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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Golf player Hawaii 2002.jpg
A golfer in his backswing
Highest governing body R&A
First played 15th century
Contact No
Categorization Outdoor
Equipment Golf clubs, golf ball
Olympic 1900, 1904, 2016[1], 2020[2]

Golf is a precision club-and-ball sport, in which competing players (golfers), using many types of clubs, attempt to hit balls into each hole on a golf course while employing the fewest number of strokes. Golf is one of the few ball games that does not require a standardized playing area. Instead, the game is played on golf "courses", each of which features a unique design, although courses typically consist of either nine or 18 holes. Golf is defined, in the rules of golf, as "playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules." Golf competition is generally played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known simply as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes during a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play.



The origin of golf is unclear and open to debate. Some historians[3] trace the sport back to the Roman game of paganica, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. One theory asserts that paganica spread throughout Europe as the Romans conquered most of the continent, during the first century B.C., and eventually evolved into the modern game.[4] Others cite chuiwan ("chui" means striking and "wan" means small ball) as the progenitor, a Chinese game played between the eighth and 14th centuries.[5] The game is thought to have been introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Another early game that resembled modern golf was known as cambuca in England and chambot in France.[6] This game was, in turn, exported to the Low Countries, Germany, and England (where it was called pall-mall, pronounced “pell mell”). Some observers, however, believe that golf descended from the Persian game, chaugán. In addition, kolven (a game involving a ball and curved bats) was played annually in Loenen, Netherlands, beginning in 1297, to commemorate the capture of the assassin of Floris V, a year earlier.

According to the most widely accepted account, however, 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.[7]

Golf course

A model of the 17th hole of the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course.

A golf course consists of a series of holes, each with a teeing area that is set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area, fairway, rough and other hazards, and the putting green surrounded by the fringe with the pin (flagstick) and cup. Different levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty, or to allow for putting in the case of the green. While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the tee-off point to the green, some of the holes may bend, either to the left or to the right. This is called a "dogleg", in reference to a dog's knee. The hole is called a "dogleg left" if the hole angles leftwards and vice versa; sometimes, a hole's direction can bend twice and is called a "double dogleg". A typical golf course consists of 18 holes but nine hole courses are common and can be played twice through for 18 holes.[8][9]

Early Scottish golf courses were primarily laid out on links land, soil covered sand dunes directly inland from beaches.[10] This gave rise to the term golf links, particularly applied to seaside courses and those built on naturally sandy soil inland.

Play of the game

1=teeing ground, 2=water hazard, 3=rough, 4=out of bounds, 5=sand bunker, 6=water hazard, 7=fairway, 8=putting green, 9=flagstick, 10=hole

Every round of golf is based on playing a number of holes in a given order. A round typically consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout. On a nine-hole course, a standard round consists of two consecutive nine-hole rounds. Playing a hole on a golf course is initiated by putting a ball into play by striking it with a club on the teeing area (also called the "tee box" or simply "the tee.") When this initial stroke (or "shot") is required to be a long one due to the length of the hole, it is usual (but not required) for a golfer to suspend (or "tee") the ball on a tee prior to striking it. A "tee" in this last sense is a small peg which can be used to elevate the ball slightly above the ground up to a few centimeters high. This elevation is at the discretion of the golfer. Tee pegs are commonly made of wood but may be constructed of any material; the ball may even be "tee'd" on a mound of grass or dirt (at one time a small pile of sand placed by the golfer was routinely used and sand was provided at teeing areas for golfers' use).

When the initial shot on a hole is a long-distance shot intended to move the ball a great distance down the fairway, this shot is commonly called a "drive." Shorter holes generally are initiated with "shorter" clubs. Once the ball comes to rest, the golfer strikes it again as many times as necessary using shots that are variously known as a lay-up, an approach, a "pitch", or a chip, until the ball reaches the green, where he or she then putts the ball into the hole (commonly called "sinking the putt"). The goal of getting the ball into the hole ("holing" the ball) in as few strokes as possible may be impeded by obstacles such as areas of long grass called rough (usually found alongside fairways) which both impedes advancement and makes it harder to advance the golf ball, bunkers ("sand traps"), and water hazards.[8] In most forms of gameplay, each player plays his or her ball until it is holed.

Players can walk or drive in motorized carts over the course. Play can be done either singly or in groups and sometimes accompanied by caddies, who carry and manage the players' equipment and who are allowed by the rules to give advice on the play of the course.[11] A caddies' advice can only be given to the player or players for whom the caddy is working, and not to competing players.

Rules and regulations

The rules of golf[12][13] are internationally standardised and are jointly governed by The R&A, spun off in 2004 from The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (founded 1754), and the United States Golf Association (USGA).

The underlying principle of the rules is fairness. As stated on the back cover of the official rule book: Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you cannot do either, do what is fair.

There are strict regulations regarding the amateur status of golfers.[14] Essentially, anybody who has ever received payment or compensation for giving instruction, or played golf for money, is not considered an amateur and may not participate in competitions limited solely to amateurs. However, amateur golfers may receive expenses which comply with strict guidelines and they may accept non-cash prizes within the limits established by the Rules of Amateur Status.

In addition to the officially printed rules, golfers also abide by a set of guidelines called golf etiquette. Etiquette guidelines cover matters such as safety, fairness, pace of play, and a player's obligation to contribute to the care of the course. Though there are no penalties for breach of etiquette rules, players generally follow the rules of golf etiquette in an effort to improve everyone's playing experience.


Penalties are incurred in certain situations. They are counted towards a player's score as if there were extra swing(s) at the ball. Strokes are added for rule infractions or for hitting one's ball into an unplayable situation. A lost ball or a ball hit out of bounds result in a penalty of one stroke and distance. (Rule 27-1) A one stroke penalty is assessed if a player's equipment causes the ball to move or the removal of a loose impediment causes the ball to move. (Rule 18-2) If a golfer makes a stroke at the wrong ball (Rule 19-2) or hits a fellow golfer's ball with a putt (Rule 19-5), the player incurs a two stroke penalty. Most rule infractions lead to stroke penalties but also can lead to disqualification. Disqualification could be from cheating, signing for a lower score, or from rule infractions that lead to improper play.[15]


Golf clubs are used to hit a golf ball. Each club is composed of a shaft with a lance (grip) on the top end and a club head on the bottom. "Long" clubs, which have a lower amount of degreed loft, are those meant to propel the ball a comparatively longer distance and "short" clubs, a higher degree, a comparatively short distance. Typically, the actual physical length of each club is longer or shorter, depending on the distance the club is intended to propel the ball. The "driver" is the largest-headed and "longest" club. Woods are slightly shorter but still comparatively large-headed clubs, used for long-distance fairway shots. Woods are now typically made of metal; the traditional name "woods" remains in general use but is gradually being replaced by the term "fairway metal." Next shorter in length are the irons, the most numerous and versatile class used for a wide variety of shots. Hybrid (golf) clubs which embody characteristics of both woods and irons in varying degrees, are increasingly being used in preference to long irons in many places because they are easier for the average golfer to use. Last but not least, putters are used to roll the ball across the green into the cup.

A maximum of 14 clubs is allowed in a player's bag at one time during a stipulated round. The choice of clubs is at the golfer's discretion, although every club must be constructed in accordance with parameters outlined in the rules. (Clubs which meet these parameters are commonly called "conforming.") Violation of these rules can result in disqualification.

The exact shot hit at any given time on a golf course, and which club is used to accomplish the shot, are always completely at the discretion of the golfer; in other words, there is no restriction whatsoever on which club a golfer may or may not use at any time for any shot.

Golf balls are spherical, usually white (although other colours are allowed), and minutely pock-marked by "dimples" that decrease aerodynamic drag by decreasing air turbulence around the ball in motion, thereby allowing the ball to fly farther.[16]

A tee is allowed only for the first stroke on each hole, unless the player must hit a provisional or replay his or her first shot from the tee.

Many golfers wear golf shoes with metal or plastic spikes designed to increase traction, thus allowing for longer and more accurate shots. A golf bag is used to transport golf clubs. Golf bags have several pockets designed for carrying equipment and supplies such as tees, balls, and gloves. Golf bags can be carried, pulled on a two-wheel pull cart or harnessed to a motorized golf cart during play. Golf bags have both a hand strap and shoulder strap for carrying, and sometimes have retractable legs that allow the bag to stand upright when at rest.

Stroke mechanics

Golfers start with the non-dominant side of the body facing the target. At address the body and club are positioned parallel to the target line. The feet are commonly shoulder width apart for middle irons and putters, narrower for short irons and wider for long irons and woods. The ball is positioned in the center of the players stance for short irons and putters, more to the front for middle irons and even more for long irons and woods. The golfer chooses a grip. The golfer chooses a golf club and stroke appropriate to the distance:

  • The drive is used on the tee box to tee off long distances.
  • The approach is used in long to mid distance shots
  • The chip is used for relatively short distance shots around the green. The goal of the chip is to land the ball safely on the green allowing it to roll out towards the hole.
  • The putt is used in short distance shots on or near the green. The goal of the putt is to get the ball in the hole or as close to the hole as possible.

