Can you tell me about Golf?How the game is played?how the scores are read?
Each hole is rated as to how many hits a good player will need to get the ball in the hole. A par 3 hole is one that should take a good player 3 strokes; a par 4 hole 4 strokes, etc.
For any give hole: one stroke under par is a birdie, two strokes under par is an eagle and one stroke over par is a bogie.
In regulation play you add up the total strokes for each hole and the person with the lowest score is the winner.
Some historians feel that golf originated in the Netherlands (the Dutch word kolf means club), and some authorities trace golf back to a Roman game. The Romans, who occupied most of the island of Great Britain from the A.D. 40's to the early 400's, had a game they played in the streets, with a bent stick and a ball made of leather and stuffed with feathers, that may have been the original source of the game called paganica. Other historians trace golf to a Dutch game called het kolven, a French and Belgian game called chole, a French game called jeu de mail, and an English game called cambuca.
In any event, it has been fairly well established that the game actually was devised by the Scots in the 14th or 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 employed 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, took the game to France, where she was educated. The young men who attended her on the golf links were known as cadets, "pupils"; the term was adopted later in Scotland and England, becoming caddy or caddie. (Caddies, once an integral feature of the game, have now been largely superseded by golf carts and buggies.) In England the game was made popular by the attention given it by James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, and his son Charles I.
In the 18th century the first golf associations were established. The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers in Edinburgh, Scotland, is often recognized as the first organized golf club. It was established in 1744 and set down the first written rules of the game. These rules were developed to govern play and settle disputes. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews was founded in 1754 as the Society of St. Andrews Golfers. It was the leader in setting golf's rules and standards. For example, it set the standard round of golf at 18 holes, in 1834 it took its present name, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. The Royal Blackheath (1766), near London, where according to tradition golf was introduced to England in 1608. The popularity of golf spread from Scotland and England to parts of the British Commonwealth. The first clubs established outside Britain were the Calcutta Golf Club (1829) and the Royal Bombay Club (1842). The first golf club established in the western hemisphere was Canada's Royal Montreal Golf Club, founded in 1873.
It is believed that golf was played in America during the colonial period, but no documented proof of this has been advanced. Historians disagree over which existing golf club in the United States was founded first. Among the oldest American clubs are the Dorset Field Club in Dorset, Vermont; the Foxburg Country Club in Foxburg, Pennsylvania; and the St. Andrews Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. All three clubs claim founding dates in the 1880's. The Amateur Golf Association of the United States (now the United States Golf Association) was founded in 1894 to serve as the governing body for golf in the United States. In 1951, the USGA and Britain's Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews agreed to jointly interpret the rules and standards that now govern golf throughout the world. The popularity of the game in the U.S. and Great Britain reached great heights by the 1920s and has steadily increased in recent years, fostered by television. In the U.S. alone, more than 12,400 golf courses serve over 20 million people who play golf at least once a year. Golf is also popular in Canada, South Africa, and Australia and since the end of World War II has enjoyed phenomenal growth in Japan.
The rise of professional golf
In 1916, American professional golfers formed the PGA. Until then, amateur golfers dominated the sport. Bobby Jones, who retired in 1930, was the finest amateur golfer of his day. But outstanding professionals, notably Walter Hagen, were beginning to establish golf as a major sport. Hagen was a superb golfer who won additional fame in the 1920's for his showmanship and flamboyant style. Other leading early professionals included Tommy Armour, Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith, and Joe Turnesa.
Some of the first events on the American professional tour began in the early 1920's, and the tour became established in the 1930's. It was led by such golfers as Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Sam Snead. Prize money averaged less than $10,000 per tournament until after World War II ended in 1945. During the late 1940's, tournament purses in PGA events averaged about $12,000. Hogan and Snead dominated the sport in the 1950's along with Jimmy Demaret, Lloyd Mangrum, and Cary Middlecoff. Top professionals of the 1960's and early 1970's included Americans Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Billy Casper, along with Gary Player of South Africa.
The U.S. PGA Tour now ranks as the biggest and richest golf tour in the world. In the late 1990's, the tour consisted of about 55 tournaments with prize money of more than $76 million.
Rules and Regulations.
The rules of play for golf are numerous and complex and include a code of etiquette for behavior on the green.
The game was originally played with a ball made of feathers tightly packed in a leather cover, called the feathery, until the gutty was introduced in 1848. The gutty was a solid ball made of a rubbery substance called gutta-percha. The gutty was later replaced by the rubber-cored ball invented in 1898 by U.S. golfer Coburn Haskell. The pitted surface of modern golf balls acts to stabilize flight. The ball used in the U.S. has a diameter of no less than 4.27 cm (1.68 in) and weighs not more than 45.93 g (1.62 oz). The British have traditionally used a ball of this same weight but with a diameter of not less than 4.11 cm (1.62 in). In 1968 experiments were undertaken to investigate the possibility of establishing a single set of specifications for the ball.
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