Golf is a classic game that requires a ball and a club and of course an open space. This perfect game is often played by the rich, and most often riches are bestowed on a person during their old age. So in one sense it can be said that the golf is most often played by the old.
However, times have changed, and it is now played by anyone who is passionate enough. Even so, golf is not an easy sport. It requires a set of skill and expertise. Nevertheless, with some hacks and tricks, anyone can play the sport.
There are several types of golf matches out there such as stroke play, match play, scramble, etc., but most common among them are stroke play and match play.
A person who is just starting will face difficulty with the simplest things like holding a club. To start with the basics, the first thing to know is that the player needs to hit the ball in whichever direction the hole is placed and the ball needs to enter the hole to score.
Accordingly, each round requires a specific number of holes to be played in a specific order.
The game of golf can be played by some people, but mostly the game is played by a group of 1-4 people. A typical game of golf call for 18-holes per round, but to make the game less serious and more recreational, 9-hole rounds are also played.
It usually takes about two hours to play a 9-hole round and four hours to play an 18-hole round.
Stroke play is one of the easiest types of golf matches as it allows the player to strike for as many times until the ball enters the hole. The score accumulated for every tournament or round is added to calculate the total score.
In stroke play, the player who will score the least will win. Even though stroke play is easy, it is still mostly played by professionals. Often the matches are a tie, and in such cases, a playoff is called between the players.
Playoffs can be sudden death, or a specific number of the hole is determined beforehand, which is 3 to 18 holes usually. However, in sudden death, the number of holes is not taken into consideration. In cases where a pre-determined hole play remains in tied condition, the match proceeds through sudden death mode.
In match play, it is allowed to take a player’s ball and ‘surrender the hole’’ only when a sufficient number of strokes have been played. Two teams or two players can play each hole as a separate match in match play.
The team or player that scores the lowest wins the match, and if the score is the same, the hole is tied. In cases where the game is tied after playing a specified number of holes, the match may continue till one party takes the lead by one hole or forfeits.
For every game, the players need a set of equipment without which the game is rendered useless. A golf club and a ball are the main elements to play golf. However, other items can be added to make the game more fun and interactive.
Traditionally, golf clubs are three types.
- Woods are long shafted and large-headed clubs which are used to propel the ball for long distances. There is an extra loft which helps in getting the ball airborne and minimizes sidespins. This allows the ball to fly straight.
- Irons are usually shorter and consist of a metal head which is flat and angled.
- Putters are a modified version of irons that are low-lofted. It helps the ball to roll along the green and eventually hit the hole.
- Hybrids are a cross between woods and irons, where a low-lofted iron is replaced with a club that propels similar distance but launches at a higher angle.
Players can carry a variety of clubs usually but up to 14. They can use a golf bag to move all the equipment. Beginners may become overwhelmed with so much variety so they can start a putter, sand wedge and a driver. Even to supplement those, they can use a 6 or 8 iron, a fairway wood or a pitching wedge.
These clubs are easy to maneuver and will get the ball airborne without much practice. It is better to ask advice from a salesperson before buying a club if you are an absolute beginner. Usually, a regular flex or a shift flex is the easiest route to go.
Golf is a game that requires spherical shaped balls that has multiple dimples all over it. That helps in lowering aerodynamic drag and optimizes air turbulence when the ball in airborne. A golf ball is usually white colour.
For players just starting out, it would be wise to buy cheaper balls rather than the expensive ones because the chances are that the player will lose many balls in the court. However, if the player is careful and does not have the tendency to lose balls, they can go for more expensive balls.
A tee is a small utensil that is used to elevate the ball above the ground to an extent. A tee is only used for the first stroke, which is why it remains idle for the rest of the game.
Golf is a luxury game, and it calls for some specialty items such as golf shoes, golf bags, and golf carts. Golf shoes are spiky, and these spikes are made of metal or plastic. These spikes help in creating friction and in maintaining a proper posture.
It also eliminates the tendency to slip on the grassy field. These shoes provide comfort and support to the players as the players often need to walk long distances.
A professional would carry a variety of clubs, and they would need something to carry them which is where a golf bag comes in handy. Golf carts are also necessary when the match takes place in a wide field. It saves time and energy of the players and facilitates the entire match.
Golf has rules which is internationally recognized and is controlled jointly by Royal and Ancient golf club of St Andrews and the United States Golf Association.
There are also golf etiquettes that the players need to keep in mind to maintain safety and the status of the game.
Golf matches do not tolerate gambling or any sort of amateur activity. Any player is caught for such activities will be deemed amateur and may not be allowed to partake in matches.
Golf is a standard game. To play systematically, there are some specific directions a player should follow.
Golf is a game about balance, so maintaining a proper posture for a variety of stroke is important. Players need to know their leg, back, and spine position to hit the ball.
Just swinging the club back and forth will not do the trick. For various shots, different spine movement is necessary. Sometimes even the spine needs to stay still. Otherwise, the shot will go waste.
