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When the game is tied after the predetermined number of holes have been played, it may be continued until one side takes a one-hole lead. The score achieved for each and every hole of the round or tournament is added to produce the total score, and the player with the lowest score wins in stroke play. Stroke play is the game most commonly played by professional golfers. If there is a tie after the regulation number of holes in a professional tournament, a playoff takes place between all tied players.
Playoffs either are sudden death or employ a pre-determined number of holes, anywhere from three to a full In sudden death, a player who scores lower on a hole than all of his opponents wins the match. If at least two players remain tied after such a playoff using a pre-determined number of holes, then play continues in sudden death format, where the first player to win a hole wins the tournament. The other forms of play in the game of golf are bogey competition, skins, 9-points, stableford, team play, and unofficial team variations.
A bogey competition is a scoring format sometimes seen in at informal tournaments. Its scoring is similar to match play, except each player compares their hole score to the hole's par rating instead of the score of another player. The player "wins" the hole if they score a birdie or better, they "lose" the hole if they score a bogey or worse, and they "halve" the hole by scoring par.
By recording only this simple win-loss-halve score on the sheet, a player can shrug off a very poorly-played hole with a simple "-" mark and move on. As used in competitions, the player or pair with the best win-loss "differential" wins the competition. What's known as the skins game is a variation on the match play where each hole has an amount of money called "skin" attached to it. The lump sum may be prize money at the professional level the most famous event to use these rules was the " LG Skins Game ", played at Indian Wells Golf Resort in California until , or an amount wagered for each hole among amateur players.
The player with the lowest score on the hole wins the skin for that hole; if two or more players tie for the lowest score, the skin carries over to the next hole. The game continues until a player wins a hole outright, which may and evidently often does result in a player receiving money for a previous hole that they had not tied for.
If players tie the 18th hole, either all players or only the tying players repeat the 18th hole until an outright winner is decided for that hole—and all undecided skins. A nine-point game is another variant of match play typically played among threesomes, where each hole is worth a total of nine points.
The player with the lowest score on a hole receives five points, the next-lowest score 3 and the next-lowest score 1. Ties are generally resolved by summing the points contested and dividing them among the tying players; a two-way tie for first is worth four points to both players, a two-way tie for second is worth two points to both players, and a three-way tie is worth three points to each player.
The player with the highest score after 18 holes in which there are points to be awarded wins the game. This format can be used to wager on the game systematically; players each contribute the same amount of money to the pot, and a dollar value is assigned to each point scored or each point after 18 based on the amount of money in the pot, with any overage going to the overall winner. The Stableford system is a simplification of stroke play that awards players points based on their score relative to the hole's par; the score for a hole is calculated by taking the par score, adding 2, then subtracting the player's hole score, making the result zero if negative.
Alternately stated, a double bogey or worse is zero points, a bogey is worth one point, par is two, a birdie three, an eagle four, and so on. The advantages of this system over stroke play are a more natural "higher is better" scoring, the ability to compare Stableford scores between plays on courses with different total par scores scoring an "even" in stroke play will always give a Stableford score of 36 , discouraging the tendency to abandon the entire game after playing a particularly bad hole a novice playing by strict rules may score as high as an 8 or 10 on a single difficult hole; their Stableford score for the hole would be zero, which puts them only two points behind par no matter how badly they played , and the ability to simply pick up one's ball once it is impossible to score any points for the hole, which speeds play.
As with the original system, the highest score wins the game, and terrible scores on one or two holes won't wreck an entire game, but this system rewards "bogey-birdie" play more than the original, encouraging golfers to try to make the riskier birdie putt or eagle chipshot instead of simply parring each hole.
Shotgun starts are mainly used for amateur tournament play. In this variant, each of the groups playing starts their game on a different hole, allowing for all players to start and end their round at roughly the same time. All 18 holes are still played, but a player or foursome may, for instance, start on hole 5, play through to the 18th hole, then continue with hole 1 and end on hole 4.
This speeds the completion of the entire event as players are not kept waiting for progressive tee times at the first hole. This form of play, as a minor variation to stroke or match play, is neither defined nor disallowed by strict rules and so is used according to local rules for an event.
A handicap is a numerical measure of an amateur golfer's ability to play golf over the course of 18 holes. A player's handicap generally represents the number of strokes above par that the player will make over the course of an above-average round of golf.
The better the player the lower their handicap is. Someone with a handicap of 0 or less is often called a scratch golfer , and would typically score or beat the course par on a round of play depending on course difficulty.
