Golf

 

Golf is an outdoor sport that requires mental concentration and great athletic skill and control.

Players use a club to propel a small ball, both through the air and along the ground, into a series of 18 holes laid out in a course in as few strokes as possible. Players score points according to the number of strokes it takes to complete the course.

Unlike other games, the object of golf is to record the lowest score possible rather than the highest.

 History

Scotland claims to be the birthplace of golf, called "gowf" in Scottish Gaelic. But a similar game was believed to have played by the Romans and the Chinese 500 years before it was mentioned in Scottish annals.

Some suggest the word golf could come from the German word "kolbe" or the Dutch variant "kolf" and there is evidence to suggest that people in the Netherlands played a game similar to golf in the 14th century.

Scotland truly embraced golf and on May 1st 1744, the first golf club, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, was formed. They first played at Leith on a five-hole course, before moving to Musselburgh, a course that has been used continuously since 1672.

High emigration from Scotland in the late 19th century led to the spread of golf to the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and further afield.

The first US Open was played on the nine-hole Newport Rhode Island Club in October 1895. It was won by an English-born professional, Horace Rawlins.

The British Professional Golfers Association was formed in London in 1901 and 15 years later the US PGA was created. In 1971, the British PGA joined up with the European Golf Association to form the European PGA Tour which organises season-long events across Europe.

Golf has been part of the Asian Games since the 9th Asian Games in New Delhi, India, in 1982.

 Rules

Golf is one of the few ball games that does not use a fixed standard playing area. Instead, golf courses, made up of fairways and greens, vary tremendously.

Golfers usually tee off (hit their first stroke) in pairs and follow their balls down the fairway hoping they have missed sand bunkers, water hazards or rough grass at the side of the course.

Each hole is awarded a par rating depending on its distance. These ratings added together usually come to 72, which makes up the target number of strokes for a round of golf. Four rounds are played over four days to determine a winner.

At the 15th Asian Games, golf will be conducted in accordance with the rules of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the United States Golf Association.

Each participating country or region can enter a men's team of three or four players and a women's team of two or three players. In the team events, the total of the three lowest scores for the men and the two lowest scores for the women will constitute a team score for that 18-hole round.

The total of the team scores for the four rounds will constitute the team score for the competition. If there is a tie for first, second or third place, the teams concerned will have to take part in a hole-by-hole play-off. If there is a tie in the individual competition, the winner will be decided on the basis of the scores for the fourth and final round.