For some homeowners, the serenity of living on a golf course may be interrupted by the sound of a golf ball crashing through a window. Possible damage from errant tee shots is one of the biggest disadvantages of living on a golf course, but there are also some advantages.
According to a Golf Channel survey, about 30,000 rounds of golf are played at a typical American golf course each year. The price each golfer pays for a round depends on tee time, day of the week, the course’s age and whether it is a public or private course.
A standard 18-hole golf course typically features a par of 70 to 72, or about four strokes per hole. A par-3 course contains nine or 18 holes, most or all of which play to a par of 3. These novelty courses will never play host to an actual PGA Tour event -- although there is a par-3 contest prior to the Masters -- but the shorter courses can be fun and even challenging for golfers of all skill levels.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to becoming a PGA professional is simply the right to call yourself a PGA pro. In the world of golf, the title “PGA pro” means instant credibility with employers, customers and the general public. Whether it’s a player seeking a lesson or a golf facility in need of a manager, many people in the golf world automatically look first to a PGA pro.
Course and slope ratings are calculated by the United States Golf Association. In fact, the USGA trademarks and licenses its USGA Course Rating and USGA Course Slope Rating to the Royal Canadian Golf Association -- countries other than America and Canada are unlikely to have Slope Ratings. A Course Rating measures the difficulty of a golf course and is a crucial component in determining a player's handicap. The Slope Rating measures the difficulty of a golf course for a bogey golfer. The Course Rating and the Slope Rating typically are printed on the scorecard for a golf course.
The Slope Rating reflects the relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers in comparison to scratch golfers. Golfers use the Slope Rating, a trademark of the United States Golf Association, to calculate handicap differentials. The rating falls between 55 and 155; the higher the number, the more challenging the course. Bunkers, obstacles on the course, water hazards and trees are among the factors that can influence a Slope Rating. Golfers typically don't have access to the information used to calculate the Slope Rating, but understanding the formula makes the rating less confusing.
Numerous golf courses are parts of country clubs, and the typical country club contains facilities for a variety of social events, including weddings. Even those who aren’t regular golfers may choose a golf club for a wedding site because of the club’s facilities or scenic view, while avid golfers may wish their weddings to take place on the course.
Stakes may be used throughout a golf course to indicate the status of certain areas, such as ground under repair or out of bounds areas. Some stakes are white, but stakes -- or lines drawn on the ground – that mark the boundaries of water hazards must be either red or yellow, according to the United States Golf Association’s Rules of Golf.
Knowing the distance to the green is key for any golfer. Club selection, the type of shot taken and the power of the swing all hinge on that number. Golf courses typically provide golfers with markers, either plates in the ground, colored sticks or small tabs on sprinkler heads. But most common is the painted plate in the ground, and knowing what each color means can help a golfer hit the perfect shot.
The idea that humans contribute to global warming, also known as climate change, is based on "strong observational evidence and results from modeling studies," according to the American Meteorological Society. The question of whether golf courses help or harm the effort to slow global warming has no easy answer, because different courses affect the environment in different ways. Built and maintained properly, however, golf courses can be environmentally friendly.
Flags, also known as pins, are an important part of golf. Used to denote where a hole is located on a green, a flag extends up several feet above the ground, ensuring that players on the course can locate the position of the hole on the green from several hundred yards out to best aim their approaches.
Each golf course has its own rules, whether it’s a posh country club or the neighborhood course where you can pop in anytime to play nine holes. Some policies, such as those that discourage slow and unsafe play, are universal. Only private clubs have membership requirements, and private clubs' rules generally are more expansive than those of a public course. For example, the semi-private Holiday Hills Country Club in Mineral Wells, Texas, has an 18-page “Polices and Procedures Manual.” In contrast, the City of Bloomington, Illinois, has a single page of polices and procedures on its parks and recreation website.
PGA Tour pro Ben Crenshaw is one of the best-known names in golf. Some remember him as the two-time Masters champion, others as a United States Ryder Cup player and captain. He’s also been a golf commentator and a respected course architect. Those involved with golf memorabilia may also be aware of Crenshaw’s extensive collection.
Golf outings may require months of careful planning with highly detailed checklists. Many golf outings are fundraising events for charity, and are played on golf courses ranging from city-owned facilities open to the general public to private country clubs allowing a limited number of public outings. A comprehensive checklist should include expenses and promotion.
Some retailers might be happy to sell you a woman’s purse (or a “man bag” for male golfers) -- perhaps with special compartments for tees or ball markers -- and call it a “golf purse.” But the term actually refers to the pool of prize money available to golfers in a professional tournament. In North America, you’ll find the largest available purses on the PGA Tour.
When a typical golfer steps up to his ball, chances are he's thinking about the configuration of the fairway ahead of him, or how far he is from the green, or where the pin has been placed that day. He may never even consider the people who maintain the green and fairway, or who move the hole to different locations on the green. But good golf course managers undoubtedly respect the work that groundskeepers do to maintain their courses in peak playing condition.
The United States Golf Association, the governing body for golf in the United States and Canada, goes to elaborate lengths to ensure that handicaps for golfers are based on authentic standards. Every golfer who complies with the rules and submits scores for the requisite number of rounds is given a handicap, or -- more formally -- a handicap index. Based on the best 10 scores from your last 20 rounds, the handicap index is said to be a measure of your "potential ability." The handicap system is designed to enable people of different skill levels to use their handicap indexes to create a fair match, with the superior player giving the inferior player a sufficient number of strokes to make the contest an equitable one.
A golf green with two holes is a sight more common at a miniature golf facility than a real golf course. Nevertheless, there are courses -- including one of the world’s most famous venues -- where players can gaze out to the green and see two different-colored flags flying.
Although Jack Nicklaus will never achieve the recognition as a course designer he did as player -- he has won a record 18 major tournaments -- his design achievements are notable. The Nicklaus Design firm has built approximately 350 golf courses around the world, as of the publication date. There are Nicklaus courses in 34 countries and 39 states. Another 40 are under construction. His courses often are tied in with luxury housing and resort developments.
Golf is a lucrative industry in which the top earners are the best and most well-known players. Professional golfers with the highest incomes earn most of their money via endorsements. But numerous people also make a good living in a variety of golf industry jobs, particularly those associated in some capacity with the PGA Tour, which reported revenue of $954.5 million in 2009, with $337.9 million of it distributed to players, according to “Golf Digest.”