Calculating a handicap is often complicated, the general reason being that golf courses are not uniformly challenging from course to course or between skill levels.
A player scoring even par on Course A might average four over par on course B, while a player averaging 20 over par on course A might average only 16 over on course B. So, to the "scratch golfer", Course B is more difficult, but to the "bogey golfer", Course A is more difficult. The reasons for this are inherent in the types of challenges presented by the same course to both golfers.
Distance is often a problem for amateur "bogey" golfers with slower swing speeds, who get less distance with each club, and so typically require more shots to get to the green, raising their score compared to a scratch golfer with a stronger swing. However, courses are often designed with hazard placement to mitigate this advantage, forcing the scratch player to "lay up" to avoid bunkers or water, while the bogey golfer is more or less unaffected as the hazard lies out of their range.
Finally, terrain features and fairway maintenance can affect golfers of all skill levels; narrowing the fairway by adding obstacles or widening the rough on each side will typically increase the percentage of shots made from disadvantageous lies, increasing the challenge for all players. By USGA rules, handicap calculation first requires calculating a "Handicap Differential" for each round of play the player has completed by strict rules.
That in itself is a function of the player's "gross adjusted score" adjustments can be made to mitigate various deviations either from strict rules or from a player's normal capabilities, for handicap purposes only and two course-specific difficulty ratings: The most recent Differentials are logged, up to 20 of them, and then the best of these the number used depends on the number available are selected, averaged, multiplied by. Additional calculations can be used to place higher significance on a player's recent tournament scores.
A player's Handicap Index is then multiplied by the Slope Rating of the course to be played, divided by the average Slope Rating of , then rounded to the nearest integer to produce the player's Course Handicap. Once calculated, the Course Handicap is applied in stroke play by simply reducing the player's gross score by the handicap, to produce a net score. So, a gross score of 96 with a handicap of 22 would produce a net score of In match play, the lower handicap is subtracted from the higher handicap, and the resulting handicap strokes are awarded to the higher handicapper by distributing them among the holes according to each hole's difficulty; holes are ranked on the scorecard from 1 to 18 or however many holes are available , and one stroke is applied to each hole from the most difficult to the least difficult.
So, if one player has a 9 handicap and another has a 25 handicap, the handicap player receives one handicap stroke on each of the most difficult 16 holes If the handicapper were playing against a "scratch golfer" zero handicap , all 25 strokes would be distributed, first by applying one stroke to each hole, then applying the remaining strokes, one each, to the most difficult 7 holes; so, the handicap player would subtract 2 strokes from each of the most difficult 7 holes, and 1 each from the remaining Handicap systems have potential for abuse by players who may intentionally play badly to increase their handicap "throwing their 'cap" before playing to their potential at an important event with a valuable prize.
For this reason, professional golf associations do not use them, but they can be calculated and used along with other criteria to determine the relative strengths of various professional players.
Touring professionals, being the best of the best, often have negative handicaps; they can be expected, on average, to score lower than the Course Rating on any course.
In Golf Digest calculated that the countries with most golf courses per capita, in order, were: The number of courses in other territories has increased, an example of this being the expansion of golf in China. The first golf course in China opened in , but by the end of there were roughly in the country. For much of the 21st century, development of new golf courses in China has been officially banned with the exception of the island province of Hainan , but the number of courses had nonetheless tripled from to ; the "ban" has been evaded with the government's tacit approval simply by not mentioning golf in any development plans.
In the United States, the number of people who play golf twenty-five times or more per year decreased from 6. The NGF reported that the number who played golf at all decreased from 30 to 26 million over the same period. In February , astronaut Alan Shepard became the first person to golf anywhere other than Earth.
He smuggled a golf club and two golf balls on board Apollo 14 with the intent to golf on the Moon. He attempted two drives. He shanked the first attempt, but it is estimated his second went more than yards. Number of golf courses by country in Below are the top 18 countries that have the most golf courses. The majority of professional golfers work as club or teaching professionals "pros" , and only compete in local competitions. A small elite of professional golfers are "tournament pros" who compete full-time on international "tours".
Many club and teaching professionals working in the golf industry start as caddies or with a general interest in the game, finding employment at golf courses and eventually moving on to certifications in their chosen profession.
