Unlike most other sports there are almost no straight lines in golf and, OB aside, boundaries barely form a part of the game.
While there is a maximum of 14 clubs allowed, there is no minimum number required and if you want to use a persimmon-headed driver and muscle-back blades from the 80s, there is nothing to stop you.
Courses themselves come in all shapes and sizes as do competition formats. There is stroke, stableford, match play and par as well as team formats like aggregate and 4BBB.
And that’s just the formal game.
Step outside the confines of competition and a whole new world opens up, one where you can play alone or with others for as few or as many holes as you like.
You can play those holes from whatever tees you choose with whatever rules you invent to make it fun for all concerned.
Want to have a three-club challenge? Go right ahead. Want to dictate what club has to be used to play a particular shot? Feel free.
Of course, playing the same course all the time can get a little stale, but never fear. Unlike tennis courts, every golf course is different and you can spice things up simply by heading somewhere else.
Again, the options are almost endless. You can book a boys' trip to one of the fancy courses you see in the glossy golf magazines or simply head down the road and play a different local track.
Or maybe try pitch and putt (highly recommended for both fun and short game practise) or, if you’re so inclined, a range session instead to work on your swing.
And don’t be afraid to mix up your playing partners, too. One of the greatest things about golf is that players in the same group, or even the same team, don’t have to be in the same postcode in ability level to enjoy the game together.
You can tee it up with your grandmother or grandfather, granddaughter or grandson. Or all of them together (yes, in a group of five!)
You can play with mates or strangers, wives or husbands, business acquaintances or fellow club members.
Or you can play by yourself, hitting two balls off every tee and into every green and picking the worst one to hole out with. Or the best.
Because golf, you see, actually has very few rules - outside of competition at least.
And, in fact, there's no rule that forces you to play in those either.
NAT WHITTINGTON EXPLAINS ANGLE OF ATTACK:
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