Golf Essay, Research Paper
Golf is an outdoor game where players use specially designed clubs to hit a small, hard ball over a field known as a course. The object of the game is to advance the ball around the course using as few strokes as possible. Golf is a game played by many, but has recently increased in popularity due to the promotion of young athletes. One of these, Tiger Woods, is a major role model for many younger kids. This game is very positive and everything that the sport of golf accomplishes in this world is for a good cause . This quote is from Arnold Palmer when he was promoting the first donation tournament, Golf for Aids , which went to the research and development of finding cures and treating patients.
A golf course is divided into 18 sections, called holes. The standard course is about 7,000 yards. Each hole may vary in length from 100 to 600 yards. The holes have, at one end a starting point known as a tee and, at the other end a hole marked by a flag. A hole is where the ball must be hit into in order to complete play at each hole. Play begins at the first tee, a level area of turf, generally raised slightly above the surrounding terrain. From here each player tries to drive the ball onto the fairway, or main part of the golf course, 30 to 100 yards wide, where the grass is neatly cut for a good surface for the ball. On either side of the fairway is the rough, which consists of areas covered with long grass, bushes, or trees, and which sometimes contains sandy, rough, or marshy areas that make golfers use additional skill in playing their shots. In the lack of such natural obstacles, artificial hazards may be constructed. These include bunkers, or traps, which are ditches, dug in the ground and usually filled with sand. Water hazards, such as trenches, creeks, ponds, or lakes. At the far end of the fairway from the tee is the putting green, an area of extremely low cut grass surrounding the hole or cup. The grass surface of the putting green is intended to ease the progress of the ball into the hole after the ball has been given a tap or gentle stroke known as a putt. In addition to the putt, the stroke used on the green, two main types of shots are used in playing each hole. These are the drive, which is a long shot from the tee onto the fairway, and the approach shot, which is the shot used to hit the ball onto the green. Both shots need great accuracy in order to have good hole. Shots of various lengths are played with different clubs, according to the distance and the lie, also known as the position of the ball. A standard set of 14 golf clubs, is divided into two main types, the woods, with heads made of wood or metal; and the irons, with heads made of steel. The shafts of both types are usually made of metal and sometimes of fiberglass. Now, a new type of graphite is used in the shafts to make them extra light. Formerly, each club was known by a distinctive name, but today they are represented by numbers. The woods are customarily numbered 1 through 5, and the irons 1 through 9. The putter, an iron, has retained its name. In addition to the numbered irons are the utility clubs, including the sand wedge and the pitching wedge, used to hit the ball high and close, leaving only a short distance of rolling.
The clubs are variously used in achieving distance, height, or accurate placement of the ball. The angle at which the striking surface is set on the shaft of the club determines the path of the ball. For making drives and distance shots on the fairway, the woods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and driver) and the long irons (1, 2, and 3) are used. For the opening drive of each hole, the ball is teed up. This is when the ball is placed on a small wooden, rubber, or plastic peg, known as a tee, which the players carry with them. This lifts the ball at least an inch off the ground, allowing the head of the club to strike the ball at the center point of the club, and with maximum force. For long, low shots on the fairway, the 2 wood is used, and for long, high shots 3, 4, and 5 woods are applied. Other approach shots to the green, generally of a shorter range, are played with irons. For even shorter approaches, known as chip shots, the same irons are used but with a shorter swing. The putter normally is used only on the green or the fringe of the green.
Two basic forms of competition exist in golf. These consist of match play and medal play or stroke play. In match play the player or the team taking the fewer number of strokes to sink the ball into any particular hole, called holing out, is the winner of the hole. The player or team winning the most holes wins the event. If each player or team takes the same number of strokes on any hole, the hole is said to be tied. A final score of 9 and 8 in match play means that the winner was 9 holes ahead with only 8 left to play, so the loser has no chance of gaining a lead or tie and the game is stopped. When the match goes tied until the last hole, the winning score is 1 up.
In medal play, now the more popular kind of play in major tournaments, the winner of the contest is the team or player taking the fewest strokes over the total number of holes agreed upon. Although a round usually consists of 9 or 18 holes, the amount in championship contests covers 18, 36, 54, or 72 holes. In medal play, playoff rounds, or tiebreaker holes decide ties.
The term par refers to the number of properly played strokes an expert golfer would be expected to use in completing a particular hole without accident. The total for all of the holes is called par for the course. Par is based primarily on the number of strokes necessary to reach the green, plus two putts. Par for a single hole is three strokes for a hole of 250 yards or less for men, and 210 yards or less for women. Par is four strokes for a hole from 251 to 470 yards for men, and 211 to 400 yards for women. Par is five strokes for a hole of 471 yards or more for men, and 401 yards or more for women. In addition, for women, par is six strokes for a hole of 576 yards or more. Occasionally, on a par-three hole, a player makes a hole in one, which is, drives the ball from the tee into the cup in one stroke, although this is rare. A score of one less than par is referred to as a birdie, and two less than par. Three strokes less than par is known as a double eagle. One stroke over par is called a bogey, and two over par is a double bogey. Some historians believe that golf originated in the Netherlands, because the Dutch word Kolf means “club”, but the Romans had a game played with a bent stick and a ball made of feathers that may have been the original foundation of the game. It has been established, however, that the game was actually devised by the Scots in the 15th century. The game became so popular in Scotland that in order to keep people from playing golf and football during time that should have been working in practicing archery, a military necessity, the Scottish parliament in 1457 passed a law prohibiting both games. The Scottish people, however, largely ignored this and similar laws, and early in the 16th century James IV, king of Scotland, took up the game of golf. His granddaughter Mary, later Mary Queen of Scots, played the game in France, where she was educated. The young men who attended her on the golf course were known as cadets, meaning pupils. The term was adopted later in Scotland and England and became caddy. Caddies, once a vital feature of the game, have now been outdated on many courses by golf carts and push carts. In England the game was made popular by the attention of James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, and his son Charles.