Scoring and handicapping


A hole is classified by its par; the number of strokes a skilled golfer should require to complete play of the hole.[8] For example, a skilled golfer expects to reach the green on a par-four hole in two strokes (This would be considered a Green in Regulation or GIR): one from the tee (the "drive") and another, second, stroke to the green (the "approach"); and then roll the ball into the hole in two putts for par. A golf hole is either a par-three, -four or -five, rarely -six, very rarely -seven.[17]

The key factor for classifying the par of a hole is the distance from the tee to the green. A typical par-three hole is less than 250 yards (225 metres) in length, with a par-four hole ranging between 251 and 475 yards (225–434 metres), and a par-five hole being longer than 475 yards (435 metres). Although uncommon, par-six and even par-seven holes do exist and can stretch well over 650 yards. The gradient of the course (uphill or downhill) can also affect the par rating. If the tee-to-green distance on a hole is predominantly downhill, it will play shorter than its physical length and may be given a lower par rating; the opposite is true for uphill holes. Par ratings are also affected by factors such as the placement of hazards or the shape of the green, which can sometimes affect the play of a hole by requiring an extra stroke to avoid playing into hazards.[18]

Eighteen hole courses may have four par-three, ten par-four, and four par-five holes, though other combinations exist and are not less worthy than courses of par 72. Many major championships are contested on courses playing to a par of 70, 71, or 72. Additionally, in some countries, courses are classified according to their play difficulty, which may be used to calculate a golfer's playing handicap for a given course (cf. golf handicap).[19]


In every form of play, the goal is to play as few strokes per round as possible. A "hole in one" (or an "ace") occurs when a golfer sinks his ball into the cup with his first stroke (a drive from the tee). Common scores for a hole also have specific terms.[8]

Numeric Term Specific term Definition
−4 Condor four strokes under par
−3 Albatross three strokes under par
−2 Eagle two strokes under par
−1 Birdie one stroke under par
E Par equal to par
+1 Bogey one stroke over par
+2 Double Bogey two strokes over par
+3 Triple Bogey three strokes over par
+4 Quadruple Bogey four strokes over par

Basic forms of golf

Match play

In match play, two players (or two teams) play each hole as a separate contest against each other. The party with the lower score wins that hole, or if the scores of both players or teams are equal the hole is "halved" (tied). The game is won by the party that wins more holes than the other. In the case that one team or player has taken a lead that cannot be overcome in the number of holes remaining to be played, the match is deemed to be won by the party in the lead, and the remainder of the holes are not played. For example, if one party already has a lead of six holes, and only five holes remain to be played on the course, the match is over. At any given point, if the lead is equal to the number of holes remaining, the match is said to be "dormie", and is continued until the leader increases the lead by one hole or ties any of the remaining holes, thereby winning the match, or until the match ends in a tie with the lead player's opponent winning all remaining holes. When the game is tied after the predetermined number of holes have been played, it may be continued until one side takes a one-hole lead.[8]

Stroke play

In stroke play, the score achieved for each and every hole of the round or tournament is added to produce the total score, and the player with the lowest score wins. (Stroke play is the game most commonly played by professional golfers.) If there is a tie after the regulation number of holes in a professional tournament, a playoff takes place between all tied players. Playoffs are either sudden death or employ a pre-determined number of holes, anywhere from three to a full eighteen. In sudden death, a player who scores lower on a hole than all of his opponents wins the match. If at least two players remain tied after such a playoff using a pre-determined number of holes, then play continues in sudden death format, where the first player to win a hole wins the tournament.

Other forms of golf


In a skins game, golfers compete on each hole, as a separate contest. Played for prize money on the professional level or as a means of a wager for amateurs, a skin, or the prize money assigned to each hole, carries over to subsequent holes if the hole is tied (or halved). If you come to the end of the round and there are still skins left over, play continues until the final skin has been decided.


In stableford the player gains points for the score achieved on each hole of the round or tournament (1 point for a bogey, 2 points for a par, 3 points for a birdie, 4 points for an eagle). The points achieved for each hole of the round or tournament is added to produce the total points score, and the player with the highest score wins.[8]

Team play

  • A foursome (defined in Rule 29) is played between two teams of two players each, in which each team has only one ball and players alternate playing it. For example, if players A and B form a team, A tees off on the first hole, B will play the second shot, A the third, and so on until the hole is finished. On the second hole, B will tee off (regardless who played the last putt on the first hole), then A plays the second shot, and so on. Foursomes can be played as match play or stroke play.[20]
  • A four-ball (Rules 30 and 31) is also played between two teams of two players each, but every player plays his/her own ball and for each team, the lower score on each hole is counted. Four-balls can be played as match play or stroke play.[21]

There are also popular unofficial variations on team play:

  • In scramble (also known as ambrose or best shot), each player in a team tees off on each hole, and the players decide which shot was best. Every player then plays his/her second shot from within a clublength of where the best shot has come to rest, and the procedure is repeated until the hole is finished. In a champagne scramble, each player in a team tees off on each hole. The best drive is used and all players play their own ball from this spot. In best ball, each player plays the hole as normal, but the lowest score of all the players on the team counts as the team's score.[22]
  • In a greensome, also called modified alternate shot, both players tee off, and then pick the best shot as in a scramble. The player who did not shoot the best first shot plays the second shot. The play then alternates as in a foursome.[23]
  • A variant of greensome is sometimes played where the opposing team chooses which of their opponent's tee shots the opponents should use. The player who did not shoot the chosen first shot plays the second shot. Play then continues as a greensome.
  • There is also a form of starting called shotgun, which is mainly used for tournament play. A shotgun start consists of groups starting on different holes, allowing for all players to start and end their round at the same time.

Handicap systems

A handicap is a numerical measure of an amateur golfer's ability to play golf over the course of 18 holes. Handicaps can be applied either for stroke play competition or match play competition. In either competition, a handicap generally represents the number of strokes above par that a player will achieve on an above average day (i.e., when playing well).

In stroke play competition, the competitor's handicap is subtracted from their total "gross" score at the end of the round, to calculate a "net" score against which standings are calculated. In match play competition, handicap strokes are assigned on a hole-by-hole basis, according to the handicap rating of each hole (which is provided by the course). The hardest holes on the course receive the most handicap strokes, with the easiest holes receiving the least handicap strokes.

Calculating a handicap is often complicated, but essentially it is representative of the average over par of a number of a player's previous above average rounds, adjusted for course difficulty. Legislations regarding the calculation of handicaps differs among countries. For example, handicap rules may include the difficulty of the course the golfer is playing on by taking into consideration factors such as the number of bunkers, the length of the course, the difficulty and slopes of the greens, the width of the fairways, and so on.

Handicap systems are not used in professional golf. Professional golfers often score several strokes below par for a round and thus have a calculated handicap of 0 or less, meaning that their handicap results in the addition of strokes to their round score. Someone with a handicap of zero or less is often referred to as a scratch golfer.


Golf course on the western coast of India.

In 2005, Golf Digest calculated that the countries with most golf courses per capita, starting with the best endowed were: Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Wales, United States, Sweden, and England (countries with fewer than 500,000 people were excluded). Apart from Sweden, all of these countries have English as the majority language, but the number of courses in new territories is increasing rapidly.

The most notable example of this phenomenon is China. The first golf course in the People's Republic of China opened in 1984, but by the end of 2009 there were roughly 600 in the country. Jack Nicklaus, who in late 2009 had either designed or had plans to design 35 courses in China, claimed in October of that year that China had plans to build 1,400 public courses in the next five years (currently, only a small number of China's courses are public), although a Chinese golf industry insider called Nicklaus' claim "bullshit". For the last several years, development of new golf courses has been officially banned, but the number of courses has nonetheless tripled since 2004; the "ban" has been easily evaded with the government's tacit approval simply by not mentioning golf in any development plans.[24]

In the United States, the number of people who play golf 25 times or more per year decreased from 6.9 million in 2000 to 4.6 million in 2005,[25] according to the National Golf Foundation. The NGF reported that the number who played golf at all decreased from 30 to 26 million over the same period.[25]

Professional golf

The majority of professional golfers work as club or teaching professionals (pros), and only compete in local competitions. A small elite of professional golfers are "tournament pros" who compete full time on international "tours". Many club and teaching professionals working in the golf industry start as caddies or a general interest in the game, finding employment at golf courses and eventually moving on to certifications in their chosen profession. These programs include independent institutions and universities, and those that eventually lead to a Class A golf professional certification.


Indoor putting green for practice and instruction

Golf instruction involves the teaching and learning of the game of golf. Proficiency in teaching golf instruction requires not only technical and physical ability, but also knowledge of the rules and etiquette of the game. In some countries, golf instruction is best performed by teachers certified by the Professional Golfers Association. Some top instructors who work with professional golfers have become quite well-known in their own right. Instructors use a combination of physical conditioning, mental visualization, classroom sessions, club fitting, driving range instruction, on-course play under real conditions, and review of videotaped swings in slow motion to teach golf.

Golf tours

There are at least twenty professional golf tours, each run by a PGA or an independent tour organization, which is responsible for arranging events, finding sponsors, and regulating the tour. Typically a tour has "members" who are entitled to compete in most of its events, and also invites non-members to compete in some of them. Gaining membership of an elite tour is highly competitive, and most professional golfers never achieve it.

The most widely known tour is the PGA Tour, which tends to attract the strongest fields, outside the four Majors and the four World Golf Championships events. This is due mostly to the fact that most PGA Tour events have a first prize of at least US $800,000. The PGA European Tour, which attracts a substantial number of top golfers from outside North America, ranks second to the PGA Tour in worldwide prestige. Some top professionals from outside North America play enough tournaments to maintain membership on both the PGA Tour and European Tour.

