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This is one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, the other three being played in the United States: The Masters , the U. Open , and the PGA Championship.

While the modern game of golf originated in 15th-century Scotland, the game's ancient origins are unclear and much debated. Some historians [3] trace the sport back to the Roman game of paganica , in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. One theory asserts that paganica spread throughout Europe as the Romans conquered most of the continent, during the first century BC, and eventually evolved into the modern game.

The game is thought to have been introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Another early game that resembled modern golf was known as cambuca in England and chambot in France.

In addition, kolven a game involving a ball and curved bats was played annually in Loenen, Netherlands, beginning in , to commemorate the capture of the assassin of Floris V , a year earlier. The modern game originated in Scotland , where the first written record of golf is James II 's banning of the game in , as an unwelcome distraction to learning archery. A golf course consists of either 9 or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground that is set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area, fairway , rough and other hazards , and the putting green surrounded by the fringe with the pin normally a flagstick and cup.

The levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty, or to allow for putting in the case of the green. While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing area to the green, some holes may bend either to the left or to the right. This is commonly called a "dogleg", in reference to a dog's knee. The hole is called a "dogleg left" if the hole angles leftwards and "dogleg right" if it bends right.

Sometimes, a hole's direction may bend twice; this is called a "double dogleg". A regular golf course consists of 18 holes, but nine-hole courses are common and can be played twice through for a full round of 18 holes. Early Scottish golf courses were primarily laid out on links land, soil-covered sand dunes directly inland from beaches.

The first hole golf course in the United States was on a sheep farm in Downers Grove, Illinois , in The course is still there today. Every round of golf is based on playing a number of holes in a given order. A "round" typically consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout. Each hole is played once in the round on a standard course of 18 holes. The game can be played by any number of people. Though a typical group playing will have people playing the round.

The typical amount of time required for pace of play for a 9-hole round is two hours and four hours for an hole round. Playing a hole on a golf course is initiated by putting a ball into play by striking it with a club on the teeing ground also called the tee box, or simply the tee. For this first shot on each hole, it is allowed but not required for the golfer to place the ball on a tee prior to striking it.

A tee is a small peg that can be used to elevate the ball slightly above the ground up to a few centimetres high. Tees are commonly made of wood but may be constructed of any material, including plastic. Traditionally, golfers used mounds of sand to elevate the ball, and containers of sand were provided for the purpose. A few courses still require sand to be used instead of peg tees, to reduce litter and reduce damage to the teeing ground. Tees help reduce the interference of the ground or grass on the movement of the club making the ball easier to hit, and also places the ball in the very centre of the striking face of the club the "sweet spot" for better distance.

Shorter holes may be initiated with other clubs, such as higher-numbered woods or irons. Once the ball comes to rest, the golfer strikes it again as many times as necessary using shots that are variously known as a "lay-up", an "approach", a "pitch", or a " chip ", until the ball reaches the green, where he or she then " putts " the ball into the hole commonly called "sinking the putt" or "holing out".

The goal of getting the ball into the hole "holing" the ball in as few strokes as possible may be impeded by obstacles such as areas of longer grass called "rough" usually found alongside fairways , which both slows any ball that contacts it and makes it harder to advance a ball that has stopped on it; "doglegs", which are changes in the direction of the fairway that often require shorter shots to play around them; bunkers or sand traps ; and water hazards such as ponds or streams.

In stroke play competitions played according to strict rules , each player plays his or her ball until it is holed no matter how many strokes that may take. In match play it is acceptable to simply pick up one's ball and "surrender the hole" after enough strokes have been made by a player that it is mathematically impossible for the player to win the hole.

It is also acceptable in informal stroke play to surrender the hole after hitting three strokes more than the "par" rating of the hole a "triple bogey" - see below ; while technically a violation of Rule , this practice speeds play as a courtesy to others, and avoids "runaway scores", excessive frustration and injuries caused by overexertion.

At some courses, electric golf carts are used to travel between shots, which can speed-up play and allows participation by individuals unable to walk a whole round. On other courses players generally walk the course, either carrying their bag using a shoulder strap or using a "golf trolley" for their bag.

These trolleys may or may not be battery assisted. At many amateur tournaments including U. The underlying principle of the rules is fairness.

As stated on the back cover of the official rule book:. There are strict regulations regarding the amateur status of golfers. However, amateur golfers may receive expenses that comply with strict guidelines and they may accept non-cash prizes within the limits established by the Rules of Amateur Status.

In addition to the officially printed rules, golfers also abide by a set of guidelines called golf etiquette. Etiquette guidelines cover matters such as safety, fairness, pace of play, and a player's obligation to contribute to the care of the course. Though there are no penalties for breach of etiquette rules, players generally follow the rules of golf etiquette in an effort to improve everyone's playing experience. Penalties are incurred in certain situations. They are counted towards a player's score as if there were extra swing s at the ball.

