Golf or golfing is a club-and-ball sport that is played all over the world. It is a sport where players use different types of clubs in order to hit balls into a series of holes on a course. The balls are to be put into the holes in as few strokes as possible.
Golf is played on a course with an arranged progression of 18 holes (the holes can be smaller depending on the type of game).
Golf doesn’t usually have a standardized playing area, however, the game contains a set of standardized rules and regulations.
These regulations are to be followed while playing the game and if violated, can be penalized.
But before knowing the rules, you should know the central principle of golf that is found in the R&A rule books’ inside front cover.
It states that “Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you cannot do either, do what is fair. But to do what is fair, you need to know the Rules of Golf.”
Here are the basic rules of golf that one has to follow while playing the game.
- You must Tee your Ball, within a Club’s length of the Hole.
- Your Tee must be upon the Ground.
- You are not to change the Ball which you Strike off the Tee.
- You are not to remove Stones, Bones, or any Break Club, for the sake of playing your Ball, Except upon the fair Green, & that only within a Club’s length of your Ball.
- If your Ball comes among Water or any watery filth, you are at liberty to take out your Ball & bringing it behind the hazard, and Teeing it, you may play it with any Club and allow your Adversary a Stroke for so getting out your Ball.
- If your Balls be found anywhere touching one another, You are to lift the first Ball, until you play the last.
- At Holling, you are to play your Ball honestly for the Hole, and, not to play upon your Adversary’s Ball, not lying in your way to the Hole.
- If you should lose your Ball, by its being taken up, or any other way, you are to go back to the Spot, where you struck last, & drop another Ball, And allow your adversary a Stroke for the misfortune.
- No man at Holling his Ball is to be allowed, to mark his way to the Hole with his Club or anything else.
- If a Ball is stopped by any person, Horse, Dog, or anything else, The Ball so stopped must be played where it lies.
- If you draw your Club in order to Strike & proceed so far in the Stroke, as to be bringing down your Club; If then, your Club shall break, in any way, it is to be Accounted a Stroke.
- He whose Ball lyes farthest from the Hole is obliged to play first.
- Neither Trench, Ditch or Dyke, made for the preservation of the Links, nor the Scholar’s Holes or the Soldier’s Lines, shall be accounted a Hazard; But the Ball is to be taken out Teed and played with any Iron Club.
Golf Course Terminology
A golf course is a ground or area where the game of golf is played. It consists of a series of holes (a standard ground consists of 18 holes) where the golf ball is put into. Each hole consists of a teeing ground, fairway, the rough and other hazards, and finally, a green with a flagstick (pin), and hoke (cup).
Along with the rules and regulations golf also has its own sets of terms and terminologies. And this is especially applicable in the golf course.
There are a few sets of golf course terminologies that a beginner or any golfer should be familiar with and they are as follows:
Golf is played in an area that is also called round, and it consists of a number of holes where players are supposed to put the golf ball.
The area where the play begins is known as teeing ground. Teeing ground is also known as tee, or tee box which is derived from the tee which is used to elevate a golf ball before striking it to start the game.
The teeing ground is two club-lengths in depth. And its boundaries are defined by a pair of tee markers. The tees are also used to provide a course rating from which scores are posted to calculate a handicap.
The surface of the teeing ground is usually grass which is shorter than a fairway, however, longer than a green.
And if a player plays from the wrong tee, they might be penalized.
The Green which is also known as the putting green is a golfing area where the grass is very closely trimmed with a relatively even and smooth ground. Here, the players have the freedom of making precision strokes.
The shape of the green can vary according to the ground, however, it is usually flatter than the other areas of the whole course.
The greens do not consist of any fully enclosed hazards like water or sand but are placed adjacent to it.
Players normally use a method which is called “reading” the green in order to make the putt better.
The grass of the green is cut very short for the ball to roll for a long distance.
Thin carpets are sometimes used in a green so that it would be easier to maintain even during bad weather.
