Cricket and golf are two very popular games across the world. They attract large groups of followers at competition level, with everyone eager to see if their team or player will win.
Both games are also accessible for novice players, and you will find cricket clubs and golf clubs in most towns and cities. With indoor and outdoor facilities there is certainly plenty of scope to get started, so you might want to look for the correct gear in order to play. This article looks at the differences between what is needed to play cricket, versus what is needed to play golf.
There are a number of essential items required to play cricket, and some that are recommended but not necessary when you are just starting out. Starting with clothing, you will probably have noticed from watching the game that players wear white. This is seen as a requirement and you will need white shirt, trousers and socks. Batting shorts are worn, as are cricket briefs. You will also notice that cricket jumpers are donned when the weather is slightly colder, as well as caps when the sun is out to give you better vision in bright light and protect your head from the rays. The entire get up has to be white in order to comply. Technically, when teams are training, they wear trousers, hoodies, and tops more reminiscent of tracksuits, but one must never play an actual match in these. You may also find base layers are helpful on colder days.
The footwear consists of cricket boots which have spikes to ensure you do not fall over on wet grass. Boots without spikes are also available but you should never just wear trainers as the boots are also reinforced to ensure that if the ball hits you, your feet and toes are protected. There are specific boots for different playing positions, such as the bowler, the all-rounder and the batsmen but these are considered optional, and standard cricket boots can be worn by every player.
The next thing to take into account is your protection, the cricket ball is very hard and moves at serious speed. If it collides with you it will hurt. Essentially you must ensure you have batting pads, gloves, thigh guards, inner thigh guards, abdomen guards including a box or cup and a helmet which is incredibly vital to avoid brain injuries. These are all worn by the batter, and the fielders wear their helmets and cups. The wicketkeeper has special wicket-keeping gloves and pads which are different again. Some wicketkeepers choose to wear a mouthguard, and also chest guards and guards but these are not seen as essential.
Finally, you need to consider your bat, at a beginner level you will find that a club house may have general use bats that anyone can play with. But as soon as you commit to the game your own bat is vital. You will soon find nothing else has the same feel and you do not feel as confident using a different bat. The best ones are made of English Willow, but Kashmir Willow is more common and less expensive. You could also add a plastic covering, a different grip for the handle and a toe guard.
Comparatively, the game of golf is seen as more genteel. You are nowhere near the ball landing, so the likelihood of being hit is much less. This means there is no requirement for protective gear as such. However, dress codes are very strict, and you will be refused entry to a green if you are not dressed properly.
A golf shirt must have a collar, it is unacceptable to wear a T-shirt. You may wear long sleeves or short sleeves; the collar is the important part. With this in mind most clubs suggest polo shirts, as they are less formal than a button shirt and offer freedom of movement. They also allow you to stay cool: a synthetic polo shirt evaporates sweat in hot climates whereas a cotton polo shirt will help you stay warmer when it is cold.
You may play in either shorts or long trousers, but they must have belt loops, you cannot wear jogging bottoms or drawstring waist shorts. If you wear shorts, they should reach the knee, not be shorter. Chinos are considered the most appropriate both as long trousers and shorts, and you should stick to plain colours such as beige, cream, grey, khaki or tan. Only experienced players, and those with history in club hierarchy should be seen in white, pink or bright colours. If you stay long enough and develop into an experienced player, you will be able to dress more brightly. Do not, ever, wear three quarter length shorts, drawstring shorts, or white trousers.
When it comes to golf shoes you will find three options. Steel spikes, soft spikes, and spikeless. Again, there are strict rules and etiquette, and you should never buy steel spike shoes. The majority of golf courses will not allow amateurs to wear steel spikes they are reserved for pro use only. This leaves you with a choice of soft spikes, and spikeless. Soft spikes are made from plastic or rubber and are gentler to the green. They are your best bet, as they will afford you grip, as slipping on wet grass can be rather embarrassing and be acceptable gear from a club point of view. Alternatively, if you find studded shoes uncomfortable and put too much pressure on the soles of your feet spikeless shoes have special rubber studs that offer a gentler experience.
Overall, there are not that many similarities between the gear needed for golf and cricket. They are quite different games, but do you have similar levels of etiquette, and players must dress appropriately in order to be accepted onto the greens.
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