Golf is a sports game in which individual participants or teams try to hit a small ball into special holes with the help of golf clubs. What is important is that the ball needs to be rolled into the hole with the help of a small number of strokes as possible.
History of Golf
The exact date of the emergence of golf is unknown, but it is believed that it was invented by Scottish shepherds who tried to roll stones into the rabbit holes with their staffs. Although many historians disagree with this, there exists the opinion that golf originated in the Roman Empire and this game was played with the bent sticks and the ball full of feathers. According to other theories, golf appeared in China, during the rule of Ming dynasty. This is proved by a scroll with an image of the emperor who is trying to hit the ball into the hole with something like a golf club.
However, modern golf originates from Scotland. The first mention of the game is considered to be the decree of 1457 issued by King James II of Scotland to ban golf, as it distracted archers from training. In this country, there were also invented the rules and the system with 18 holes on the golf course.
Rules of Golf
Before starting the game, one must do the following:
- Read the local rules of the game.
- Put an identification mark on the ball. This is necessary for you to distinguish your ball from the others. If the ball cannot be identified, it is considered lost.
- Check the number of clubs, it is allowed to have no more than 14 pieces.
A golf game begins in the starting zone, also known as teeing ground. It called in this way because of the T-shaped stand, on which the ball is put. Ideally, the player should direct the ball to the main zone with the first stroke, then, with the help of next several strokes, he or she should cross it and send the ball to the platform with perfect grass ("green"). In order to roll the ball into the hole from the green, you must use a special club called putter.
In addition to standard rules, there are the following rules of etiquette in golf:
- Refrain from playing until the moment when the team ahead moves away to a safe distance.
- Never delay a game. Remove yourself from putting green immediately after all the players in your team have passed the hole.
- Give the priority to the groups playing faster than you.
- Repair sod.
- Remove traces in bunkers.
- Do not stand on another partner’s putting line.
- Do not put the clubs on the putting green.
- Put the flag in a careful way.
The golf course consists of a series of holes, each of which has its own starting point. On the starting area, there are two marks that show the permissible boundaries of the zone for the installation of the ball peg. Apart from the starting zone, the golf course also contains a fairway, a rough, and other obstacles.
The final part of the area is the hole, which is marked for easy orientation. The hole is placed on the area with the grass of minimum height, which is called "green". In the remaining areas, the height of the grass may vary; this is done in order to make it difficult for players to pass certain zones.
As a rule, the holes are located in the line of sight, from the starting zone to the green. But this is not always the case, if the holes are deviating to the left or to the right, they are called "dogleg left" and "dogleg right", respectively. If the direction is turned twice, the hole is called the "double dogleg".
The golf course consists of 18 holes, but there are the courses with 9 holes, in such a case they are passed twice, which adds up to the same 18 holes.
Let's start the review of golf equipment with clubs. A player can bring no more than 14 clubs with him to the game, each of them is designed to perform a certain stroke. Golf clubs are divided into two types:
- «Woods» is the clubs designed to perform strikes at maximum distances. As a rule, such strikes are the first ones. They are called the "woods" because of the wooden heads, although modern woods are made of metal alloys based on titanium.
- «Irons» are the clubs designed to perform strikes at different distances, depending on the position of the ball. The clubs have obtained this name because their head is made of metal.
In addition to the material, the clubs differ in the shape of the heads. Therefore, "pitching wedge" clubs are used for the short-distance strikes with a high trajectory. The inclination angle of such clubs is 50-60 degrees. If the stroke must be made from a sand bunker, then the sand wedge club will be suitable for this as it has a heavy base and a special shape. For the final strokes, players use a club called “putter”, it is designed specifically for the strokes on a flat surface that requires great accuracy.
In the "wood" and "iron" groups, the clubs are numbered depending on the angle between the shaft and the front striking surface of the head. The smaller the number is, the longer the potential trajectory of the stroke. The difference in the length of strikes performed with the clubs with proximate numbers is about 10 meters.
Another important part of golf equipment is balls. They must have the following characteristics:
- the diameter must be not less than 4.27 cm;
- the mass must range from 41 to 46 grams;
- the surface of the ball should have 300-500 dumplings (the larger the dumplings are, the higher the ball flies).
Considering the golf balls, it is worth mentioning the "compression" index. In simple terms, compression is the level of deformation of the ball under the influence of the stroke. Its conditional value varies from 0 (when the ball is strongly deformed by the stroke) to 200 (when the ball is not deformed by the stroke). Most of the balls have the compression of 80-100 (they are compressed by 2-3 mm by the stroke).
As for the internal structure, balls can consist of one, two, three or more layers. Single-layer balls are ideal for training the beginners due to their low cost.
Double-layer balls consist of a hard nucleus and a thin hardcover. They combine low cost, durability, and flying range, therefore, they are suitable for most golf players.
Three-layer balls have the elastic thread wrapping over a tight or gel-like nucleus. Such balls can be covered very tightly and sometimes it is very beneficial for athletes.
In four-layer balls, there is an additional layer between the wrapping and the cover. The potential of such balls can be revealed only by professionals.
The most prestigious and popular professional tournaments include the following:
- The Olympic Games. Golf was included in the program of the Olympic Games in 2016. Before that, golf was at the Olympiads only 2 times (1900, 1904).
- The Masters Tournament is one of the four major tournaments in the golf major series (it is similar to the Grand Slam in tennis).
- US Open is the annual open golf championship held in the United States.
- The Open Championship is the oldest golf competition which is held in Britain. It is one of the four tournaments of the major series.
- Professional Golf Association Championship (PGA Championship) is an annual golf tournament held by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America.