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Mythbuster

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Is something putting you off playing golf? It may not be what you think…

Myth 1 – You have to buy loads of expensive equipment
Golf clubs don’t cost as much as some people think. You can get a decent half set of clubs for the same price as a pair of Predator football boots, and there are plenty of sources online where you can purchase a great second hand set.

Myth 2 – You have to join a ‘members-only’ club and there’ll be a waiting list
Waiting lists are pretty much a thing of the past and clubs are more welcoming than ever. Dozens of courses offer good value ‘pay and play’ options. Plus, Scotland has a proud history of public courses run by the local council. These are friendly, flexible and plentiful. For example, there are six public courses in Edinburgh alone – just book a time, turn up, tee off!

Myth 3 – Courses are really expensive
There are famous courses where green fees are higher, but that’s the same in many sports: it costs a great deal to go salmon fishing on the Tay, but most anglers get great pleasure from fishing on their nearest river. In Scotland we have an abundance of golf courses and the vast majority offer excellent value for money.

Myth 4 – You need a handicap to play golf
No, you don’t. You need one if you want to play in formal competitions, but not if you’re just playing with friends.

Myth 5 – Golf is a difficult game to play
It’s actually quite simple to pick up. A bit of coaching to start you off, a couple of visits to the driving range and you’ll soon be hitting the ball. You’ll need to practice to get better, of course, but that’s where the fun is!

Myth 6 – There’s too many rules to remember
Golf does have some simple rules to help you navigate your way around a course, but you’ll pick these up naturally and they’ll start to stick the more you play, and there will be other players around to help. Hardly anyone knows the rule book backwards – it’s like being a lawyer – you only need to refer to books on specific occasions, so it doesn’t need to stop you just going out and enjoying the game. The etiquette is just about showing respect out on the course so you are aware of others – and where their balls are!

Myth 7 – Golf is a game for fuddy-duddies
What do Harry Styles, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, and David Beckham have in common? Or Kristen Stewart, Eva Longoria, and Jessica Alba, apart from being famous? They all play golf. Even celeb couples Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have been spotted together on the course. And more Scottish schoolchildren than ever before are trying out the sport – 51,010 of them in 2014 alone!

Myth 8 - Golf is a game for men
Golf is a game for all. Unlike any other sport, golf’s unique handicap system allows people of different abilities to play and compete together. With plenty of time for conversation on the course and a great social life in the club house, it's a great game for women and men alike.
There are some great women players, such as Laura Davies, Annika Sorenstam, Lydia Ko, and Catriona Matthew. Golf offers a winning combination of exercise, sporting skill and social interaction that make it the perfect tonic for health and happiness.

Myth 9 - Golf takes all day to play
Golf doesn’t need to take hours and hours or indeed any longer than activities such as going to the cinema, the gym, or out for dinner. It can take as much time as you’ve got after work, while the kids are at a birthday party, or on a Saturday morning before the rest of the family wakes up.

The average round of 18 holes may take four hours but you can play just nine holes in half the time and shorter formats such as par 3 courses, pitch and putt, Adventure golf and driving ranges are also great ways to fit in quick, fun sessions.

Don't let time constraints put you off playing, sometimes less really does mean more…