Basic Notions of Golf

9th August 2019
This sport, which requires precision and concentration, has more followers than you may think. To play golf you don't only need special clubs, but also discipline and a lot of training. 

Golf is a sport of precision, concentration, and a lot of training. If you’re interested in practicing it, we recommend that you read the following article. Here, we’ll tell you the basic notions of golf as a competitive sport and physical exercise in general.

Basic notions of golf: things to know about this sport

First of all, it would be good to describe golf as an activity. It’s a discipline that people practice in the open air with the objective of using a club to hit a small ball into various holes. The player that wins is the one who hit the ball fewer times to accomplish this.

Golf has a kickoff area called the tee. The area where the holes are located is known as the green, which is very well maintained.

This sport is challenging because you play against yourself. That’s why it’s said that a good golfer must be humble, willing to sacrifice, tolerant, and, of course, have a good aim. Discipline is also important in aspects such as diet and rest.

You can practice golf at any time of the year, although it’s better if the weather is dry. The green is surrounded by trees and you play on the grass; hence, rain can be an impediment in many cases.

Lots of people begin to play in their childhood, but there are golfers who are senior citizens. Everyone must be in good physical condition since a game will probably require walking up to seven miles on an uneven surface between swings.

Basic notions of golf

Now that you know the main characteristics of this sport, it’s time to talk about more technical and specific issues. Once you learn the basic rules of golf, the next step is to go to a field and start hitting the ball – or at least try to.

1. Golf course

A golf course has at least nine holes, although it usually has 18. They’re all numbered consecutively and are different from each other. The space between the tee and the green is called the fairway and it can present various obstacles; such as lakes, sandbanks, trees, etc.

A golf course has at least 9 holes.

On the sides of the fairway, you can find the rough, with higher grass that hinders your swing if the ball reaches it. To pinpoint the holes, a flag is placed on each one with the corresponding number. Additionally, they are covered by a metal sleeve; they have a diameter of 108 millimeters.

2. Basic notions of golf: clubs and equipment

During a golf match, you’ve surely seen a person tailing after the golfer with a bag full of clubs, or in some cases, in a motorized vehicle. This is due to the fact that to practice this sport, you require several types of clubs; depending on the stroke, zone, or the precision that you desire.

The wooden clubs are ideal for long-range swings and the iron clubs for intermediate swings. 

If you’re just starting out, it’s advisable to mark the balls with something distinctive, such as a brand or stamp. You can also use colored balls, which are easily identified on the green.

Another element that can’t be missing in a game of golf is the tee; a kind of support that allows you to place the ball properly for the first swing. You can only use this accessory at the starting point.

In regard to clothing, it should be informal and sporty, but at the same time, elegant. Golfers usually wear Bermuda shorts or pants and a polo shirt. In winter, they also wear a vest. The shoes have hooks on the soles to grip the grass and they also wear a glove on the hand that carries the weight of the clubs.

3. Posture, one of the basic aspects of golf

It’s safe to say that the posture we use while playing golf is “unnatural” and that you should practice a lot until you do it correctly. The swing is the complete movement made by the arms, shoulders, and hips. At all times, you must keep your back straight and flex your knees slightly.

To complete the swing, the back knee comes forward, at the same time that the torso turns forward; as if looking at the direction of the ball.

Posture is very important in golf.

4. Basic notions of golf: order of play

The basic rule regarding the order of play in golf is as follows: the one who is the farthest goes first; this is done for security reasons. You must wait patiently for a golfer to finish in order to move and hit the ball.

In the event that your ball goes too far or out of bounds, you can choose to use a second ball, with a penalty shot to your credit. If the ball falls in a bunker, you can hit it as long as the club doesn’t touch the sand. Keep in mind that, when you leave this area, you’ll have to eliminate your tracks and ensure it’s smooth and clean for other players.

To sum up, don’t leave bags or carts, don’t pass the putting line of other players– the path between the ball and the hole–, and remove the flag if all the golfers are on the green. Enjoy this sport that’s so relaxing and fun!

  • Penner, A. R. (2003). The physics of golf. Reports on Progress in Physics. https://doi.org/10.1088/0034-4885/66/2/202
  • Reglas de Golf. 2015. R&A Rules Limited, United States Golf Association. Traducción de la Comisión de Reglas y Reglamentos de la Asociación Argentina de Golf. https://www.aag.org.ar/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/Libro-de-Reglas.pdf