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Golf

INTRODUCTION

Golf is the most popular and fastest-growing sport in many countries today. People of all ages can

(and do) play golf, at many different levels of skill. Why is golf so popular? Its relaxing, its good

exercise and its played in pleasant surroundings. It presents challenges,yet isnt too taxing to be

played at an amateur level. Golf is also a great spectator sport. Thousands of viewers watch the

sport on television, while thousands more follow their favorite golf pro to tournaments.

HISTORY OF GOLF

According to legend, a shepherd in Scotland hit a stone with a stick and watched the

stone soar in the air. Thus the game of golf was born!

Golf flourished first in Scotland and later in England. The first golf balls used in England

around the fifteenth century were called featherybecause they were made of

leather and stuffed with feathers.

The game of golf grew in popularity, especially among the wealthy because it was seen

as a game played and controlled by the upper classes. Although many people still consider golf

a rich mans game,public courses in contemporary America are open to the population at large.

Golf first became popular in America around 1895, when the first U. S. Open Tournament

was held. The first 18-hole golf course opened in Wheaton, Illinois in 1893.

HOW GOLF IS PLAYED

Golf is played on a golf course. Full-sized courses have 18 holes, while smaller courses have only 9 holes. Golf balls are

placed on small wooden or plastic supports called tees,which are pressed into theground on a teeing ground.Golf clubs

are used to hit the balls off the tees in the

direction of the next hole, which is on what

is called a greenor putting green.The area between the tee and the green is calledthe fairway.Trees, lakes, streams, sand, and other obstructions may be on either side

of the fairway. Sometimes, fairways are shaped like arms that are bent at the elbows.

The object of the game is to hit the golf ball off the tee, up

the fairway, to the putting green, and into the hole with the

fewest number of strokes possible. Each hole has a designated

number of strokes. This designated number of strokes

is called par,from which we get the popular expression,

par for the course.Thus, a good player can move theball from the tee to the hole on a par 4hole in four strokes.

Par can vary from three to five strokes, depending on the

difficulty of the course and the distance of the hole from

the tee.

An excellent player may put the ball in the hole with fewer or greater strokes than are

assigned as par for a particular hole. When this is done, there is a name for it:

BIRDIE Hitting the ball into the hole with one stroke under par.

BOGIE Hitting the ball into the hole with one stroke more than par.

EAGLE Hitting the ball into the hole with two strokes under par. An

Eagle is possible on any hole above par 3.

ACE Hitting the ball into the hole with one stroke. An aceis also

called a hole in one.

According to golfing rules, once the ball is placed on a tee, it cannot be touched by

anything other than a golf club until it is taken out of the hole. Most golfers strive to keep

the ball on the fairway, the area between the teeing ground and putting green. If a ball is

hit badly, it may end up in the rough,or the area near the fairway with bushes, trees

and tall grass. Balls which are hit inaccurately also may end up in bunkers or sand traps.

GOLF ETIQUETTE

All sports require that the participant practice sportsmanlike behavior. Part of the goal of

sports is learning how to be both a good winner and a good loser. Golf is no exception.

Always observe the following six rules of golf etiquette:

1. Dont talk or move around when a player is

about to hit the ball. All players should keep

their distance from the golfer who is about

to hit the ball. She or he should not be distracted

by talking or movements by other

players.

2. Replace any damage done to the course. If

your golf club digs up a chunk of grass (a

divot,in golfing terminology) on a shot,

put the grass back where it came from. Also,

rake a sand trap smooth after stepping out of

it.

3. When a group of players is particularly slow, the group behind should be

allowed to move ahead.

4. Technically, each group should be allowed to finish the hole before the next

group starts. No one can tee off when another group is finishing up on the

putting green. On holes of great distance, a group may tee off when the

party in front of them is still on the fairway, but at a safe distance.

5. Help keep the putting green in immaculate condition. Keep carts and golf

cars away from the greens.

6. Learn the proper way to warn other players about an approaching ball. If a

player hits a ball too hard, inaccurately or carelessly and it heads for another

player, the golfer who hit the ball should yell out Fore!to warn

others.

