Standing in 9th position as the world's most popular sport, golf has an estimated 450 million fans who enjoy either spectating, watching golf on TV, or playing the game or via online gaming platforms and virtual reality.
Since originating on the eastern coast of Scotland, the game of golf has evolved somewhat. For instance, the original equipment used to play included bent sticks hitting pebbles over tracks and dunes.
However, in the 15th century, the popularity of golf impaired the nation's ability to defend itself against an enemy as many neglected their duty to complete military training. As such, King James II banned golf in 1457.
But, despite the ban, people continued to play golf regardless. And in 1502, the game was reinstated with a seal of royal approval from King James IV of Scotland.
Although golf was originally restricted to “wealthy, overweight Protestants”, today it’s open to anybody who owns hideous clothing! - Dave Berry
The game's popularity has increased somewhat since its inception with more people wanting to indulge in the many benefits playing golf brings, such as;
- Low impact exercise
- Being outdoors for longer periods
- Mental simulation
- Character building
- Strengthening business relationships
- Stress relief
One of the biggest developments in golf to date is the ability for fans to play using a golf simulator and virtual reality software. Which brings its own added benefits, such as;
- The ability to play in all-weather.
- Easy to set up and play around with busy schedules.
- Customised golf enclosures and impact screens fit a variety of spaces in the home.
- The chance to become a master champion ahead of the next season.
With winter upon us but the need to play golf still looming, playing online is a strong alternative. So, for a rundown of the best online golf courses to play right now, continue reading…
Starting at the home where golf began, St. Andrews allows players to play multiple courses in the Links Trust including the world famous ‘Old’ – a true iconic venue.
Franklin Hills Country Golf Club
Arguably an underrated design, Franklin Hills features pristine greens, a volcano hole and some interesting strategic placements off the tee, making this a must-play for the experience alone.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Playing golf by the sea is a dream for many fans, and the simulation of Pebble Beach is the next best thing to the real-life setting, allowing players to be near cliff-sides and the Pacific Ocean.
The scenery includes sweeping artificial flat lies of grass, making this the perfect setting to put your golfing abilities to use.
Sweetens Cove Golf Club
The course was designed by Rob Collins and Tad King and the design is difficult, firm and fast.
The allocated slots for booking a bay vary, but usually, they're around an hour.
So, if you're playing alone and want to practice, consider using the last 15 minutes to play on Sweetens Cove Golf Course.
Rio 2016 Olympic Golf Course
The architect Gil Hanse's work was brought to life here featuring tight surrounds and shorter grass run-offs.
This course is popular because it is one of a few where players need to hit balls strategically into slopes and shape their shots.
Much like St. Andrews, Rio's course is best known for firm greens, fairways and challenging pins.
Royal St.Georges Club
Featuring beautiful landscapes St Georges reveals lush green lawns unlike any other. From the rolls and old-school contours and stunning views.
Casa De Campo (Teeth of the Dog)
Another firm favourite for golfers who enjoy ocean views, Casa De Camp, created by Pete Dye, is a visually pleasing golf site that gently slopes towards the cliff side and then dips into the ocean.
Furthermore, this course has consecutively won a position in the world's top 100 golf courses, so be sure to try it out when the need for a simulated sea view whilst playing.
With some of the best-simulated golf courses you can play online, you'll be sure to keep boredom at bay during the winter season, improve your golfing skills and have a lot of fun as you do.