What to wear to play golf is an important aspect of the game. Golf used to be a much more formal game than it is today. Many golf clubs and resorts, however, still have very strict dress codes for the links. Whenever you are going to play a course for the first time be sure to inquire ahead about any dress code. Public courses don’t usually follow such strict rules but they still have guidelines that must be followed. Familiarizing yourself with the rules of attire will save you an embarrassing moment at the course.
Always have respect for the golf course as well as the other players. Don’t wear anything unsuitable for play such as a bathing suit. If there are no posted rules observe what others are wearing. You can’t go wrong with a nice golf shirt and khaki or tan pants. In hotter climates, long shorts or walking shorts are appropriate attire. When in doubt, dress conservatively.
• Choose comfortable clothing to play golf in. Loose fitting clothing allows you to swing the clubs properly. • Golf shirts are always appropriate for both men and women. • Pants such as khakis are appropriate for playing golf in most places. • Shorts should not be too short or too tight. Don’t wear anything that would offend other players. • Dress for the weather. Wear a sweater over your shirt on cool mornings. Then, as the weather warms during the day you can remover the sweater. • Wear a hat or visor to keep the sun away from your face and eyes. • Use sunscreen on hot sunny days to avoid getting sunburned. You will be spending hours in the sun and may not realize just how burned you are becoming. Always keep a small bottle of suntan lotion in your golf bag. • Cool yourself with a wet cloth. Men should not remove their shirts on the course. • Drink plenty of fluids on the course to keep you cool and hydrated. Avoid alcohol during play. It makes your hotter and of course can adversely affect your play. • Wear cotton or other natural fibers to allow your skin to breathe and to wick sweat away from the body. • Wear proper golf shoes for the course. Never wear street shoes to golf. Most courses don’t allow street shoes. • Check for what type of spikes are allowed ahead of time. If the course doesn’t allow metal spikes make sure you change yours out ahead of time. • Choose shoes that are comfortable and sturdy. You need to be able to walk quite a ways in them. • Keep a rain suit or poncho in your golf bag in case of rain. You won’t be able to go back to the car for it if a sudden rainstorm blows in. • Don’t peel off clothes when you get hot. Most courses don’t allow bare chests. • Women can wear golf skirts – a combination skirt and shorts that allow for easy movements.
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Golf is a popular game that has been around for hundreds of years. There are many rules of golf. Some rules are enforced mainly during regulation or professional play while others are standard rules that need to be learned and followed. When you become more familiar with golf and begin to play more seriously you may want to get a copy of the complete rules of golf. Some rules are a matter of courtesy while others are more play oriented. A breach in the rules results in penalty strokes added to your game. At some golf courses failing to follow the rules may result in you being asked to leave the course. Here are some of the most basic rules of play.
Golf Etiquette The game of golf has many rules. Because the game is played with so many others nearby, there is a need for golf etiquette as well. Following proper etiquette shows respect for the golf course as well as the other players and makes for a safe and pleasing experience on the links.
• Dress appropriately for the course. Don’t wear bathing suits or remove your shirt. • Don’t be late. Always arrive in enough time for your party to get ready before their tee time. • Stay with your party. • Allow faster groups to “play through” by waiting one hole, letting them go ahead. This is far better than holding up the group behind. • Be respectful of others. Don’t yell and don’t use obscenities while on the course. • Take care when driving a golf cart. Drive only on designated areas and don’t speed. • Don’t leave the golf cart parked in the way of other golfers. • Be aware of where other players are located. If you hit a shot near anyone else immediately yell “fore” as a warning. • Be ready when your turn comes. Prepare for your shot by choosing the right club before it is your time to hit. • Always allow the player furthest away to hit the ball first. • Don’t stand too close to other players or park the golf cart too close to others. • Never throw your clubs in anger. • Don’t drink on the course. (Except water, of course). • Don’t take too much time looking for a lost ball. Follow the five-minute limit and after that declare it lost and move on. • Be respectful of nature and wildlife on the course. Never hit at any animals or birds and don’t chase them. If animals are in your way, gently move them away using a slow approach. • Pick up any garbage you have and deposit it in a proper receptacle. Don’t leave any garbage on the course. • Don’t talk when someone else is taking a stroke. • Be honest about your score. Nobody likes to play with a liar. • Repair any divots you take on your shot as best you can. • When you are done playing a bunker rake your play area as well as your footprints so the next players have a clean sand trap. • Leave the green as soon as everyone has completed the hole. If you want to talk, move away first, allowing the players behind you to continue play. • Don’t get into long personal discussions on the course. This takes away from everyone’s concentration. • On the green, never walk between someone’s ball and the hole. • Don’t stand too close on the green and be mindful of your shadow. If it is in the field of play for anyone move away. • When carrying your clubs, never leave the bag too close to the green. Instead, remove the club or clubs you need and park the bag further away. • On the putting green, if your ball hits another ball it must be returned to its original position and you incur a two-stroke penalty. • When playing on the green, remove the flagstick and place it on the ground away from the green until play is over.
