Golf Basics

Hitting the golf course is an excellent way to unwind, and get some exercise and fresh air. One of the great things about the game of golf is that you can play on your own, or you can get together a group to play a game. With social driving ranges popping up, the game seems to be growing in popularity for all skill levels. As a quick lesson for the newbies, and a refresher for the more seasoned player, we have put together a brief lesson on the basics of this classic sport.


There is no shortage of options when it comes to golf clubs. There is a large variety, as different types of shots require different clubs. Here are the basic club categories, and situations when each type may be useful out on the course.

1. Putter

Your putter is ideal for very short shots because this club is not intended for power. When you are near the hole and simply need to roll the ball in, you turn to your putter.

2. Woods

Woods are built for power, and this is the club you want to use when you are quite far from the hole and are just trying to get your ball closer. One common wood is the driver, used to drive the ball a great distance. These typically have a large rounded head, with a flat surface where the head meets the ball.

3. Irons

Too Close to use your wood, but too far to use the putter? Irons are a great option when you require a higher degree of loft than your woods afford you.

4. Hybrids

As the name suggests, hybrids allow more versatility by combining the features of woods and irons. Many golfers find this versatility to be a little more forgiving for their game.

5. Wedges

Get your ball caught in the sand? A sand wedge allows you to chip the ball, making it useful for getting out of sticky situations such as sand traps and the rough.


As with many hobbies, golf has a language of its own, here are a few common terms you may hear out on the course and what they mean.

• Loft - The degree of the angle on the club face.

• Chip - A type of hit that launches the ball into the air before it lands.

• Rough - Areas of longer grass further away from the hole, you do not want your ball to land here.

• Green - This is the area of neatly trimmed grass near the hole.

•Fairway- The area of mid-length grass between the tee and the green. Also, the place where you may want to use your fairway woods.

• Fore - Players will shout "Fore!" as a warning to other players when their ball is in danger of hitting another player on the course.

• Par - the expected number of strokes it "should" take a player to get from tee to hole on a particular hole. For example on a par 3, a player should sink the ball in the hole on their third stroke.

• Birdie - occurs when a player sinks the ball one stroke under par. For example on a par 3, a player that sinks the ball in two strokes scores a birdie.

• Bogey - occurs when a player drops the ball in one stroke greater than par. For example on a par 3, a player who sinks the ball in 4 shots scores a bogey. A double bogey is two strokes greater than par.

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