10 Common Myths About Golf Debunked

Date Published: 23/12/2021

Golf has been around for centuries – in fact, it’s thought that the modern game of golf dates back to 15th-century Scotland. With so much history, it’s understandable that there’s a little bit of misinformation going around.

However, these myths could stop people who may be interested in the game from playing. So, we’re here to debunk some of the most common myths about golf.

Getting into golf is expensive

You’ll probably have seen the headlines, “golf is officially the most expensive sport” but in reality, golf is only ever going to be as expensive as you make it.

If you decide to buy designer clothing, brand new equipment , and sign-up to premium and exclusive clubs, then the pounds will add up quickly.

According to a report from England Golf, the average cost of a full adult membership was £901 in 2018, which works out at £75 per calendar month.

However, there are different levels of membership and many clubs offer reduced fees based on age and desired tee times. Also, if you don’t need all the amenities often included, membership can be cheaper or if you decide to join a public golf club rather than a private one, this will also likely reduce membership fees.

Starting out in golf also doesn’t mean you need to join a club, if for whatever reason it doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. There are lots of ‘pay-and-play’ courses which are great places to enjoy the game and now, with the launch of iGolf, regular golfers who are non-club members can experience the benefits of an official WHS Handicap Index, and access to a wider golfing community, at a much lower cost. The subscription is £46 for 12 months, averaging at just £3.66 per month.

…but you can’t play golf without being a member of a club

You do not need to be part of a club to play and enjoy what the great game of golf has to offer! Golf club memberships don’t work for everyone. Factors such as cost, location and even lifestyle, mean a membership doesn’t work at present for some golf lovers. As mentioned before, there are lots of pay-and-play courses that present variety and challenge for a green fee or you can play golf in private clubs through tee time requests and private events.

If you want to get into golf and want to track your progress without having to commit to a membership, subscribing to iGolf means you can obtain an Official Handicap and be part of the golfing community without actually having to join a club.

You need to invest in golf clubs before you get started

While it is true that you can’t play golf without golf clubs, there’s no need to spend money on a brand new set before you’ve even set foot on a golf course or driving range. Many venues rent equipment, or, you can borrow a friend or family member’s clubs or even buy good quality second hand clubs.

Golf isn’t a real sport

While golf may not seem as active in comparison to other sports, it is highly competitive and taxing both physically and mentally.

It takes physical strength, flexibility and stamina to play and whilst golf is low-impact and doesn’t cause as much stress on muscles and joints, a round can still burn over ~1400 calories.

…and professional golfers aren’t athletes

Have you even heard of Tiger Woods! Golf is a sport, and gone are the days when you could compete with the best without being an athlete. To be a professional golfer you need high levels of muscle strength and endurance, as well as flexibility and fitness.

Take Tiger Woods. Arguably the greatest golfer of all time and almost everyone would consider him an athlete. His workout routines and diet are well known and even his list of injuries highlights just the physical work it takes to be at the highest level of the sport.

Practicing at a driving range is bad

You’ve probably heard a few people say that practicing at a driving range can lead to bad swing habits but you know what they say – practice makes perfect.

Whilst a driving range doesn’t offer the exact same experiences as being out on a course, it offers a great convenient and accessible environment where you can iron out any problems you may have with your game.

Golf courses are only for good golfers

Whatever level you’re at, you have just as much right to be on a golf course as anyone else. In fact, learning on a golf course is a great way to jump straight in and get experience.

With the World Handicap System (WHS) in place, playing against those with years of experience (both recreationally and competitively) doesn’t need to be s nerve wracking, because you can compete on a level playing field. Pair this with iGolf, and you can keep track of your handicap, monitor your friends and see how your scores stack up against golfers just like you. The WHS also factors in course and slope rating, meaning your Handicap Index can go up or down depending on the difficulty level of the golf course you are playing and the tees you choose to play from that day. This makes the game far more enjoyable at every level.

Golf is a male-only sport

Whilst golf has historically been a male-dominated sport, women have been playing golf for decades and that male dominance is changing.

According to The Golf Business, the ratio of male to female golfers is starting to shift, with the number of female golfers in the British Isles growing from 400,000 to 1.46 million during the pandemic (2019 – 2020). As a result, the proportion of women grew 14 percent year-on-year.

Golf is an inclusive sport, potentially uniquely so – anyone at any age, gender, race or sexuality can play.

You shouldn’t use your wrists

You may have heard golfers state that you shouldn’t use your wrists in a golf swing, but in reality, moving your wrists can help with the direction, speed and distance of a shot.

You need to wear a hat to play golf

It isn’t compulsory to wear a hat when playing golf. In fact, the main reason people choose to wear hats whilst on the golf course is to protect themselves from the elements.

In the summer it is common for golfers to wear hats with peaks in order to shield themselves from the sun, and in winter woolly hats keep you warm during the cold snap.

What is iGolf?

iGolf is a programme developed by England Golf which offers an official WHS handicap index and personal liability insurance. Designed for non-club members, iGolf aims to create a digital community and allows individuals to track their performance and playing ability under the jurisdiction of the World Handicap System.

To find out more about iGolf, get in touch with igolf@englandgolf.org.