The other leading men's tours include the Japan Golf Tour, the Asian Tour (Asia outside Japan), the PGA Tour of Australasia, and the Sunshine Tour (for Southern Africa, primarily South Africa). The Japan, Australasian, Sunshine, PGA, and European Tours are the charter members of the trade body of the world's main tours, the International Federation of PGA Tours, founded in 1996. The Asian Tour became a full member in 1999. The Canadian Tour became an associate member of the Federation in 2000, and the Tour de las Américas (Latin America) became an associate member of the Federation in 2007. The Federation underwent a major expansion in 2009 which saw 11 new tours become full members—the Canadian Tour, Tour de las Américas, China Golf Association, the Korea Professional Golfers' Association, Professional Golf Tour of India, and the operators of all six major women's tours worldwide. The OneAsia Tour, founded in 2009, is not a member of the Federation, but was founded as a joint venture of the Australasia, China, Japan, and Korean tours. The charter members of the Federation, as well as the Asian, Canadian and OneAsia Tours, offer points in the Official World Golf Rankings to players who place sufficiently high in their events.

Golf is unique in having lucrative competition for older players. There are several senior tours for men 50 and older, the best known of which is the U.S.-based Champions Tour.

There are six principal tours for women, each based in a different country or continent. The most prestigious of these is the United States based LPGA Tour. All of the principal tours offer points in the Women's World Golf Rankings for high finishers in their events.

All of the leading professional tours for under-50 players have an official developmental tour, in which the leading players at the end of the season will earn a tour card on the main tour for the following season. Examples include the Nationwide Tour, which feeds to the PGA Tour, and the Challenge Tour, which is the developmental tour of the European Tour. The Nationwide and Challenge Tours also offer Official World Golf Rankings points.

Men's major championships

Tiger Woods; the number one male golfer.

The major championships are the four most prestigious men's tournaments of the year. In chronological order they are: The Masters, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship (referred to in North America as the British Open) and the PGA Championship.[26]

The fields for these events include the top several dozen golfers from all over the world. The Masters has been played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia since its inception in 1934. It is the only major championship that is played at the same course each year.[27] The U.S. Open and PGA Championship are played at courses around the United States, while The Open Championship is played at courses in the UK.[28][29][30]

Prior to the advent of the PGA Championship and The Masters, the four Majors were the U.S. Open, the U.S. Amateur, the Open Championship, and the British Amateur.

Women's major championships

Lorena Ochoa; the number one female golfer.

Women's golf does not have a globally agreed set of majors. The list of majors recognised by the dominant women's tour, the LPGA Tour in the U.S., has changed several times over the years, with the last change in 2001. Like the PGA Tour, the (U.S.) LPGA[31] has four majors: the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship, the U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open. Only the last of these is also recognised by the Ladies European Tour. The other event that it recognises as a major is the Evian Masters, which is not considered a major by the LPGA (but is co-sanctioned as a regular LPGA event). However, the significance of this is limited, as the LPGA is far more dominant in women's golf than the PGA Tour is in mainstream men's golf. For example, the BBC has been known to use the U.S. definition of "women's majors" without qualifying it. Also, the Ladies' Golf Union, the governing body for women's golf in the UK and Republic of Ireland, states on its official website that the Women's British Open is "the only Women's Major to be played outside the U.S."[32] For many years, the Ladies European Tour tacitly acknowledged the dominance of the LPGA Tour by not scheduling any of its own events to conflict with the three LPGA majors played in the U.S., but that changed in 2008, with the LET scheduling an event opposite the LPGA Championship. The second-richest women's tour, the LPGA of Japan Tour, does not recognise any of the U.S. LPGA or European majors as it has its own set of majors (historically three, since 2008 four). However, these events attract little notice outside Japan.

Senior major championships

Senior (50-and-over) men's golf does not have a globally agreed upon set of majors. The list of senior majors on the U.S.-based Champions Tour has changed over the years, but always by expansion. The Champions Tour now recognises five majors: the Senior PGA Championship, the United States Senior Open, the Senior British Open Championship, The Tradition and the Senior Players Championship.

Of the five events, the Senior PGA is by far the oldest, having been founded in 1937. The other events all date from the 1980s, when senior golf became a commercial success as the first golf stars of the television era, such as Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, reached the relevant age. The Senior British Open was not recognised as a major by the Champions Tour until 2003. The European Seniors Tour recognises only the Senior PGA and the two Senior Opens as majors. However, the Champions Tour is arguably more dominant in global senior golf than the U.S. LPGA is in global women's golf.


See also


  1. ^ "Olympic sports of the past". Olympic Movement. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Brasch, Rudolph (1970). How did sports begin?: A look at the origins of man at play. McKay. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ McGrath, Charles; McCormick, David; Garrity, John (2006). The ultimate golf book. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 13. ISBN 9780618710256.,M1. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  7. ^ "Golf History @ ABC-of-Golf". Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Golf". Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  9. ^ "Hill den Park - 9 Hole Golf Course". www.hilden Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  10. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary definition of the word Links
  11. ^ "Caddie". Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  12. ^ "The Rules of Golf". United States Golf Association. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  13. ^ "Rules of Golf" (PDF). The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  14. ^ "Amateur Status". United States Golf Association. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  15. ^ 2008-2011 Rules of Golf (free download)
  16. ^ Nicholls, David (February 1998). "History of the Golf Club". Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  17. ^ Kelley, Brent. "Definition of Par". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  18. ^ Kelley, Brent. "Golf FAQ - What are the Yardage Guidelines for Par-3s, Par-4s and Par-5s?". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  19. ^ Kelley, Brent. "Golf FAQ: What is Slope Rating?". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  20. ^ Kelley, Brent. "Definition of Foursomes". Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  21. ^ Kelley, Brent. "Definition of Fourball". Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  22. ^ Kelley, Brent. "Definition of Scramble". Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  23. ^ Kelley, Brent. "Definition of Greensome". Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  24. ^ Washburn, Dan (2009-11-06). "Olympics makes China major player". Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  25. ^ a b Paul Vitello (2008-02-21). "More Americans Are Giving up Golf". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  26. ^ "Golf Majors". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  27. ^ "Golf Majors: The Masters Golf Tournament". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  28. ^ "Golf Majors: The Open Championship". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  29. ^ "Golf Majors: The US Open Tournament". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  30. ^ "Golf Majors: The PGA Championship". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  31. ^ There are several bodies known as the "LPGA", each based in a different country or continent. The U.S. LPGA is the only one without a geographic identifier in its name, as it was the first to be founded. Typically, if the term "LPGA" is used without an identifier, it refers to the U.S. body.
  32. ^ "Women's British Open breaks new ground at St Andrews". Ladies' Golf Union. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

This article is a travel topic.

Golf is a game that is variously considered a pastime, recreation, sport, profession, religion or an obsession. The apparent object is to knock a small hard ball into a designated hole, using only a minimum number of blows of a stick or club, while avoiding the hazards of the terrain such as vegetation, water, soft ground and loose sand. While this may appear frustrating to some, the pleasure that so many people do derive from working out their frustrations in the course of this game means that golf and visiting the golf courses where the game is played is a significant reason for travel.


Golf originated at Saint Andrews, in Scotland. Because of this, Scotland, and in particular the Old Course at St. Andrews, is considered the traditional home of Golf, and the standard to which all other Golf Courses are compared.

Golf spread throughout the British Isles, and by 1829, beyond them with the establishment of the "Royal Calcutta Golf Club" in India. By the end of the 19th Centuary, Clubs in Ireland, The United States of America, and Wales had come together to organise the sport at their respective national levels. Scotland and England followed after the First World War. Golf has two global Governing Bodies, the "R&A" at St Andrew's, Scotland and the "United States Golf Association" which work closely in partnership, for example in agreeing to changes to the "Rules of Golf". This joint approach helps to ensure that golf has not suffered the fate of other sports and split between a "British" sport, (e.g. Soccer and Cricket) and an "American" analogue (e.g. American Football and Baseball). Golf is golf wherever you play in the world, with the same standard rules, which is particularly useful if you want to play the sport outside your own country.

Today, perhaps one of the first two things that developers consider when wanting to attract more tourism to a destination is where to put the (next) golf course to go with the hotel they are wanting to develop.



Golf as we understand it originated in Scotland, although it is probable that ancestor games to modern golf originated on the Continent. However both the insular and continental European golfers do not let such matters divide them too much, when it comes to the Ryder Cup. That biennial trophy succeeds every two years to unify the Europeans in a way that has so far eluded the European Union.

The British Isles remain the main focus of golf in Europe. Throughout the British Isles you will find many good quality courses. The Celtic countries, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, in particular hit above their weight in terms of the courses they offer. This is due to the fact that their extensive coastlines offer ample opportunities to build links courses. Their larger neighbour England also has many fine courses. The most famous course undoubtedly would be the Old Course at St Andrews.

Iberia offers also offers the second most important focus for European Golf. Golf courses have developed in both Spain and Portugal, particularly in coastal areas. Valderama is probably the most famous of the continental courses the venue of the only European Ryder Cup held on Mainland Europe.

Other destinations have also developed golf courses. In France courses seem to be located disproportionately in the West of the country, in particular in Brittany. The Czech Republic for example has seen new courses open since the fall of communism, and the Scandanavian countries offer the opportunity of around the clock golf during the summer months.

In the current economic climate due to the relative weakness of Sterling, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales probably offer better value than Eurozone destinations.


The legendary home of golf and home to the one of the game's two co-governing bodies, the R&A. Scotland and St. Andrews in particular is a must for any golfing enthusiast and is estimated to have around 400 course - not all are open to the public and so the real figure is unknown.

Courses in Scotland include

  • St Andrews - where else but...
  • Carnoustie in Angus - venue for the 2007 Open Championship (and 6 previous Opens)
  • Gleneagles in Perthshire
  • Royal Troon - Open Championship course on the beautiful Ayrshire Coast
  • Royal Dornoch - One the trickiest course available
  • Turnberry in Ayrshire - A newer (1903) Open Championship course attached to a world class hotel
  • Muirfield - A highly rated championship course
  • The South Fife coast - Not an individual course but more of an experience. An area near St. Andrews where every town and village has its own course (no-matter how small). While they may vary in standard it is interesting to play in an area where the game is universally popular.
  • Trump International Golf Club Scotland [1] A 1400 -acre stretch of spectacular sand dunes at Balmedie Beach on Menie Estate to the north of [[Aberdeen] is controversially slated to have this huge golf resort built on it.

