Golf ABC

About golf

Golf is a centuries-old sporting pastime that perfectly combines outdoor exercise, socialising and sport. Golf as a sport is played all over the world.

The simplified aim of golf is to get the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible (18 holes in total) over a course of 100 to 600 metres.

Golf is played in groups of one to four and an 18-hole game usually lasts between 3.5 and 4.5 hours, during which time you will usually walk 10 kilometres and hit around 100 shots. The average calorie intake during a game is between 1500 and 2000 kilocalories.

In Estonia, golf is played by more than 4000 people, of whom about 4000 are active club members. There are a total of ten golf courses in Estonia.

Photo: Kadri Palta

In Estonia, golf is only 30 years old and therefore has fewer players, but in neighbouring Finland, for example, there are already over 150 000 golfers and around 150 courses.

Despite its outward serenity, golf is in fact a very demanding sport, as every shot requires concentration and physical effort, and to maximise all of this over the course of four hours requires great skill and concentration. Golf is played by a wide variety of people all over the world, from musicians like Iggy Pop to statesmen like Barack Obama. In Estonia, for example, golf is played by Erik Orgu, Hanno Pevkur, Erkki Sarapuu, Henry Kõrvits, who goes by the stage name Genka (and other Estonian rappers), Kirsti Timmer, Joel Juht, Priit Pajusaar, Ott Tänak and Kelly Sildaru. So golf can be an exciting and engaging sport for anyone to get involved in, irrespective of their age, their day job or their existing knowledge.



There are several ways to do this:

– In Estonia, golf days are organised three times a summer specifically to introduce the game of golf, giving an overview of the game and introducing all aspects of the game.

– Or you can simply go to a golf course of your choice and ask for a demonstration of how to get started.

– Alternatively, you can sign up for a Green Card course at a course of your choice or simply at the course nearest to you. A Green Card is valid worldwide.

– Once you have completed the Green Card course, you can play golf on your own or develop your skills with a coach or golfing friends.



Golf is a very competitive sport because of the handicap (HCPI) system, which measures each player’s skill level and assigns a level number, or handicap, from 54 to a lower number. The lower the handicap, the stronger the player’s level. This number represents the number of strokes to complete the 18 holes given in addition. For example: if you have an HCP of 54 and you are playing in a competition with a person who has an HCP of 36, if you make 18 strokes more than the other competitor, you are still tied. Such a system is very motivating as it allows players of different levels to compete together, and everyone always has the opportunity to improve their level.



Unlike many other sports, golf is played without a referee, because respect for each other and the rules is high and respected. However, there are referees present at larger competitions, but this is to help competitors interpret the more complex rules.

It has become good practice at golf clubs and courses to greet every person on the way or, for example, for gentlemen to remove their headgear when entering the clubhouse and being greeted.

Dress is also part of golfing etiquette. When it comes to clothing, there is a lot of room for interpretation, with collared ‘polo’ shirts, plain trousers rather than blue jeans and athletic footwear usually appropriate. Of course, it is also possible to buy special clothing made for golf in golf equipment shops.

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