Golf has become extremely popular over the decades, with more people from different walks of life getting interested in the sport for fun and competition. Golfing particularly in the USA is common and this is attributed to the fact that by 1900, there more than 1000 golf clubs in the region, which attracted not just players but also spectators.
Like other sports, golf has its own set of rules and things to do and not to do. If you’re just starting it’s recommended that you understand those rules that’ll help you play and compete fairly. Different golf clubs have different rules that govern them, however, golfing, in general, is under some universal rules that ensure proper etiquette and professionalism.
Things You Should Know Before Taking a Swing
The rules are simple but cost a great deal if you break any. For example, as a golfer, you’re expected to utmostly pack 14 clubs at any given round of golf. Otherwise, you could end up attracting a two-stroke penalty.
While golf courses vary in terms of the number of holes, an 18-hole golf course is considered the standard type and this is what you’d normally see in major golf tournaments and competitions. Ideally, you’re supposed to strike the ball from a teeing point to the next point which is referred to as putting area using the minimum strokes possible.
The distance between the teeing and putting area is often coupled with obstacles to make the game more interesting. The time taken to complete a round will depend on how cleverly you can avoid the obstacles. There are two forms of golf play.
- Minimum number of strokes per round
- Number of holes won and loss
Whether you’re playing for fun or looking to improve your competitive skills, there’re several principles to keep in mind.
In golfing, teeing refers to the act of stroking a golf ball from a ‘teeing ground’ — a mound of earth where ‘teeing off’ takes place. As a golfer, this is perhaps the first you need to learn after learning how to hold and swing a club. Proper teeing off determines how far and accurate the ball will go. Always ensure to maintain a distance of two-club length between you and the ball to give yourself a perfect swinging room.
Know Your Balls
Another important principle in golf is being able to keep track of your ball. This is critical because if you mistake your ball to your opponent’s you risk getting a two-stroke penalty. And this is why ball marking is encouraged to distinguish balls. You can choose colors, symbols or patterns to mark your ball.
Play a stationary ball
As a standard principle across golfing, you’re only supposed to take a hit when the ball comes to a rest. But the rules get relaxed when the ball gets stuck in an un-playable position or impediment situation. In this case, you’re supposed to remove the challenges and obstacles to make the area playable. If the balls land on man-made obstacles, then you must drop the ball, one club-length towards, to the relief point
So what happens if you strike a ball and it falls in unplayable positions? You have three options when this happens.
- First, you can either considered retaking the strike from the original teeing ground
- Drop the ball one club-length towards a relief point but it has to behind the unplayable lie and not the front.
- Or, drop the ball on either side of the unplayable lie but now the distance has to be two club-lengths instead of one.
While you’ll come across other golf rules, understanding these basic principles should be enough to get you started. Today you can enjoy a perfect round of golf thanks to the advancement in sports technology that has seen the development of high definition golf simulators. This piece of innovation has made it possible for literally anyone to learn and enjoy golf at the convenience of their home.