Golf, an Introduction
Welcome to the greatest game on Earth. If you don't believe me, look at the statistics:
These results are courtesy of a Google search "how many registered golfers are there in the world?"
"According to Sports Marketing Surveys, there are 61.1 million golfers
worldwide; 6.9 million in Europe, 13.6 million in Asia, 1.7 million in
Australasia, 1 million in South America and 500 000 in South Africa.
There are 37.1 million in the US alone."
source: Business Report, 9/28/2003
"How many golfers are there in the U.S.?
There are 26.2 million golfers in the United States. A golfer is
defined as anyone ages 18 and above who played at least one regulation
round of golf in the past 12 months. 36.7 million Americans are golf
participants, defined as anyone ages 5 and above who either played a
round of golf or visited a golf practice facility."
source: National Golf Foundation
Not only are these figures impressive but either sex can play golf at almost any age and still manage to compete. You can play a game of golf on your own or in groups. Once you're a member of a golf course, you can play as often as you like. Depending on which part of the world you live, you may even have access to municipal golf courses (ones that are run by local authorities). You can play golf in almost every country in the world.
It's a game that very few, if any, ever manage to master. There are so many different parts to golf and all of them affect the outcome. The golf swing itself is a complicated series of movements that require excellent balance throughout the swing, and trying to improve a golf swing is number one objective of most golfers. You have to know each golf club and what distances you can manage from each one, they all handle a bit differently. The lie of the golf ball can have a dramatic influence on the shot. Taking a shot on the side of an incline with the golf ball above or below the level of your feet, uphill shots and downhill shots, they all make the swing and the ball flight that bit different, and there is no end to the golf swing advice you can have.
Then there are bunker (sand trap) shots, chips, bump and runs and we haven't even touched on the mental aspect of the game yet or even choosing which golf clubs you are going to use, there is a huge variety of different makes and designs of golf clubs to choose from.
There are no two golf courses the same, they all vary in length and degree of difficulty. You get golf courses that are flat, golf courses that are built on the side of a hill and everything in between, there are sea-side courses called golf links, the original golf course was a golf links. The whole design of golf courses vary, bunkers, trees , the fairway, the rough, water hazards, the permutations are endless.
The Rules of Golf are not complicated but have to be learned and adhered to. As does Golf Etiquette, golf is sportsmanship game where you are really playing with your honesty and integrity, you are also expected to be mannerly, for instance, if you are playing slower than the golf group behind you, you are expected to let them play through so you are not holding up play. Distracting others on the course when they are playing is also frowned upon.
As I said already, the golf swing is a complicated series of movements and it would take a lot more than one post to describe it to you, but it can be broken down into several constituent parts, like the following:
- Golf Grip
- Take Away
- Back Swing
- Top of Back Swing
- First Move
- Down Swing
- Impact Zone
- Follow Through
You can click this link, Golf Swing for more on the mechanics of the golf swing. After all, isn't that what it's all about?
As you are a new golfer, I'd like to give you one tip. Never try to hit the golf ball hard! You will most likely just end up with a golf slice, where the golf ball starts of straight then spins off wildly to the right (right handers), the golf slice is the most common bad shot in golf.
The harder you try and hit the golf ball, the worse your shot will get. Power in golf comes from the speed of the golf club head as it passes through the impact zone, nothing else.
If you can take this on board right from the start of your golfing life, then you will already be streets ahead of most other golfers out there. This is one of the most common mistakes that golfers, and in particular new golfers, make. Don't be one of them.
The golf swing should always be controlled. There is never any need, or benefit, to rushing your golf swing, the faster you swing the bigger the chance of losing your balance, even if it is only a slight imbalance, it will affect your shot in a bad way.
If you take up golf, you will find it a challenging and rewarding game. If you continue to play for the rest of your life, you'll still find it a challenge. It is also a very sociable game that contributes to the sheer enjoyment you will have.
These are just some of the reasons that I started this post by calling it the greatest game on Earth. Golf.