What is Golf
Golf is a sport which is played with a precision club and a ball. The competing players use many types of clubs (up to 14 of them) and attempt to hit balls into each hole on a golf course which typically consists of nine or eighteen holes employing least number of strokes.
Each golf course has a unique design and the competing players play the ball from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the rules of the game. An individual competes for the lowest number of strokes for a stroke play competition and teams in the match play.
Play of the game
The great game of Golf has its origin debated but the most widely accepted version is that the modern game originated in Scotland around the 12th century, with shepherds knocking stones into rabbit holes on the current site of the Old Course at St Andrews and spread to other parts of the world after 15th century. India happened to be the second country in the world to play Golf. The British gifted India both Cricket and Golf.
There are various versions by historians linking the origins of golf to China, Italy, Netherlands, France & England though the modern linkage to golf and the widely accepted version is the game which was played in Scotland in 12th century and given below is the chronological order in which the game spread to the rest of the world based on recorded formation of clubs.
- 12th Century Scotland
- 1603 England
- 1829 Calcutta, India
- 1856 Pau France
- 1880’s Newzealand, Australia, Canada & South Africa
- 1881 Singapore
- 1894 Newyork, U.S.A
- 1903 Kobe, Japan
- 19th and 20th Century Rest of the world
Golf Course Map:
Yellow = 9 Hole Course
White = 18 Hole Course
Golf courses have not always had eighteen holes. The numbers of holes in initial stages were determined by the topography of the area. The course that emerged featured eleven holes, laid out end to end from the clubhouse to the far end of the property. One played the holes out, turned around, and played the holes in, for a total of 22 holes. In 1764, several of the holes were deemed too short, and were therefore combined. The number was thereby reduced from 11 to nine, so that a complete round of the links comprised 18 holes. These changes were made at St Andrews and due to the status of St Andrews as the golfing capital, all other courses followed suit and the 18 hole course remains the standard to the present day.
Golf equipment evolution
The evolution of golf can be explained by the development of the equipment used to play the game. Some of the most notable advancements in the game of golf have come from the development of the golf ball. The golf ball took on many different forms before the 1930s when the United States Golf Association (USGA) set standards for weight and size. These standards were later followed by a USGA regulation stating that the initial velocity of any golf ball cannot exceed 250 feet per second. Since this time, the golf ball has continued to develop and impact the way the game is played.
Another notable factor in the evolution of golf has been the development of golf clubs. The earliest golf clubs were made of wood that was readily available in the area. Over the years, Hickory developed into the standard wood used for shafts and American Persimmon became the choice of wood for the club head due to its hardness and strength. As the golf ball developed and became more durable with the introduction of the “gutty” around 1850, the club head was also allowed to develop, and a variety of iron headed clubs entered the game. The introduction of steel shafts began in the late 1890s, but their adoption by the governing bodies of golf was slow. In the early 1970s, shaft technology shifted again with the use of graphite for its lightweight and strength characteristics. The first metal “wood” was developed in the early 1980s, and metal eventually completely replaced wood due to its strength and versatility The latest golf club technology employs the use of graphite shafts and lightweight titanium heads, which allows the club head to be made much larger than previously possible. The strength of these modern materials also allows the face of the club to be much thinner, which increases the spring-like effect of the club face on the ball, theoretically increasing the distance the ball travels. The USGA has recently limited the spring-like effect, also known as the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) to .83 and the maximum club head size to 460cc in an attempt to maintain the challenge of the game.
The Modern Golf Game
The rules of the modern golf game have not dramatically changed all that much since the dawn of golf. Basically all that has changed since the dawn of golf is the equipment (balls and clubs) as well the technique and mechanics behind how to hit, pitch and putt the modern golf ball. The modern golf club and golf ball include the most recent and state of the art technologies to try and give the modern golfers the upper hand. This isn’t always the case however, as the modern layout of the golf course has also changed providing golfers with a real challenge only dreamt of in medieval time.
Golf is one of the only sport wherein players of differing abilities are able to compete with each other on equal terms.Handicap is a numerical measurement of a player’s ability to finish the 18 holes course. An 18 hole course is designed generally to be covered in 72 strokes and a player who consistently (atleast 5 rounds) finishes the course in 72 or less strokes becomes a scratch player and plays with 0 handicap.
A beginner can play on the golf course only with a coach until he gets his player’s certificate or a handicap certificate which generally is given after minimum five rounds of consistent scores of 100 or below for gentlemen and 108 or below for ladies. Gentlemen get a maximum handicap allowance of 28 while the ladies get a maximum handicap allowance of 36 (this may vary with some clubs).
A player’s handicap is intended to show his playing potential and not the average and this allowance is deducted from his total strokes taken to cover the 18 holes course. After deducting the handicaps, net score is arrived and compared with the competing players with different handicap allowance to decide the winner. There are various ways to decide allowance to be given in competition to bring in fair play, give equal opportunity to players of differing abilities and make the game enjoyable, interesting and rewarding too.!
|Table for Handicap allowance|
|Handicap||Diff at7/8||Diff at3/4||Diff at 7/16||Diff at 3/8|