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Golf - Principles Of The Game

In a golf course, we find bunkers and water bodies. We wonder why they are there in the course. They are called hazards or obstacles, laid in the golf course to make the game more difficult for the players. Depressions are created in the ground and filled with sand. Water hazards may be a pond or a stream. Golfers try to avoid such hazards, but if the ball lands in hazards, the player hits the ball if it is playable otherwise lifts the ball out and plays or plays another ball.

If the player uses another ball, he is penalized and one more stroke is added to his score. Now let us see some basic principles of the game. The grip of the player on his club is very important. The grips are of three types: overlapping, interlocking or the baseball grip. A golfer however chooses the one that is most comfortable to him.

Next, a proper stance is important for an accurate swing. Golfers use wide stance for long shots and a narrow stance for close shots, in order to maintain balance. Proper body coordination is important for a correct swing. A golfer lines up the club head with the ball, first, shifts his body weight to his rear leg, and makes his back swing. As he makes the down swing, the weight is shifted forward, hits the ball, and follows through. Some terms used in golf are, “bridle” which a score is gained under par on a hole. “Bogie” is a score of one above par on a hole and a double bogie and triple bogie are two and three above par hole. “Eagle” is two scores under a par hole. If a player puts the ball into the hole from a tee shot is known as “hole in one” or an “ace”. If a player is less competent than his opponent is, a method of equalizing is adopted by allowing a certain number of strokes to the less skilful player and this is known as “handicap”.

“Lie” is a position of the ball when it lies on the course after it is hit. There are two types of games in golf competitions. One is “Match Play” and the other is “Stroke Play”. Golf is an individual game as well as a team game. In match play a golfer or a team hitting the ball into the hole, in minimum numbers of shots wins that hole. Thus, a player or a team winning most number of holes wins the game. In a match, if they say a player is one up or two up that means the player has won that many holes against his opponent. The game is decided when a player has won more holes than the remaining holes. If either teams or players have equal number of hole then the holes are halved and the game is tie. The game then continues.

The player or team who win the first hole is declared winner. In stroke play, the player who takes minimum number of total strokes is the winner. Professional stroke play tournaments are played for 72 holes, which is four rounds, in a normal golf course. Tiebreaker is by way of playoff. In playoffs, the game is played until one player scores lower on one hole. For a “Grand Slam” for men, a competition of four games is organized, in the order of Masters Tournament, the United States Open, the British Open and the Professional Golfers’ Association of America.


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