Golf is a solo sport in which the player uses a club to strike a ball off a tee into a hole. The goal is to use the fewest possible swings or club strokes to get the ball into the hole. People of all ages enjoy the sport of golf, which is incredibly popular. Although golf is frequently played in a competitive setting, it can also be played for leisure and to simply take in the outdoors.
➮Short History of Golf
Golf was invented and first played in Scotland in the 15th century. Golf quickly spread to England and from there throughout the world. The first Golf Club, The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, was formed in Scotland in 1744. The first official rule guides were published not much later. In United States, the PGA was formed in 1916 ushering professional golf. Today golf is a very popular sport with major golf tournaments drawing huge crowds both live and on television.
➮The game -Golf
▸Summary-The idea of golf is to get the ball in each of the 18 holes in the fewest strokes possible. The golfer tees off for each hole with the aim of getting the ball as close as possible to the putting green – or as close to the hole as possible.
▸Par– You will hear the term ‘par’ a lot, and whether a golfer is ‘under’ or ‘over’ it. Under par is good, whereas over par is not quite as good.
The common par for a hole is three which means the golfer must try to get the ball in the hole from the teeing ground in three strokes. This par could be two, four and rarely, five.
If he or she does it two strokes for a ‘par’ of three, they are -1 (1 under par). If they do it in four strokes, they are +1 (1 over par). If they do it on three, their score is 0, they are therefore on par.
Note: The lower the score the better.
▸Scoring terms– Naturally there are names for each of the different scores
|Ace||Hole in one|
|Albatross/double eagle||Three strokes under par on a hole|
|Eagle||Two strokes under par on a hole|
|Birdie||One stroke under par on a hole|
|Par||The expected level|
|Bogey||One stroke over par on a hole|
|Double bogey||Two strokes over par on a hole|
▸Penalties– As you would expect, there are penalties in golf that, unless you’ve been paying attention, can be quite confusing.
|Out-of-bounds||2-stroke penalty (the stroke you hit plus one penalty stroke). Play the ball from your last shot point|
|Whiff||Each time you swing for the ball counts|
|Unplayable lies||1-stroke penalty. Place the ball (no nearer the hole) within two club lengths of the original spot; drop the ball as far back as you want, keeping the original spot between you and the hole; or return to the point from which you hit the previous shot|
|Water hazard||1-stroke penalty. Play the ball from its original position. Play from as close as possible to the spot from which you played the previous shot. Or drop the ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard between the hole and the spot where you drop the ball, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard you drop it|
|Lateral water hazard||1-stroke penalty. Play the ball from its original position. Place the ball outside the hazard within two club lengths of where the ball last crossed the margin of the lateral water hazard (but no nearer the hole), or within two club lengths from a Alternately, play the ball as it lies without grounding the club for no penalty|
➮Common Golf Terms
▸Golf Course Terms
- Golf Tee – The wooden peg you place your golf ball on at the start of the hole.
- Golf Tee Box – The area in which you first play the ball at the start of the hole.
- Fairway – The part of the golf course that leads to the green, usually where putting takes place.
- The green – The soft, plush ground surrounding the hole.
- The rough – The wild area on either side of the fairway. This area is often filled with trees and long grass.
- Bunker – A sand–filled ditch that usually surrounds the green.
- Hazard – Streams, ponds, bunkers, trees. Anything that comes between you and successfully getting the golf ball in the hole.
▸Golf Scoring Terms
- Ace – A hole in one.
- Eagle – 2 strokes under par.
- Birdie – 1 stroke under par (sometimes called a double eagle).
- Par – The standard number of strokes it should take to get the golf ball from the tee to the hole.
- Bogey – 1 stroke above par.
- Double Bogey – 2 strokes above par.
- Triple Bogey – 3 strokes above par.
➮Common Golf Etiquette
Although golf is a competitive sport, there are general guidelines and etiquette that are expected to be followed on the course. While not found in the official rule book, these guidelines are expected to be followed at all golf courses, including our Deerfield Beach, Florida course.
- Don’t talk during someone’s backswing.
- Don’t walk through someone else’s line (the line from their ball to the hole).
- Don’t hit the ball into the group ahead of you. Wait for them to finish.
- If a group behind you is playing faster, consider letting them go first at the next hole.
- Avoid angry outbursts.
➮What, When, and Where Are the Major Professional Golf Tournaments Held?
A great way to learn more about the game of golf is to watch the professionals. Watching professional players golf can also give you pointers on your own game and set an example for yourself. The major golf tournaments are as follows:
- The Four Majors (Grand Slam: win all four in a calendar year. Tiger Slam: hold all four at one time).
- The Masters – First week of April and always held at the same place every year: the Augusta National Golf Club.
- The US Open – Mid-June and held at various golf courses around the United States.
- The Open – Mid-July and held at various golf courses around the United Kingdom. Also referred to as the British Open.
- PGA Championship – Mid-August and held on the eastern side of the United States.
- The Ryder Cup – End of September. The Ryder Cup is the most important team golf tournament. The tournament is between the United States and Europe.
- The Barclays – Mid-June and held at various golf courses, especially around the New York area.
- The Travelers – Late June, at the TPC River Highlands course.