Golf is an individual sport encompassing patience, strength, and poise. The objective of the game is to hit the golf ball from the starting point into the hole as few times as possible.
The golfer with the fewest number of hits in the course is declared the winner. The hole in golf has two different, yet associated meanings. The first meaning of the hole is that it is a physical hole on each course indicated with a colored flag that the golf ball must roll into. The second, related meaning is that the whole area from the starting point to the physical hole is also considered the hole.
A standard course that golfers play are 18 holes. At the first hole, all players will strike the golf ball and the player that hit the ball furthest away from the hole will go first, following suit in that order. The player with the least amount of shots in the preceding hole will go first for the next hole, continuing this rule throughout the course. A player cannot move their ball by any means and must play as it is found. If the ball was swung into out of bounds or in an area not retrievable, such as water, then one stroke will be added to the player's score as a penalty. The player will get a new ball which they must hit from the original starting point. This format will continue until all of the holes have been completed.
There is a lot of equipment used in golf. A golf club is a long handled tool that golfers use to strike the ball towards the hole. It consists of the body, which is the stick portion, and the head, which is the rounded portion of the club at the bottom and it is the place where the golf ball comes into contact with the club. Depending on how far you aim to strike the ball determines the golf club that is recommended to use. Golfers can have a maximum of 14 different golf clubs in their bag. Usually, golfers have three woods, one hybrid club, seven irons, and one putter. This totals to 12 golf clubs, so there are two extra club options that a golfer can put into their golf bag depending on how they swing the clubs.
The most essential rule in golf is to follow the etiquette implemented by the golf course. Generally, players must behave in a courteous manner, and hollering and excessive cheering is not allowed. Behaving negatively, such as acting like a sore loser, from a poor swing is also not permitted on the grounds. Running from one hole to another is not permitted on the golf courses, and a player must stand still when other players play their shot. When players are swinging, it is courteous to remain silent for the swinger to focus. Anyone who does not follow these rules may be disqualified from the Committee overseeing the game.
The scoring for golf is relatively simple. Players count the number of times they had to stroke the golf ball to sink into the hole. The score, however, is expressed in terms of under or over par. Par is the expected number of strokes that a decent golfer can complete the hole in. If a player went below par, then the score for the player is negative. Players keep track of their score for every hole and then at the end of the course, the players add up their numbers (negative, zero, or positive) on every hole to get their final score for the course. The player with the lowest score wins. This is called the stroke play system.
The landscape of the golf course is divided up into inner and outer sections. Every hole in each course varies, however, there are some features that exist in every hole. The tee is the starting point of each hole and players swing the ball in the tee box. The fairway is the area of grass between the tee and the green. The green has the shortest grass and it is where the hole is located. The rough is the area that surrounds the fairway and the green. The grass in the rough is much longer than the other feature, making it difficult for the player to get the ball out of the rough and into the fairway or green. Hazards are areas on the course, such as sand traps and ponds.
In many golf courses, there is a dress code that players must adhere to. Men are usually required to wear a collared shirt and trousers. Women are suggested to wear a collared top and a golf skirt. Clean golf shoes with tall socks are also advised. A dress code is a way for the players to show respect to one another, and to the golf course.
There are different terms that golf players use to express their score, besides the number. Par equates to a 0 score, a birdie means that the player earned a score of -1, an eagle is a score of -2, and an albatross is a score of -3. A bogey means that the score is +1, a double bogey is +2, and a triple bogey is +3.