Golf Swing: The swing is the single most important item in the golf game and one of the hardest things to perfect. The swing combines balance, power and physics to form a consistent result. The key to the golf swing is practicing proper form until it comes as second nature to you.
Grip: Start with the grip. Holding the club uses both hands wrapped around the end of the club shaft. Each club has a rubber area, which is the grip area. This is where you should put your hands. Start by holding your left hand out (if you are right handed) palm up. Wrap your hand around the club placing it more in your fingers than in your palm. Your thumb should be facing straight down the shaft, facing the ground. Now take your right hand and place it below the left hand, wrapping it around the club also. The left and right hands can interlock by alternating the right pinkie with the left index finger. The bottom (right) hand should form a “v” off the thumb that points towards your ear. The proper grip allows for a solid swing and hit. The left hand should have a stronger grip on the club, using the right hand only for stability and direction. Grip pressure should not be too tight. The grip is the hardest thing to correct in your golf game. If you get the wrong grip it can be difficult to make a change to it. Consult a pro or golf instructor to show you the proper way to hold the golf club. Do not grip the club too tightly or too loosely.
Stance: Knowing how to stand will help you get the proper power, distance and aim at the ball. Stand with feet apart. Your legs should be no further apart than the width of your shoulders. Keep the back straight and flex the knees. You should be able to reach the ball comfortably with your club in this position. During the swing your weight will shift from one leg to the other. You need to maintain balance when swinging. The stance is different when using your putter. Keep your legs only slightly apart. Bend your knees slightly and act as though you’re about to sit down. Then, keep your putter under control. The swing of your putter is also different than the swing used with your other clubs.
Aim: Aim the clubface towards the direction you want the ball to go. Your toe line should be parallel to the target line. Don’t aim your feet at the target. The ball will always go the direction that the clubface is pointed. Practice at a driving range will help you learn your proper stance and aim. Most right-handed golfers tend to hit the ball to the right. This can be corrected through proper aim. When aiming at your target, always stand perpendicular to it. There are many different swing problems that occur when you aren’t properly lined up to the hole. Avoid overcompensating for a poor swing by changing the aim of the ball.
Swing: The golf swing requires you to twist your arms and body in order to get power and distance from the shot. Raise the club up over your right shoulder taking care to keep both elbows as straight as possible. The wrists should stay fixed as well. Bring the club up no higher than just past your shoulder. Golfers tend to attempt to bring the club up higher on the back swing thinking that they will have more power. What you get instead is less accuracy. The club has too much of a chance to change position the higher you life it. Think of your arms and body as winding on an imaginary axis. Keep your head down and your eyes on the ball during the entire swing. Bring the arms down and use your legs to push more power to the shot. The follow through is also important. The ball will go in the direction of the follow-through. It is essential to wear proper golf shoes in order to get the most from your golf swing. The feet must turn but not slip when swinging the club. You will get the most power when you use your feet and legs to push your body through the swing. Always take a practice swing before each shot on the golf course. Visualize the path of the ball and make sure that you are properly lined up and are using the correct club for the shot. Practice makes perfect. A good golf swing takes years to perfect. Beginners may do well to get golf lessons. An instructor can help you start off with the correct grip, stance and swing. Once you get into the habit of a particular way of swinging the club it is very hard to change. An instructor can evaluate your swing and give you pointers on how to improve it.
