Scoring and Terminology in Golf
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Find out and learn about the scoring system in golf in this free online beginners golf video lesson from Golf for Dummies with golfing expert Gary McCord.


Scoring Scoring is everything in golf and most scoring occurs within 80 yards of the hole. Save strokes with your short game and your score will be lower than that player whose sole purpose is to hit a ball a gazillion miles. Here are some scoring terms you hear in golf. A birdie is the score one less than par, an eagle is a score two less than par, a bogey, however, is the score one over, a double bogey is a score of two over par. Unfortunately, you can go as far as you want over par. Once in Memphis, I made a 15 on the 16th hole of par 5, that's 10 over par on 1 hole. I did couple bogey. I was playing the golf course, I needed a birdie, I was going forward and too with a 4-iron and I kept missing this island green. I could have dropped over there, my ego got in the way. Actually, that story got in the newspaper from Ron Shelton, the director and writer of 'Tin Cup,' the movie. He thought that would be real fun for Kevin Costner do the same thing on the 18th hole, he made a 12. So my score in Memphis in now infamous. Winston Churchill called golf a silly game, played with implements ill-suited for the purpose. He might have sung a different tune these days. This is a great time to take up golf. The advances in technology over the past 10 years have made the game easier for new players. Both the clubs and the balls are more user-friendly. Be sure to take the time to get equipment that is properly suited for your swing body and skill level. If you just took a look, take a look at this. This is a last wooden club I played, my driver, and now look at the driver I am playing today. Now this is modern technology. I don't think I could hit a golf ball with this little club right now. Picking Out Clubs If you are just beginning to play golf, keep in mind that you may discover that this game is not for you. So you want to start out with rental clubs at a driving range. Most driving ranges around the country have rental clubs or a demo ban. Go out and hit these balls with these golf clubs. If you still want to play golf after hitting a few balls, then buy your own clubs. Remember, you are in your experimental stage and what a great time to experiment. Today, club fitting is a big business. Tour pros and average amateur golfers have access to the same club fitting technology and information. It's important for all golfers, male and female, to use the appropriate equipment for their body types and physical conditions. Many manufacturers of golf clubs specialize in creating clubs for women that have softer shafts, which are lighter and more flexible. Here are some factors you need to consider when picking out a new set of clubs. The grip, although picking a grip that feels comfortable is important, getting the right size is most important. Generally, the proper size grip allows the middle and ring finger on your left hand to barely touch the pad of your thumb when you take hold of the club. Getting the size right is important, because a grip that is too big will limit the hand action and conversely a smaller grip promotes too much hand action. The shaft, consider your height, built and strength when you choose a shaft. For example, if you are really tall and have shorter arms, you are going to need a longer shaft. Shafts have different flex rates to match different swing speeds. If your swing makes a loud swish noise and the shaft bends like a long cast from a fly-fishing rod at the top of your swing, you need a very strong shaft. If your swing makes no noise and the club feels like a PVC pipe, you need a regular shaft. Anybody in between needs a medium to stiff shaft. Getting the right shaft flex helps you generate the most distance. Determining Club Distance A standard makeup of golf clubs today includes a driver 3 wood, 5 wood; 3-9 iron, pitching wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge and putter. Each club goes a different distance, the lower the number of club, the farther the distance it travels. As the club's number increases, so does the amount of loft. Loft is the degree of angle between the shaft and the club face. More loft means a higher flight but less distance. Therefore, a sand wedge flies shorter than an 8 iron and 8 iron flies shorter then a 4 iron. Woods travel farther so a 3 wood is longer than a 4 iron and the driver is the longest club in the bag. Wow! He has got a hold to that one, didn't he?