Inspired by the stories and camaraderie of your friends and co-workers who play and even the pros on TV, you’ve borrowed some clubs, practiced on the driving range a few times and are now ready to venture out for your first round. So what do you need to know and do to make your initial foray on a real course something that will keep you coming back again and again?
In his 1957 book “Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” Ben Hogan presented his ideas about the essential elements of a proper golf swing. He condensed five concepts into individual lessons that addressed grip, stance, backswing, downswing, and finally the entire swing process. Many modern instructors believe that the book was a groundbreaking work that is relevant today, but only if taken in the proper context.
One of the main reasons golf is such a popular sport is because it can be played by people of all ages, skill levels and abilities. It's not uncommon to see young people and senior citizens alike enjoying the game out on the course. For beginners who may be unfamiliar with the game, you'll need to know how to get started. And once you get the hang of the sport, it's something you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
The way you hold your hands when you play golf can determine if you hit the ball straight or hook it into the water. The golf swing begins with your hands. Gripping the club properly is so important that it usually is the first thing golf instructors teach to new players. To master the grip you must hold the club without tension. Tension in your hands causes stiffness in your forearms and shoulders, making making it difficult to swing the club freely, resulting in wayward shots all over the golf course.
Fields in golf tournaments are larger than the total number of places paid out. A cut is used to determine which players will make it to play into the weekend and, in doing so, will qualify to receive a check from the tournament based on their place of finish.
While all styles of golf scoring use the same method of counting how many strokes a player has shot, the way a winner is determined based on those totals changes depending on the system. Match play is the most common variation from standard stroke play scoring.
There are a variety of formats for golf tournaments, but the majority of them rely on only a few different types of competition. In most events individual players all compete against each other for the lowest total score. Some tournaments involve a series of individual matches between two golfers. Players can also be grouped into teams and compete against other groups in one of several different ways.
The game of golf has existed for centuries, evolving from simple games involving hitting rocks into holes with sticks into the modern game we see today. While the general form of golf has remained the same in modern times, that has not stemmed the creativity responsible for making multiple variations on scoring and playing.
Although every golf course has a unique dress code for its players, several universal rules concerning formal golf attire exist. When preparing to play at a new course, always note the course's dress code before showing up. What might have been allowed at one course won't necessarily be acceptable at another course. If you have any doubt, dress more formally to ensure you fall within the guidelines.
Match play is a popular style of golf among spectators, as the head-to-head competition format can make for exciting showdowns. In match play, the overall score of a round does not matter; rather, a player simply must shoot better on more holes than his opponent.
Match play is a variation of the more traditional scoring method of stroke play in golf. More emphasis is placed on the result of each hole as opposed to accumulating the lowest number of strokes for the entire round. Some professional tournaments - such as the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup and the Volvo World Match Play Championship - feature a match play scoring system.
The clothing in golf is a part of the decorum of the game, perhaps more so than any other sport. Not only is there an unspoken etiquette, but most golf courses have a dress code that requires particular attire in order to play. These dress codes are not as restrictive as the rules for PGA Tour or LPGA Tour players, but they are designed to ensure that amateur players adhere to a certain protocol to help maintain the game's traditions. It is always a good idea to check with course management about the club's dress code.
The Rules of Golf regulate both game play and the equipment used to play golf. Rule 4 and Appendix II outline the rules as they apply to all clubs, including drivers. Disobeying Rule 4 can result in penalties, but you also need to be aware of Appendix II. It's aimed primarily at manufacturers, but companies do build non-conforming clubs for weekend players. Knowing the basics can keep you from accidentally buying a club you can't use in competition.
Professional golf remains one of the few sports where showboating and trash talking has not become mainstream. As a leisurely endeavor enjoyed by millions, golf is still considered something of a gentleman's sport, and as such there are certain rules of etiquette that are expected. While breaking etiquette may not necessarily get a person tossed off the course, there is a certain expectation that once you understand that you have transgressed, you don't let it happen again.
For kids just learning the game, however, understanding etiquette is just as important as the fundamentals. And kids can learn the etiquette even before they learn to play. If your golf course allows, bring your child along as a spectator and teach the etiquette as situations arise.
Two-person or four-person team scrambles allow each player on a team to contribute good shots and putts while minimizing the individual's poor shots. As a result, lesser-skilled golfers usually are more comfortable playing a scramble format, since they can lean on their teammates for support. A two-person scramble, though, puts more pressure on each player, since there is only one teammate to lean on instead of three.
The green is a sacred sort of place for the game of golf. It’s where the ball ends its journey and your score is final. Since putting is such a different part of the game, certain rules of etiquette apply. Breaking these rules doesn’t necessarily constitute an official violation, but it might earn you the ire of your playing partners.
An important part of learning how to play golf properly is familiarizing yourself with the etiquette and rules of the game. This can prevent you from making an unintentional mistake that results in receiving a penalty stroke or causes you to disrupt the play of others. Certain rules apply to each area of the course, including the putting green.
Ideally, your golf score is nothing more than the number of shots it took you to complete your round. But there are plenty of rules in place that can add to your score, such as penalty strokes for hitting the ball out of bounds or into water hazards. If it's a casual golf round among friends, you might not follow these rules to the letter, but if you're ever in competition, you'll want to know how to make sure your final scorecard is official.
Golf shoes are a part of the equipment needed for a successful golf game. Etiquette is also important when considering golfers on the golf course. From keeping the course maintained to avoiding scratching up the pro shop or restaurant floor, utilizing common sense and respect for the golf course grounds is an important part of the game.