The Scottish Execitive's official golf tourism website [2] gives details of all courses in Scotland.


See Golf in England for further details.

England has a long golfing history.

Courses include.

  • Royal Birkdale
  • Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, Wirral
  • Royal Lytham and St Anne's
  • Royal St George's, Sandwich, Kent
  • The Belfry- Venue for a number of Ryder Cups
  • Wentworth- Venue for the World Matchplay Championship


Scotland may be the home of golf, but Ireland was in fact the first country to organise golf on a national level. It has been one of the more popular golf destinations in recent years. It's popularity has pushed prices up, and playing golf in Ireland is relatively expensive compared with other destinations.

Famous courses include:-

  • The K Club, in the Republic, venue for the 2006 Ryder Cup
  • Royal Portrush, in Northern Ireland, the venue for the only Open Championship not held in Great Britain.

The Island of Ireland's official golf tourism website [3] gives further details.


Portugal is an important golf destination on the European Mainland.

In this domain Praia d’el Rey Golf & Beach Resort [4] is reputed to be one of Portugal’s finest. Designed by Cabell Robinson, it is a championship course that boasts marvelous fairways and perfectly manicured greens. Even the bunkers are pro-active: left to their own devices, sunbathers tend to stretch out in them, risking the wrath of Caddie Master, Jim Lambert.

Roughs are made rougher by the presence of a sponge-like grass that insidiously attempts to digest anything that lands in it. Jim advises taking the strokes rather than adding up two-digit scores.

From Number 12 through 15, play is overlooking the Atlantic: sometimes windy, always stunning. The last three holes are all uphill to the 18th green and the way is not without potential disaster. A gap to the 16th green is narrow, requiring painstaking accuracy. Further challenge is added by Number 17, a 523-metre hole that is one of the longest Par 5s in Portugal; 17 is regarded as the most difficult hole on the course.


Spain is the major golf destination on the European Mainland. It is the only non-English Speaking Country to have hosted to the Ryder Cup.

Courses in Spain include

  • Valderama


Wales like the other British Isles countries has a long golf history. It has approximately 150 golf clubs.

Wales has often been one of the earlier adopters of innovations in the game. Wales was the third country to start organising golf on a National Level, and indeed in 2007 both Men's and Ladies' golf came under the same organisational umbrella. The Stableford Scoring Systerm, used by most amateur club golfers also originated in Wales.

Wales has produced two Ryder Cup winning captains, Dai Rees and Ian Woosnam. Wales will host the competion in 2010, at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.

Despite the prestigious golfing heritage, Wales' courses remain relatively undiscovered by international visitors. This however has its advantages, since it offers the visitor high quality courses, at prices generally lower than elsewhere in Western Europe, and crowding on Welsh fairways is thankfully rare. Wales is growing in popularity as a golfing destination, and the 2010 Ryder Cup is expected to generate further international interest.

The Welsh Assmebly Government's official golf tourism website [5] gives details of all courses in Wales.

The more prestigious Courses in Wales include.

  • Aberdovey (Gwynedd) - Links course adjacent to the village of Aberdyfi
  • Conwy- A Venue for 2006 Final Qualifying for the Open.
  • Nefyn & District, Lleyn- offers arguably the some of the most spectacular holes in world golf.
  • Machynys Peninsula, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire- Wales's only Nicklaus Designed Course.
  • Royal Porthcawl, Porthcawl- Venue for the 1995 Walker Cup, the defeated USA team included Tiger Woods
  • Royal St David's, Harlech- Links course overlooked by the famouse Harlech Castle
  • The Wales National, Vale Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort, Hensol, Pontyclun
  • The 2010, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport- Venue of the 2010 Ryder Cup


South Africa



See Golf in China


Thailand has about 200 golf courses where more than 100 of them are met international standards. Some of them are even recognized international for outstanding quality and standards.

Nearly 50% of all golf courses are found in and around the city of Bangkok, all reachable within 2-3 hours drive from Bangkok. Generally, courses in Bangkok are highly utilize and cost more than those courses that are further away with the exception of courses in Phuket. As such, golfers without pre-booking are more likely to get tee-off times for courses further away from Bangkok, even during weekdays.

Famous golf courses and more information:

  • Alpine Golf & Sports Club This venue located in the province of Pathum Thani, is usually for members only and is rated to be one of the most challenging courses in Thailand. They have hosted many international competitions including the prestigious Johnny Walker Classic and the 13th Asian Games.
  • Thai Country Club Not only is this course one of the finest in Thailand but also one of the best in Asia. It has been voted Thailand’s Best Golf Course 2001-2007 and Best Golf House in Asia 2000-2007. They have been host to many major competitions such as the Johnny Walker Super Tour, Asia Honda Classic and Volvo Masters Asia.

more Golf in Thailand




See Golf in Australia

New Zealand

There are over 400 registered New Zealand golf courses from local clubs to internationally renowned golf resorts. These include;

  • Carrington Club - Northland. Oceanside location but plays like an inland golf course complete with rolling hills, vales and natural water hazards.
  • Kauri Cliffs - Northland. Designed by David Harman, the course is stunningly situated overlooking the Cavalli Islands on 4000 acres of rolling coastal farmland.
  • Gulf Harbour Country Club - Auckland. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. this oceanfront course was the scene of the 1998 World Cup of Golf.
  • Formosa Auckland Country Club - Auckland. Situated on the beautiful Pohutukawa Coast and designed by Sir Bob Charles the course was modeled on the Augusta National Golf Course home of the US Masters.
  • Wairakei International Golf Course - Taupo. Rated by US Golf Digest to be in the Top 20 courses in the world outside the USA.
  • Cape Kidnappers - Hawkes Bay. Tom Doak designed, on a special site with links to New Zealand’s important Maori culture.
  • Paraparaumu Beach Golf Course - Wellington. A true links test with the best in design, shot making and world class greens. It has been the scene of the NZ Open on ten occasions.
  • Clearwater Resort - Christchurch. The home of the NZPGA championship and was designed by John Darby and Sir Bob Charles.
  • Terrace Downs - Canterbury. Close to high country sheep farms and in amongst the Southern Alps.
  • Millbrook Resort - Queenstown. Designed by NZ’s golfing great Sir Bob Charles and set amongst exquisite mountain scenery.

North America


Mountains, oceans and Arctic tundra form the backdrop to challenging fairways and immaculate greens. Celebrated names like Nicklaus, Thompson, Robinson, Furber and Whitman loom large on world-class courses. Play all night under the warm glow of the midnight sun in the Far North. Or putt your way around beautiful Prince Edward Island in full view of the sparkling Atlantic. In Canada, spectacular golfing is just par for the course.

United States of America

The United States is a major golf destination, it has more golf courses than any other country, (approximately 10,000 Golf Courses).

The United States also has a surprisingly long golfing tradition. The formation of the United States Golf Association in 1894 was predated only that of by Ireland's Golf Union. Indeed the United States Golf Association, as well as acting as National Golf Association for the United States is one of the worldwide game's co-governing bodies.

The United States has for many years produced many of the world's best golfers, and remains a Golfing superpower, despite recent Ryder Cup defeats to the Europeans. The USA will host the 2008 Ryder Cup in Kentucky.

Three of the four Major golf tournaments are played in the United States, and some of the most famous, and best, courses can be found there.

Florida is an important national and international golf destination. At the other extreme Alaska offers the possibility of late night golf during the summer.

South America


See Golf in Argentina for further details.

Golf is an increasingly popular sport in Argentina, thanks in part to the success of Argentinian players such as Angel Cabrera, Andres Romero and Eduardo Romero. There are currently around 280 courses in the country, most located around Buenos Aires and including such well-known names as the Jockey Club, Olivos and Hurlingham. On the Atlantic coast in Mar del Plata are a couple of courses that have held international events, and Patagonia has excellent resort courses such as Llao Lloa, Arelauquen and Chapelco (a Nicklaus design) as well as the 9-hole course in Ushaia.


At larger and more popular courses, the on-course Pro Shop will normally be able to supply all the necessary accessories.


Many golf courses have a Clubhouse that serves meals. Some provide a full service restaurant.


Most Clubhouses have a bar; such establishments are colloquially known as the 19th hole.

Stay safe

Golf is the sort of game that can be played in all sorts of weather conditions, especially if one wants a challenging game. However, lightning and severe storms are contraindications for safe play.

Consider golf insurance. This will pay out in the event of a hole-in-one, or if you injure other golfers.


If you use a caddies (and in many places you have no choice), you may be expected to tip them. In other places tipping is not permitted. You should ask when you book your round what the expected tip is.

Get out

Once you have finished playing be sure to clean your equipment. If you are crossing borders with your gear be sure to declare it, particularly where countries have biosecurity controls to limit the importation of equipment that has been in contact with farmland and the like. Otherwise you might find you are delayed while the equipment is cleaned, or worse, confiscated.

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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

Golf is a game in which a golfer uses clubs and a ball and moves his ball with strokes down a hole from a tee ground through the fairway into a cup on the green, taking the fewest strokes over 18 holes in a round. The game is played according to official rules promulgated by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews for the UK and the world and by the United States Golf Association for the US.

Learning how to play the game of golf consists primarily in learning how to make effective strokes with the "full swing" clubs (drivers and irons and wedges) and with the putter. Traditionally and by rule, golf strokes are made while standing beside the ball, and golf is essentially a game of moving the ball "sideways", whether by left-handed or right-handed play. The rules limit the total number of clubs that may be used in a round to 14, and the clubs must each conform to the rules. As a practical matter, almost all golfers choose to play either left-handed or right-handed clubs, but a few golfers occasionally mix left- and right-handed clubs in the same set for a round.

