Golf-course design and architecture is a fascinating topic that has been the subject of many worthy books. Notable golf course designers have ranged from skilled professional players such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer to bankers and businessmen who turned their passion for the game into shaping some of the world's top golf courses. As with painters and composers, the work of golf-course designers falls into different philosophical camps and is subject to much debate and analysis.
Yardage books are essential for Tour caliber golfers and useful for ordinary players. A number of courses provide yardage books for their patrons. You can use a yardage book to supplement the other ways to measure the distances between two points on the course -- GPS devices, rangefinders and the traditional red, white and blue stakes or metal fairway disks that mark the 200-, 150- and 100-yard distances from the middle of the fairway to the middle of the green. Good yardage books offer a more detailed way to calculate distances between various landmarks on the course -- for example from the tee to an out-of-bounds marker or from the fairway to a bunker protecting the green. Caddies of professional golfers carry yardage books that they supplement to calculate precise distances and determine, for example, that their golfer has 156 yards rather than 155 yards to the pin.
Back in the days of Bobby Jones, you played forged irons. There were no retail outlets; instead, golfers had blacksmiths make clubheads for them from a block of iron. Modern golfers have less trouble getting clubs, but they have more options. One of them is the choice between traditional forged irons or investment cast irons.
Bladed golf clubs are irons, which have a long history. When hard rubber golf balls, known as Gutta-percha balls, were introduced in the mid-19th century, irons with metal clubfaces -- usually forged by blacksmiths -- came into use. They were known as forged irons, or as blades, because the sleek slabs of metal resembled a knife blade. Blades have a very small sweet spot, so a golfer must be sufficiently skilled to use them effectively. If you miss the sweet spot, you can expect shots that slice or hook and travel shorter distances.
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Two-way chippers are illegal. The United States Golf Association, the governing body for the sport in North America, sets forth the applicable standard in Rule 4-1d. It states that a clubhead shall have "only one striking face except putters with similar faces."
The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, prohibits discrimination against people who are disabled. The far-reaching civil rights statute covers employment practices, public places and commercial facilities. Certain recreational facilities also fall under the purview of the ADA, including swimming pools, amusement rides, bowling alleys and golf courses. Guidelines issued in 2002 specify the minimum standards recreational facilities, including golf courses, must meet to ensure they are open and accessible to the disabled The provisions of the ADA collided with professional golf when disabled professional golfer Casey Martin sued the PGA Tour for the right to use a cart in PGA Tour events. The Supreme Court found in favor of Martin in 2001 in a landmark decision that applied the act to professional sports for the first time.
A four-person golf scramble is a format often used in friendly competition. People organizing casual golf tournaments as part of a fund-raising effort may favor the scramble because it allows players of all abilities to participate. The rules are simple: Each player in the four-person scramble hits a drive. The team chooses the best drive and selects that position for the next shot. Each player hits from the chosen spot, and the process continues until someone from the team sinks a putt. The group records its score for the hole and moves on to the next teeing ground. It's a fun format, especially for people who aren't skilled golfers but want to participate in the event.
A golfer may carry up to 14 clubs in his golf bag under the official Rules of Golf. There's no rule he has to carry that many, though, and within the 14-club limit there are many variations in the types of clubs he can carry. Some golfers prefer to carry three or more wedges, for example, to deal with different situations around the greens that require shots of varying trajectories. Most golfers carry several woods -- although they're actually made of metal -- and the rest of the 14 are irons plus a putter. As a golfer becomes more skilled, he learns how to use these clubs to improve his accuracy, play more strategically, get down in two more often from off the green, and lower his scores.
Few shots in golf are more satisfying than a perfect drive down the fairway. Long drives often lead to an easier approach shot into the green and a possible one-putt and birdie. That’s a key reason why many amateur players constantly seek to improve their driving distance. Some may add a few yards by upgrading from older equipment to more modern drivers offering improved technology. Switching to golf balls built for distance can also help. Even after changing your equipment there are other moves you can make to achieve greater distance off the tee.
The whole idea of bounce often confuses golfers. At its simplest, bounce is merely the angle between the ground and the sole of a club at proper address. Having said that, bounce is more than just an attribute of a club. Bounce can make a big difference in what a shot does, or whether you should even attempt a shot. In some cases, you can actually change how the bounce on your club behaves.