Scoring: Each swing that you take in the game counts as one stroke. Each hole provides a specific number of strokes that are average for that hole. This is known as par. Golfers strive to meet par. If you generally tend to golf above par, you will have a handicap. The handicap is used when playing against other players of varying experience levels. Your handicap allows you to play more evenly against other players, even those who are better than you. Your handicap will change after every round of golf played since it is based on your golf score for each round of 18 holes of golf.
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Golf clubs are the most important golf equipment needed for the game however there is some other equipment that is either necessary or helpful in playing the game. Put your name on your items so that in case they get lost on the course you can claim them later. Here is a look at what other equipment you will need.
Golf Balls – Golf balls come in many different types. They are sold in packages of three or boxes of 12. For beginners it’s best to choose a standard type ball. You should carry enough balls in your golf bag to last all 18 holes. At least 6 balls should be brought with. Never play with range balls – these are balls that are sold for practice. They aren’t reliable and you won’t get the flight you need from them. Choose standard white for normal daytime play.
Golf Bag – There are several styles of golf bags to consider. For beginners, a general all around golf bag will do. There are bags made specifically for use with golf cars as well as lightweight and smaller bags designed for carrying on the course. For travel there are specialty bags with hard covers or casings. Whichever style you choose make sure that your bag has several pockets with enough room to hold balls, tees and any other small items needed.
Golf Cart – Used to pull your bag on walking courses, the golf cart has wheels as well as a tripod for standing. These are typically made of aluminum or another lightweight yet heavy-duty material. Some golf bags come with built-in wheels, which are useful if you walk on your regular course. Check the weight of the cart or bag before you purchase it.
Tees – Tees come in wood or plastic and are used only when hitting off of the tee on the first stroke of each hole. Wooden tees are generally better. They will break under normal use so always carry at least 18 or more with you. These are quite inexpensive. The best ones are made of basic wood and come in bags of 10 or 20.
Golf Glove – Worn on the left hand for right-handed golfers, the glove makes gripping the club more comfortable and stable. The glove should fit tightly. You’ll need to purchase a new glove about every year or more often if it gets wet or dirty. The glove should fit properly so that it doesn’t inhibit the use of your hand.
Golf Shoes – Golf shoes have special spikes on the bottom that help you grip the ground for a good swing. These used to be metal, however, nowadays most courses only allow rubber cleats. Choose shoes that fit well with socks and that are made of leather so they will allow the feet to breathe. Lightweight shoes are more comfortable after a long day on the course.
Ball Marker – The ball marker is used to keep the place of your ball on the green when your ball may be in the way of other players. It is usually a small, flat metal chip that may come in shapes, designs or colors. Keep one handy for use when putting.
Towel – Get a specially designed golf towel to hang on your golf bag. You can use it to clean clubs or dry your hands while playing. They come with a special attached ring so they can clip to the golf bag. Keep a spare towel in your bag in case of rain.
Golf Umbrella and Rain Gear – A large golf umbrella may be needed for golfing in inclement weather, especially when walking the course. A poncho or rain suit will keep you dry and warm. Choose one that will easily fit into the pocket of your golf bag.
Other Equipment – There are catalogs full of items specifically designed for golfers. Once you play the game for a while you will find out which other items you want to use. The newest gadgets are electronic devices such as scorekeepers and yardage finders. Many golf gadgets are also designed to assist in improving your golf game.
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Golf clubs are sold in sets and individually. For beginning players, the set of clubs provides a good selection of what is needed to start in a package that is normally priced nicely. Before choosing a set of golf clubs honestly assess your playing interest in the game. You may want to start out with a lower priced set until you determine if you like the game enough to play often. All golf manufacturers offer golf club sets. The typical set of golf clubs consists of one or two woods, a driver, 4 irons a putter and a sand wedge or pitching wedge. The most used irons are the 3, 5, 7 and 9 irons. Most beginning players won’t notice much difference between the others.