The conventional set of golf clubs includes a driver, a 3-wood, a 5-wood, irons ranging from a 2-iron to a 9-iron, a pitching wedge, a sand wedge, and a putter. Modern variant sets typically replace the 5-wood and 2-iron with a hybrid or rescue club and a lob wedge. Each club in the set is designed to send the ball over successive ranges. The driver typically is used to send the ball 240-260 yards, and many professional players average 280 yards per drive. Each successive club in a set from driver to putter is shorter in length and sends the ball a shorter distance, with the idea that the various distances called for during the round can be played with a appropriate club without much adjustment from its customary range.

Golf courses with 18 holes typically are 6,000 to 7,000 yards in length. A "par" score is set for each course and is usually 72 strokes for the round of 18 holes. Holes may have a "par" score of 3, 4, or 5 (although the rules do not prohibit greater or lesser par scores for holes). Professional golfers often average a few strokes fewer than "par" whereas amateur golfers average as a group around 100 strokes per round. Amateur golfer each may establish a personal "handicap" for competitive purposes that reflects the current level of skill in terms of typical scores. A golfer who typically scores 100 strokes would have a handicap of 28 versus par of 72. A "scratch" golfer has a handicap of zero or perhaps a +2 handicap, representing an average of 2 strokes fewer than par.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GOLF (in its older forms Goff, Gouff or Gowff, the last of which gives the genuine old pronunciation), a game which probably derives its name from the Ger. kolbe, a club - in Dutch, kolf - which last is nearly in sound identical and might suggest a Dutch origin,' which many pictures and other witnesses further support.

Table of contents


One of the most ancient and most interesting of the pictures in which the game is portrayed is the tailpiece to an illuminated Book of Hours made at Bruges at the beginning of the 16th century. The original is in the British Museum. The players, three in number, have but one club apiece. The heads of the clubs are steel or steel covered. They play with a ball each. That which gives this picture a peculiar interest over the many pictures of Dutch schools that portray the game in progress is that most of them show it on the ice, the putting being at a stake. In this Book of Hours they are putting at a hole in the turf, as in our modern golf. It is scarcely to be doubted that the game is of Dutch origin, and that it has been in favour since very early days. Further than that our knowledge does not go. The early Dutchmen played golf, they painted golf, but they did not write it.

It is uncertain at what date golf was introduced into Scotland, but in 1457 the popularity of the game had already become so great as seriously to interfere with the more important pursuit of archery. In March of that year the Scottish parliament "decreted and ordained that wapinshawingis be halden be the lordis and baronis spirituale and temporale, four times in the zeir; and that the fute-ball and golf be utterly cryit doun, and nocht usit; and that the bowe-merkis be maid at ilk paroche kirk a pair of buttis, and schuttin be usit ilk Sunday." Fourteen years afterwards, in May 1471, it was judged necessary to pass another act "anent wapenshawings," and in 1491 a final and evidently angry fulmination was issued on the general subject, with pains and penalties annexed. It runs thus - "Futeball and Golfe forbidden. Item, it is statut and ordainit that in na place of the realme there be usit fute-ball, golfe, or uther sik unprofitabill sportis," &c. This, be it noted, is an edict of James IV.; and it is not a little curious presently to find the monarch himself setting an ill example to his commons, by practice of this "unprofitabill sport," as is shown by various entries in the accounts of the lord high treasurer of Scotland (1503-1506).

About a century later, the game again appears on the surface of history, and it is quite as popular as before. In the year 1592 the town council of Edinburgh "ordanis proclamation to be made threw this burgh, that na inhabitants of the samyn be seen at ony pastymes within or without the toun, upoun the Sabboth day, sic as golfe, &c." 2 The following year the edict was re-announced, but with the modification that the prohibition was "in tyme of sermons." Golf has from old times been known in Scotland as "The Royal and Ancient Game of Goff." Though no doubt Scottish monarchs handled the club before him, James IV. is the first who figures formally in the golfing record. James V. was also very partial to the game distinctively known as "royal"; and there is some scrap of evidence to show that his daughter, the unhappy Mary Stuart, was a golfer. It was alleged by her enemies that, as showing her shameless indifference to the fate of her husband, a very few days after his murder, she "was seen playing golf and pallmall in the fields beside Seton." 3 That her son, James VI. (afterwards James I. of England), was a golfer, tradition confidently asserts, though the evidence which connects him with the personal practice of the game is slight. Of the interest he took in it we have evidence in his act - already alluded to - "anent golfe ballis," prohibiting their importation, except under certain 1 From an enactment of James VI. (then James I. of England), hearing date 1618, we find that a considerable importation of golf balls at that time took place from Holland, and as thereby "na small quantitie of gold and silver is transported zierly out of his Hienes' kingdome of Scoteland" (see letter of His Majesty from Salisbury, the 5th of August 1618), he issues a royal prohibition, at once as a wise economy of the national moneys, and a protection to native industry in the article. From this it might almost seem that the game was at that date still known and practised in Holland.

2 Records of the City of Edinburgh. 3 Inventories of Mary Queen of Scots, preface, p. lxx. (1863).

restrictions. Charles I. (as his brother Prince Henry had been 1) was devotedly attached to the game. Whilst engaged in it on the links of Leith, in 1642, the news reached him of the Irish rebellion of that year. He had not the equanimity to finish his match, but returned precipitately and in much agitation to Holyrood. 2 Afterwards, while prisoner to the Scots army at Newcastle, he found his favourite diversion in "the royal game." "The King was nowhere treated with more honour than at Newcastle, as he himself confessed, both he and his train having liberty to go abroad and play at goff in the Shield Field, without the walls." 3 Of his son, Charles II., as a golfer, nothing whatever is ascertained, but James II. was a known devotee. 4 After the Restoration, James, then duke of York, was sent to Edinburgh in 1681/2 as commissioner of the king to parliament, and an historical monument of his prowess as a golfer remains there to this day in the "Golfer's Land," as it is still called, 77 Canongate. The duke having been challenged by two English noblemen of his suite, to play a match against them, for a very large stake, along with any Scotch ally he might select, chose as his partner one "Johne Patersone," a shoemaker. The duke and the said Johne won easily, and half of the large stake the duke made over to his humble coadjutor, who therewith built himself the house mentioned above. In 1834 William IV. became patron of the St Andrews Golf Club (St Andrews being then, as now, the most famous seat of the game), and approved of its being styled "The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews." In 1837, as further proof of royal favour, he presented to it a magnificent gold medal, which "should be challenged and played for annually"; and in 1838 the queen dowager, duchess of St Andrews, became patroness of the club, and presented to it a handsome gold medal - "The Royal Adelaide" - with a request that it should be worn by the captain, as president, on all public occasions. In June 1863 the prince of Wales (afterwards Edward VII.) signified his desire to become patron of the club, and in the following September was elected captain by acclamation. His engagements did not admit of his coming in person to undertake the duties of the office, but his brother Prince Leopold (the duke of Albany), having in 1876 done the club the honour to become its captain, twice visited the ancient city in that capacity.

In more recent days, golf has become increasingly popular in a much wider degree. In 1880 the man who travelled about England with a set of golf clubs was an object of some astonishment, almost of alarm, to his fellow-travellers. In those days the commonest of questions in regard to the game was, "You have to be a fine rider, do you not, to play golf ?" so confounded was it in the popular mind with the game of polo. At Blackheath a few Scotsmen resident in London had long played golf. In 1864 the Royal North Devon Club was formed at Westward Ho, and this was the first of the seaside links discovered and laid out for golf in England. In 1869 the Royal Liverpool Club established itself in possession of the second English course of this quality at Hoylake, in Cheshire. A golf club was formed in connexion with the London Scottish Volunteers corps, which had its house on the Putney end of Wimbledon Common on Putney Heath; and, after making so much of a start, the progress of the game was slow, though steady, for many years. A few more clubs were formed; the numbers of golfers grew; but it could not be said that the game was yet in any sense popular in England. All at once, for no very obvious reason, the qualities of the ancient Scottish game seemed to strike home, and from that moment its popularity has been wonderfully and increasingly great. The English links that rose into most immediate favour was the fine course of the St George's Golf Club, near Sandwich, on the coast of Kent. To the London golfer it was the first course of the first class that was reasonably accessible, and the fact made something like an epoch in English golf. A very considerable increase, it is true, in the number of English golfers and English golf clubs had taken place before the discovery for golfing purposes of the links at Sandwich.

1 Anonymous author of MS. in the Harleian Library.

2 See History of Leith, by A. Campbell (1827).

Local Records of Northumberland, by John Sykes (Newcastle, 1833).

4 Robertson's Historical Notices of Leith. Already there was a chain of links all round the coast, besides numerous inland courses; but since 1890 their increase has been extraordinary, and the number which has been formed in the colonies and abroad is very large also, so that in the Golfer's Year Book for 1906 a space of over 300 pages was allotted to the Club Directory alone, each page containing, on a rough average, six clubs. To compute the average membership of these clubs is very difficult. There is not a little overlapping, in the sense that a member of one club will often be a member of several others; but probably the average may be placed at something like 200 members for each club.

