There are three main choices when deciding where to play golf - Driving Ranges, Pay As You Play and Golf Clubs.
A great place to be introduced to golf, anyone can simply turn up and either use their own clubs, hire or borrow if having a lesson. Ranges are normally surrounded by netting or a sufficiently safe area so that whacking a few golf balls without getting into trouble isn’t a problem.
Ranges are a great place to safely hit balls as hard as you can, or where you can experiment with different techniques. This is OK for a bit of fun now and again but definitely not the way to improve. Use a Range to practice what you have been taught and ideally think and play as you would on the golf course. Watch the video at New Golfers / Practice. Some Ranges are simply an open field with distance markers, or there may be actual target greens at staggered distances. All you need to do is purchase a bucket of balls which usually come in different quantities find a free bay or stall and off you go. Some Ranges also have designated areas to work on chipping and putting skills.
There are thousands of Ranges throughout the UK, some are attached to Golf Clubs but most are independent and there will probably be one not far from you.
Pay As You Play:
A Pay As You Pay golf course is exactly what is says – you simply pay a fee for your golf whenever you play. A PAYP course normally does not have memberships or joining fees - although there are exceptions to every rule. PAYP are often 9 holes. Sometimes just with 9 short holes which are brilliant for beginners.
A directory of Pay As You Play Courses will follow...
The traditional way to find somewhere to play golf was simply to become a member of a Golf Club.
Golf clubs can either be owned by a proprietor or company, owned by local authorities Municipal Golf Clubs, or Private members’ clubs which are owned by the members. Most golf clubs welcome visitors who pay a fee to play the course once.
A directory of Golf Clubs which are actively seeking new members and are ' beginner 'friendly will follow...