A club and ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible.
How it works: The game is played on a course with 18 holes, though recreational courses can have nine holes. Each hole must contain a tee box to start from, and a putting green containing the hole or cup. There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough (long grass), bunkers, and various hazards (water, rocks). Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most commonly seen format at all levels, but most especially at the elite level.
Benefits: The pleasure of walking in fresh air, socialising, with an added mental challenge means golf releases endorphins which make you happy and relaxed. A Swedish study found golfers have a 40 per cent lower death rate, which corresponds to a five-year increase in life expectancy.
Give it a go at....
Shaw Hill Golf Club: A par 72 course laid out on parkland, based at Shaw Hill Golf Resort and Spa Hotel, Whittle-le-Woods. To enquire about membership call 0257 269221.
Longridge Golf Club: A 5,673 yards par 70 layout, with stunning views over the Ribble Valley, Forest of Bowland and Fylde coast. Located at Fell Barn, Jeffrey Hill. To enquire about membership call 01772 783291.
Preston Golf Club: An 18 hole, 6,278 yard, par 71 course set in 120 acres of parkland on the north side of Preston. Located at Fulwood Hall Lane, Preston. To enquire about membership call 01772 700011.
Penwortham Golf Club: The club, located in Blundell Lane, Penwortham, recently invested in 18 new USGA greens, which contributes to a rolling parkland course with a testing par of 69. For more information call 01772 74463.