Do you want to learn to play golf? Great! In this article I intend to take you on a tour of a typical golf course and to give you a general overview on how the game of golf is played.
A round of golf is usually played on an 18 hole golf course. However, there are some golf courses that may only be 9 holes.
The players elect to play either 9 holes or 18 holes. If you are a beginner, I suggest you start playing 9 holes as it allows you to get the feel for the game within a respectable time frame.
The aim of golf is to hit a golf ball with a golf club and get the ball into a hole with the least number of shots (called “strokes”). The person that gets around the golf course in the least number of strokes wins.
Each hole has a “Par”, this tells the player the average amount of strokes it should take them to get their ball into the hole.
Players hit off from the Teeing ground, most players call it the “Tee”. The player will use a golf ball tee to raise their ball to the height of their liking and then they use a golf club to hit the ball. Their goal is to hit the ball as far up the Fairway as possible. The Fairway is usually mowed grass, but may still be uneven.
Each Player then takes their turn to “Tee off”. The players will then go find their golf balls. The player who hit their ball the shortest distance will then hit their ball up the fairway aiming to get it on the “green”
The golf green is an area of the course that is smooth and has very short neatly mowed grass. However, the green will usually have a slope on it to make it harder! Somewhere on the green is a hole with a flag sticking out of it. This is your target.
Once the golf ball is on the green, the player will wait their turn and then putt the ball toward the hole aiming to get the ball in the hole. Putting means to hit the ball along the ground. The player with the ball the furthest from the hole will usually go first.
When the player is lining up their shot another player will usually hold the flag stick. This is so the player taking the shot can line it up with the flag. Once the player has hit the ball, the second player will remove the flag.
Once all players have managed to get their golf ball in the hole, they record their scores and move onto the next hole.
Sounds easy doesn’t it, well there are a few other things you need to be aware of.
Around the course you will come across a number of obstacles that have been created by the course designers to make your game of golf a bit more challenging and memorable.
The first obstacle is called the “Sand Bunker”. This is an area of the course that resembles a sand pit, but they are not as much fun. The Sand Bunker is usually in a sunken area of the course and can have high sides to make it harder for you to hit the ball out. If the player hits their ball in a sand bunker, they will need to hit their ball out of it.
The second obstacle is the “Water Hazard”. A water hazard can be a small stream, a pond, or a lake. The water hazard brings the psychology of golf into play, and some player swear the water hazard has a magnetic pull that magically attracts their golf ball toward them.
If the ball lands in a water hazard, most players will recover their ball and drop it as close as possible on the bank. If the player elects to do this they add a penalty of 1 to their score.