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You Are Here » Home : Article - Golf For Beginners - Playing Golf Course


What New Golfers Need To Know About Playing On The Golf Course.


A golf course is usually made up of 18 holes with a mixture of Par 3s, Par 4s, and Par 5s (in various lengths) totalling a "Par" of either 70 or 72. The lengths are measured in yards - not feet.

A "Par" is basically an average of how many typical strokes it would take to get the ball in the hole. Ever play Putt-Putt? Each hole is a "Par" 2 right?

If a golfer makes the average score on a hole, he/she would say "I Pared The Hole."

For example, let's use a 4 on a Par 4 hole. If it took you 5 strokes then you had a 1 over par or commonly referred to as a "Bogey." If it took you 6 strokes then you had a 2 over par or commonly referred to as a "Double Bogey." If it took you 3 strokes then you had a 1 under par or commonly referred to as a "Birdie." If it took you 2 strokes then you had a 2 under par or commonly referred to as an "Eagle." If it took you only 1 stroke on this Par 4 hole then you would have had a "double eagle" or also called an "Albatross." On a Par 3 hole we would call this a "Hole In One." [an error occurred while processing this directive]

A "Handicap" is the average number of strokes that you would score each time you play a "round" of golf - 18 holes.

"Fore" is a term that someone would yell out if their shot (golf ball) is going near someone else. You might need to yell this at some point during your round or you might actually hear it yelled at you during your round.

Never stand behind someone that is swinging a golf club - NEVER EVER... Especially on the driving range! Always stand facing them in front of them or just to the side. Stay as still as you can and do not make any noise. On the putting green you may stand behind them so that you are not a distraction.

Who plays first? On the tee box, the player with the lowest score on the previous hole. Then it will be the player whos ball is the farthest from the hole plays their shot first.

You may use a wooden or synthetic "Tee" to hold your golf ball off the ground on the Tee Box - only!

When your golf ball lands on the green - check to see if your golf ball damaged the green or left of "ball mark." Fix any damage and fix ball marks with a ball mark fixer tool.

When on the green, you will mark the position of your ball with a ball marker or similar object - like a small coin - so that your ball is not in the way of your playing partners. Once your ball is marked you may pick it up and clean it if you would like but you may only clean your golf ball on the green or before you tee off on the hole - technically you can not clean your golf ball while it is in the fairway - but ok for beginners to do in my book.

Basic Rules While Playing: Taken from Basic Golf Rules

  • Allowed up to or a total of 14 clubs in your golf bag
  • Tee off on each hole between designated markers or within 2 club lengths behind markers
  • Out of bound markers (white stakes) - 1 stroke penalty and must hit another ball from where your original shot was from
  • Water hazard (yellow stakes) - 1 stroke penalty. May play another ball from original location or anywhere on a line from where your ball went into the hazard as far back to original location as you may want. Or, 2 club lengths from nearest point of relief from hazard.
  • Cart Path - may drop ball with no penalty within 1 club length of nearest point of relief of ball and stance no closer to the hole.
  • Sprinkler Head - may drop ball with no penalty within 1 club length of nearest point of relief of ball and stance no closer to the hole.
  • Sand Trap - club cannot touch sand until intentional swing.
  • Un-playable Lie - 1 stroke penalty. May play another ball from original location or anywhere on a line from where your ball was un-playable as far back to original location as you may want. Or, 2 club lengths from nearest point of relief from where ball is un-playable
  • Ball can not touch the flag stick when putting on the green whether it is in the hole or laying on the green!





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