A few courses still require sand to be used instead of peg tees, to reduce litter and reduce damage to the teeing ground. Tees help reduce the interference of the ground or grass on the movement of the club making the ball easier to hit, and also places the ball in the very centre of the striking face of the club the "sweet spot" for better distance.
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 ", until the ball reaches the green, where he or she then " 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.
In stroke play competitions played according to strict rules , each player plays his or her ball until it is holed no matter how many strokes that may take.
In match play it is acceptable to simply pick up one's ball and "surrender the hole" after enough strokes have been made by a player that it is mathematically impossible for the player to win the hole. It is also acceptable in informal stroke play to surrender the hole after hitting three strokes more than the "par" rating of the hole a "triple bogey" - see below ; while technically a violation of Rule , this practice speeds play as a courtesy to others, and avoids "runaway scores", excessive frustration and injuries caused by overexertion.
The total distance from the first tee box to the 18th green can be quite long; total yardages "through the green" can be in excess of 7, yards 6. At some courses, electric golf carts are used to travel between shots, which can speed-up play and allows participation by individuals unable to walk a whole round.
On other courses players generally walk the course, either carrying their bag using a shoulder strap or using a "golf trolley" for their bag. These trolleys may or may not be battery assisted. At many amateur tournaments including U. The underlying principle of the rules is fairness. As stated on the back cover of the official rule book:. There are strict regulations regarding the amateur status of golfers.
However, amateur golfers may receive expenses that comply with strict guidelines and they may accept non-cash prizes within the limits established by the Rules of Amateur Status. In addition to the officially printed rules, golfers also abide by a set of guidelines called golf etiquette. Etiquette guidelines cover matters such as safety, fairness, pace of play, and a player's obligation to contribute to the care of the course. Though there are no penalties for breach of etiquette rules, players generally follow the rules of golf etiquette in an effort to improve everyone's playing experience.
Penalties are incurred in certain situations. They are counted towards a player's score as if there were extra swing s at the ball. Strokes are added for rule infractions or for hitting one's ball into an unplayable situation. A lost ball or a ball hit out of bounds result in a penalty of one stroke and distance Rule 27—1. A one-stroke penalty is assessed if a player's equipment causes the ball to move or the removal of a loose impediment causes the ball to move Rule 18—2.
A one-stroke penalty is assessed if a player's ball results into a red or yellow staked hazard Rule If a golfer makes a stroke at the wrong ball Rule 19—2 or hits a fellow golfer's ball with a putt Rule 19—5 , the player incurs a two-stroke penalty. Most rule infractions lead to stroke penalties but also can lead to disqualification. Disqualification could be from cheating, signing for a lower score, or from rule infractions that lead to improper play. Golf clubs are used to hit the golf ball. Each club is composed of a shaft with a lance or "grip" on the top end and a club head on the bottom.
Long clubs, which have a lower amount of degree loft, are those meant to propel the ball a comparatively longer distance, and short clubs a higher degree of loft and a comparatively shorter distance. The actual physical length of each club is longer or shorter, depending on the distance the club is intended to propel the ball.
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Golf clubs have traditionally been arranged into three basic types. Woods are large-headed, long-shafted clubs meant to propel the ball a long distance from relatively "open" lies, such as the tee box and fairway. Traditionally these clubs had heads made of a hardwood, hence the name, but virtually all modern woods are now made of metal such as titanium, or of composite materials. Irons are shorter-shafted clubs with a metal head primarily consisting of a flat, angled striking face. Traditionally the clubhead was forged from iron; modern iron clubheads are investment-cast from a steel alloy. Irons of varying loft are used for a variety of shots from virtually anywhere on the course, but most often for shorter-distance shots approaching the green, or to get the ball out of tricky lies such as sand traps.
The third class is the putter , which evolved from the irons to create a low-lofted, balanced club designed to roll the ball along the green and into the hole. A fourth class, called hybrids , evolved as a cross between woods and irons, and are typically seen replacing the low-lofted irons with a club that provides similar distance, but a higher launch angle and a more forgiving nature. A maximum of 14 clubs is allowed in a player's bag at one time during a stipulated round. The choice of clubs is at the golfer's discretion, although every club must be constructed in accordance with parameters outlined in the rules.
Clubs that meet these parameters are usually called "conforming". Violation of these rules can result in disqualification. The exact shot hit at any given time on a golf course, and which club is used to accomplish the shot, are always completely at the discretion of the golfer; in other words, there is no restriction whatsoever on which club a golfer may or may not use at any time for any shot.
Golf balls are spherical, usually white although other colours are allowed , and minutely pock-marked by dimples that decrease aerodynamic drag by increasing air turbulence around the ball in motion, which delays "boundary layer" separation and reduces the drag-inducing "wake" behind the ball, thereby allowing the ball to fly farther. A tee is allowed only for the first stroke on each hole, unless the player must hit a provisional tee shot or replay his or her first shot from the tee.
