Never played golf before? It’s never too early or late to start. You’ll probably find it’s helpful to start with a few lessons at your local club, and they’ll be able to advise you on the kind of equipment it’s worth stocking up on. But just in case you haven’t made it that far yet and you’re wondering what you need, here are a few of the basics.

First thing - lots of golf balls! You will definitely end up losing a few of these in the course of your time playing golf, but that’s just what happens when you hit a small ball into the distance and then have to go and find it. Nothing to be ashamed about, but do bring some extra balls for when it happens.

The same goes for golf tees. You’ll use them to tee-off at the start of each hole, and you’ll probably find many of them disappear into the distance that moment. Have some spares.

Golf clubs. You’ll want your own set of clubs in time, and it’s best to go and get advice on this for you personally, according to your height and build and preferred game play. However, in the early stages, you can hire clubs without going to the expense of buying them outright.

When you’re playing golf at a proper club, you’ll normally want to dress in smart clothes, with collars and full-length trousers, probably not jeans. Golf shoes will also be required. These are waterproof and have spikes, which is important to keep your feet from slipping, without damaging the course.

You’ll want to keep track of your score as you play, so a scorecard, with a pencil is useful to measure your own progress against previous rounds, and so that you can check your scores against your opponents.

A large golf umbrella. Umbrellas are useful for all kinds of situations, but in golf the need for one is so common that golf umbrellas are designed specifically for the purpose. Many golf bags are specially designed so that a golf umbrella can be slipped in conveniently at the side in case the weather turns for the worse.

Those are some of the essentials - no excuses now to go and play your first round!