One great thing about golf is that it is played in beautiful surroundings. Most courses have lots of trees and birds and some even have kangaroos, rabbits and other animals watching you play. Not only is every one of the 18 holes different to the next but each hole changes during the year with the passing of the seasons.
Most courses measure about 6,000 metres which means that you get plenty of exercise playing them. A game on a course of 6,000 metres would have you walking between eight and ten kilometres, depending on how straight you hit the ball. This may sound like a lot of hard work but the beauty of the game is that you are so involved in playing that you don’t even notice how far you are walking.
While every hole is different, they all have several things in common. At the start of each one is a tee, from which you hit your first shot, and at the other end is the green, which is your target. The tee is a small, usually raised area, with a couple of markers on the ground to show you where to place your ball before you hit. The tee will also have a small sign telling you which hole you are playing and how far it is to the green.
In front of the tee and stretching, all the way to the green is the fairway. This is nicely mown lawn grass from which it is easy to hit your ball. The fairway is usually between 30 and 50 metres wide.On each side of the fairway is the rough which is longer grass. The rough is allowed to grow up as a penalty for players whose shots miss the fairway. It is harder to hit a good shot out of the rough and sometimes you can’t even hit towards the green. Instead, you have to hit out sideways and waste a shot just to get you ball back on the fairway. There are also trees in the rough and these cause more problems. They can block your view of the green and prevent you making a full swing at your ball. Like the rough, sometimes they force you to play away from the hole, just to get your ball back onto the fairway.
More obstacles are the bunkers which are holes, usually with sand in the bottom, spread around the course. While there are rough and trees on both sides of the fairways, the bunkers are strategically placed. They can be on the sides and in the middle of the fairways and close to the edge of the green. Again, you usually have to play an extra shot just to get out of them.
Finally, a lot of courses also have water hazards such as creeks or rivers flowing through them, or lakes, dams or ponds. Of all the hazards, water is the worst for young players. It will often mean that you have lost your ball. Even good players have trouble with water.