The immense amount of golf-playing that this denotes, the large industry in the making of clubs and balls, in the upkeep of links, in the actual work of club-carrying by the caddies, and in the instruction given by the professional class, is obvious. Golf has taken a strong hold on the affections of the people in many parts of Ireland, and the fashion for golf in England has reacted strongly on Scotland itself, the ancient home of the game, where since 1880 golfers have probably increased in the ratio of forty to one. Besides the industry that such a growth of the game denotes in the branches immediately connected with it, as mentioned above, there is to be taken into further account the visiting population that it brings to all lodging-houses and hotels within reach of a tolerable golf links, so that many a fishing village has risen into a moderate watering-place by virtue of no other attractions than those which are offered by its golf course. Therefore to the Briton, golf has developed from something of which he had a vague idea - as of "curling"- to something in the nature of an important business, a business that can make towns and has a considerable effect on the receipts of railway companies.

Moreover, ladies have learned to play golf. Although this is a crude and brief sentence, it does not state the fact too widely nor too forcibly, for though it is true that before 1885 many played on the short links of St Andrews, North Berwick, Westward Ho and elsewhere, still it was virtually unknown that they should play on the longer courses, which till then had been in the undisputed possession of the men. At many places women now have their separate links, at others they play on the same course as the men. But even where links are set apart for women, they are far different from the little courses that used to be assigned to them. They are links only a little less formidable in their bunkers, a little less varied in their features than those of men. The ladies have their annual championship, which they play on the long links of the men, sometimes on one, sometimes on another, but always on courses of the first quality, demanding the finest display of golfing skill. The claim that England made to a golfing fellowship with Scotland was conceded very strikingly by the admission of three English greens, first those of Hoylake and of Sandwich, and in 1909 Deal, into the exclusive list of the links on which the open championship of the game is decided. Before England had so fully assimilated Scotland's game this great annual contest was waged at St Andrews, Musselburgh and Prestwick in successive years. Now the ancient green of Musselburgh, somewhat worn out with length of hard and gallant service, and moreover, as a nine-holes course inadequately accommodating the numbers who compete in the championships to-day, has been superseded by the course at Muirfield as a championship arena. While golf had been making itself a force in the southern kingdom, the professional element - men who had learned the game from childhood, had become past-masters, were capable of giving instruction, and also of making clubs and balls and looking after the greens on which golf was played - had at first been taken from the northern side of the Border. But when golf had been started long enough in England for the little boys who were at first employed as "caddies" - in carrying the players' clubs - to grow to sufficient strength to drive the ball as far as their masters, it was inevitable that out of the number who thus began to play in their boyhood some few should develop an exceptional talent for the game. This, in fact, actually happened, and English golfers, both of the amateur and the professional classes, have proved themselves so adept at Scotland's game, that the championships in either the Open or the Amateur competitions have been won more often by English than by Scottish players of late years. Probably in the United Kingdom to-day there are as many English as Scottish professional golf players, and their relative number is increasing.

Golf also "caught on," to use the American expression, in the United States. To the American of 1890 golf was largely an unknown thing. Since then, however, golf has become perhaps a greater factor in the life of the upper and upper-middle classes in the United States than it ever has been in England or Scotland. Golf to the English and the Scots meant only one among several of the sports and pastimes that take the man and the woman of the upper and upper-middle classes into the country and the fresh air. To the American of like status golf came as the one thing to take him out of his towns and give him a reason for exercise in the country. To-day golf has become an interest all over North America, but it is in the Eastern States that it has made most difference in the life of the classes with whom it has become fashionable. Westerners and Southerners found more excuses before the coming of golf for being in the open country air. It is in the Eastern States more especially that it has had so much influence in making the people live and take exercise out of doors. In a truly democratic spirit the American woman golfer plays on a perfect equality with the American man. She does not compete in the men's championships; she has championships of her own; but she plays, without question, on the same links. There is no suggestion of relegating her, as a certain cynical writer in the Badminton volume on golf described it, to a waste corner, a kind of "Jews' Quarter," of the links. And the Americans have taken up golf in the spirit of a sumptuous and opulent people, spending money on magnificent clubhouses beyond the finest dreams of the Englishman or the Scot. The greatest success achieved by any American golfer fell to the lot of Mr Walter Travis of the Garden City club, who in 1904 won the British amateur championship.

So much enthusiasm and so much golf in America have not failed to make their influence felt in the United Kingdom. Naturally and inevitably they have created a strong demand for professional instruction, both by example and by precept, and for professional advice and assistance in the laying-out and upkeep of the many new links that have been created in all parts of the States, sometimes out of the least promising material. By the offer of great prizes for exhibition matches, and of wages that are to the British rate on the scale of the dollar to the shilling, they have attracted many of the best Scottish and English professionals to pay them longer or shorter visits as the case may be, and thus a new opening has been created for the energies of the professional golfing class.

The Game

The game of golf may be briefly defined as consisting in hitting the ball over a great extent of country, preferably of that sand-hill nature which is found by the sea-side, and finally hitting or "putting" it into a little hole of some 4 in. diameter cut in the turf. The place of the hole is commonly marked by a flag. Eighteen is the recognized number of these holes on a full course, and they are at varying distances apart, from loo yds. up to anything between a 4 and z m. For the various strokes required to achieve the hitting of the ball over the great hills, and finally putting it into the small hole, a number of different "clubs" has been devised to suit the different positions in which the ball may be found and the different directions in which it is wished to propel it. At the start for each hole the ball may be placed on a favourable position (e.g. "tee'd" on a small mound of sand) for striking it, but after that it may not be touched, except with the club, until it is hit into the next hole. A "full drive," as the farthest distance that the ball can be hit is called, is about 200 yds. in length, of which some three-fourths will be traversed in the air, and the rest by bounding or running over the ground. It is easily to be understood that when the ball is lying on the turf behind a tall sand-hill, or in a bunker, a differently-shaped club is required for raising it over such an obstacle from that which is needed when it is placed on the tee to start with; and again, that another club is needed to strike the ball out of a cup or out of heavy grass. It is this variety that gives the game its charm. Each player plays with his own ball, with no interference from his opponent, and the object of each is to hit the ball from the starting - point into each successive hole in the fewest strokes. The player who at the end of the round (i.e. of the course of eighteen holes) has won the majority of the holes is the winner of the round; or the decision may be reached before the end of the round by one side gaining more holes than there remain to play. For instance, if one player be four holes to the good, and only three holes remain to be played, it is evident that the former must be the winner, for even if the latter win every remaining hole, he still must be one to the bad at the finish.

The British Amateur Championship is decided by a tournament in matches thus played, each defeated player retiring, and his opponent passing on into the next round. In the case of the Open Championship, and in most medal competitions, the scores are differently reckoned - each man's total score (irrespective of his relative merit at each hole) being reckoned at the finish against the total score of the other players in the competition. There is also a species of competition called "bogey" play, in which each man plays against a "bogey" score - a score fixed for each hole in the round before starting - and his position in the competition relatively to the other players is determined by the number of holes that he is to the good or to the bad of the "bogey" score at the end of the round. The player who is most holes to the good, or fewest holes to the bad, wins the competition. It may be mentioned incidentally that golf occupies the almost unique position of being the only sport in which even a single player can enjoy his game, his opponent in this event being "Colonel Bogey" - more often than not a redoubtable adversary.

The links which have been thought worthy, by reason of their geographical positions and their merits, of being the scenes on which the golf championships are fought out, are, as we have already said, three in Scotland - St Andrews, Prestwick and Muirfield - and three in England - Hoylake, Sandwich and Deal. This brief list is very far from being complete as regards links of first-class quality in Great Britain. Besides those named, there are in Scotland - Carnoustie, North Berwick, Cruden Bay, Nairn, Aberdeen, Dornoch, Troon, Machrihanish, South Uist, Islay, Gullane, Luffness and many more. In England there are - Westward Ho, Bembridge, Littlestone, Great Yarmouth, Brancaster, Seaton Carew, Formby, Lytham, Harlech,. Burnham, among the seaside ones; while of the inland, some of them of very fine quality, we cannot even attempt a selection, so large is their number and so variously estimated their comparative merits. Ireland has Portrush, Newcastle, Portsalon, Dollymount and many more of the first class; and there are excellent courses in the Isle of Man. In America many fine courses have been constructed. There is not a British colony of any standing that is without its golf course - Australia, India, South Africa, all have their golf championships, which are keenly contested. Canada has had courses at Quebec and Montreal for many years, and the Calcutta Golf Club, curiously enough, is the oldest established (next to the Blackheath Club), the next oldest being the club at Pau in the Basses-Pyrenees.


W. Park, Musselburgh .

174 - at Prestwick.


Tom Morris, sen., Prestwick .

163 - at Prestwick.


Tom Morris, sen., Prestwick .

163 - at Prestwick.


W. Park, Musselburgh .

168 - at Prestwick.


Tom Morris, sen., Prestwick .

160 - at Prestwick.


A. Strath, St Andrews. .

162 - at Prestwick.


W. Park, Musselburgh. .

169 - at Prestwick.


Tom Morris, sen., St Andrews .

170 - at Prestwick.


Tom Morris, jun., St Andrews .

154 - at Prestwick.


Tom Morris, jun., St Andrews .

157 - at Prestwick.


Tom Morris, jun., St Andrews .

149 - at Prestwick.


Tom Morris, jun., St Andrews




Tom Kidd, St Andrews. .


St Andrews.


Mungo Park, Musselburgh .




Willie Park, Musselburgh .




Bob Martin, St Andrews .


St Andrews.


Jamie Anderson, St Andrews




Jamie Anderson, St Andrews




Jamie Anderson, St Andrews


St Andrews.


Bob Fergusson, Musselburgh




Bob Fergusson, Musselburgh




Bob Fergusson, Musselburgh


St Andrews.


W. Fernie, Dumfries. .




Jack Simpson, Carnoustie .




Bob Martin, St Andrews .


St Andrews.