Clubs are made with different materials for the shafts. The material determines how the club will react and how much flexibility there is in the club. Graphite shafts are lightweight and can help add speed to the swing. They have a softer flex and are a good choice for junior players as well as women. Steel shafts are stiff and offer no give. Yet steel is more durable and stronger. You’ll also find clubs made from other materials. Golf clubs prices range from inexpensive to very expensive. Most beginning golfers should opt for the lower to mid price ranges. As you learn more about the game and how you play you can add more clubs to your bag. Choose a putter that feels good to you.
There are many choices out there ranging from the traditional to the ergonomic. The easiest to line up and use to start with is the traditional putter. Choose one that feels good in your hands. Swing the clubs before you buy them. Many golf shops offer practice swinging areas where you can actually try out the clubs to evaluate them before making a choice.
Always test the clubs out before purchasing them. You never know how they will feel to you. Sometimes the shaft is too thick or too narrow for your grip, making it difficult to hold the clubs comfortably. Remember that the grips are something that can easily be changed. Most avid golfers need to replace the grips yearly. Men’s golf clubs are designed to fit men whose height is 5′ 10″. If your height varies considerably from this standard you may need to get your clubs customized. Club fitting is getting clubs custom sized to your specific needs. A golf pro helps determine your measurements.
Women’s clubs are designed for a more petite frame, as are junior golf sets. Always choose the set of clubs that is most comfortable and matches your swing no matter what they are called. Women should always purchase lady’s clubs.
Manufacturers are always coming out with new designs and new materials for golf clubs. A new golfer need not be concerned with cutting edge technology when it comes to clubs. Instead, focus on the basics. Set a budget before heading to the golf store so that you don’t go beyond what you wanted to spend. When buying golf clubs always buy the best set of clubs that fit your budget. It is typically better to purchase a smaller set of better-made golf clubs than to buy a large set of cheaper models. Remember that a good set of golf clubs will last a lifetime. You can always add more clubs to your set as you become better at the game.
Once you have your clubs and you’re out on the course it may be hard to figure out which club to use when. The face of the golf club slants more or is more on an angle, the higher the club number. The more the angle, the less distance the ball will go. Use this chart to determine average distances for the various clubs. Try your clubs at the driving range to see what your actual distances are.
Club & Distance:
Driver 200 – 230 yards
3-Wood 180 – 210 yards
2-Iron 190 yards
3-Iron 180 yards
4-Iron 170 yards
5-Iron 160 yards
6-Iron 150 yards
7-Iron 140 yards
8-Iron 130 yards
9-Iron 120 yards
PW 90 yards (Pitching Wedge)
SW 80 yards (Sand Wedge)
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In order to play golf properly you will need to learn the different types of golf clubs and their uses. There are two main types of golf clubs including the woods and the irons. Woods are used to tee off, or begin the play of each hole while irons are used after teeing off.
Woods: Woods are golf clubs that are used to tee off or take a shot from the tee. They typically hit the ball the longest distance and have the greatest velocity. The woods were originally made of wood, however, today they are often made of other types of materials. The woods are distinguished by a large, bulbous head with a flat surface where the club hits the ball. There are three main woods that golfers should carry in their golf bags including the 1 wood, 3 wood, and 5 wood. The lower the number of the wood, the further distance the ball will travel. The loft of the ball is generally lower for lower numbered woods.
Irons: Irons are clubs that are used for play on the fairways. The fairway is the area of the course between the tee and the green. Irons come in a wide variety of sizes ranging from a 3 iron up to a 9 iron. The lower the number of the iron, the further distance the ball will travel when hit. The irons are made of metal. The face of the club is designed at a specific angle in order to properly hit the ball the proper distance and loft. Most golfers can get by with a partial set of irons which should include a 3-iron, 5-iron, 7-iron, and 9-iron. The even numbered irons are typically most useful for advanced or professional players.
