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Enjoy & Learn


Golf

Great Britain is where the game of golf was born, though there has been much speculation over its exact origins. It is a widely known and very popular sport, therefore it is important to know something about it even if you don’t play it.

The two essentials for playing the game are golf clubs and balls. Golf clubs have undergone many changes in shape and the materials used in their construction since the 17th century. Early wooden clubs are known as long-nosed clubs. The heads were longer and more slender than modern club heads. They were very simple and since then they have undergone serious changes. Today, a wide range of materials are used to make them lighter. These include stainless steel, graphite, titanium, carbon fiber and tungsten. To play golf you need many clubs. Those most important are the driver, wood, iron and putter.

Like clubs, golf balls have a varied history and different types have been used over the centuries. The balls that first came into use were made of hard leather, stuffed with feathers. In 1929 the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced that as from 1931, the diameter of the ball would not be less than 4.28 cm and the weight not greater than 43 grams. The golf balls used today are rubber-core balls.

Playing golf often requires the right sort of clothing. Through the centuries, the idea of what constitutes suitable clothing has changed quite a bit. In the past golfers wore buttoned jackets and knickerbockers. These are short loose fitting trousers gathered at the knee or the calf.

Before starting to play, it is essential that you know and understand the rules of golf. The earliest rules were drawn up in 1744. Over the next 100 years, each club could issue its own code of rules. Starting in the second half of the 19th century, more and more clubs based their codes on those issued by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. In 1987 rules were unified with the creation of the Rules of Golf Committee. There are many rules like: during a game a player can carry a maximum 14 clubs, or the one that distancemeasuring devices are banned.

Golf is a game renowned for its history and traditions, so there are many golf terms used. ‘Dead ball’ is a term used when ball lies near a hole. ‘Par’ means the standard score in strokes for each hole of a given course. Par can also be set for the score for a round. Originally, ‘bogey’ was generally the score that a player of high amateur standard should reach, while par was the standard for professionals. On some holes bogey was one higher than par, so bogey came to mean failure to reach par. This led to the current usage of this term, to mean one over par. The word ‘eagle’ is used in golf meaning two under par. ‘Albatross’ became a golfing term meaning three under par. As the score under par increases so does the rarity of the bird.

It is the ambition or fantasy of almost all golfers to win the Open Championships, the oldest of golf’s four majors. The Open Championship has come a very long way since the original eight competitors gathered at Prestwick on Wednesday, October 17, 1860. The same is true of the prize money. In 1882 the winner got 42 pounds, which is a huge difference from the 4,000,000 pounds the winner got in 2004.

Golf is gaining popularity worldwide. Poland is also attracting new golfers. More and more people play this game in Poland but it is very important that young people do it too. Students Golf Club organizes events for young people who declare a willingness to get involved in it. After all, it’s great fun and worth learning more about this sport. To find out more, visit www.akgolf.pl.

Łukasz Poniatowicz

 

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