GOLF





A game played over an extensive piece of ground which is divided into

certain arbitrary divisions called holes. A golf course is usually

undulating with the holes laid out to afford the greatest possible

variety of play. The ordinary course consists of either nine or

eighteen holes from 100 to 500 yards apart. An ideal course is about

6000 yards long. The holes which mark the termination of a playing

section consist of tin cans 4 inches in diameter sunk into and flush

with the level of the surrounding turf, which is called "the putting

green." The game is played with a gutta-percha ball weighing about

1-3/4 ounces and with a set of "clubs" of various odd shapes and for

making shots under various conditions. Usually a boy accompanies each

player to carry his clubs. Such boys are called "caddies." The clubs

are peculiarly named and it is optional with each player to have as

many clubs as he desires. Some of the more common ones are called

"driver," "brassie," "cleek," "iron," "mashie," "niblick," "putter,"

and "lofting iron."



The game, which may be played by either two or four players, consists

in endeavouring to drive the ball over the entire course from hole to

hole in the fewest possible number of strokes. At the start a player

takes his position on what is called the "teeing ground" and drives

the ball in the direction of the first hole, the position of which is

shown in the distance by a flag or tin sign with a number. Before

driving he is privileged to place the ball on a tiny mound of earth or

sand which is called a "tee." The players drive in order and then

continue making shots toward the hole until finally they have all

"holed out" by "putting" their balls into the hole, and the lowest

score wins the hole.



Golf is a game in which form is more essential than physical strength

and which is adapted for elderly people as well as the young. The

wooden clubs are usually made with either dogwood or persimmon heads

and with split hickory handles or shafts. The handles are usually

wound with a leather grip. Golf clubs of good quality will cost from

two to three dollars apiece and a set for most purposes will consist

of four to six clubs. The caddy bag to carry the clubs is made of

canvas or leather and will cost from two dollars up. Standard quality

golf balls will cost about nine dollars a dozen. Almost any

loose-fitting outdoor costume is suitable for playing golf and the

tendency in recent years is to wear long trousers in preference to

what are known as "golf trousers."



A golf course--sometimes called a "links," from a Scotch word meaning

a flat stretch of ground near the seashore--should be kept in good

condition in order to enjoy the game properly. The leading golf clubs

maintain a large force of men who are constantly cutting the grass,

repairing damages to the turf, and rolling the greens. For this reason

it is a game only adapted to club control unless one is very wealthy

and can afford to maintain private links.





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