The game of golf, while of comparatively recent introduction in this

country, has sprung rapidly into popularity. It is hard to say just

why it should be such a popular game except that it combines a certain

amount of healthful outdoor exercise with an unlimited opportunity for

skill, and in addition to this, unlike the more violent games, it can

be joined in by old as well as young. The proper construction and

maintenance of a golf course is an expensive proposition. A private

course is altogether out of the question except for the very wealthy.

A club in starting with a limited amount of money will find it more

satisfactory to begin with the construction of a nine-hole or even a

six-hole course rather than to attempt a full course of eighteen holes

which will be indifferently constructed or kept up. The average

eighteen-hole course is about three miles long and is built according

to the general lay of the land. A hole in golf consists in the stretch

between the "tee," from which the ball is knocked off, and the

"putting green," where the player "putts" the ball into the "hole"--a

can sunk into the ground which has about the same diameter as a

tomato can. The score consists in the number of strokes required to

make the hole, and of course the player making the fewest number of

strokes is the winner of the hole or match.

[Illustration: Addressing]

[Illustration: At the top of the swing]

[Illustration: Just before the ball is struck]

Golf has but few rules. The secret of playing well consists in being

able to swing the clubs with accuracy and precision. There is no game

where proper form counts for more and none in which more careful

preliminary instruction by an expert is so important. If one can at

the very outset obtain the services of a professional or a skilful

player for a few lessons, it will do far more good than ten times as

many lessons after we have contracted bad habits which will have to be


[Illustration: How An Expert Plays Golf]

The surest way to be a poor golfer is first to think that it is a

sort of "old man's game," or, as one boy said, "a game of knocking a

pill around a ten-acre lot"; then when the chance to play our first

game comes along to do it indifferently, only to learn later that

there is a lot more to the skill of a good player than we ever

realized. Another very common mistake is to buy a complete outfit of

clubs, which a beginner always improperly calls "sticks," before we

really know just what shape and weight of club is best adapted to our


[Illustration: A good outfit of clubs for golf]

The common clubs in most players' outfits consist of a driver,

brassie, cleek, iron, and putter. We can add to this list almost

indefinitely if we wish, as there are all sorts of clubs made for

various shots and with various angles. The game of golf consists in

covering a certain fixed course in the fewest number of shots. We

shall have to practise both for distance and accuracy. The first few

shots on a hole of average length will give us an opportunity for

distance. This is especially true of the first shot, or drive, but

after that we make what are known as approach shots--that is to say,

we are approaching the putting green where we complete the hole by

"putting" the ball into the tin cup sunk into the ground. On the green

we shall need to be very careful, as a stroke wasted or poorly played

counts just as much against our score if the ball goes only a few feet

as if we sliced or "foozled" our drive.

In scoring for golf there are two methods: Either the score of each

hole is taken and the winner of a majority of holes wins the match, or

the total score in counted as in "medal" or "tournament play."

"Bogie score" is a fictitious score for the course that is supposed to

denote perfect playing without flukes or luck. The mysterious "Colonel

Bogie" is an imaginary player who always makes this score.

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