Golf which was founded by the Scottish in the 15th century has survived various generations as well as various bans to become one of the most prestigious sports in the modern era. In the modern age, golf isn’t just a sport but a routine leisure activity for more people especially the elite in society, from the Scottish King James IV to the current US president. But aside the use as golf as a way to ‘cool off’, golf has actively featured in major tournament worldwide—from the US Open to the PGA tour, the best and big names in the world of golf have competed for the ultimate glory of being crowned the best in the sport. This intense battle for dominance brings to the fore the golf rules. We also review in an insightful manner, how to play the entertaining game of golf.
Table of Contents
How to Play Golf
The Objective of the Game
The objective of any sport is to earn as many points as possible, in golf, it is no different. Golfers try to get the ball by means of a cub from the starting point referred to as the tee, to the hole in few shots as much as they can.
Often referred to as a club and ball sports, golf is an individual sport, but team competitions ate not uncommon. Golfers equipped with cubs drive the golf ball from the starting point to the hole. The hole encompasses the physical hole which is indicated by a flag and the entire area from the starting point to the green where the physical hole is located. The tee and the green are just a single fraction of a standard golf course, which has 18 holes. Golfers play each hole in turns.
A standard golf course has 18 holes, but some golf courses have a total of 9 holes, played two times. The starting point in any golf course is indicated by markers which shows the bound of the tee point, the rough and then the green or putting green area where the pin also known as the flagstick stands which indicates the hole where the golf ball must be played in.
The hole in golf can either be a par three, par four or a par five-hole. Par refers to the number of strokes, the golf ball can be played before ending up in the hole. A par four hole requires just two strokes, the first stroke is called the drive where players swing the ball from the tee, with one more play, then the second stroke often call the approach occurs when a golfer play toward the green area, before one final play where the ball must be placed successfully in the hole. The hazards in a golf course sometimes require golfers to play an extra stroke.
The par distance is the distance from the tee to the hole. A par three hole measures about 250 yards or less, a par four hole is between the range of 251 yards and 475 yards. In professional tournament par, four holes measure about 500 yards, while a par five hole is more than 475 yards. The rating of par is hugely affected by the nature of the golf course. A downhill golf course often has a low par rating while an uphill golf course is given a high par rating. Hazards in a golf course, as well as the shape of the gold course, are contributing factors in par rating.
Though golf is mostly an individual sport, there are team competitions. About 80-160 golfers play in an individual tournament in groups of three or four. In team competitions such as the Ryder cup teams of 12 players from Europe and the US, play single matches and double matches.
A golfer requires various equipment in order to compete in the best manner possible, equipment used include the cub, which has a shaft and a grip at one end while the clubhead is at the other end. A golfer is allowed to have a maximum of 14 cubs in his bag while on the course. The golf shoes with metal spikes to ease traction is needed. A golf bag with various pockets for carrying various equipment is also needed. The golf ball is a white ball which is spherical.
In golf, there are various means of scoring, majorly the stroke play. In stroke play, players with the lowest score in the number of rounds played emerge, winner. If at the end of a complete all the rounds there is a tie, a playoff between the tied players is played. In the playoffs, players are eliminated by sudden death, where the player with the lowest score in a hole wins. This method is used in professional golf tournaments.
In major tournaments, the stroke-play system is used in deciding the winner of such tournaments. The player who completes 72 holes in the least shot emerges winner of the tournament.
- By means of standard cubs, the ball is hit into the hole, from the tee to the green, before the ball is placed in the hole.
- Striking of the ball takes place in turns, starting with the player farthest from the hole. At the commencement of a new round, the player with the least shot in the previous round goes first.
- Penalties are given if there was an extra swing of the ball or if the ball is hit in an unplayable position. Stroke penalty is awarded as a result of such infractions. In the case of a lost ball or a ball played out of bound, stroke penalty and an additional distance from the starting point. The two-stroke penalty is awarded when a player hits another player’s ball.
- Players can seek advice from only their caddy during play.
- Players must have a maximum of 14 cubs during play.
- The ball must be played the way it is found. Movement, bending, breaking or fixing of the ball is not allowed.
- Players can lift, mark and clean the ball on the putting green, but it must be placed exactly where it was. Players can repair ball or hole marks but cannot repair spike mark on the putting line.
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