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How to Play Golf
Apr 13, 2018

How to Play Golf

Golf is a great game for all ages. There is nothing like getting outside on the golf course with good friends and smacking a ball around. Exercise, fresh air, friends and laughter - that is golf!



Get to Know the Basics



Know the object of the game. The object of golf is to strike the golf ball with a long-handled instrument called a club and guide it into each hole on the course in order, whilst trying to minimise the number of shots. A number of holes, usually 9 or 18, are played and the final results are tallied after the last player has sunk the ball in the final hole.



Learn how to keep score. In golf, a lower score is better. Golfers get 1 point for every time they hit the ball with a club, which means that the player who can get the ball into every hole with the fewest overall swings (golf club hits) will win. There are a number of terms related to golf scoring:

·         Par: This is the preset number attached to each hole that represents the number of shots (and therefore, the number of points) that a perfect golfer should normally require to sink the ball. A golfer who meets this number is said to be “on par” for the hole.

·         Bogeys: A bogey is a score that is one point (one swing) above par. If a golfer takes more than one extra swing to complete a hole, it is said to be a “double bogey,” “triple bogey,” and so on depending on the total number of swings.

·         Birdie: A birdie is a score that is one point below par.

·         Eagle: A score that is two points below par on a par 4 or higher course is called an eagle.

·         Hole in one: A hole in one occurs when the golfer manages to sink the ball with a single swing from the tee box (that is, the starting position).



Learn to identify the parts of the course.Every golf course consists of five basic parts, counting the tee box. The other parts of the course are outlined below:

·         Fairway: The fairway is the trimmed part of the golf course between the tee box and the green.

·         Rough: The rough is the wild or less-groomed area that borders on the fairway.

·         Putting green: The putting green, or green, is where the hole for each fairway is located.

·         Hazards: Also called traps, hazards are purposely-placed elements that are designed to be especially difficult to get a golf ball out of. Common hazards include sand traps and bodies of water.



Know your clubs. Different golf clubs have different physical properties and are used for different types of golf swing. Being able to guess which club to use in a given situation is a skill that expert golfers develop over time, but the basic distinctions are fairly simple:

·         wood has a wide head and is usually made of a fairly light material, such as wood or lightweight metal. Woods are used for long “drives” of the ball across great distances, and as such are sometimes also called “drivers.”

·         An iron is much narrower than a wood, and typically made of heavier metal. Irons are most often used for medium-and short-range shots.

·         putter is a special club for use on the putting green, where precise control over the direction and speed the ball will roll can make the difference between a birdie and a bogey. Putters are small, and usually made of lightweight metal.


Develop a Proper Golf Swing



Learn the stance. Knowing how to swing a club is all-important to enjoying the game of golf, and a good swing starts with a good stance. The standard swing stance is a balanced and flexible starting point for your swing. Stand to the side of the golf ball (compared to the direction you want to hit it towards), facing it, with your feet set shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and push your hips back while leaning your spine slightly forward toward the golf ball. There are other methods and techniques, but this basic stance is effective and widely used with very little variation even by professional golfers. Hold the golf club by the grip with both hands.



Wind up. Bring the club up and around yourself to set up a good, strong swing. Try to lead with the head of your golf club first, and let your hands, arms, and shoulders follow it in that order. Finally, to finish the windup, twist at the hip. This will allow you to get the maximum amount of power out of your swing without losing your balanced stance.



Bring your club high. Continue to follow through with the “wind up” motion described above. Let your wrists bend as your weight shifts to your swing side (typically the right ride for a right-handed golfer) so that you end up coiled with the head of the club pointing out towards the fairway, above and behind your head.



Shift into your swing. Lean into your leading leg to slightly shift your weight forward onto it as you swing the club around and towards the golf ball. Allow your back leg to bend as the weight shifts off of it, and follow through by pivoting on the toe of that foot as you complete your swing. With a little practice, the golf ball should be sailing through the air on a neat, controlled trajectory.


Play the Game



Start at the tee box. A group of players meet at the first hole of their chosen course and take turns hitting their balls out of the tee box and (hopefully) onto the fairway or the green. A tee, which is a small wooden or plastic golf ball stand, may be used at the tee box, or the ball can be set on the grass, as each player prefers.



Continue in order. In the same order as the starting order, each player takes turns hitting his or her ball until all players have managed to sink the ball in the hole. Because of the potential danger of being hit by a flying golf ball, other members of the group should stand well away from, and never down the fairway from, the person who is swinging.

·    Even if a ball lands in the rough or a sand trap, its owner must hit it from that spot without moving it or altering the terrain. A ball that lands in a water hazard can be replaced with another ball as long as it is placed within two           club lengths of the hazard, but it will cost the player an extra point for that hole.

·    When two or more golf balls are on the putting green, it is acceptable to move any balls that might interfere with   another player's put, as long as the position is clearly marked and the ball is returned to that spot afterward.



Move to the next hole. Once all players in a group have tallied their final scores for a hole, the group may move on to the next hole. Golf courses are designed so that each hole can be visited in order without having to backtrack or cross in front of other people's games, but care should be taken to give other groups space if they are moving more slowly than your group. A typical round of golf can last anywhere from three to six hours.



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