swing, even on dry days, it is likely that if you are just wearing sneakers you will slip and mess up your shot. Golf shoes are useful because the spikes on the bottom (rubber or plastic) dig into the ground to keep your feet set as you swing. This is great for keeping your balance, which is a very important part of a golf swing. When buying these, you should buy the same size you would wear with any shoe and make sure they are comfortable, as they can get expensive (anywhere from $40 to $150).
Golf shorts are worn by amatuer golfers and pro golfers when they are practicing. This is because wearing shorts is not allowed on the PGA Tour, but there is no rule against it for regular golfers. Many companies that make golf clothes also make shorts that are made to look nice, but also be comfortable and lightweight enough to play a round of golf in. When buying these you should make sure that they fit and are comfortable because a round of golf lasts a long time. They also typically cost about $30 to $70 each.
A golf skirt is a piece of golf clothing worn primarily by women. These are a very popular outfit choice on the LPGA and with women golfers in general. They provide comfort while allowing the wearer to fully function while golfing. It is a general rule that skirts should go down to fingertip length. When buying a golf skirt, fit and comfort should be your top priority, but also look out for the price as they can cost $30 to $70 each.
Snacks are a very popular thing for golfers to have while they play. Rounds of golf take a long time and can take a lot of energy out of a player, so it is very popular to have a snack while you play. The most popular way to get snacks on the course is stopping in the clubhouse after nine holes. This is a good place to take a break because the clubhouse is often right beside the ninth green and almost always has snacks available. Small snacks will typically be inexpensive, but the prices will be controlled by the individual course.
A stroke counter is a device used by golfers to make sure they are counting their strokes correctly. While many golfers count their strokes in their head and write down totals after each hole, stroke counters are very useful to ensure that you do not miscount. After each stroke, the golfer adds a stroke on to the counter and this continues until the end of the round. If scorecards are not available, stroke counters are a great way to keep your score and are inexpensive, typically costing $10 to $20.
Sunglasses are a very popular accessory for golfers to wear while playing. Golf is an outdoor sport, so weather is always going to be a factor. One of the biggest factors while playing golf is the sun. If the sun is in your eyes it will be very hard to see your target or where the ball is going, so a good way to help this is wearing sunglasses. They protect golfer's eyes from the sun and make it much easier to see. The most popular companies to buy golf sunglasses from are Oakley and Nike. These brands will sell their sunglasses for about $70 to $150 each.
A tee is a skinny wooden peg on which the golf ball rests right before a golfer hits a tee shot. Golfers use a tee on the tee box, because having the ball lie just above the ground makes it easier to get the ball off the ground and into the air. Tees are not allowed to be used anywhere other than the tee box, but are not required on the box. Every golfer hits their driver off a tee, but on par three holes some opt not to use a tee while hitting an iron. Tees can be bought in bags for $10 per bag, but some courses also have free tees available to use.
Golf towels are towels that most golfers have clipped onto their bag or stored in their bag. These are useful because they can be used to clean dirt, grass, water, and more off of your clubs and balls. It is important to have clean clubs and balls so nothing can get in the way of your shot. Making clean and solid contact is extremely important, so using a towel to wipe away anything that could get in your way is always recommended. Towels are also inexpensive, typically costing around $20 each.
Training aids are practice tools that are designed to fix specific parts of a golfer's game. There are training aids out there for every aspect of the game from putting, chipping, driving, swing angles, and many more. Many golfers will use training aids to fix a certain part of their game. For example, using an alignment stick is a great way to fix your aim. Aids can not be used on the course, but can be used any time during practice. When buying a training aid, you must know what aspect of your game you want to work on and find a product specific to that issue. Depending on what aid you get, it can be inexpensive or expensive. However, many golfers use makeshift aids out of objects they already own.
In golf, umbrellas are used mostly by people who are walking the course on a rainy day. Golf umbrellas are typically larger than a regular umbrella because their purpose is not only to protect the golfer, but to protect their clubs as well. They are also very strong to protect against high winds. When buying one you should make sure it is light enough to handle, but also large enough in order to keep you and your clubs dry. Good golf umbrellas typically cost $30 to $70.
A water bottle is used by many golfers to store water during their round. This is important to have because golfers spend lots of time outside in the sun, so without having some water they could get dehydrated. Golfers can choose to bring their own water bottles, or they are almost always available for purchase in the clubhouse. Staying hydrated is a very important part of the game since it is strictly played outdoors. These will typically cost $10 to $20.
Wedges are a set of golf clubs that are designed for short range shots. Typically, wedges are used for shots hit inside of 125 yards away from the hole. While there are many different wedges, the most popular to use are the pitching wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. There are also many different wedges with varying degrees of loft such as a 60 degree wedge, 56, 58, and many more. There are so many different wedges because they each have different lofts and go different distances, so golfers want to have the exact club they need. Wedges are useful for chip shots, bunker shots, and many more short range shots. Wedges typically cost around $100 each, but can certainly be found for cheaper or more expensive depending on the brand.
The yardage book is a small book that contains illustrations of each hole with marked distances to certain locations on that given hole. Yardage books are available in a golf course's pro shop and help a golfer determine what kinds of shots should be hit on certain holes. Every professional caddie has these as rangefinders are not allowed on the pro tour, but anyone can get them. They typically cost about $20 to $30.
Although golf is a relatively simple sport by nature, it requires a decent amount of specialized equipment. Almost every golf course already has the flagsticks and holes in place. Each player brings their own set of clubs in a golf bag. Generally speaking, there is a limit of 14 clubs per bag, with each club designed explicitly for shots of different heights and distances. Bags should also be fully stocked with tees, ball markers, divot repair tools, and golf balls.
Many players elect to bring additional accessories for comfort and convenience, including golf gloves, yardage markers, towels, and ball shags (used to recover balls that have landed in the woods or a body of water).
Golfing equipment is unique because each piece of equipment is tailored for different scenarios that may arise during a typical round. For example, the 'driver' has a thick, dense head at the base of the club to hit the long ball far distances on the first shot of every hole. The next few shots are taken using 'irons,' and the club head of each iron is angled slightly differently depending on whether the player is only a handful of yards away from the hole or a few hundred yards.