It’s pretty hard to summarize golf in such a short article. However, we have tried our best to distill the essence of the sport. Here are a few rules and tips for success if you’re aspiring to be a great golfer, even as you hone your skill with golf training aids.
The Backstory of Golf
It’s always a good thing to start to learn a sport by learning about its history. As it turns out, golf has a very long history. It can be traced back to China thousands of years ago ― at least a variant of it. The modern version featuring 18 holes was first played in Scotland in the 15th century. The first mention of the sport in historical records was in 1457 when the sport was banned by Parliament for the fact that people would be distracted by it instead of focusing on their military training. The word “golf” itself is an old word that used to mean “club,” referring to the golf clubs used to hit the ball around.
Important Terms in Golf
There are a few terms you need to get acquainted with if you’re going to be a golfer:
- Greens: These are the areas that surround the hole and features closely cropped grass
- Fairways: These are the parts of the course that lead up to the greens
- Tees: Also known as the tee box, this is the area where the initial shot for each hole begins; the ball is usually a peg, also called a tee, made from wood, metal or other material
- Bunkers: This is a ditch filled with sand that surrounds the green
- Roughs: This is an area on either side of the fairway that is full of long grass and trees
- Strokes: A stroke is each that you make when you hit the ball; scores are tracked by counting these strokes
- Hazards: A hazard is anything that stands between you and the hole and prevents you from getting the ball into the hole; it includes trees, bunkers, ponds and streams
- Par: this is the expected number of strokes you should expect to get the ball from the tee to the hole for each hole
- Ace: An ace is a hole in one
- Eagle: Two strokes under par count as an eagle
- Albatross: Three strokes under par on a single shot; also known as a double eagle
- Birdie: This is one stroke under par
- Bogey: A bogey is one stroke above par
- Double bogey: This is two strokes above par
- Triple bogey: This is three strokes above par
As a general rule, good-quality golf gear is a bonus for good players and can be detrimental to players with less skill. Don’t spend too much on your first set of golf gear because you will likely want to get a better set as your game improves.
Here are a few tips on the etiquette to observe on the golf course:
- Don’t walk through the line from someone’s ball to the hole
- Don’t talk when someone is attempting to swing
- Don’t lose your temper on the course
- Don’t hit the ball into the group of people playing ahead of you
- Be punctual
As a general rule, make sure you have lots of fun.
Remember a few things about golf. First, it isn’t an easy sport and, therefore, requires you to have patience and diligence. You should also start at the practice range and putting and chipping greens before heading out to the course for the first time. Start with easier, shorter courses with fewer hazards to hone your skills before you try out the more difficult ones. Finally, always track your progress so that you can see how well you are taking to the game.