The rules of golf in North America are made and enforced by the United States Golf Association. In addition to the rules themselves, the USGA publishes both decisions and notes that aid golfers and golf officials in applying the rules in different situations. Prior to 1952, ball markers were not allowed. If the ball was in your line on the green and you were stymied, you had to putt around the obstacle or pop your ball over your opponent's ball. The modern rules governing ball markers are found in Rules 16, 20 and 22.
The Nationwide Tour is golf’s equivalent to AAA minor league baseball. It’s one step below the big leagues – in this case, the PGA Tour. Also similar to Triple-A ball, the tour includes young, developing players trying to advance to the big stage, plus older, ex-big league players hoping for another chance at glory. Although every Nationwide Tour player’s goal is to reach the PGA Tour, playing on the No. 2 circuit is hardly minor league – at least for the top players. J.J. Killeen earned $414,273 as the Nationwide Tour’s top money-winner in 2011, and 20 other players earned at least $200,000.
A PGA club professional's duties vary widely, since a PGA club pro is something of a jack of all trades. A PGA club pro must be able to teach golfers of different ages and abilities, manage the operations of the golf course, run the pro shop, market the golf course to potential new players and members, and work with the greenskeeping crew to maintain the course in tip-top condition.
Attending a tournament and watching your favorite golf professional or the next up-and-coming player is an exciting way for a golf enthusiast to spend a day. Few golf fans will forget Rory McIlroy's agonizing slide from first place at the 2011 Masters or his astounding victory just months later at the 2011 U.S. Open. While there are only a few major championship events such as the U.S. Open or the LPGA Championship, hundreds of professional tournaments take place throughout the year in the United States.
Driving ranges offer golfers a place to practice golf without the investment in time required by a full round. Playing 18 holes on a golf course usually takes a minimum of about four hours – and often longer. However, it is possible to effectively practice on a driving range in as little as a half hour. Driving ranges also offer other advantages, including greater accessibility and lower cost. Golfers new to the sport find may find driving ranges less intimidating than a golf course. Golfers practicing on a driving range can work on their game without the pressure of keeping score or competing against others.
The United States Golf Association's handicap system is designed to create equitable playing conditions among players of different playing abilities. The system is applicable on any golf course once players have a legitimate handicap.
In golf, the fairway is the grassy area situated between the tee box and the green. The grass on the fairway is cut short enough to make shots off it easier to hit, but it is not cut as short as the grass on the green. The Rules of Golf defines the fairway as a "closely mown area." The goal is to hit your tee shot onto the fairway to avoid the longer grass, called "rough," and such hazards as water and sand.
The United States Golf Association has established a handicap system in an effort to enable players of different abilities, male and female, an opportunity to compete on an equitable basis. Players must submit scores for calculation of a handicap index, which is used for all types of competition; its scores may be carried over from season to season. But the index is available only to members of licensed golf clubs. According to the USGA, a handicap index is the "USGA's service mark used to indicate a measurement of a player's potential ability on a course of standard playing difficulty. It is expressed as a number taken to one decimal place (e.g., 10.4) and is used for conversion to a Course Handicap."
To win professional golf's Grand Slam, a golfer must win four tournaments held between April and August. These tournaments, known as golf's majors, are the four most noteworthy events on the men's professional calendar each season. Winning a Grand Slam is one of the toughest challenges to achieve in all of sport.
High-end public courses might be expensive, but anyone with some money can get a tee time. The famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, owned by an investor group that includes Arnold Palmer and Clint Eastwood among others, is public with greens fees of around $500 as of December 2011. But price does not make a course exclusive. By definition, exclusive club are private, and restrict playing privileges to members and their guests. If you want access to an exclusive course without joining the club, you'll have to be a bit resourceful.
Many golfers dream of having the opportunity to play one of the many celebrated private courses in the United States, such as Pine Valley in New Jersey; Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York; Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California; and Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. But challenging golf experiences on memorable layouts are also available at courses open for public play. According to the PGA of America and the World Golf Foundation, 80 percent of all golf rounds are played on courses that are open to the public, including municipal courses.
