News 12's Golf 101 Guide

The PGA Championship is being held at Bethpage Black course in Farmingdale on Long Island from May 13-19. If golf terms have you a little confused, News 12 has you covered with some basics.

From what score means what, to what clubs to use when, here is your Golf 101 Guide:

What's the Proper Etiquette?

Before hitting the golf course, just remember: golf is considered a gentleman's game. You don't just walk onto the course and play. There are basic rules of etiquette expected by players and fans.

For Golfers:

Do:
Play at a reasonable pace.
Repair ball marks, replace divots, and rake bunkers.
Have the player farthest away from the pin hit first on each shot.
Let the winner of the previous hole tee off first at the next hole.

Don't:
Move or talk while someone is hitting the ball, or about to hit the ball.
Walk across the line of another player's putt on the green.
Hit your shots until the group in front of you is well out of range.
Hold up other players.

For Spectators:

Do:
Be quiet when play is going on.
Keep movements to a minimum when players are about to hit.
Wait for all players to finish the hole before leaving for the next tee.
Cheer a good shot, but only in an appropriate and moderate fashion.

Don't:
Run around the course while the game is being played.
Talk on a cell phone.
Take pictures during competition rounds.
Ask for autographs from golfers who are still out playing.
Scream after a player has hit a shot.
Applaud or ridicule a bad shot hit by a player

What Should You Wear?

Golf also requires a proper dress code while playing. Here is what to wear when golfing:

Men:
Collared polo shirt, long sleeved or short is fine, but must have a collar.
Shorts or slacks, no soccer shorts.
Golf shoes, either with soft spikes or no spikes.
A belt and socks.
Hats are optional.

Women:
Polo-style shirt, or a blouse with sleeves or a sleeveless blouse with collars.
Sweaters or jackets on a cool day.
Slacks, capris, crops, and shorts.
Golf shoes, either with soft spikes or no spikes.
Socks.
Hats are optional.

How Do You Score?

The sport of golf has its own language, and can be puzzling for outsiders to understand. Here are the scoring terms in golf, and what each means.

Par:
Par is the predetermined number of shots a golfer should require to complete a hole. For example, on a Par 4, it usually should take golfers four shots total to complete the hole. A Par 3 should take golfers three shots, and a Par 5 five shots. Pars register as an even score for the hole.

Birdie:
A birdie means a golfer scored one stroke under par on a hole. For example, a birdie on a Par 3 is a score of two, a score of three on a Par 4, and a score of four on a Par 5. If you watch golf, and see golfers' scores as -5,-6, etc., it's mostly because of birdies. Birdies register as a minus score for the hole.

Eagle:
An eagle means a golfer scored two strokes under par on a hole. These are rare, but do happen on occasion. An eagle on a Par 4 is a score of two, and a score of three on a Par 5.

Ace:
If you have ever played miniature golf, you know a hole in one is very common, but in regular golf, it's very, very rare. If you do happen to get one, it's called an ace.

Albatross/double eagle:
Another score that is rare is an albatross/double eagle, which is three strokes under par on a hole. This score could only happen on a Par 5 by getting a score of two.

Bogey:
When you see a golfers' score of +5, +6, it's mostly because of bogies. A bogey is one stroke over par on a hole. For example, a bogey on a Par 3 is a score of four, a score of five on a Par 4, and a score of six on a Par 5. 

Double bogey:
A double bogey is two strokes over par on a hole. For example, a double bogey on a Par 3 is a score of five, a score of six on a Par 4, and a score of seven on a Par 5.

What Golf Club Should You Use When?

The vast variety of golf clubs you need can be overwhelming, but how do you know which club to use for each shot? Here is a quick guide:

 

Driver:
A driver is used for teeing off, or beginning, each hole. Not used on Par 3s. This is probably the club you can hit the ball the farthest with.

Hybrid club:
A hybrid club is used to get shots of 150+ yards in the air.

2 to 9-irons:
Irons are used for hitting the ball toward the green, usually from 120 - 190 yards away. Low-numbered irons are used for longer shots, and high-numbered irons are used for shorter shots.

Wedges:
Wedges are used for hitting short, high shots from near the green or from sand bunkers.

Putter:
A putter is used to hit the ball into the hole once it's on the green.

 

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