PLAYING TECHNIQUES

THE GRIP

The grip is an important element in golf since the hands are the only parts of the body

that touch a golf club. There are three types of grips in golf, as follows:

The interlocking grip. This type of grip is good for persons with

shorter fingers. The little finger of the right hand locks between

the index finger and the middle finger of the left hand. This is an

extremely stable grip, and keeps the hands and fingers in the same

position throughout the swing.

The overlapping grip. In this grip, the little finger of the right

hand overlaps the index finger and middle finger of the left hand

(the opposite if you are left-handed). This is a stable grip, but not

as stable as the interlocking grip.

The baseball grip. In this type of grip, all ten fingers are on the

club (as one would do in holding a baseball bat), with no interlocking

or overlapping. This grip is not as stable as either of the

other two grips.

No one type of grip is absolutely superior to the others. Different people have different

skeletal lever systems, and different muscular development. Some people like the interlocking

grip because of its stability. Others find it too confining and difficult to use. The

choice of grip depends on which one best suits the individual golfer.

THE GOLF SWING

In order to hit a golf ball accurately from a specific distance, a player must know the

fundamentals of the golf swing. The correct way to swing can be broken down into

steps, as follows. However, note that the swing, when performed properly, is one con

tinuous smooth motion:

1. Stand before the ball with the face (flat area) of the golf

club head positioned next to the ball. This is called addressingthe ball. If you are right-handed, your left side

will be turned toward the green. The opposite is true if

you are left-handed. Keep your eye on the ball as you

start your backward swing.

2. Swing the club in an arc backward away from the ball.

When the club is at about waist height, your wrists will

remain stable as you grip the club. The shoulder facing

the green will come up under the chin and the hips will

begin to rotate away from the green. Keep your eye on

the ball.

3. When the golf club is brought back as far as it can go in

the backswing, your shoulders should be turned about

90 degrees from the direction your toes are pointing. Your

hips should be turned about 45 degrees. Dont take your

eye off the ball.

4. Start the downward motion of the club with a rotation of

your hips toward the direction of the green. Keep your

eye on the ball.

5. Follow the hip motion with the arms coming down with

the wrists still stable. Do NOT lead the motion with the

arms; lead with the hips. Keep your eye on the ball.

6. As the arms straighten, the club face hits the ball. Follow

the ball with your eyes.

7. The swing does not stop at this point. The club continues to follow its path

in the direction of the green as you finish off the swing. This is called the

follow-through.

8. Make every swing a full swing.

If a golf swing is properly done, it should look and feel smooth, effortless, and powerful,

accomplished in a single smooth motion in the backswing, then a single smooth motion

through the arc of the forward swing and into the follow-through.

Strength doesnt necessarily mean a great deal in the game of golf. Having strong armsdoesnt necessarily mean that the ball will travel a great distance when you hit it. To get

the maximum distance when hitting a golf ball, you must coordinate the movements of

your hips, torso, arms and wrists.

Think of your body as a whip, starting in the hips and ending in the head of the golf club.

When the face of the club connects with the ball, that point of impact should be the point

at which the swing has achieved its fastest motion and greatest energy. That energy is

imparted to the ball by the face of the club. The greater the energy, the farther the ball

will go. The smoother and more coordinated the swing, the greater the energy.

PUTTING

Putting is done when the ball is on the green and must now be

hit into the hole. The ball may be near to, or far from the hole.

Also, the green may slope off at an angle, may have rough and

smooth grassy sections, and may be wet or dry. Each of these

conditions will affect accurate putting.

When spectators are watching golfers on the putting green, they

often think It looks so easy!However, this isnt usually the

case. Putting is often the critical factor in a golf game. Many a

golfer has lost a tournament because his or her putting wasnt

precise enough.

Good putting requires a delicate touch and good judgment. There are many different

styles of putting, and many different conditions on the putting green. But three things are

necessary:

Keep your eye on the ball.

Keep your head absolutely still.

Move the putter along the line of the putt as if it were going through the

ball.

EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING

Different golf clubs are designed to perform different tasks. Drivers are designed to hit

the ball long distances, and are usually used on the teeing ground. Drivers are made of

wood or composition material. Irons(which are made of plated brass and/or steel, not

iron) are usually used on the fairway. Putters are used on the green.

Golf clubs have varying degrees of angles on their faces. This angle is called loft.The

angle is measured from the vertical. Hence:

A wedge has the greatest loft and a very severe angle, and is used to

scoop a ball out of the sand.

