Golf most popular in the United States of America
Golf, in its modern form, first originated in 15th century Scotland. Around 50 per cent of the world’s golf courses are in the States and many of the biggest tournaments are held there.
The four most prestigious men’s golf tournaments of the year are called the majors and consist of the Masters, The US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship. All are part of the PGA Tour and PGA European Tour.
Some of the most famous golf courses around the world
Include Pine Valley, St Andrews and Augusta. Augusta, in Georgia, is best known for being the home of the Masters, while Pine Valley, in New Jersey, was ranked the No. 1 course in Golf Magazine’s 100 top courses in the US, and the world, in 2012.
St Andrews is regarded as the home of golf. It has one of the oldest courses in the world, where the game has been played since the 15th century. No other course has hosted more opens than St Andrews. The 144th Open Championship returned to the Scottish club for the 29th time in 2015.
Tiger Woods is widely regarded as the greatest golf player of all time. He has won 14 major championships and 78 PGA Tour wins. He also has the lowest career scoring average in PGA Tour history and 10 Player of the Year awards.
Yes, he has also had scandal and disgrace and is no longer finding himself at the top of the golf leader boards, but the impact and the level of his achievement was astounding. Quite simply, at his best, Woods played the game better than it’s ever been played.
However, some will argue that Jack Nicklaus is the greatest golf player of all time. He has four more major golf titles than Woods, with 18.
He also has 73 PGA tour titles and won at least two PGA Tour events in 17 consecutive seasons from 1962 to 78.
Some will argue that golf in the 21st century is a lot more competitive than it was in Nicklaus’ day, but he fought many of golf’s greatest players at their very peak and beat them all.
That included Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan and, at the age of 46, he brushed aside the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Tom Kite, and Greg Norman, to win his sixth Masters in 1986 in one of the greatest golf moments of all time.
So what are the basic rules of golf? Well, golfers are allowed to carry 14 clubs with them on a round and the aim is to get it from the tee, where the first shot is played, to the hole in as few shots as possible.
There are a number of different ways of scoring the game, such as Texas scramble or Stableford, but on a normal round, which consists of 18 holes, every shot counts. Amateur players have handicaps, which is the amount of extra shots they are given to complete the round based on their ability when compared to a professional.
This is deducted from the overall total after the 18th hole to give them a nett score, which is then compared to the other golfers in the competition they are playing to determine the winner.
Each hole is given a rating of how many shots it would take for a player with no handicap to complete. This is known as a par score and ranges from three to five shots. If a professional golfer were to complete a par three hole in two shots, or a par four hole in three swings of the club, this would be known as one-under-par for that hole or a birdie. An eagle is two-below par for the hole, while a bogey is one-over-par and a double-bogey is two-over-par.
Golfers generally tee off from the longer holes by using either their driver, two-wood or three-wood clubs. These are used because they have longer shafts and larger, rounder heads than other club types, and are used to hit the ball longer distances than other types. Woods are so called because, traditionally, they had a club head that was made from hardwood, generally persimmon, but modern clubs have heads made from metal, for example titanium, or composite materials, such as carbon fiber.
Irons are the next set of clubs used,
generally for the shots down the fairways and approaching the greens. These generally range three irons up to nine irons. Irons, lower than three, are generally obsolete in the game of golf because the shots they would be used for are much easier to hit with woods. The lower the number the longer the shaft and the straighter the club head is, meaning that the ball can be hit further with these clubs.
However, it is generally harder to hit the ball with these clubs; the connection has to be perfect. Therefore, it is generally not advised to hit a low iron out of rough or long grass as golfers can have trouble getting a good contact with the ball in the circumstances and are better off selecting a more forgiving high iron for these shots.
Nine irons are generally used when a player gets close to a green and wants to chip the ball onto that surface. However, there are also a section of irons called wedges that can be used for this purpose. There is the pitching wedge, the loft wedge and the sand wedge.
The sand wedge is the most open-faced of all the wedges and as a result provides the most loft on a shot. The sand wedge is primarily designed for golfers to use to get out of sand bunkers as the club head can glide through sand and avoid digging in, while still lifting the ball.
Once onto the green, the putter must be used. A putter is a club used in the sport of golf to make relatively short and low-speed strokes with the intention of rolling the ball into the hole.