Hazards are special areas in a game of golf that consists of additional rules. The hazards in golf are usually of two kinds: Water Hazard and Sand.
The water hazard can be either ponds or lakes and the sand hazard is also known as bunkers or sand traps.
Apart from these, a course can also have other designs that can be considered hazards if they are specifically designated by the course. They are high grass and dense vegetation, earth bunkers, ravines, and other rocky areas, trees and shrubs, and steep inclines.
Fairway and Rough
Fairway is the exact area in a course which lies in between the tee box and the putting green where the grass is cut short and even.
And the area right between the fairway and the out-of-bounds markers and also between a mowed apron surrounding the green and out-of-bounds is knowns as the rough.
The grasses in the rough are cut a bit higher and are a bit rougher than on the fairways making it unfavorable.
Another important part of a game of golf is the equipment it is played with. And the equipment golfers use to play golf with is known as a golf club.
It might look like a simple equipment, however, a golf club is pretty complex and it is very important to know about it.
A golf club is made up of a shaft with a grip and a club head. There are few different types of golf clubs used for specific purposes.
But before knowing the types of clubs, it is important to know the type of materials used in making the golf club.
The shafts in the woods were made up of woods like orangewood, ash, and blue-mahoo in the past before being replaces by hickory.
The club heads were made from woods like dogwood, apple, and pear before persimmon took over.
However, today the shafts are made up of steels, titanium, and other metals or carbon fiber and the grips on the clubs are of either rubber or leather.
Types of Clubs and Their Uses
Woods are the type of golf club that is used for long-distance. They are meant to drive the ball a great distance down the fairway towards the hole. Woods usually consists of a large head and a long shaft maximum club speed.
In a club, there are usually three or four woods which are used from the tee box. And if there is a long hole, then possibly for the second or third shot.
Woods were initially made up of woods but in 1979 the whole game changed after the introduction of the first metal wood made up of steel.
Today, woods are made of different metals like titanium, carbon fiber, and scandium and yet it is still called “wood”. This is to denote a general shape and their intended use on the course.
The biggest wood is known as the driver or one wood and is made of hollowed-out titanium with a feather-light shaft.
Golf clubs with a solid, all-metal head along with a flat angled face, and a shorter shaft are the Irons. It has a more upright lie angle than that of wood for ease of access.
The irons are used for a variety of shots from all over the course. It is used from the tee box area on short or dog-legged holes to the fairway or rough on approach to the green.
It is also used during any tricky situation like getting out of hazards, punching through or lobbing over trees, or hitting from tight lies that requires a compact swing.
The irons in the past were made with forged irons but today, they are investment-cast out of steel alloys. This allows for better engineered cavity back designs with lower centers of mass and higher moments of inertia.
The irons usually have a number from 1 to 9 matching to their relative loft angle within a matched set.
Simply put, wedges are a subclass of irons. However, the features of wedges vary from an iron.
Wedges have a greater loft than that of numbered irons and also has high-mass club heads and wide soles which allows for an easier use around tricky lies.
Wedges are used in different shots like short-distance, high-altitude, high-accuracy utility shots.
There are five types of wedges with lofts ranging from 45 to 64 degrees. They are pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge, and ultra lob wedge.
A special class of clubs with a loft, not more than ten degrees, and are designed essentially to roll the ball along the grass, usually from a point on the putting green toward the hole is what golfers call a putter.
Putters are the only class of golf clubs that are allowed to have a few features like two striking faces, bent shafts or hoseles, non-circular grip cross-sections, and appendages designed especially to aid players’ aim.
As the name itself suggests, hybrids are clubs that is a cross between a wood and an iron. These clubs usually replace low-numbered irons in a men’s set. And in the case of women’s and senior sets, it generally features a combination of high-lofted woods and hybrids to replace 5, 6, and 7-irons.
The built of the hybrid club gives them the distance and higher launch of the woods and the familiar swing of the iron.
The hybrid is typically hollow like a modern metal wood while the club head has a slightly convex face. This allows for high impulse on impact and faster swing speed.