Anyone new to the sport of golf can easily feel overwhelmed with the abundance of terms used by golfers and industry professionals. But with time, it's easy to build a vocabulary of these terms so that you can use them freely in conversation. Green fee is a common term used at all golf courses.
Unlike baseball, football and basketball, in which the most important events come at the conclusion of the season, professional golf's four crowning events are held in the spring and summer. Any golfer who can win one of the sport's major championships is assured that his feat will be remembered.
Each April, the eyes of the golfing world turn to Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, for the Masters Tournament. Although the four majors have equal importance in a golfer's quest to win the Grand Slam, the Masters is often viewed as the most celebrated tournament a golfer can win in his career.
Taking proper care of the golf course is the responsibility of every golfer. When you hit a shot onto the green it normally makes a ball mark. If fixed properly, a ball mark can heal in 24 hours. A ball mark left unfixed can take up to one week to heal.
Every golfer should be prepared to handle an on-course emergency, whether it is a medical situation or the sudden onset of bad weather. When playing a course for the first time, golfers should learn if emergency call boxes are available and where the nearest storm shelters are. This information will help the golfer handle an emergency situation without panicking.
Caddies are as much a staple of golf as golf balls and tees. That's because they've been a part of the game for centuries. The term caddy has been around even longer than golf, and the role of caddies has evolved considerably over the years.
The United States Golf Association has conducted the United States Open Championship since 1895. The national golf championship of the United States is one of the four major professional golf championships played each year. Because of its high standing and long history, there are many noteworthy facts associated with the event.
Golfers must properly repair ball marks from golf balls that land on the green. Golfers use the golf divot tool to repair these marks. However, if used incorrectly the tool can result in additional damage to the green. USGA golf etiquette recommendations state that players should take care to repair all divot holes made by their ball or cleats to the putting green at the conclusion of play on the hole. Players should also attempt to repair additional ball marks on the green to preserve the condition of the golf course.
Playing golf is a great way to get outside, enjoy the sunshine and spend time with friends and family. It's also a great way to challenge yourself and test your skills. But it's important to remember you are sharing the golf course with everyone else, and there are rules to remember and etiquette to be followed.
A golf coach is much more than just a teacher. A coach is someone who can analyze your motivation and help you use it when you play the game, as well as teaching the skills you need to make yourself a better golfer. You do not need to be a certified professional to be a coach, but you do need experience in playing and teaching the game.
Golf lovers who enjoy watching the best on the links have many options to see world-class golf each week. In the past 50 years, golf tours such as the PGA Tour and LPGA tour, have grown from small groups of touring professionals to large international circuits where hundreds of players play for millions of dollars in prize money on the world’s top golf courses.
Each golf course provides a different set of challenges depending on the design and layout of the course. Being aware of and understanding the basic parts of a golf course, such as greens, fairways and bunkers, can better prepare golfers for success on the links.
Dealing with the elements--weather extremes--is part of the fun and challenge of golf. Golf wouldn’t be nearly as interesting a game if it were played in perfect, temperature controlled conditions like those found in indoor football stadiums. But weather can change quickly. A merely bothersome wind can strengthen to a tempest that makes playing the round nearly impossible. Golfers have to learn when it is prudent to suspend play, and come back another day.
Billed as "a tradition unlike any other," the Masters golf tournament–held every April in Augusta, Georgia–is unquestionably the most famous golf tournament in the United States, perhaps in the world. It is the first of four men's professional golf major championships. Home to pristine greens, pimento cheese sandwiches and the world's elite players, it's no easy feat to qualify for the Masters.
Commonly referred to as "turf grass," the grasses used on golf courses are traditionally tough, fast-repairing grasses that can withstand plenty of traffic. Grass on golf courses differs from region to region based on how the grass will stand up to heat or cold. Different grass may also be used on the tee box, fairway and greens, though greens are often planted with some variety of poa.
Nothing could be more perfect than sinking a birdie putt on the 18th green with your significant other while on the best vacation of your life. Golf vacations take more planning than most because you'll have to book the hotel, dinner reservations and transportation as well as tee times far in advance.
The size of 18-hole golf courses can vary, sometimes drastically, but most courses are between 5,000 and 7,000 yards. But that's just the distance from hole to hole. It takes a large area when you factor in the rough, fairways, tee areas, clubhouse, driving range and practice greens. Most golf courses are spread across 110 to 190 acres. The number of of acres required was determined during a February 2001 survey by the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America.