Strokes are added for rule infractions or for hitting one's ball into an unplayable situation. A lost ball or a ball hit out of bounds result in a penalty of one stroke and distance Rule 27—1.

A one-stroke penalty is assessed if a player's equipment causes the ball to move or the removal of a loose impediment causes the ball to move Rule 18—2. A one-stroke penalty is assessed if a player's ball results into a red or yellow staked hazard Rule If a golfer makes a stroke at the wrong ball Rule 19—2 or hits a fellow golfer's ball with a putt Rule 19—5 , the player incurs a two-stroke penalty. Most rule infractions lead to stroke penalties but also can lead to disqualification.

Disqualification could be from cheating, signing for a lower score, or from rule infractions that lead to improper play. Golf clubs are used to hit the golf ball. Each club is composed of a shaft with a lance or "grip" on the top end and a club head on the bottom. Long clubs, which have a lower amount of degree loft, are those meant to propel the ball a comparatively longer distance, and short clubs a higher degree of loft and a comparatively shorter distance.

The actual physical length of each club is longer or shorter, depending on the distance the club is intended to propel the ball. Golf clubs have traditionally been arranged into three basic types. Woods are large-headed, long-shafted clubs meant to propel the ball a long distance from relatively "open" lies, such as the tee box and fairway. Traditionally these clubs had heads made of a hardwood, hence the name, but virtually all modern woods are now made of metal such as titanium, or of composite materials.

Irons are shorter-shafted clubs with a metal head primarily consisting of a flat, angled striking face. Traditionally the clubhead was forged from iron; modern iron clubheads are investment-cast from a steel alloy. Irons of varying loft are used for a variety of shots from virtually anywhere on the course, but most often for shorter-distance shots approaching the green, or to get the ball out of tricky lies such as sand traps.

The third class is the putter , which evolved from the irons to create a low-lofted, balanced club designed to roll the ball along the green and into the hole. A fourth class, called hybrids , evolved as a cross between woods and irons, and are typically seen replacing the low-lofted irons with a club that provides similar distance, but a higher launch angle and a more forgiving nature.

A maximum of 14 clubs is allowed in a player's bag at one time during a stipulated round. The choice of clubs is at the golfer's discretion, although every club must be constructed in accordance with parameters outlined in the rules.

Clubs that meet these parameters are usually called "conforming". Violation of these rules can result in disqualification. The exact shot hit at any given time on a golf course, and which club is used to accomplish the shot, are always completely at the discretion of the golfer; in other words, there is no restriction whatsoever on which club a golfer may or may not use at any time for any shot.

Golf balls are spherical, usually white although other colours are allowed , and minutely pock-marked by dimples that decrease aerodynamic drag by increasing air turbulence around the ball in motion, which delays "boundary layer" separation and reduces the drag-inducing "wake" behind the ball, thereby allowing the ball to fly farther. A tee is allowed only for the first stroke on each hole, unless the player must hit a provisional tee shot or replay his or her first shot from the tee.

Many golfers wear golf shoes with metal or plastic spikes designed to increase traction, thus allowing for longer and more accurate shots. A golf bag is used to transport golf clubs and the player's other or personal equipment. Golf bags have several pockets designed for carrying equipment and supplies such as tees, balls, and gloves. Golf bags can be carried, pulled on a trolley or harnessed to a motorized golf cart during play. Golf bags have both a hand strap and shoulder strap for carrying, and sometimes have retractable legs that allow the bag to stand upright when at rest.

The golf swing is outwardly similar to many other motions involving swinging a tool or playing implement, such as an axe or a baseball bat; however, unlike many of these motions, the result of the swing is highly dependent on several sub-motions being properly aligned and timed, to ensure that the club travels up to the ball in line with the desired path, the clubface is in line with the swing path, and the ball hits the centre or "sweet spot" of the clubface.

The ability to do this consistently, across a complete set of clubs with a wide range of shaft lengths and clubface areas, is a key skill for any golfer, and takes a significant effort to achieve.

Golfers start with the non-dominant side of the body facing the target for a right-hander, the target is to their left. At address, the player's body and the centerline of the club face are positioned parallel to the desired line of travel, with the feet either perpendicular to that line or slightly splayed outward.

The feet are commonly shoulder-width apart for middle irons and putters, narrower for short irons and wider for long irons and woods. The ball is typically positioned more to the "front" of the player's stance closer to the leading foot for lower-lofted clubs, with the usual ball position for a drive being just behind the arch of the leading foot.

The ball is placed further "back" in the player's stance toward the trailing foot as the loft of the club to be used increases. Most iron shots and putts are made with the ball roughly centered in the stance, while a few mid- and short-iron shots are made with the ball slightly behind the centre of the stance to ensure consistent contact between the ball and clubface, so the ball is on its way before the club continues down into the turf. Having chosen a club and stroke to produce the desired distance, the player addresses the ball by taking their stance to the side of it and except when the ball lies in a hazard grounding the club behind the ball.

