OFTEN referred to as rich man’s sport, golf is a sport in which the players use clubs to hit ball into a series of holes on a course. The goal here is to sink the ball in as few strokes as possible. The fewer the strokes, the better.
Every round of golf is based on playing a number of holes in a given order. A "round" typically consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout. Each hole is played once in the round on a standard course of 18 holes. This means a player starts working out in the first hole and ends in the last hole.
The game can be played by any number of people, although a typical group playing has 1-4 people playing the round. The typical amount of time required for pace of play for a 9-hole round is two hours and four hours for an 18-hole round.
Playing a hole on a golf course is initiated by putting a ball into play by striking it with a club on the teeing ground (also called the tee box, or simply the tee). For this first shot on each hole, it is allowed but not required for the golfer to place the ball on a tee prior to striking it. A tee is a small peg that can be used to elevate the ball slightly above the ground up to a few centimeters high.
When the initial shot on a hole is intended to move the ball a long distance (typically more than 225 yards (210 m)), the shot is commonly called a "drive" and is generally made with a long-shafted, large-headed wood club called a "driver".
Shorter holes may be initiated with other clubs, such as higher-numbered woods or irons. Once the ball comes to rest, the golfer strikes it again as many times as necessary using shots that are variously known as a "lay-up", an "approach", a "pitch", or a "chip".
As the ball reaches the green, the player now "putts" the ball into the hole (commonly called "sinking the putt" or "holing out").
The goal of getting the ball into the hole ("holing" the ball) in as few strokes as possible may be impeded by obstacles such as areas of longer grass called "rough" (usually found alongside fairways), which both slows any ball that contacts it and makes it harder to advance a ball that has stopped on it; "doglegs", which are changes in the direction of the fairway that often require shorter shots to play around them; bunkers (or sand traps); and water hazards such as ponds or streams.
Unlike most ball games, golf cannot and does not utilize a standardized playing area. Here, players have to lean not only on sheer skills on ball-hitting. They also have to cope with the different hazards that could pretty well affect the players’ performances.
As golf is an outdoor sport, a golfer also has to contend with these natural hazards. Under a very hot weather, a player could lose concentration and fare way beyond his expectation.
Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most commonly seen format at all levels, but most especially at the elite level.
HOW A PLAYER FARES EVERY HOLE
When a player is able to sink the ball in minimum number of strokes allotted for a particular hole, it is called par or minimum par.
When a player is able to sink the ball one stroke less than the minimum number of strokes, it is called birdie.
It is bogey if the player uses one stroke more than the minimum allowable strokes in a hole, and double bogey if two strokes more.
Say, for instance, a hole is par-5 and the player is able to sink the ball in three strokes, that is said to be eagle.
HOLE IN ONE
Rare as it is, a player sometimes sinks the ball right on his first swing (drive). This is hole-in-one and oftentimes players are rewarded for achieving this rate feat in certain tournament.