From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players (or golfers) use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes. Golf is defined, in the rules of golf, as "playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules."
It is one of the few ball games that does not require a standardized playing area. Instead, the game is played on a "course", generally consisting of an arranged progression of either 9 or 18 "holes". Each hole on the course must contain a "tee box" and a "putting green" with the actual hole, and there are various other standardized forms of terrain in between such as the fairway, rough, and hazards, but each hole on a course and indeed among virtually all courses is unique in its specific layout and arrangement.
Golf competition is generally played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known simply as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes during a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most commonly seen format at virtually all levels of play, although variations of match play such as "skins" games are also seen in televised events.
While the modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland, the game's ancient origins are unclear and much debated. Some historians trace the sport back to the Roman game of paganica, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. One theory asserts that paganica spread throughout Europe as the Romans conquered most of the continent, during the first century BC, and eventually evolved into the modern game. Others cite chuiwan ("chui" means striking and "wan" means small ball) as the progenitor, a Chinese game played between the eighth and 14th centuries.
Professional golfers are divided into two main groups, with a limited amount of overlap between them:
- The great majority of professional golfers (at least 95%) make their living from teaching the game, running golf clubs and courses, and dealing in golf equipment. In American English the term golf pro refers to individuals involved in the service of other golfers. The senior professional golfer at a golf club is usually referred to as the club professional, but at a large golf club or resort with several courses his job title is likely to be director of golf. If he or she has assistants who are registered professional golfers, they are known as assistant professionals. A golfer who concentrates wholly or nearly so on giving golf lessons is a teaching professional, golf instructor or golf coach. Most of these people will enter a few tournaments against their peers each year, and occasionally they may qualify to play in important tournaments with the other group of professional golfers mentioned below. Many club and teaching professionals working in the golf industry start as caddies or a general interest in the game, finding employment at golf courses and eventually moving on to certifications in their chosen profession. These programs include independent institutions and universities, and those that eventually lead to a Class A golf professional certification.
- A much smaller but higher profile group of professional golfers earn a living from playing in golf tournaments, or aspire to do so. Their income comes from prize money and endorsements. These individuals are referred to as tournament pros, tour professionals, or in American English as pro golfers.
Historically the distinction between amateur and professional golfers had much to do with social class. In 18th and 19th century Britain, golf was played by the rich for pleasure. The early professionals were working class men who made a living from the game in a variety of ways: caddying, greenkeeping, clubmaking, and playing challenge matches. When golf arrived in America at the end of the 19th century it was an elite sport there too. Early American golf clubs imported their professionals from Britain. It was not possible to make a living solely from playing tournament golf until some way into the 20th century (Walter Hagen is sometimes considered to have been the first man to have done so).
Overview and Scope of Project
The goal of this project is to bring golfers together whether they are pro or amateur or even caddy.