In the history of golf – the rules were first devised and written down in 1744 and have been adjusted, amended and outright changed countless times. New clauses,…
In the history of golf – the rules were first devised and written down in 1744 and have been adjusted, amended and outright changed countless times. New clauses, sub-clauses and other addendum’s have been added until there are very few people that really understand the rules of what should be a very simple game. If you are simply out to play a round of golf with your friends on a public course, then only the most basic of the rules should concern you, but if your goal is to wind up in tournament play, and you actually have the talent to make that a possibility, then it would be in your best interest to start studying the rule book now.
We are all aware that private clubs and resorts have rules governing what may and may not be worn on their courses, as well as who has which tee time, but we are not talking about those rules here, we are talking about the rules of Golf. The rules set forth by the Golf association and the PGA tours are the most complicated, and the ones generally followed on all courses.
Some of the easier to understand rules are the uncomplicated, common sense of good manners and decorum, but sometimes even those basic concepts have to be written down for people to comply with them. These include: not talking when others are making their shot, looking around to see where everybody is before swinging, and not moving your ball around willy-nilly. There are times that the ball is in an area that you cannot humanly play it where it lies, but there are options for how to handle that situation. You must adhere to the rules- even when you are only playing with friends.
The majority of the rules are actually related to the ball and how it should be handled during a round of golf. From where the ball must be played, to how you can handle unplayable balls, the ball is one of the most regulated parts of the golf rules.
A prime example is the “lost ball”. The rules say that if you hit a ball that you cannot find within five minutes, you must head back to the tee and use a new ball. Of course, you will incur a penalty stroke, and well, you have just lost your ball!
And Finally, the Overview of the Course Itself
Courses have changed from those early days. Where golf was once a mere pastime played in fields, it is now a sport enjoyed by millions the world over, on courses that are gorgeous modern marvels to man’s will to tame nature. The average golf course is eighteen holes, although smaller courses are only nine. (Nine-hole courses are usually the smaller budgeted or smaller landed courses.) The size of the typical golf course? They range between 5,500 and 7,000 yards, which is why golf is a really good exercise. Do not head out thinking you can handle the high end course on your first day- for one thing, even when you “cheat” and use a golf cart, it is a ton of walking. For another thing, you are lugging a golf bag around with you that can easily weigh around twenty pounds or more. How heavy do you think that golf bag will feel by hole sixteen or so?
Each hole on a course is given a “par” which is the average number of strokes that it should take to play that hole. Most courses have a mixture of par-3s, par-4s and par-5s. Remember though, the basic tenet of golf is that the lower your score, the better you are, so you want to try to use par as a goal to beat, not just a guideline. And, make sure that the bulk of your shots are taken before you get to the putting green for that hole. Bad putting can really add the strokes, which is why many golf pros will have you doing putting drills until you are ready to wrap a nine iron around his neck.
Golf Today: Sport, Hobby and Fitness
Golf has changed countless times since its much-debated origin. From fertility rite, to elite sport of the wealthy to the pastime of a bored shepherd, golf has undergone equipment and rule changes to evolve into one of the world’s most popular sports today. It is watched, played and admired by literally millions. Some of the world’s most popular athletes are golfers- with the fan clubs, websites and memorabilia to prove it.
Many new golfers come to the game as a form of both relaxation and exercise- especially when they are directed to do so by their doctors. For those that are new to both the game and to exercising, weekly golf lessons, and a round of nine holes should be plenty, and be sure that you keep careful check on how you feel throughout the afternoon. Remember, golf is a lot more work than what most people credit it with. It works the shoulders, the torso, the lower back and the legs that can be quite painful if you have been lying around for a long time.
But, don’t get the idea that is only older people forced off of the couch by their doctors and health conditions that take up golf, children as young as four play the game, in fact, little Tiger Woods putted against Bob Hope when he was a mere two years old! High schools across the country have golf teams, and there has been many a youngster that made it to the college of their dreams on a golfing scholarship. Many of us will never play in a tournament, but that does not mean we cannot work hard to get the best golf score that we can get, or that we cannot enjoy each and every warm afternoon on the links that we possibly can.
