For a person who is unfamiliar with the game, golf would seem a little silly, knocking a ball from one point and trying to put it into a small hole a few hundred yards away, yet there is method in this madness.
Let’s start with a few terms;
- Par – The par is the number of strokes a professional golfer would take at any given hole, and there are par3,4 and 5 holes in golf.
- Birdie – If the par for a hole is 4 and a player takes only 3 shots to finish, they have scored a birdie (one under par).
- Eagle – An eagle is 2 under par, so on a par 4 hole, you would need to hole the ball with your second shot, which is incredibly difficult. Eagles are typically scored on long par 5 holes. An eagle on a par 3 hole is also a hole-in-one.
- Albatross – This means 3 under par, which is very difficult to do, but there have been occasions.
- Handicap – Every player has a handicap (the number of strokes above the par they would normally take). If the par of an 18-hole golf course is 70 and a player normally takes around 90 strokes, then they would have a handicap of 20. The better player you are, the lower your handicap, and, if you are a scratch player (zero handicap) you are at the very top level of the game. If you are about to start playing golf, there are affordable golf lessons in Bangkok, and it is wise to have some lessons at the very start, rather than after you’ve been playing for a while.
- Clubs – The sticks that golfers use to hit the ball are called clubs and there are woods, which are longer and for driving the ball long distances, while the irons are shorter and are angled to make the ball travel higher in the air. Then there is a sand-wedge, a very open-faced club that is used when in a bunker or sand trap. Then you would have a putter, the small club you use when your ball reaches the green. A full set of clubs would include 3-4 woods, 9 irons, a wedge, a sand-wedge and a putter. Many players use a half set, which is usually fine for the average weekend player.
Golf is, for many people, an addictive game that is very challenging and you don’t need a partner to play, as you are playing against the course, trying to beat your lowest score.