‘Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad.’ A. A. Milne
This glorious game of golf is a sport played by individuals that hit a ball measuring no more than 1.68 inches, with an implement called a club from a piece of ground, commonly known as the teeing ground, into a hole measuring 4.5 inches.
The distance between the tee and the hole can range from 100 yards to 600 yards. On very rare occasions, the distance can be in excess of 600 yards and the object is to get the ball into the hole with as few strokes of the club as is possible.
A standard golf course consists of 18 holes which vary in length, design and degree of difficulty; these three factors combined dictate the par of the hole (how many shots a player is allowed to complete the hole). Par for each hole depends largely on the length but also differs for men’s golf and ladies golf.
A Par 3 is anything up to 250 yards for men and 210 yards for women, a Par 4 anything up to 470 yards for men and 400 yards for women and a Par 5 up to 690 yards for men and 575 yards for women, on very rare occasions a Par 6 comes into play on holes over 690 yards but theses are very rare.
Golf is renowned for its honesty and fairness among its players,
Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you cannot do either, do what is fair.( courtesy of the back page of the R+A rules book).
and the fairness is reflected in a handicapping system that brings all levels of skill back to an even playing field for the round to remain competitive. Every hole of a golf course has a stroke index ie: Stroke Index 1 = hardest hole, Stroke Index 18 being the easiest.So a player that has a handicap of 18 would be allowed 18 shots taken from his total score.
. The normal maximum handicap is:
Men: 28 Women: 36 Juniors: 29-54
Golf is probably unique on the fact that unlike many sports, the area of play is not standard or fixed in size, so no matter which course a person plays it will be completely different to the previous and this is one of the many aspects of golf that have made it so popular and interesting.
Courses are also built and designed on differing ground aspects, Links, Heathland, Parkland, Forest and Dessert. Many people enjoy trying out and experiencing different courses. Many golf courses are known for their beauty or difficulty.
Perhaps the most famous golf course in the UK is St Andrews (Commonly known as the Home of Golf) and probably the course that springs to mind in the United States is Augusta National in Augusta, Ga. This is where The Masters golf tournament is played each year, and apart from Augusta, which is a member’s only course, there are many many famous courses that the paying public can play.
Imagine walking down the 15th fairway at Gleneagles Centenary Course, after hitting a superb drive, you are now faced with a shot into the green, just like Jamie Donaldson in the 2014 Ryder Cup to clinch his match and win the Ryder Cup for Team Europe, what other sport can give you that momentous feeling. Not too sure the hierarchy at Wembley Stadium would be too pleased at 2 four balls having a kick about on their hallowed turf, or the MCC being too thrilled at a quick 20 over match out in the middle at Lords, but with Golf these moments are possible.