Enjoying a day on the course is a popular recreational activity for golfers of all ages. When playing, there is a code of conduct that all players are expected to follow to ensure that the players who follow them can also enjoy their rounds. These include fixing divots, repairing ball marks on the greens and raking any bunkers that are disturbed in the course of play.
Golf has many variables that affect play, including the temperature, precipitation and even how recently the grass has been mowed. But the parts of the golf course remain constant. Every hole on a golf course has five major components. New golfers should understand these components to help them guide their club selection and plan their shots.
As of July 2010, the NCAA had 342 Division I and 295 Division II member schools, many of which offer men's and women's golf scholarships. Full or partial scholarships are available, and athletes must maintain certain levels of performance on the course and in the classroom to retain a scholarship. Golf scholarships are awarded based primarily on a player's ability and grades.
Golf is an enjoyable game no matter your handicap, age or gender. You don't necessarily have to compete against other players, only against yourself and the course. Golf is one of the few games that hasn't changed much since its inception in the late 1400s: Players get from tee to green on a pre-determined course, and the winner is the one who accumulates the fewest amount of strokes.
A links golf course is the oldest style of course. The word “links” is derived from ancient Scotland and refers to an area along a coast that often includes sand dunes and few, if any, trees. One reason the game originated on this type of land was because it suited play. Course designers had limited resources for moving earth to shape a course. Many modern links-style courses are not necessarily coastal and have been shaped to take on traditional links characteristics.
To some, the sport of golf can be an addiction. If you're one of those people who can't get enough of the game, you may want to consider a career in golf. There are a number of profession in the field that will allow you to "feed" your addiction.
One of the very first things you need to do when learning about the game of golf is to learn about its terms. If you don't have a lot of experience with golf, the terms that golfers use might go over your head. It might even sound like a different language. Study up so that the next time you're out on the course, you'll understand everything.
Playing a round of golf in extreme heat and humidity can be hazardous to your health, especially if you're not used to this type of climate. Heat exhaustion is characterized by intense sweating and a rapid pulse. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to the life-threatening condition of heat stroke.
Those who don't play golf may look at it and say it is a sedentary game that has little value when it comes to conditioning. Professional golfers, though, are well-conditioned athletes who must walk the golf course each day. In a four-round tournament, that's nearly 4 miles per day, based on a 7,000-yard course, not counting the distance between holes.
Golf is one of the oldest and most enjoyed games around. People who love golf come in all ages, from toddlers to 90-year-olds.You get to feel the sunshine on your shoulders while completing a challenge and enjoying a day with friends, or at least others who love the game as much as you do. Golf is just plain fun.
Professional golf great Tom Watson once said, "A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer's mind." Every component of a golf course requires a different strategy, swing and club, and the decisions a golfer makes for each can mean the difference between winning and losing the game.
An enjoyable game, and for many an opportunity for social outings, golf is also a way to pick up some beneficial exercise. Whether walking the course, hitting the range or taking a cart, playing golf is a leisurely way to burn some extra calories. This is true even in the case of a nine-hole outing, depending in part on a player's weight, walking vs. taking a cart and metabolism.
An eagle, which simply means shooting two strokes under par on one hole, is not a common score for most golfers. Even for professionals, eagles don't come around that often. In order to make an eagle, you have to have a combination of both luck and skill. It's difficult, but it is possible.
In the early days of golf, people didn't give a second thought to the types of grasses on the courses. The grass was whatever grew naturally in the links' sandy soil along Scotland's coast. But today, the kind of grass is a key part of the game. Advances in landscaping, course design and turf grass maintenance help determine the choice of grass on golf courses around the world.
Even the tiniest backyard has room for a putting green, even if it's no more than 36-inches wide. You don't have to own acres of land, although that helps if you'd like to install a full-size par 3. Use your backyard to practice hitting out of trouble and sharpening your pitching, chipping and putting.
For many avid golfers, the job of a golf professional seems a dream career. But there is a lot of hard work needed to qualify as a professional, plus a good deal of talent. Only the most gifted players are able to make a living on the PGA Tour or one of the mini-tours. But far more professional golfers find careers as teachers and golf course managers, but only after years of study and preparation.