A nine iron has a large loft or angle, so it can propel a ball

upwards in an arc over obstacles.

The five iron has less loft and a shallower angle, and is

commonly used to hit the ball on down the fairway toward

the green.

A driver has little angle and loft, and is used to drive the

ball from the tee down the fairway.

A putter has almost no angle, since it is used for short, precise shots on the green.

A professional golfer usually owns four different wood clubs and ten different iron clubs.

An amateur, however, can usually play with about half that number. A good amateur bag

could carry the following clubs: Driver, Five iron, Seven iron and Putter

Golf balls weigh slightly over an ounce in weight. They are made of rubber and silicone,

and other synthetic materials. The surface of golf balls are covered

with tiny round indentations, spaced at regular intervals. These

indentations are aerodynamic, and give the ball accuracy

in flighta far cry from the old feather-stuffed

balls first used in the game!

GOLF NOTES AND NEWS

One doesnt ordinarily associate golf with strong emotional experiences. Instead, golfers

seem cool and detached as they walk the links, concentrating on the ball and honing

their skills. But while golf does not present the spectacle offered by football or basketball,

the drama is there. 1997 offered some of the most dramatic moments ever in golf,

especially with the electrifying appearance of Tiger Woods. He started the 1997 professional

tour with a victory at the Mercedes Championships in January, and then went on

to set the course on fire in Augusta, Georgia at The Masters. In 1998 and 1999, however,

he faded a bit. A recent Official World Golf Ranking showed Tiger Woods as the number

one ranked golfer in the world, with David Duval ranked second and Colin Montgomery

third. Tiger continues to be a money leader in 2001 with earnings over four million after

13 events. Annika Sorenstam leads the LPGA money winners with earnings over one

million after 15 events.

2001 Major Tournaments and Winners:

Tournament Winner

Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Joe Durant

Players Championship Tiger Woods

The Masters Tiger Woods

Mercedes Championship Jim Furyk

Houston Open Hal Sutton

Nissan Open Robert Allenby

Buick Invitational Phil Mickelson

Phoenix Open Mark Calcavecchia

Honda Classic Jesper Parnevik

Pebble Beach Davis Love III

One of golfs great accomplishments was Tiger Woods

win at Augusta on April 8, 2001. This gave Tiger four

majors in a row which included the U.S. Open, the British

Open, and the PGA. Woods is the only man to hold

all four of golfs major trophies at the same time. I understandwhat Ive accomplished,said Woods. I have a

better appreciation for what this means. You have to have

your game peak at the right time.Tiger finished the 2001

golf season earning well over five million dollars while

participating in 18 events. Second in earnings was Phil Mickelson who played in 23

events and accumulated over four million dollars.

WHAT TO DO:

The following questions will help you to have a greater appreciation and understanding

of golf. Write your answers in the spaces below the questions. If there is not enough

room, write on the backs of these sheets. Be neat, spell correctly, and write in complete

sentences.

1. What physical benefits can be derived from playing golf?

2. Is golf really just a rich persons game?Explain your answer.

3. What is a birdie? a bogey? an eagle?

4. What does it mean to say that a ball ends up in the rough?

5. Why does a professional golfer usually own many types of clubs?

6. Name three types of grips in golf.

7. Name six steps in making a smooth swing.

8. What two things are fundamental to good putting?

9. How should you warn other players of an approaching ball?

10. What should you do after you step out of a sand trap?

Short Answer Questions:

1. This grip reminds one of holding a bat

2. The number of clubs in a good amateur golf bag

3. Usual number of holes on golf courses

4. The area between the tee and the green

5. Type of grip where fingers are entwined

6. Hitting a ball into a hole two strokes under par

7. Name of gadget on which the golf ball is placed

8. The club with the greatest loft

9. Hitting a ball into a hole one stroke under par

10. Rated strokes for a particular hole

11. The first US _____ tournament was held in 1895

12. Type of grip where fingers of one hand are on top of fingers of the other

13. Hitting a ball into a hole one stroke over par

14. A fifteenth century English name for golf balls

15. This club is used on the green

16. Wood used to hit the ball off the tee

17. Where legend says golf was invented

18. The highest par rating on a hole

19. The hole is located here

20. Hitting a ball into a hole with one stroke

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