Golf Game Play
Golf might look like a bunch of people gathering around hitting a tiny ball with a strange looking bat. But the truth is, there is so much more to it than just hitting a ball and putting it inside a hole.
There are a few standardized rules and regulations involved along with a proper way to play the game.
For a golfer to play the game of golf, he not only needs to know the rules and regulations but also the proper etiquette of the game.
Postures are very important for anything physical. From sitting down to standing up, postures play a vital role in shaping us up.
And like any other sport, posture is a crucial factor while playing golf. And to learn this one needs a great deal of practice as well as a lot of dedication.
However, that doesn’t mean that one cannot master it. Here are five simple steps to perfect your golf posture.
- Both feet should be pointing on a slight angle outwards at address.
- Hinge at the hips, lean forward with your arms hanging relaxed so your hands are sitting right beneath your head.
- Ensure you have a slight flex in your knees just enough to help keep your spine angle in a nice straight line.
- Tilt your spine about 6 to 8 degrees away from the target doing the drill as described in the video below.
- Feel the weight in your golf posture at set up over your ankles.
Following these five simple steps, every time you swing your club will help ensure that you perfect your posture and be more professional.
Swing is another important factor in improving your gameplay. Along with the correct posture, if a golfer works on his swinging skills, the level of one’s game would improve in no time.
Here are a few helpful tips for the perfect swing and the things you should avoid.
- Start on a practice range, not on the golf course. The range is the perfect place to get acclimated to the game. It’s low-pressure, you can stay as long as you want.
- Work with a professional to get a proper swing foundation.
- Learn how to grip the club properly.
- Bend from your hips.
- Get your lead shoulder under your chin on the backswing and finish with your face, chest, and hips and facing the target.
- Concentrate on the short game by chipping and putting before focusing on long irons (3-iron, 4-iron, etc.) and your hybrids, fairway woods, and driver.
- Buy a glove. Some people like to play without one, but the vast majority of golfers use them. Plus, your uncalloused palm will likely need the protection.
The things you need to avoid are:
- Don’t worry too much about other people’s range.
- Don’t keep your head down and still through impact. Instead, let it follow through with the entire body.
- Don’t bend from your knees.
- Don’t stay flat-footed through impact.
Golfing is all about the target. The equipment you purchase, the posture you maintain, and the swings you practice are only for you to hit the ball to a specific hole, which is the target.
First, you aim for the fairway when you hit the ball from the tee, here, the fairway is your target. Then you target the green as you reach the fairway. And later your target changes to the cup as you reach the green.
For a beginner golfer, it is important that your body and the club are square to your desired target for a proper alignment. Every part of your body needs to be parallel to the target line during your setup.
To make sure about the proper alignment, you need to stand behind your ball and look directly at your target. When taking a stance, you should aim the clubface directly at the spot and align your body with the clubface.
The position of the golf ball really changes relying on which club you’re using. The purpose behind this is we need to somewhat change the impact position and the launch conditions with the goal that we get the best ball flight for the club close by.
Here are some useful tips for proper ball positioning.
- Take your correct width of stance and place a club directly in the center, at right angles to the ball-to-target line.
- This central position is the ideal position for the shortest clubs in your bag – lob wedge, sand wedge, gap wedge, pitching wedge etc. It helps us to hit down on the ball creating more backspin.
- For each longer club, the ball position should move roughly half an inch towards your front foot (left foot for right-handed golfers). So a 7 iron, for example, would be played a couple of inches off center, towards your front foot.
- The longest club in the bag, the driver, should be played just inside the front foot or opposite the left big toe (again for the right-handed golfer). This allows us to sweep the ball away rather than hitting down on it.
- The golf ball position should also move closer and further away from the body with each club – because each club is a different length. For a quick and easy method of positioning the golf ball the right distance from you, see this distance to golf ball tip
Challenges and Difficulties for a Beginner Golfer
Playing golf is not as easy as it looks. It takes years of practice and a lot of effort to become the best in the game.
