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The Game of Golf

The moment the word "Golf" is uttered the first picture that comes to one's mind is a sprawling green area populated with people on the higher side of the sophistication and aristocracy yardstick. However, the fact remains that golf is just an outdoor game where players use a club to hit a small golf ball. Well, it isn't that simple, but that forms the crux of the game.


The golf club is specially designed and has a metal shaft or rod and a wooden or a metal club head. The player is to hit the golf ball in a manner so that it reaches a cup, which is placed deep into the ground. The location of the cup is denoted by a flag. Players either walk or drive in over the course singly or in groups, at times, with their caddies. Caddies take care of the equipment and give advice to the players.


A golf course generally consists of eighteen holes. Each hole will have a tee, the place where the game starts, a grass fairway, and a green where the cup is placed. The distance between the tee and the green can be anything between 100 and 600 yards. The aim of the players is to reach the green, with fewer strokes, bypassing obstacles or hazards like water bodies, tall grasses known as roughs, traps with sand, etc. An 'ace' player can make the hole in a single stroke. There are specific names attached to the scores you make in golf like condor, albatross, Eagle, birdie, par, bogey, etc.


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Depending on the distance the ball has to traverse and type of fields, players select their clubs. The golf club can be divided into three functional parts, the grip, the shaft, and the club head. The grip is where you hold the club. The shaft transfers your efforts to the club head that expels the ball toward the hole. There are fourteen types of basic clubs from which the player has to select the one perfectly suitable for him or her.


There are four major golf tournaments, namely the U.S. Open, the Masters, the British Open, and the Professional Golfer's Association Tournament or the PGA.


The origins of the game of golf can be traced back to many centuries ago. Interestingly, one game known to have been popular among ancient Romans closely resembles golf. In the early part of the 15th century, people in Holland played golf in frozen canals. Since those times, golf has come a long way. Modern innovations and technological improvements have given tremendous impetus to the game. Golf courses are specially designed these days with underground heating systems so that it can be played throughout the year. Clubs with polymeric materials, special putting aids, accessories, Internet-based video tutorials, etc. are advancing the game everyday. There are great masters of the game who have contributed immensely in making the game popular and in it reaching out to the common man.