D. Brown, Musselburgh




Willie Park, jun., Musselburgh




Jack Burns, Warwick


St Andrews.


Willie Park, jun., Musselburgh




Mr John Ball, jun., Hoylake




Hugh Kirkaldy, St Andrews


St Andrews.


Mr H. H. Hilton, Hoylake .




W. Auchterlonie, St Andrews




J. H. Taylor, Winchester




J. H. Taylor, Winchester


St Andrews.


H. Vardon, Scarborough




Mr H. H. Hilton, Hoylake




H. Vardon, Scarborough




H. Vardon, Scarborough




J. H. Taylor, Richmond


St Andrews.


J. Braid, Romford




A. Herd, Huddersfield




H. Vardon, Ganton .




J. White, Sunningdale




J. Braid, Walton Heath


St Andrews.


J. Braid, Walton Heath .




Arnaud Massey, La Boulie




J. Braid, Walton Heath




J. H. Taylor, Richmond .




J. Braid, Walton Heath .


St Andrews.

The Open Championship of golf was started in 1860 by the Prestwick Club giving a belt to be played for annually under the condition that it should become the property of any who could win it thrice in succession. The following is the list of the champions: - Tom Morris, junior, thus won the belt finally, according to the conditions. In 1871 there was no competition; but by 1872 the three clubs of St Andrews, Prestwick and Musselburgh had subscribed for a cup which should be played for over the course of each subscribing club successively, but should never become the property of the winner. In later years the course at Muirfield was substituted for that at Musselburgh, and Hoylake and Sandwich were admitted into the list of championship courses. Up to 1891, inclusive, the play of two rounds, or thirty-six holes, determined the championship, but from 1892 the result has been determined by the play of 72 holes, After the interregnum of 1871, the following were the champions: The Amateur Championship is of far more recent institution.

1886. Mr Horace Hutchinson at St Andrews.

1887. Mr Horace Hutchinson at Hoylake.

1888. Mr John Ball. at Prestwick.

1889. Mr J. E. Laidlay at St Andrews.

1890. Mr John Ball. at Hoylake.

1891. Mr J. E. Laidlay at St Andrews.

1892. Mr John Ball. at Sandwich.

1893. Mr P. Anderson. at Prestwick.

1894. Mr John Ball.. at Hoylake.

1895. Mr L. Balfour-Melville at St Andrews.

1896. Mr F. G. Tait.. at Sandwich.

1897. Mr J. T. Allan at Muirfield.

1898. Mr John Ball at Prestwick.

1899. Mr F. G. Tait at Hoylake.

1900. Mr H. H. Hilton at Sandwich.

1901. Mr H. H. Hilton at St Andrews.

1902. Mr C. Hutchings at Hoylake.

1903. Mr R. Maxwell at Muirfield.

1904. Mr W. J. Travis at Sandwich.

1905. Mr A. G. Barry at St Andrews.

1906. Mr J. Robb. at Hoylake.

1907. Mr John Ball at St Andrews.

1908. Mr E. A. Lassen at Sandwich.

1909. Mr Robert Maxwell at Muirfield.

- 1910. Mr John Ball. at Hoylake.

The Ladies' Championship was started in 1893.

1893. Lady M. Scott. at St Annes.

1894. Lady M. Scott. at Littlestone.

1895. Lady M. Scott at Portrush.

1896. Miss A. B. Pascoe at Hoylake.

1897. Miss E. C. Orr. at Gullane.

1898. Miss L. Thompson at Yarmouth.

1899. Miss M. Hezlet. at Newcastle.

1900. Miss R. K. Adair at Westward Ho.

1901. Miss M. A. Graham at Aberdovy.

1902. Miss M. Hezlet. at Deal.

1903. Miss R. K. Adair at Portrush.

1904. Miss L. Dod at Troon.

1905. Miss B. Thompson at Cromer.

1906. Mrs Kennion.. at Burnham.

1907. Miss M. Hezlet. .. at Newcastle(Co.Down).

1908. Miss M. Titterton.. at St Andrews.

1909. Miss D. Campbell.. at Birkdale.

1910. Miss Grant Suttie.. at Westward Ho.

There have been some slight changes of detail and arrangement as time has gone on, in the rules of the game (the latest edition of the Rules should be consulted). A new class of golfer has arisen, requiring a code of rules framed rather more exactly than the older code. The Scottish golfer, who was "teethed" on a golf club, as Mr Andrew Lang has described it, imbibed all the traditions of the game with his natural sustenance. Very few rules sufficed for him. But when the Englishman, and still more the American (less in touch with the traditions), began to play golf as a new game, then they began to ask for a code of rules that should be lucid and illuminating on every pointan ideal perhaps impossible to realize. It was found, at least, that the code put forward by the Royal and Ancient Club of St Andrews did not realize it adequately. Nevertheless the new golfers were very loyal indeed to the club that had ever of old held, by tacit consent, the position of fount of golfing legislation. The Royal and Ancient Club was appealed to by English golfers to step into the place, analogous to that of the Marylebone Cricket Club in cricket, that they were both willing and anxious to give it. It was a place that the Club at St Andrews did not in the least wish to occupy, but the honour was thrust so insistently upon it, that there was no declining. The latest effort to meet the demands for some more satisfactory legislation on the thousand and one points that continually must arise for decision in course of playing a game of such variety as golf, consists of the appointment of a standing committee, called the "Rules of Golf Committee." Its members all belong to the Royal and Ancient Club; but since this club draws its membership from all parts of the United Kingdom, this restriction is quite consistent with a very general representation of the views of north, south, east and west-from Westward Ho and Sandwich to Dornoch, and all the many first-rate links of Ireland-on the committee. Ireland has, indeed, some of the best links in the kingdom, and yields to neither Scotland nor England in enthusiasm for the game. This committee, after a general revision of the rules into the form in which they now stand, consider every month, either by meeting or by correspondence, the questions that are sent up to it by clubs or by individuals; and the committee's answers to these questions have the force of law until they have come before the next general meeting of the Royal and Ancient Club at St Andrews, which may confirm or may reject them at will. The ladies of Great Britain manage otherwise. They have a Golfing Union which settles questions for them; but since this union itself accepts as binding the answers given by the Rules of Golf Committee, they really arrive at the same conclusions by a slightly different path. Nor does the American Union, governing the play of men and women alike in the States, really act differently. The Americans naturally reserve to themselves freedom to make their own rules, but in practice they conform to the legislation of Scotland, with the exception of a more drastic definition of the status of the amateur player, and certain differences as to the clubs used.

A considerable modification has been effected in the implements of the game. The tendency of the modern wooden clubs is to be short in the head as compared with the clubs of, say, 1880 or 1885. The advantage claimed (probably with justice) for this shape is that it masses the weight behind the point on which the ball is struck. Better material in the wood of the club is a consequence of the increased demand for these articles and the increased competition among their makers. Whereas under the old conditions a few workers at the few greens then in existence were enough to supply the golfing wants, now there is a very large industry in golf club and ball making, which not only employs workers in the local club-makers' shops all the kingdom over, but is an important branch of the commerce of the stores and: of the big athletic outfitters, both in Great Britain and in the United States. By far the largest modification in the game since the change to gutta-percha balls from balls of leather-covering stuffed with feathers, is due to the American invention of the india-rubber cased balls. Practically it is as an American invention that it is still regarded, although the British law courts decided, after a lengthy trial (1905), that there had been "prior users" of the principle of the balls' manufacture, and therefore that the patent of Mr Haskell, by whose name the first balls of the kind were called, was not good. It is singular to remark that in the first introduction of the gutta-percha balls, superseding the leather and feather compositions, they also were called by the name of their first maker, "Gourlay." The general mode of manufacture of the rubber-cored ball, which is now everywhere in use, is interiorly, a hard core of gutta-percha or some other such substance; round this is wound, by machinery, india-rubber thread or strips at a high tension, and over all is an outer coat of gutta-percha. Some makers have tried to dispense with the kernel of hard substance, or to substitute for it kernels of some fluid or gelatinous substance, but in general the above is a sufficient, though rough, description of the mode of making all these balls. Their superiority over the solid gutta-percha lies in their superior resiliency. The effect is that they go much more lightly off the club. It is not so much in the tee-shots that this superiority is observed, as in the second shots, when the ball is lying badly; balls of the rubbercored kind, with their greater liveliness, are more easy to raise in the air from a lie of this kind. They also go remarkably well off the iron clubs, and thus make the game easier by placing the player within an iron shot of the hole at a distance at which he would have to use a wooden club if he were playing with a solid gutta-percha ball. They also tend to make the game more easy by the fact that if they are at all mis-hit they go much better than a gutta-percha ball similarly inaccurately struck. As a slight setoff against these qualities, the ball,because of the greater liveliness, is not quite so good for the short game as the solid ball; but on the whole its advantages distinctly overbalance its disadvantages.

When these balls were first put on the market they were sold at two shillings each and even, when the supply was quite unequal to the demand, at a greater deal higher price, rising to as much as a guinea a ball. But the normal price, until about a year after the decision in the British courts of law affirming that there was no patent in the balls, was always two shillings for the best quality of ball. Subsequently there was a reduction down to one shilling for the balls made by many of the manufacturing companies, though in 1910 the rise in the price of rubber sent up the cost.. The rubber-cored ball does not go out of shape so quickly as the gutta-percha solid ball and does not show other marks of ill-usage with the club so obviously. It has had the effect of making the game a good deal easier for the secondand third-class players, favouring especially those who were short drivers with the old gutta-percha ball. To the best players it has made the least difference, nevertheless those who were best with the old ball are also best with the new; its effect has merely been to bring the second, third and fourth best closer to each other and to the best.