In the 18th century the first golf associations were established, they included the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, founded in 1744; The Saint Andrews Society of Golfers in 1754, which in 1834 took its present name, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews; and the Royal Black heath originated in 1766, near London, where, according to tradition, golf was introduced to England in 1608. The first clubs established outside Britain were the Calcutta Golf Club of East India set up in 1829 and the Royal Bombay Club in 1842. It is believed by some that golf was played in North America during the colonial period, but no documented proof of this has been advanced. In 1888 the Saint Andrews Golf Club of Yonkers, New York, was established. Some authorities say this is the oldest continuously existing golf club in the United States. The popularity of the game in the United States and Britain reached great heights by the 1920s and steadily increased over the years, fostered by television. In the United States alone, more than 14,000 golf courses serve more than 24 million people who play golf at least once a year. Golf is also popular in continental Europe, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Japan, and many other parts of the world.
The rules of play for golf are numerous and complex. They include a code of etiquette for behavior on the green. Some of these codes include let a faster group play ahead, never yell on course (unless warning), no more than 15 minutes played on one hole, can t walk in the path of someone s ball and the hole on green, wear proper course dress code, no metal spikes, and of course never throwh a club.
The game was originally played with a ball made of feathers tightly packed in a leather cover. About 1850 a ball made of gutta-percha came into use. Gutta-percha is a milky liquid, derived principally from Malaysian trees, that hardens after being boiled and cooled. About 1901 a ball with a rubber core enclosed in gutta-percha, similar to the ball in use today, was developed. The pitted surface of modern golf balls acts to stabilize flight.
The organizations that establish golf rules for the world are the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews and the United States Golf Association (USGA), founded in 1894 and located in Far Hills, New Jersey. Before 1913, golf in the United States was played chiefly by people of wealth. In 1913, however, after a former caddie from the United States named Francis Ouimet won a victory over two outstanding British professionals in the U.S. open championship tournament (open to amateurs and professionals), golf came to the attention of the American public in general. The Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) was organized in 1916, and annual tournaments were started during the same year. The PGA is headquartered in Palm Beach, Florida. Currently, there are more than 23,000 members of the PGA, most of who assist amateur players as club or resort instructors; and each year several hundred professional players tour the country competing in major tournaments. The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, numbers more than 800 club instructors, along with several hundred-tournament players. Major professional tours include the PGA for men, the LPGA for women, and the Seniors Tour for men over the age of 50.
Each year many golf tournaments take place. The most important professional tournaments for men are the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship. Collectively these four events form the grand slam of golf. Until 1960 the grand slam was considered to be the U.S. Open, the British Open, the U.S. Amateur, and the British Amateur, but with the increasing importance of professional golf in the mid-20th century, the Masters and the PGA Championship gained superiority over the two amateur tournaments. However, the U.S. and British amateurs remain important events for non-pros.
International matches are also played. The Walker Cup is a contest between amateur golfers from the United States and Britain. The Ryder Cup is also a contest between professional golfers from the United States and the rest of the world. Before 1979 the Ryder Cup was only between American and British teams. World competition tournaments also include the Eisenhower Cup for amateurs, the World Cup for professionals, and the Francis H. I. Brown International Team Match Trophy for seniors.
The American amateur player Bobby Jones, who in 1930 achieved the grand slam of golf at the time by winning the British Open, the British Amateur, the U.S. Open, and the U.S. Amateur, accomplished the most famous feat in the history of golf. No other player has ever won the grand slam in golf. Other outstanding golfers include Tiger Woods, David Duval, Davis Love III, Payne Stewart, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, and Vijay Singh.
Spin-offs of golf are other ways to enjoy a fun time while golfing. Miniature golf is composed of 18 small holes made by enhancing fantasy into each hole. Putting greens are used for practicing your short game, where you can chip and putt. Driving ranges combine practice and recreation where relaxation in hitting balls takes place. Pitch and putt is a shorter version of the standard game, where the holes are made easier and little kids are taught the game.
Golf, once a game where people were restricted from playing, has grown so greatly over the past 5 centuries. Many people believe in the statement by Arnold Palmer, as it be so truthfully proclaimed about the awe of the game of golf. Golf was set out to fulfill the calmness of one s mind and inner being and as many professional golfers have stated, it sets your mind straight. Life without golf would be very stressful and worrisome. There would be much boredom and lonely days. Although you may not feel golf exists in your life, at one time it greatly affected all of our lives, for this was just the love of the game .