Golfing for Novices: Part One


Golfing has become phenomenally popular over the last 45 years, producing such world-class champions as Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. Some first-class courses too have become household names; think of Wentworth, St. Andrews, Augusta and Pinewood.

But why should golfing have become so poplar with the public? Surely, it must be because a round of golf is a leisurely, but nevertheless, active, outdoor pursuit with a competitive side that can be enjoyed with friends but that can never be mastered.

Your scorecard shows your progress, or lack of it, and this can spur you on to want to play again.

Here is a very basic lesson in golf for the person who hasn’t a clue about the game.

A round of golf is usually played on an eighteen hole course. Each hole has its ‘par’, which is the total number of tee shots (drives), fairway shots, chips (short shots near the ‘green’) and putts on the green, it should take to sink the golfball in the hole.

This ‘par’ value is based on the length and difficulty of the hole in question. Pars range from three to six, so if you get the ball into the hole in four shots on a ‘par four’ hole, you made ‘par’. However, if you took three shots, it’s called a ‘birdie’ or five shots a ‘bogie’.

‘Hazards’ or obstructions are usually placed before all the holes. Ponds, sand bunkers and trees are positioned in such a way as to make it more difficult to reach the green. Novice golfers should try to find a course with fewer hazards, which is therefore easier to play.

Players keep their own score of the total number of shots taken for each hole. After the eighteenth hole, they add up their scores and the one with the lowest is the winner.

It is vital that beginners to golfing should not take the game too seriously, because it takes a very long time to play golf proficiently, even if the professionals on TV make it look so easy.

A good tip is to get the basics right from the start by taking a few lessons from the course ‘pro’, because then you will learn the correct posture and swing.

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