Sinonimi: golf game
ETYM Dutch kolf club or bat, also a Dutch game played in an inclosed area with clubs and balls.
A game played on a large open course with 9 or 18 holes; the object is use as few strokes as possible in playing all the holes; SYN. golf game.
Outdoor game in which a small rubber-cored ball is hit with a wooden- or iron-faced club into a series of holes using the least number of shots. On the first shot for each hole, the ball is hit from a tee, which elevates the ball slightly off the ground; subsequent strokes are played off the ground. Most courses have 18 holes and are approximately 5,500 m/6,000 yd in length. Golf developed in Scotland in the 15th century.
Each hole is made up of distinct areas: the tee, from where players start at each hole; the green, a finely manicured area where the hole is located; the fairway, the grassed area between the tee and the green, not cut as finely as the green; and the rough, the perimeter of the fairway, which is left to grow naturally. Natural hazards such as trees, bushes, and streams make play more difficult, and there are additional hazards in the form of sand-filled bunkers and artificial lakes.
Clubs consist of woods and irons, and are numbered according to the angle at which the face of the club is set (the higher the number, the more acute the angle; clubs with a straight face send the ball the furthest). Most players also carry a wedge, a faced iron set at a sharp acute angle with a deep flange, this being ideal for bunker play. All carry a putter for holing out on the greens; this is the only club that has a wide variety of shapes to suit individual styles.
Stroke and match play.
Golf is played in two principal forms: stroke play (also known as medal play) and match play. In stroke play the lowest aggregate score for a round determines the winner. Play may be more than one round, in which case the aggregate score for all rounds counts. In match play, the object is to win holes by scoring less than one’s opponent(s).
Golf's handicap system allows for golfers of all levels to compete on equal terms. Players are handicapped according to the number of strokes they take for a round; for example, a player who took 83 shots to go round a course with a par (standard score) of 71 would be given a handicap of 12. Handicapping enables players of different standards to compete on even terms by conceding or receiving strokes. In all championships and in all major tournaments, however, competitors play level.
The major golfing events are the British Open (first held 1860), US Open (first held 1895), US Masters (first held 1934), and US Professional Golfers Association (PGA) (first held 1916). Other events include the World Match-Play Championship, and the British PGA. There are golf tours in North America, Europe, Australia, North Africa, and Japan.
Golf originated in Scotland and dates back to at least the mid-15th century. It was also called goff and in vulgar Scots gowff; the name is, however, almost certainly derived from the German kolbe, meaning club. Games of club and ball were common to all countries, and at their simplest consisted in trying to hit a ball furthest with a single stroke (as in the very early version of the French game pall-mall). The next development was to try to cover a much longer distance in the fewest possible strokes (as in the Flemish game chole). Another variant was a test of accuracy, the ball having to strike a mark (as in the Dutch game kolven). It was, however, the Scottish game which became the basis of modern golf, combining distance-hitting with the test of aiming the ball into a hole, and the essential idea of the independent progress of the contestants, each playing free from any interference by their opponent.
The links at Leith.
Up to the middle of the 18th century the emphasis was still on hitting for distance. The original links (coastal golf course) at Leith, at that time the metropolis of the golfing world, had only five holes, at distances varying from 379 to 453 m (414 to 495 yds). Three “turns” of the five holes constituted the accepted “round”. Players had to put up with any natural roughness of the “lies” in which the ball came to rest, and even the putting greens were kept short only by rabbits.
The first golf clubs.
The offer of trophies for annual competitions at various golf centers led to the formation of the first properly constituted clubs, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers 1744, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews 1754, the Royal Blackheath Golf Club 1766, and the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club 1774. These clubs gradually accepted a vague responsibility for looking after the condition of the links over which their members played. The deterioration of the Leith links and the growing fame of St Andrews brought about the universal imitation of the St Andrews round of 18 holes of widely varied lengths.
Development of the ball.
The introduction of balls of gutta-percha in 1848 greatly increased the popularity of the game, for “gutties” cost less than a third of the price of the leather balls stuffed with feathers which they superseded. Their greater durability also made possible the use of iron-headed clubs for strokes up to the green, while their more regular shape allowed greater accuracy when putting. The invention of the rubber-cored ball in 1902 greatly increased the distance over which the ball could be struck, and so necessitated greater care in the design and preparation of the playing ground.
Expansion of the game.
By the second half of the 19th century, Scottish emigrants had introduced golf to all parts of the British Empire and the US. New Zealand's first club was at Otago 1871, Canada's at Montreal 1873, and Australia's at Sydney 1882. The first club in the US was St Andrews, New York 1888. Golf became truly international with the establishment of clubs in France 1857, Belgium 1888, Switzerland 1892, Spain 1891, Holland 1893, Germany 1895, Russia 1895, Italy 1898, Austria 1901, Sweden 1902, Japan 1903, and Denmark 1908.
Golf is now so popular all over the world that, despite the opening of new courses every week, there are not enough to meet the demand; in Japan, for example, players must often be content with hitting balls at driving ranges.
1. Village in Florida (USA).
2. Village in Illinois (USA).
To play golf.