Specialty Irons: There are other types of clubs that are necessary for playing golf. The most common of the specialty clubs are the pitching wedge and sand wedge. These are used for chipping the ball. The ball must be chipped up and out of the way of sand traps, tall grass, or other types of course hazards. These golf clubs are designed specifically to provide a high loft to the ball without adding too much distance. The clubs allow you to successfully maneuver your ball out of hazards and back onto the playing areas of the course.
Putters: The golf bag is not complete without the putter. Putters come in a variety of styles and shapes. The putter is used differently than the other clubs. It is held differently and the club is not swung in the same way. The putter is used exclusively on the greens. The putter hits the ball on the green and into the hole. Choose a putter that feels comfortable for you and that is easy to hold and swing. The putter is a necessary part of every golfer’s golf bag. The most important aspect of a putter is that it should feel comfortable in your hands. There are many different types of putters and they are made from different types of materials. Most golfers enjoy trying new putters from time to time. When you find a putter that works well for you, stick with it. Always practice on a putting green to help you shave some strokes off your game.
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Golf is a wonderful outdoor sport that can be played in many different types of weather conditions. A complete round of golf, including 18 holes, will typically take about 5 to 6 hours to play, depending on the course. The weather can change greatly during the course of play. Before beginning your day of play, it is important to learn about the daily weather forecast for your location.
Even in cold areas, golf courses are often open most of the year. You will need to learn how to play in all types of weather conditions including extreme heat, cold, and wet circumstances. You’ll also need to learn how to compensate for windy conditions. It is very common to play golf in the rain. Before getting onto the golf course it is important to bring the right type of equipment with you in case of rain. You will need to bring the following equipment with you:
• Golf umbrella • Rain cover for golf clubs • Rain jacket • Extra golf glove • Golf towel Remember that you should never play golf in a thunderstorm.
Lightning can strike quickly and can travel through the ground. Do not stand under trees during a storm as the lightning is attracted to tall objects. Always pay attention to the course rules. Most courses will sound an alarm when lighting is nearby. All golfers will need to head to the clubhouse. If the storm passes quickly you may be able to get back out to the course. The course manager will usually let you know if it is okay to go back to the hole where you last played.
Many people like to begin their golf game early in the morning. In the early morning you’ll deal with dew, and with cooler temperatures. You also may have fog in some areas. If you can’t see where you’ve hit the ball always yell “fore” to warn other players of the ball. Playing on a dewy surface is similar to playing in rain. The grass will be wet and slippery. Make sure that you are wearing the proper spikes to help you keep your balance during shots.
The sun can be a hindrance when playing golf. This is especially true when you’re playing towards the sun. It can create a blind spot and make it difficult to see your shot. When playing in the sun it is helpful to wear sunglasses. Choose sunglasses that protect against UV rays. Pick a pair of sunglasses that fit well and are made for sports. They should not fall off when you turn your head quickly. You can keep them in place by using a special sports band.
Playing when it’s windy can be difficult. You will need to change your normal club based on the wind conditions. If the wind is coming from behind you choose a club that hits a shorter distance. If the wind is blowing towards you, choose a club that hits a further distance. You’ll also want to keep the ball lower to the ground when it’s windy. This will help keep the ball from being carried by the wind.
Playing is hot conditions can be difficult because of the possibility of dehydration. Always carry some water with you so you will stay hydrated throughout play. Check the course rules to make sure that you are allowed to bring on your own beverages. If not, you’ll be able to buy them from the traveling vendor on the course. Wear a cap to keep your head from overheating. If you get extremely hot, wet your golf towel and put it on your neck to help you cool down. Rest between holes if you need to and stay in the shade as much as possible.
Before heading out for the day of golf, check the local weather forecast for the area. Dress according to the weather so that you’ll be comfortable during play. It is best to dress in layers so that you can remove excess clothing as the day heats up.
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In order to become a better player you will need to practice often. There are many ways to practice different shots. Always opt for practice using your own golf clubs. Your personal clubs have their own shape, length and form that you should practice using.
Driving Range – A driving range is the best place to practice golf. Many of these are located adjacent to golf courses. At a golf range you purchase a bucket of balls to hit into a specified area. The area is usually marked with distances to help you see how far you hit the ball. The tee area may be grass or a plastic mat.