Anyone who's heard the term "scratch golfer" might be confused about its meaning. Fortunately, a better understanding of golf handicaps, course and slope ratings and other factors can help define the term in a clear and simple way.
Architects who design golf courses for a living are charged with a lot of responsibility. Building a golf course costs a great deal of money, requiring architects to keep costs as low as possible and also make the course playable--without detracting too much from the overall look of the course.
Golf courses spend large sums of money carefully crafting courses and maintaining them to the best of their abilities. However, the responsibility to properly maintain a course does not end with those who own or work at it. Players are also trusted with properly maintaining the course, ensuring that when they leave a hole, it is in no worse shape than when they arrived, providing following groups with a fair playing surface.
With an assortment of lakes, coupled with the amenities of a metropolitan area, Cleveland is a nice place for a golf weekend. Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs feature a wide array of courses--both public and private--for golfers of all skill levels and budgets.
The official World Golf Ranking system rates the relative tournament performance of male professional golfers worldwide. The rankings give golf fans something to debate--whether their favorite players’ rankings are correct. For the professional golfer, earning the world No. 1 honor, or even being in the top10, represents a career highlight.
The game of golf is different from many other sports because each golf course is different, all the way down to the grass. Most other games, such as basketball and football, have courts or fields with standardized sizes and features on which the games are played. Not all grass types can be found in every part of the country, as certain grass types prefer hot and humid weather, while other grass types prefer cooler conditions.
The operation of a golf course requires having the proper equipment. Equipment that is used on a golf course is often manufactured for specific use on a golf course. The equipment is used to keep the course in pristine condition and to ensure that good turf management practices are in place and maintained.
Among the many terms thrown around the golf lexicon is "scratch golfer." And while many veterans and longtime golfers are aware of this term's definition, those new to the sport--and even some of those who aren't--may have trouble understanding the term. Fortunately, the explanation is simple.
The terms "course rating" and "slope" are often thrown around golfing circles. However, many golfers, particularly those new to the sport, are unsure of what these terms mean and how they impact the game. Fortunately, this explanation is rather simple.
Golf can be a fun activity and a great excuse to be outside. Like all sports though, anyone can get injured in a variety of ways. Several simple precautions can eliminate much of the risk. If you are injured, stop playing immediately to avoid further injury and see a doctor as soon as possible.
It has been said many times that one of the best ways to determine whether you should do business with someone is to play golf with him first. Golf can reveal a lot about character, particularly how a player deals with adversity. A golf outing with business colleagues can be a great team-building experience, a chance to get to know one another in a relaxed setting--a long as simple rules of courtesy are observed.
If you ask different people, you will get different answers to the question of what is the best place to golf in the world. On the other hand, playing at Royal County Down in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, has been described as the experience of a lifetime and makes many a short list of the world’s best place to golf. It seems fitting that the golf course considered the best in the world is located in Ireland, where golf originated hundreds of years ago.
The plumb bob is an ancient tool that is still in use today. It is made of the simplest possible parts; basically a string and a weight. A heavy weight is suspended by a string and gravity causes the attached string to establish a reference line that is perfectly vertical.
When you are a young golf enthusiast you resign yourself to playing in any condition just to be sure you get in your regular round. As you gain experience you realize that there are some weather conditions that make golf difficult to play, especially the rain.
If you love golf, but find getting out to the links difficult on some occasions, a golf simulator may be just the ticket. Golf simulators recreate the environment of a golf course using digital graphics or projection, allowing you to play a course using a very small space and minimal equipment. While golf simulators are available at many pro shops, you can also set one up in your own home.
To make an eagle, which simply means shooting two strokes under par on a hole, you need a combination of luck and skill. It's a difficult feat. Even for professionals, eagles don't occur that often. But with enough luck and enough practice, it is possible.
Birdie. Par. Bogey. These are all vital terms to scoring in the game of golf. So is eagle. While rare, this score on a hole is quite the achievement, and does happen. The definition and understanding of the term eagle is simple enough to grasp.
There is little doubt that weather has an affect on a golfer’s game, with certain types of weather raising more havoc with the flight of the golf ball than others. The golfer can be affected as well, with conditions such as cold, rain, and wind making decisions on how to approach shots that much more difficult.