Incidentally, the question of the expense of the game has been touched on in this notice of the new balls. There is no doubt that the balls themselves tend to a greater economy, not only because of their own superior durability but also because, as a consequence of their greater resiliency, they are not nearly so hard on the clubs, and the clubs themselves being perhaps made of better material than used to be given to their manufacture, the total effect is that a man's necessary annual expenditure on them is very small indeed even though he plays pretty constantly. Four or five rounds are not more than the average of golfers will make an india-rubber cored ball last them, so that the outlay on the weapons is very moderate. On the other hand the expenditure of the clubs on their courses has increased and tends to increase. Demands are more insistent than they used to be for a well kept course, for perfectly mown greens, renewed teeing grounds and so on, and probably the modern golfer is a good deal more luxurious in his clubhouse wants than his father used to be. This means a big staff of servants and workers on the green, and to meet this a rather heavy subscription is required. Such a subscription as five guineas added to a ten or fifteen guinea entrance fee is not uncommon, and even this is very moderate compared with the subscriptions to some of the clubs in the United States, where a hundred dollars a year, or twenty pounds of our money, is not unusual. But on the whole golf is a very economical pastime, as compared with almost any other sport or pastime which engages the attention of Britons, and it is a pastime for all the year round, and for al/ the life of a man or woman.

Glossary of Technical Terms used in the Game. Addressing the Ball. - Putting oneself in position to strike the ball. All Square. - Term used to express that the score stands level, neither side being a hole up.


To strike the ground with the club when playing, and so loft the ball unduly.


A short wooden club, with laid-back face, for lofting shots. Bogey. - The number of strokes which a good average player should take to each hole. This imaginary player is usually known as "Colonel Bogey," and plays a fine game.


A wooden club with a brass sole.


A driver in which the face "bulges" into a convex shape. The head is shorter than in the older-fashioned driver.


A sand-pit.


The holes remaining after one side has become more holes up than remain for play.


The person who carries the clubs. Diminutive of "cad"; cf. laddie (from Fr. cadet). Cleek. - The iron-headed club that is capable of the farthest drive of any of the clubs with iron heads.


A depression in the ground causing the ball to lie badly. Dead. - A ball is said to be "dead" when so near the hole that the putting it in in the next stroke is a "dead" certainty. A ball is said to "fall dead" when it pitches with hardly any run. Divot. - A piece of turf cut out in the act of playing, which, be it noted, should always be replaced before the player moves on. Dormy. - One side is said to be "dormy" when it is as many holes to the good as remain to be played - so that it cannot be beaten.


The longest driving club, used when the ball lies very well and a long shot is needed.


Any very badly missed or bungled stroke.

"Fore!" - A cry of warning to people in front.


A match in which four persons engage, two on each. side playing alternately with the same ball.


(a) The links as a whole; (b) the "putting-greens around the holes.


(a) The part of the club-shaft which is held in the hands. while playing; (b) the grasp itself - e.g." a firm grip," a loose grip,"are common expressions.


A shot played with something less than a full swing. Halved. - A hole is ' halved" when both sides have played it in the same number of strokes. A round is "halved" when each side has won and lost the same number of holes.


The strokes which a player receives either in match play or competition.


Said of a ball that lies on a slope inclining downwards in regard to the direction in which it is wished to drive.


A general term for bunker, whin, long grass, roads and all kinds of bad ground.


To hit the ball on the "heel" of the club, i.e. the part of the face nearest the shaft, and so send the ball to the right, with the same result as from a slice.


The privilege (which its holder is not at liberty to, decline) of striking off first from the tee.


An iron-headed club intermediate between the cleek and lofting mashie. There are driving irons and lofting irons according to the purposes for which they are intended.


(a) The angle of the club-head with the shaft (e.g. a " flat lie," "an upright lie"); (b) the position of the ball on the ground (e.g. "a good lie," "a bad lie").

Like, The

The stroke which makes the player's score equal to his opponent's in course of playing a hole.


Said when both sides have played the same number of strokes.


The direction in which the hole towards which the player is progressing lies with reference to the present position of his ball. Mashie. - An iron club with a short head. The lofting mashie has the blade much laid back, for playing a short lofting shot. The driving mashie has the blade less laid back, and is used for longer,. less lofted shots.


Play in which the score is reckoned by holes won and lost.


Play in which the score is reckoned by the total strokes taken on the round.


A short stiff club with a short, laid back, iron head, used for getting the ball out of a very bad lie.

Odd, The

A stroke more than the opponent has played. Press. - To strive to hit harder than you can hit with accuracy. Pull. - To hit the ball with a pulling movement of the club, so as to make it curve to the left.


To play the short strokes near the hole (pronounced as in "but").


The club used for playing the short strokes near the hole. Some have a wooden head, some an iron head.


Any chance deflection that the ball receives as it goes along.

Run Up

To send the ball low and close to the ground in approaching the hole - opposite to lofting it up.

Scratch Player

Player who receives no odds in handicap competitions.


To hit the ball with a cut across it, so that it flies curving to the right.


(a) The place on which the player has to stand when playing - e.g."a bad stance," "a good stance," are common expressions; (b) the position relative to each other of the player's feet.


When one ball lies in a straight line between another and the hole the first is slid to "stymie," or "to be a stymie to" the other - from an old Scottish word given by Jamieson to mean "the faintest form of anything." The idea probably was, the "stymie" only left you the "faintest form" of the hole to aim at.


The little mound of sand on which the ball is generally placed for the first drive to each hole.


The place marked as the limit, outside of which it is not permitted to drive the ball off. This marked-out ground is also sometimes called "the tee." Top. - To hit the ball above the centre, so that it does not rise much from the ground.


A player is said to be "one up," "two up," &c., when he is so many holes to the good of his opponent.


A shot less in length than a half-shot, but longer than a putt.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. - The literature of the game has grown to some considerable bulk. For many years it was practically comprised in the fine work by Mr Robert Clark, Golf: A Royal and Ancient Game, together with two handbooks on the game by Mr Chambers and by Mr Forgan respectively, and the Golfiana Miscellanea of Mr Stewart. A small book by Mr Horace Hutchinson, named Hints on Golf, was very shortly followed by a much more important work by Sir Walter Simpson, Bart., called The Art of Golf, a title which sufficiently explains itself. The Badminton Library book on Golf attempted to collect into one volume the most interesting historical facts known about the game, with obiter dicta and advice to learners, and, on similar didactic lines, books have been written by Mr H. C. S. Everard, Mr Garden Smith and W. Park, the professional player. Mr H. J. Whigham, sometime amateur champion golfer of the United States, has given us a book about the game in that country. The Book of Golf and Golfers, compiled, with assistance, by Mr Horace Hutchinson, is in the first place a picture-gallery of famous golfers in their respective attitudes of play. Taylor, Vardon and Braid have each contributed a volume of instruction, and Mr G. W. Beldam has published a book with admirable photographs of players in action, called Great Golfers: their Methods at a Glance. A work intended for the use of green committees is among the volumes of the Country Life Library of Sport. Much interesting lore is contained in the Golfing Annual, in the Golfer's Year Book and in the pages of Golf, which has now become Golf Illustrated, a weekly paper devoted to the game. Among works that have primarily a local interest, but yet contain much of historical value about the game, may be cited the Golf Book .of East Lothian, by the Rev. John Kerr, and the Chronicle of Blackheath Golfers, by Mr W. E. Hughes. (H. G. H.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also golf



Golf m. (genitive: Golfes; plural: Golfe)

  1. bay (in the geographical sense), gulf
    • Golfstrom — gulf stream


Golf n.

  1. golf

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki


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Box artwork for Golf.
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Sports
System(s) NES, Arcade, Famicom Disk System, e-Reader
Players 1-2
For the golf genre, see Category:Golf.

Golf was the fourteenth game that Nintendo released for the Famicom. It was the number one selling Famicom game released during 1983 and 1984, selling approximately 2,460,000 copies in it's lifetime. It was the first golf game for the NES. It was released in arcades as Vs. Stroke & Match Golf as part of Nintendo's Vs. arcade system. The arcade game was released as two different versions, a "Men" version and a "Ladies" version. Golf was re-released for the Famicom Disk System, and later as a set of e-Reader cards for the Game Boy Advance.

Table of Contents

Golf/Table of Contents

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|A golf ball (right) next to the hole it goes in.]] Golf is a game played in an open field where the golfer plays his golf ball into a hole by using different types of clubs (golf instruments). The book Rules of Golf reads "The Game of Golf consists in playing a ball from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules."


Play of the game

In golf, a golfer plays a number of holes in a given order. 18 holes played in an order controlled by the golf course design, normally make up a game. On a nine-hole course, two nine-hole rounds make up a normal game.

The two common forms of playing golf are match play and stroke play. In match play, two golfers (or two teams) play holes one at a time. The golfer with the lower number of strokes (number of times the golfer used to get his ball in the hole) wins that hole. If the two have the same number of strokes, the hole is "halved" (drawn). The golfer that has the greatest number of holes wins. In stroke play, the golfer (or team) with the smallest number of strokes all together wins. There are different forms of these rules, some given in the "Rules of Golf" making them "official.


File:Golf player putting green
A golfer using a putter to hit the ball into the hole.
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The four different clubs are woods, irons, putters and wedges. A golfer uses about 3 woods, about 10 irons, and a putter. The rules do not let the golfer use over 14 clubs in a game.

The Majors

Golfers call the four biggest tournaments in professional golf "majors", and they play them at nearly the same time every year. The four majors are:

  1. The Masters
  2. U.S. Open
  3. The Open Championship (British Open)
  4. PGA Championship
  1. Kraft Nabisco Championship
  2. LPGA Championship
  3. U.S. Women's Open
  4. Women's British Open

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