Golfers invest years and years trying to perfect every little aspect of their gameplay. And for a beginner, it is even more time consuming and sometimes a lot more frustrating than anything else.
There are so many simple and common mistakes and challenges a beginner faces while in the course of making himself perfect.
Here are some common mistakes made by a beginner golfer while learning the ABCs of golf.
Choosing the wrong fit clubs
It is crucial to get clubs that are appropriately fitted to your present skill, swing rate, accuracy, and numerous different components. In the event that you continue having issues with your swing, the main thing you should check is whether your clubs are a solid match for you.
In the majority of the cases, golf clubs will dependably have two unique ranges: forgiveness versus control.
A forgiving club will normally come at the forfeit of shot-forming control, and the other way around. As a beginner, you would need to have the appropriate measure of forgiveness in your clubs. Other than showing signs of improvement, despite everything, we need the intermittent moments of greatness, and that is the reason club forgiveness is critical.
Not Maintaining the Club’s Grooves
Try not to disparage the significance of the clean grooves, particularly with lofted clubs. Clean grooves will fundamentally enable better control of your spin and can create more spin on impact.
Find time to clean the grooves after each shot, and make it a routine. Additionally, clean them before you start your game and each round. On the off chance that you feel the spin and performance beginning to even when it’s clean, at that point you should know that it’s time to get a re-groove.
Additionally, although at times it’s enticing, try to avoid using groove sharpener. It not only causes corrosion quicker, based on the material of your club, using it too much might likewise be unlawful relying upon your local golf rule.
Focusing too much on Distance and Power
As an amateur, your main focus has to be on the consistency of making that well-struck hit on the middle and keeping up the rhythm of your swing. You will be amazed how a well-struck hit will create more distance even at the slower swing.
In the course of recent decades, golf has advanced, and distance has supplanted accuracy and finesse as the main thing golfers are after. You can likewise see in what manner or capacity a considerable amount of present-day club equipment is intended to boost distance, and how every one of the producers have all the discussion about expanding most extreme distance every single year.
All things considered, nothing gives the best adrenaline rush than a lovely, well-struck 270 yards drive, isn’t it?
Because of this, a number of beginners tend to swing excessively hard. In spite of the fact that the common perception is that in the event that we swing sufficiently hard, the ball speed will likewise increase. In all actuality, it tends to be counterproductive to your general distance.
When you swing excessively hard, you can lose your balance and beat, and keeping up the cadence of your swing is particularly essential to create both separation and control. Swinging too hard will likewise tend to extend your abdominal area, making you miss the center of the ball.
Bear in mind another unfortunate propensity: when you swing excessively hard, you frequently shut your eyes in reflex. Keeping up focus and eye to eye connection is additionally fundamental in picking up distance without giving up precision.
After you have kept up the best possible consistency and exactness, you can gradually build your swing until the point that you can locate your own rhythm. Likewise, make sure to dependably keep eye to eye connection on the ball consistently, and keep up your fixation.
Not Enough Practice
Practice makes a man perfect, this is a saying we’ve been taught since an early age. Practice is a vital part of anything we want to achieve without which failure is sure to follow.
Similarly, for a beginner golfer, not getting enough practice before considering himself a professional is the biggest mistake you could make.
The driving reach is a totally extraordinary ball game contrasted with the course, and you may wonder, if you, as of now have enough time in the green, why spend time at the driving range?
To start with, the driving range is to a great extent, a less expensive alternative, and showing signs of improvement in golf isn’t just an interest in time yet additionally in your bankroll as well. And as a beginner, you will require a great deal of training, and on the off chance that you can spend a similar measure of cash to go to the golf course for 10 driving range sessions, at that point the driving range is surely the better alternative.
Another normal error is that players regularly centered excessively around their driver and fairway woods when they are in the driving range. Keep in mind that rehearsing your mid to low irons and pitching is similarly vital, so plan your driving range practice legitimately.
Keep in mind that if you need to show signs of improvement, you ought to separate among training and playing.