Get Golfing! Kickstarter Guide to Golf

Get set for an exciting journey into the world of Golf. It all begins with your experience at the Driving Range. It is a great game for all ages; male or female and for all kinds of fitness levels. To get started, all you need to do is head down to one of the local public driving range listed below.

Get Started at your Local Driving Range

The Clubs with the Driving Ranges listed below are public access. Most of them charge little to none entry fees. The balls are usually charged per basket and if you go on non-peak periods, it will be even cheaper. Please contact the clubs to find out about the rates of the baskets of balls charged at their respective ranges.

List of Clubs with Public Access Driving Ranges

As you forge your skills in the game, you will realise that your foundation will be built around these key pillars in golf. Long Game, Short Game and the Rules of Golf.

Long Game

In the long game, power and distance are required so that the player can reach the putting green in as few strokes as possible. This consist of the drive and the fairway shot.

The drive is the first shot taken on a hole and it is made with the ball elevated on a tee and is typically struck with a club called a driver. The goal is to hit the ball as far as possible and in position for the next shot. On shorter holes, a fairway club or even an iron can be substituted for the driver.

With the fairway shot, the player tries to get as close as possible to the green while avoiding any hazards that may lie in the course. If the distance to the green is long, a fairway wood may be used. For shorter shots, irons will be used to hit onto the green.

Short Game

If the golfer is now within reasonable striking distance of the green with the ball located on the fairway, the short game now comes into play. The clubs used are the shorter (higher-numbered) irons since elevation and accuracy are usually more important than distance at this point. The object is to land on the green as close to the hole as possible to facilitate putting.

Two important elements of the short game are pitching and chipping. Pitching is necessary when a player runs into a difficult situation such as when a ball lands in a bunker. While using a pitching or sand wedge, the player attempts to elevate the ball so it exits the trap and lands back on the course in the most favorable position possible. Chipping is a form of approach shot where the player is close to the green and wants to hit the ball a short distance so that it lands on the green and rolls toward the hole. The shot is made with either a wedge or short iron.

The final element of the short game, and for many players the most difficult to master, is putting. This occurs when the ball is on the green, and requires the use of a short, flat club called a putter. At this point, touch and feel are more important than power, so much practice and knowledge of the slope of the green are important to be successful.

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Rules of Golf

Now that you know what the various shots required are, next you can learn about the rules of golf as it will make your playing of the game an enjoyable experience.

The Rules of Golf are universal but unlike many other sports, are applied by the players themselves. Therefore, every golfer should carry a Rules of Golf book, which is free and available from most golf clubs or state associations. The Rules outlined here are very simple but will assist initially.

Playing the ball as it lies

The Rules generally do not permit you to improve the position of the ball. You may not bend or break anything growing or fixed except in taking a fair swing. You are not allowed to press anything down but you can remove loose natural impediments such as stones, twigs or fallen leaves without penalty, except in a hazard. In a bunker or a water hazard, you are not permitted to ground your club before you hit the ball.

Lost ball and “provisional” ball

If you think your ball may be lost or out of bounds, you can save time by hitting a second ball from the same spot. This ball is called a “provisional ball” and you must tell your partners of your intention to play a “provisional” before doing so. You are allowed a maximum of five minutes to look for a lost ball. If you find your ball and it is in bounds, you must pick up the provisional and continue to play with the original ball. If your first ball is lost or out of bounds you must continue to play with the provisional ball counting all your strokes, plus one penalty stroke.

Unplayable ball

Sometimes a ball may land in a position where it is very difficult or impossible to hit. If you decide you cannot hit your ball you may declare the ball unplayable, except in a hazard. You may then pick it up and drop it at one of the positions below adding one penalty stroke to your score.

1. at the spot from which the original ball was last played; or
2. at a point any distance back from the spot where the ball lay in line with the hole; or
3. within two club-lengths of where the ball lay but not nearer the hole.

If you declare the ball unplayable in a bunker and you decide to drop under options 2 or 3, you must drop the ball in the bunker.

Water hazards

If you hit your ball into a water hazard, you may play the ball as it lies without grounding your club or:

  • play another ball at the spot from which the original ball was last played, taking a one stroke penalty; or
  • drop a ball behind the water hazard keeping the point where your ball last crossed the margin of the hazard in line with the hole and the spot where you drop the ball. There is again a one stroke penalty; or
  • If the hazard is marked with red stakes, you may also drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than where it last crossed the margin of the hazard, or at a point on the opposite side of the margin.

Taking a drop

There are some instances under the Rules of Golf where you can pick up the ball and relocate it – sometimes with a penalty and sometimes without a penalty. To drop the ball, you must stand upright, hold the ball at shoulder height and arms length and drop it. If you drop it and it accidentally touches yourself, your partner or equipment before it strikes the ground, or it rolls closer to the hole, you must drop the ball again, without penalty.

On the green

You can repair ball marks and old ball plugs on the green if these affect your putting line. However you may not repair spike marks. You may remove leaves and other loose impediments on the line of your putt and you may also mark the position of your ball to pick it up and clean it.

Local Rules

Most golf courses have Local Rules which are specific to their club. You will find these either on the back of the score card or prominently displayed at the clubhouse.

To learn more about the Rules of Golf, Click HERE

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Achieve your Proficiency Certificate

After a few lessons on your swing and knowing some of the basic rules of the game, you are well on your way on achieving your proficiency certificate. It is the key that will allow you to start playing on the greens. Just book a date with the local pro at the driving range and he will take you out for a courtesy round, a round where your skills will be assessed. After a couple of holes, you are truly on your way to create memorable experiences out on the golf course.

You can now kick-start your golfing adventures with a round on a 9-hole course and get the first taste on the greens.

Choose to also play an 18-hole round at over 11 Golf Clubs and 14 Golf Courses in Singapore at visitor rates, even if you are not a member of a golf club yet.

Alternatively, you can choose to join any one of the 11 member clubs or 5 associate clubs.

Click HERE for the list of Member and Associate Clubs.

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Pursuing Your Handicap

With every swing, you draw nearer to a golfer’s badge of honour – a Handicap. It serves as a scoring goal and a source of motivation every time you play on the golf course. Whilst Handicaps are mainly issued by Golf Clubs, you can still have your handicap maintained by one of our 5 Associate member clubs through SGA’s Centralised Handicapping System.

To start your Handicap, just submit a total of five scorecards from five rounds played to the Centralised Handicapping System maintained by your club and Voila!, you will be issued with one.

After each game, your scores can be seamlessly recorded using the online App to the Centralised Handicapping System

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