You should warm up before starting practice. Start with your woods. Practice hitting shots using each one of your woods. Next, use your irons. Start with the lowest numbered iron and work your way up. Concentrate on your swing and follow through. Notice where the ball goes and make changes to stance, swing and follow-through to get a better shot. You will also learn how far you hit each club so you will know which clubs to use when you’re out on the course.
Having a knowledgeable player or instructor watch you is one way to get input for swing improvement. Take your time with each ball. Concentration is important to the game so practice your concentration skills while at the driving range. Don’t overdo it. A large bucket of balls is probably enough practice at one time. Stop when you are tired because your swing will get sloppy after that point.
Indoor ranges – Becoming more popular, indoor golf ranges are often temporary ranges that can be used in the winter in cold areas. These have full sized areas for driving practice and some even have smaller areas for chipping and putting practice.
Golf Course – Most golf courses have a practice area located on the property. These areas usually include a putting area and sometimes an area to practice chip shots. Plan to arrive early before your game or go there just to practice. Use all the areas provided for practice so you can evenly practice all parts of your game. This is the best area to practice difficult shots that you may run into while playing golf.
Backyard – Build a backyard chipping and putting area. You don’t need too much space to put a small green grassy area for golf practice. Dig out an area for the hole and line it with a small can. Build up an area to use for chipping practice. Practicing your putting a little each day will help your short game enormously.
Indoor Practice – You can practice putting indoors using small cups. There are also indoor putting green kits available that can be set up indoors for temporary play. These often include some Astroturf that leads to a small plastic cup area. Get one to keep at your office so you can get some putting practice in during lunch hour.
Swing trainers – New technology has revolutionized the golf arena. There are golf swing simulators that you can use which digitally record all your movements during your swing. Then, a professional instructor will evaluate your swing and help you make changes to improve play.
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Golf is one of the most widely popular sports in the world. It can be played by men and women as well as the old or young. Because of its large popularity there are many golf organizations.
These organizations help to set standards, make rules, hold tournaments and provide information to further the game of golf. Golf organizations are primarily divided between amateur and professional. There are many local branches of organizations that provide information and sponsor local and regional golf tournaments. There are golf organizations throughout the world.
When determining the applicable rules of golf you can turn to your local golf organization for information. When looking for golf equipment you can look for items that have been sanctioned by these golf organizations. You can be sure that this equipment is high quality and meets the standards put forth by the organization. The organizations also sponsor youth events and scholarships for interested and talented young adults.
USGA: The United States Golf Association is one of the main amateur golf organizations in the world. It sanctions the US Open, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. The USGA offers educational information on the game of golf and provides rules and handicap status to players.
RCGA: The Royal Canadian Golf Association governs men’s amateur golf in Canada including the rules of golf as well as the amateur and junior championships. Among these tournaments are the Canadian Open, the Canada Senior Open and the Canadian Women’s Open.
ELGA: The English Ladies’ Golf Association is the governing body for women’s amateur golf in England. It helps to further the game of golf for women in England by providing educational information as well as sponsoring tournaments. An offshoot of the LGA, other groups are located in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
PGA: The Professional Golf Association is recognized as the premier professional association of the world. It has representation in most large countries including the United States, Britain and Canada. It is responsible for maintaining the rules of golf and for sanctioning professional tournaments including the PGA championship and the Masters.
LPGA: The Ladies Professional Golf Association is the professional association for women players around the world. It maintains leader boards and point standings for professional women golfers. It also updates golf rules as they apply to women.
Masters: This tournament is an annual event held each year since 1934 in the United States. This is an invitation only tournament and features only the best players of the year. This is a weeklong event culminating in the top golfers competing on the final weekend.
US Open: A major United States men’s tournament, this annual US event is held each year at a different course. The event is known by its very difficult course configurations. British Open – This is the world’s oldest men’s golf championship. It is held each year and features top players from around the world. A prestigious event, the tournament is difficult and play is among the best players.
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