For a beginner, the most efficient way to start using big muscles such as shoulders. This will propel the club to gain more velocity and will allow the ball to gain more distance.
Knowing golf swings like takeaways, backswings are very important if a player wants to excel in the game. There are also long range and short range swings that set the pace of a game. Long range swings call for more power and will give more distance.
However, practicing various swings for different needs is essential to put the ball in the hole.
In addition, warming up is a key for every game and it can be done through half-swings in golf. Then the middle irons can be used to gain length and speed. After that, the player can shift between short iron or wedge which will help in practice.
The Necessity of Backswings in Golf
The moments of following a backswing are very important as it propels the match in a successful direction. The purpose of a backswing is to place a club in a position so that ample speed can be generated and the ball can be controlled.
Most of the times a player prefers a long-range shot to start the game with, and in such cases, backswings come in handy as it provides distance and velocity to the ball. With experience, a player will know exactly how much force to exert for each backswing and how that movement will move the ball.
Likewise, for backswings, using big muscles as well as small muscles is very important. For example, the shoulder muscles will generate force and strength while the wrist will allow for delicate movement to steer the club. Placing the legs at a proper distance is also needed for a successful backswing.
A proper backswing can get the ball as close to the hole than any other swing, and that can be achieved through practice.
The Essentials for a Proper Backswing
A backswing can make or break the game for which every player should know how to deliver a proper backswing. The critical part of it is to feel natural. The player needs to trust their instinct to carry out such swings. They need to develop their style.
The Arm Position
For a right-handed golfer, keeping the left hand relatively straight is important as it helps in keeping consistency and advances for a successful downswing. The player must know how to make the transition from a backswing to a downswing. Bear in mind that the shoulder muscles generate the most power for a backswing.
If the player does not hold the club properly, chances are the club will swing off of their hand. In this regard, a steady grip is key and the start of the game depends on it. Every player has their style of grip which requires specific placement of thumb and fingers.
A straight back and a slightly bent knee is the required posture for a backswing. Twisting the spine while swinging should be the focus while keeping the hands and legs in a proper position.
Timing Every Swing
Generally, timing every swing is tough, even for pro golfers who play and practice regularly. Nevertheless, timing every swing is utmost importance. Following some techniques, the backswing can be bagged such as:
The spine should not be moving, rather the body should move around the spine, which essentially means that the player needs to move their torso. This will enable transition into a downswing. Moving the spine is the fastest way to lose posture which will hamper in delivering the ball.
Keeping the hands at a lower position will allow for a long trajectory as the flight will start low and gain momentum eventually.
For right-handed players, their right shoulder should be at a similar distance to their spine, and elbows should make a right angle triangle.
Body for Strength
Strength is generated from the big muscles such as the shoulder muscles. The players should utilize that to power through the match.
The Special K
An angle is formed between the two legs and the upper body which is known as the K angle. This angle should always be maintained to achieve an athletic posture and to properly deliver the ball.
Common Errors in Backswing
Errors can be made by an amateur or a pro, but such errors have a pattern. While making a downswing pitching over the top, can be the cause of the failure. So the club head should be downwards and towards the ball which will clear the path for the ball.
Decelerating a swing is a widespread mistake where the club loses speed as it proceeds to hit the ball.
Using too much of the wrist will not only tire out the player but will also obstruct in delivering shots. Most players bring the club way towards their body, and that causes a swing which is far too outside. This is a flawed swing.
Tips to Fix Backswing Errors:
- Use the shoulder and the hips to generate power instead of the hands and wrist. This will allow for greater strength and will result in longer shots. The ball will be airborne for a longer time as well.
- Always maintain the special K angle. Place the shaft on the ground and slant the upper leg to match the angle to practice that. This angle will allow the player to serve the ball right every time.
- The players must be at ease and find their rhythm and tempo. For achieving that, the players should practice by just swinging the club. Thus, they willget the feel of the weight and height of the club and discover their balance.
- Hips move first for which they should move by uncoiling but still stay mostly in position with the upper body.
Professionals Way of Doing It
Swining is everything in golf. It proves your skill from choosing the right club to proper delivery. The perfect is your swing the better player you are.
What to Do when it is Breezy?
For cutting the wind, a club that is a bit heavy should be used. Before using the unnatural club, a warm-up should be done to get the hang of the club. The wind helps the ball to reach distance, and the pro knows to use the wind to their full extent.
Is it a Swing or is it a Throw?
To learn how to swing, a player can use similar movements like throwing a baseball or a cricket ball. That’s because the golf swing is ultimately a rotator movement and similar to many other throws.
Posture is essential for every athlete, and the idle stance for golf is to keep the feet a bit wider than the shoulder length. The pros say that the legs provide most of the strength in golf which is why a stance is so critical.
With these tips and techniques, an amateur can start playing and will be able to master backswing. Moreover, regular practice is always necessary as well as proper gears. Keeping all these in mind, I believe a person can make a backswing, and even Tiger Woods will applaud.