The golfer then takes their backswing, rotating the club, their arms and their upper body away from the ball, and then begins their swing, bringing the clubhead back down and around to hit the ball.

A proper golf swing is a complex combination of motions, and slight variations in posture or positioning can make a great deal of difference in how well the ball is hit and how straight it travels.

The general goal of a player making a full swing is to propel the clubhead as fast as possible while maintaining a single "plane" of motion of the club and clubhead, to send the clubhead into the ball along the desired path of travel and with the clubhead also pointing that direction.

Accuracy and consistency are typically stressed over pure distance. A golf stroke uses muscles on core especially erector spinae muscles and latissimus dorsi muscle when turning , hamstring , shoulder , and wrist. Stronger muscles on wrist can prevent wrists from being twisted at swings, while stronger shoulders increase the turning force.

Weak wrists can also deliver the impacts to elbows and even neck and lead to injury of them. When a muscle contracts, it pulls equally from both ends and, to have movement at only one end of the muscle, other muscles must come into play to stabilize the bone to which the other end of the muscle is attached. Golf is a unilateral exercise that can break body balances, requiring exercises to keep the balance in muscles.

Putting is considered to be the most important component of the game of golf. As the game of golf has evolved, there have been many different putting techniques and grips that have been devised to give golfers the best chance to make putts. When the game originated, golfers would putt with their dominate hand on the bottom of the grip and their weak hand on top of the grip.

This grip and putting style is known as "conventional". There are many variations of conventional including overlap, where the golfer overlaps the off hand index finger onto off the dominant pinky; interlock, where the offhand index finger interlocks with the dominant pinky and ring finger; double or triple overlap and so on.

Cross handed putting is the idea that the dominant hand is on top of the grip where the weak hand is on the bottom. This grip restricts the motion in your dominant hand and eliminates the possibility of wrist breakdowns through the putting stroke.

Other notable putting styles include "the claw", a style that has the grip directly in between the thumb and index finger of the dominant hand while the palm faces the target. Anchored putting, a style that requires a longer putter shaft that can be anchored into the players stomach or below the chin; the idea is to stabilize one end of the putter thus creating a more consistent pendulum stroke. This style will be banned in on the profession circuits.

A hole is classified by its par, meaning the number of strokes a skilled golfer should require to complete play of the hole. Pars of 4 and 5 strokes are ubiquitous on golf courses; more rarely, a few courses feature par-6 and even par-7 holes.

Strokes other than the tee shot and putts are expected to be made from the fairway; for example, a skilled golfer expects to reach the green on a par-4 hole in two strokes—one from the tee the "drive" and another, second, stroke to the green the "approach" —and then roll the ball into the hole in two putts for par.

Putting the ball on the green with two strokes remaining for putts is called making "green in regulation" or GIR. The primary factor for classifying the par of a relatively straight, hazard-free hole is the distance from the tee to the green.

A typical par-3 hole is less than yards m in length, with a par-4 hole ranging between and yards — m , and a par-5 hole being longer than yards m.

However, other considerations must be taken into account; the key question is "how many strokes would a scratch golfer take to make the green by playing along the fairway?

The grade of the land from the tee to the hole might increase or decrease the carry and rolling distance of shots as measured linearly along the ground. A condor is also known as a double albatross, or a triple eagle, [17] [22] and the convention can, in principle, be extended to name other hypothetical scores such as five under par. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the general definition of par on a golf hole. For the specific scoring system, see Par golf scoring format.

List of albatrosses in important tournaments. Retrieved June 6, The World of Golf. Price's book is required reading for all membership applicants to the PGA. On to the Next Round". The New York Times. The albatross took flight at the Masters, but golf's most unlikely shot isn't easy to find". Archived from the original on March 5, Retrieved September 9, Retrieved May 21, Albatross not enough for Harrington".

Retrieved October 1, Day four as it happened". Retrieved May 13, Retrieved August 24, As noted, par-6 holes are rare, with most golf courses having only par-3, par-4 and par-5 holes. Most recreational golfers go their entire golfing careers without ever seeing a par 6.

North Carolina Course Reviews. Retrieved December 25, According to The Guinness Book of World Records , the Satsuki golf course in Sano, Japan, boasts the longest hole in the world—an exhausting yard, par-7 humdinger.

Gunsan's par-7, 1,yard third hole One was even recorded with a 3-iron! According to a article in Golf World magazine, Lynch aimed straight toward the green on a horseshoe par-5, clearing a foot-high hedge, then hitting a downslope on the other side. The downslope carried his ball to the green and into the cup. History Glossary Outline Rules penalties playoffs etiquette Stroke play scoring handicap Match play four-ball alternate shot Golf course links teeing ground hazards Equipment golf clubs golf ball tee.

Golf stroke mechanics Instruction Drive.