Where Do You Play Golf?

Golfers typically play golf on a course. Over the years, a number of designers have spent time and money creating golf courses that offer a variety of challenges. Some golf courses are so popular because of location or design that professionals and amateurs from all over the world travel to play on certain courses. While you can practice golf in your backyard or at a park, you play on a course. The key is knowing the differences between the different types of courses.

Golf Courses Described by Length

Golf CourseFull-length golf courses are the most common types of courses, and the only types of courses that professionals play on in tournaments. They consist of either 9 or 18 holes, with a 9 hole course being able to be played twice to play a full 18-hole game. The lengths of these courses and the lengths from tees to holes are the longest distances found on a course. A shorter course is called an executive course. It's usually a 9-hole course that's designed for people who don't have a lot of time for a game, but still want to feel that they played a full game. The length of the course and the distance from tee to hole is also shorter on an executive course.

Par-3 and putt courses are the shortest of the courses, and they're used for amateurs who need to practice or junior players who want to sharpen their skills. The distance from tee to hole is very short, and the length is also shorter. These courses still have 9 to 18 holes, but the time needed to complete the course is much quicker based on its size.

Golf Courses Described by Ownership

When deciding to play, you may have to base your course decision on whether or not you have access to a course. While there are a number of beautiful courses throughout the world, not all courses are open to the public. Depending on who owns a course will determine if you have a chance to play. Basically there are two types of ownership, public and private.

Publicly owned golf courses often allow the public to play for a fee. Some courses may even offer days where playing is free, or have reduced rates for children or seniors. Public courses are often owned by a university, a municipality, or a person or industry willing to allow public use. Private ownership means that only members with privileges are allowed to access the course. A private course may be owned by an individual or a business entity, and membership requirements vary based on the type of club.

Another type of private club is one owned by a resort that offers golf only to guests of the resort. Some resorts will allow locals to play for a fee, but there may be special days and times that are off-limits to people who are not guests of the resort. Since there are a number of private and public golf courses available, it's usually not hard to find a course you like that will allow you to play.