Many golfers wear golf shoes with metal or plastic spikes designed to increase traction, thus allowing for longer and more accurate shots. A golf bag is used to transport golf clubs and the player's other or personal equipment. Golf bags have several pockets designed for carrying equipment and supplies such as tees, balls, and gloves. Golf bags can be carried, pulled on a trolley or harnessed to a motorized golf cart during play.
Golf bags usually have both a hand strap and shoulder strap for carrying, others may be carried over both shoulders like a backpack, and often bags have retractable legs that allow the bag to stand upright when at rest. The golf swing is outwardly similar to many other motions involving swinging a tool or playing implement, such as an axe or a baseball bat. However, unlike many of these motions, the result of the swing is highly dependent on several sub-motions being properly aligned and timed.
These ensure that the club travels up to the ball in line with the desired path; that the clubface is in line with the swing path; and that the ball hits the centre or "sweet spot" of the clubface. The ability to do this consistently, across a complete set of clubs with a wide range of shaft lengths and clubface areas, is a key skill for any golfer, and takes a significant effort to achieve. Golfers start with the non-dominant side of the body facing the target for a right-hander, the target is to their left.
At address, the player's body and the centerline of the club face are positioned parallel to the desired line of travel, with the feet either perpendicular to that line or slightly splayed outward. The feet are commonly shoulder-width apart for middle irons and putters, narrower for short irons and wider for long irons and woods. The ball is typically positioned more to the "front" of the player's stance closer to the leading foot for lower-lofted clubs, with the usual ball position for a drive being just behind the arch of the leading foot.
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The ball is placed further "back" in the player's stance toward the trailing foot as the loft of the club to be used increases. Most iron shots and putts are made with the ball roughly centered in the stance, while a few mid- and short-iron shots are made with the ball slightly behind the centre of the stance to ensure consistent contact between the ball and clubface, so the ball is on its way before the club continues down into the turf. Having chosen a club and stroke to produce the desired distance, the player addresses the ball by taking their stance to the side of it and except when the ball lies in a hazard grounding the club behind the ball.
The golfer then takes their backswing, rotating the club, their arms and their upper body away from the ball, and then begins their swing, bringing the clubhead back down and around to hit the ball. A proper golf swing is a complex combination of motions, and slight variations in posture or positioning can make a great deal of difference in how well the ball is hit and how straight it travels.
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The general goal of a player making a full swing is to propel the clubhead as fast as possible while maintaining a single "plane" of motion of the club and clubhead, to send the clubhead into the ball along the desired path of travel and with the clubhead also pointing that direction.
Accuracy and consistency are typically stressed over pure distance. A golf stroke uses the muscles of the core especially erector spinae muscles and latissimus dorsi muscle when turning , hamstring , shoulder , and wrist. Stronger muscles in the wrist can prevent them from being twisted during swings, whilst stronger shoulders increase the turning force. Weak wrists can also transmit the force to elbows and even neck and lead to injury. When a muscle contracts, it pulls equally from both ends and, to have movement at only one end of the muscle, other muscles must come into play to stabilize the bone to which the other end of the muscle is attached.
Golf is a unilateral exercise that can break body balances, requiring exercises to keep the balance in muscles.
Putting is considered to be the most important component of the game of golf. As the game of golf has evolved, there have been many different putting techniques and grips that have been devised to give golfers the best chance to make putts. When the game originated, golfers would putt with their dominate hand on the bottom of the grip and their weak hand on top of the grip. This grip and putting style is known as "conventional". There are many variations of conventional including overlap, where the golfer overlaps the off hand index finger onto off the dominant pinky; interlock, where the offhand index finger interlocks with the dominant pinky and ring finger; double or triple overlap and so on.
Cross handed putting is the idea that the dominant hand is on top of the grip where the weak hand is on the bottom. This grip restricts the motion in your dominant hand and eliminates the possibility of wrist breakdowns through the putting stroke. Other notable putting styles include "the claw", a style that has the grip directly in between the thumb and index finger of the dominant hand while the palm faces the target. Anchored putting, a style that requires a longer putter shaft that can be anchored into the players stomach or below the chin; the idea is to stabilize one end of the putter thus creating a more consistent pendulum stroke.
This style will be banned in on the professional circuits. A hole is classified by its par, meaning the number of strokes a skilled golfer should require to complete play of the hole.
Pars of 4 and 5 strokes are ubiquitous on golf courses; more rarely, a few courses feature par-6 and even par-7 holes. Strokes other than the tee shot and putts are expected to be made from the fairway; for example, a skilled golfer expects to reach the green on a par-4 hole in two strokes—one from the tee the "drive" and another, second, stroke to the green the "approach" —and then roll the ball into the hole in two putts for par. Putting the ball on the green with two strokes remaining for putts is called making "green in regulation" or GIR.
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