Check with your doctor, especially if you are an older adult, and then start small. (Miniature golf really does not count, sorry!) If you can walk, you can learn to golf. Check into a few golf lessons, and then head out and swing that club!
Golf is also one of the most popular spectator sports in the world as well. Ratings for televised golf tournaments have always been historically very strong, and there are several cable television networks dedicated to golf alone. Type golf into your favourite search engine and you will be shocked by the sheer volume of hits the word “golf” will generate. And again, the pro golfers these days are like rock stars or actors, famed and adored, many with multiple endorsement deals.
Why Golf is so Popular: A Few Theories
Golf is one of the world’s favourite sports for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it is accessible to most people- you only have to be able to get to the course. The equipment can be pricey, but there are ways to cut corners and reduce the costs there, so that becomes less of a factor. Golf is a no-contact, low impact form of exercise and when done properly does not carry as much of a risk factor to your joints and body as say, jogging would.
Golf does not discriminate by size. You do not have to be super tall or super lean to play golf. You do not have to be built like an appliance to play golf. You never have to run really fast, catch a speeding ball or hip-check your golfing companions. You can be short, tall, fat or thin and still play golf. You can be a fifteen-year old boy, a thirty eight year old woman, or anyone in between. Ultimately, golf is played by many, because it can be played by any.
Go to the local golf course and watch the people coming and going. You will see a healthy blend of every size, shape and age group. The pros that you watch on television are not built like ultra-fit, athlete-droids; they look like the fit friend that you secretly loathe. You may or may not understand all of the golf terminology and jargon, but you can still basically follow the tournament action. If you have golfed a few times, you may find yourself swept up in a championship, even if you never thought it was possible.
The Superstars of Golf: Names Even Anti-Golfers Know By Heart
Mention golf to anybody in the world and you will eventually here the names Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods. Both are excellent representatives of the sport of golf both for today and the future. Excellent athletes, high earning and personable, they embody the game of golf and sportsmanship with dignity and good graces. Battling back from injuries and personal setbacks, both players have shown their dedication to the sport they play so well, setting fine examples for other golfers to follow.
Annika turned pro in 1994 and has won no less than ten majors in her stellar career. She has had sixteen international victories and remains one of the most enduringly popular players on the LPGA tour. A back injury in 2007 limited Annika to only a baker’s dozen event, but of those nearly half were top ten finishes! On a personal level, Annika started golfing at twelve and is not the only member of her family in the LPGA, (sister, Charlotta is a golfer as well.)
Tiger Woods is one of the most recognizable faces in the game today, not only because of his remarkable career, but for his many endorsement deals as well. Woods turned pro in 1996, and has been a fixture in the majors since. Injuries have plagued in him recent years, but he remains and enduring fan favourite.
The Final Wrap-Up Of The History Of Golf
From a fertility rite in ancient Egypt, to one of the most popular sports to both play and watch, the history of golf is filled with nearly as many twists and turns as the very best courses themselves. Did the Chinese aristocracy really invent and play golf countless years before bored shepherds in Scotland? Was the game brought to Europe by Mongol traders and then scattered across the continent? Did those early pioneers ever think that there would be such a thing as the internet, and even more unbelievable, the chance to get online golf lessons? Who really could say who has the right to claim golf as their own invention? In the end, does the beginning really matter to those that really love the game?
No matter where it started, golf has come light years from wooden, or even gem covered clubs of yesteryear. Titanium shafts, ultra-light heads and better-designed balls mean that today’s average golfers are smacking out distances of 300 yards or more on a daily basis. That was an unimaginable feat back in the days of boiled feather filled balls!
Golf is not only one of fastest growing sports, it is also one of the most watched sporting events on television as well. Networks find their coverage of major tournaments to bring in strong numbers, year after year, especially when a fan favourite like Tiger Woods is participating.
And if you like your hsitory of golf a little bit more light hearted then take a look at this video of Robin Williams performing his take on how the Scottish invented golf – The History Of Golf Robin Williams Style