These programs include independent institutions and universities, and those that eventually lead to a Class A golf professional certification. Jack Nicklaus , for example, gained widespread notice by finishing second in the U. Open to champion Arnold Palmer , with a hole score of the best score to date in that tournament by an amateur. He played one more amateur year in , winning that year's U. Amateur Championship , before turning pro in Golf instruction involves the teaching and learning of the game of golf.
Proficiency in teaching golf instruction requires not only technical and physical ability but also knowledge of the rules and etiquette of the game. In some countries, golf instruction is best performed by teachers certified by the Professional Golfers Association. Some top instructors who work with professional golfers have become quite well known in their own right. Professional golf instructors can use physical conditioning, mental visualization, classroom sessions, club fitting, driving range instruction, on-course play under real conditions, and review of videotaped swings in slow motion to teach golf to prepare the golfer for the course.
There are at least twenty professional golf tours, each run by a PGA or an independent tour organization, which is responsible for arranging events, finding sponsors, and regulating the tour. Typically a tour has "members" who are entitled to compete in most of its events, and also invites non-members to compete in some of them.
Gaining membership of an elite tour is highly competitive, and most professional golfers never achieve it. Perhaps the most widely known tour is the PGA Tour , which tends to attract the strongest fields, outside the four Majors and the four World Golf Championships events. Since , both tours' money titles have been claimed by the same individual three times, with Luke Donald doing so in and Rory McIlroy in and The Asian Tour became a full member in The OneAsia Tour , founded in , is not a member of the Federation, but was founded as a joint venture of the Australasia, China, Japan, and Korean tours.
The OneAsia Tour also offers ranking points. Golf is unique in having lucrative competition for older players. There are several senior tours for men aged fifty and over, arguably the best known of which is the U.
There are six principal tours for women, each based in a different country or continent. All of the principal tours offer points in the Women's World Golf Rankings for high finishers in their events. All of the leading professional tours for under players have an official developmental tour, in which the leading players at the end of the season will earn a tour card on the main tour for the following season.
Examples include the Web. The major championships are the four most prestigious men's tournaments of the year. In chronological order they are: The fields for these events include the top several dozen golfers from all over the world.
It is the only major championship that is played at the same course each year. Amateur, the Open Championship, and the British Amateur. Women's golf does not have a globally agreed set of majors. LPGA  tour long had four majors, but now has five: Only the last two are also recognised as majors by the Ladies European Tour.
For example, the BBC has been known to use the U. LPGA or European majors as it has its own set of majors historically three, since four.
However, these events attract little notice outside Japan. Senior aged fifty and over men's golf does not have a globally agreed set of majors. The list of senior majors on the U. PGA Tour Champions now recognises five majors: Of the five events, the Senior PGA is by far the oldest, having been founded in The other events all date from the s, when senior golf became a commercial success as the first golf stars of the television era, such as Arnold Palmer and Gary Player , reached the relevant age.
LPGA is in global women's golf. After a year absence from the Olympic Games, golf returned for the Rio Games. It wasn't until that the first woman golfer played the game.
Mary Queen of Scots commissioned St. Many men saw women as unfit to play the sport due to their lack of strength and ability. In the United States, was a pivotal year for ladies golf because the Shinnecock Hills nine-hole course was built in Southampton, New York, for women and was the first club to offer membership to women golfers.
Four years later, in , The U. Golf Association held the first Women's Amateur Championship tournament. Just like professional golfer Bobby Jones , Joyce Wethered was considered to be a star in the s. He doubted that there had ever been a better golfer, man or woman. The Royal Liverpool' s club refused entry of Sir Henry Cotton 's wife into the clubhouse in the late s. The secretary of the club released a statement saying, "No woman ever has entered the clubhouse and, praise God, no woman ever will.
She was able to prove herself on the course, going on to become the first American to win the British Women's Amateur title in The following year she became the first woman to attempt to qualify for the U. Open , but her application was rejected by the USGA.
They stated that the event was intended to be open to men only. The Ladies Professional Golf Association was formed in as a way to popularize the sport and provide competitive opportunities for golfers. It wasn't until that U. Today, women golfers are still fighting and working hard to have the same opportunities as men golfers.
There is still a big pay gap in the USGA. Open than the U. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Golf disambiguation and Golfer disambiguation. Men's major golf championships. Women's major golf championships. Senior major golf championships. Golf at the Summer Olympics. Retrieved 29 March Retrieved 23 September How did sports begin?: A look at the origins of man at play. Archived from the original on 10 May The ultimate golf book. Retrieved 4 May Sports and Games of the Renaissance.
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