Golf is one of the oldest sports in the world and in this game, a golfer uses a selection of clubs, to hit a ball into a hole which is denoted by a flag. A typical hole looks like this (refer the images), with different terrain and obstacles to make it challenging to play. The object of the game is to get your ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible.
Equipments in Golf
To start, a golfer must have the correct equipment. Each player must use golf balls that they can identify as their own and usually they mark the ball with a pen or a marker. A golfer is allowed no more than 14 clubs in his bag. If they are found with more than 14, a two shot penalty is added to the first hole.
The game starts at the first hole. A player will start by hitting their golf ball within two club lengths behind the markers. The aim of this first shot is to hit the ball as close to the hole as possible. Once they have completed their shot, it’s their opponents turn to do the same. In Golf, it is customary for the person, who is furthest from the hole, to make the next shot. Players alternate shots until both players have put their balls into the hole. The amount of strokes it took to sink the ball is recorded, and then they move onto the next hole.
The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule of golf is that you must play the ball as it lies. You cannot move the ball or the environment around it to create a better shot for yourself. Doing so will result in a two stroke penalty.
A game is typically played over 9 or 18 holes. The player who completes the course in the fewest amount of strokes, wins. The beauty about Golf is that no two holes are exactly alike anywhere in the world ! Every golf course is different and each one is designed to make it challenging to get the ball into the hole.
Obstacles of Golf
There are obstacles such as water hazards, bunkers, roughs and surroundings that make it an interesting challenge. Golfers use different clubs to achieve different types of precision shots to combat these obstacles.
Rules of Golf
That’s basically all you need to know initially, but there’s a few rules that you’ll also need to know before playing or watching. For example:
a) Par – Each hole have an average number of shots that a typical golfer should complete it in, based on difficulty and length. This is known as the ‘par’ of the hole. Depending on how you performed on the hole determines how your shot is designated. If you manage to sink the ball in one stroke fewer than par, this is known as a birdie. One stroke more than par is known as a bogeys.
b) Hole in One – If you manage to hit your ball into the hole on the very first shot, this is known as a hole in one. Hole in ones are typically shot on holes, with a Par of 3, as they are generally shorter than other holes.
c) Penalty – A penalty is an extra stroke that is added to your score.
d) Ball unplayable – Sometimes it’s not possible to play a shot because of where the ball has landed. If this happens, you must declare the ball unplayable and you have the following three options. In any case, this carries a one stroke penalty.
Some more Rules…
e) Water Hazard – There are two types of water hazard surrounding a golf course. If you hit your ball into the water, this will incur a one stroke penalty.
f) Bunker – These are the pits of sand that are usually near the green where the hole is situated. Balls that land in the bunker are difficult to play. You cannot disrupt the sand prior to hitting the ball, and you cannot remove natural objects such as twigs, or grass from the bunker.
g) Lost Ball – Sometimes you cannot find your ball. If you cannot find your ball within 5 minutes, this is known as a lost ball you must go back to where you hit previous shot and play the shot again. This also carries a one stroke penalty.