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Lesson Transcript

Braden: Top 5 Most Important Things to Know About Golf. In this lesson, we’re going to look at the top 5 most important things to know about golf. Now, golf is one of those sports that could often be forgotten. However, it is very important in the United States.
Ann: I know a lot of people who play golf. They seem to like it a lot, but I don’t play at all.
Braden: I have played before, but I certainly don’t play regularly.
Ann: We wrote this lesson from the perspective of someone who doesn’t understand anything about golf, what would they need to know in order to watch a golf match and understand what’s going on.
Braden: So, in this lesson, we’re going to look at teams and play the balls at lies, then the popularity of golf in the United States, the equipment that the golfers use, and how scoring works in golf.
Ann: That sounds really interesting. Let’s get to it!
Braden: Okay. So, number 5. So the number 5 most important thing to understand about golf is that there are no teams.
Ann: Each player plays on their own. No teammates, no substitutions, no coach, no coach to call timeout, each golfer plays the course on their own.
Braden: In the professional league, they can have a "caddy" which is kind of like an on-field coach or an on-field helper.
Ann: This is important because, especially at professional levels, you tend to see players going around the course in pairs, so you'll have Tiger Woods playing with Jack Nicklaus.
Braden: But remember that they aren't actually playing together; they aren’t on a team, they’re just paired together.
Ann: Now, this happens for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons is efficiency. Typically, it takes about 4 hours for one player to complete an 18-hole course.
Braden: If you send two people through a golf course at the same time, things move along much faster.
Ann: Essentially about 18 hours.
Braden: There are some specific matches in which golfers are formed into teams. Those do exist, but they’re not common.
Ann: The 4th most important thing to understand about golf is that you have to "play the ball as it lies."
Braden: This means that if you hit the ball into the middle of the fairway or if you hit the ball into the long grass or if you hit the ball behind a tree or in the sand or in the water, whatever, you have to play the ball as it lies, where it is.
Ann: You can't pick it up and move it. The only time where you don't play the ball as it lies is when you hit the ball out of bounds.
Braden: That means completely outside of the course. You can hit it outside of your own fairway and still have to play it.
Ann: But if you get it outside of the course limits, then you have to drop the ball somewhere, and you take a heavy penalty.
Braden: That’s right. The third most important thing to understand about golf is that it is immensely popular and played throughout the United States. There are golf programs in most high schols and in almost every college.
Ann: There are also professional and amateur leagues.
Braden: And it's also important to realize that in golf, everything is split between men and women.
Ann: Men do not play golf against women and women do not play golf against men.
Braden: There is a women's league at a professional level and a men's league at a professional level.
Ann: This division goes throughout all levels of play, from high school all the way up to the professional levels.
Braden: The second most important thing to understand about golf is that the equipment is very specific.
Ann: In golf, you have 14 clubs in one bag. Those are the rules. You can't have any more bags or any more clubs.
Braden: Now, each golfer has the freedom to choose which clubs they want to put in that bag.
Ann: This is important because there are many different types of clubs and each club has a specific and unique use.
Braden: For example, the "driver" is the largest and longest club. It is used to hit the ball the farthest distances.
Ann: The smallest club in a golf bag is typically the putter. It is used for short shots and it's typically only used on the green.
Braden: By the way, a "green" is an area with specialized short grass which makes the ball roll very, very quickly.
Ann: The unique aspect in golf is that there are no rules that tell you which club you should use in a particular situation.
Braden: The use of every club is determined by the golfer. You could use your driver on the green or your putter for long drives. You won't be very good, but you do have that choice.
Ann: It’s good to know. The most important thing to understand about golf is that the lowest score wins.
Braden: Now, In basketball, football, soccer and baseball, you're trying to score as many points as you can because the high score wins.
Ann: In golf, however, the low score wins. This is because you're not trying to score points. In golf, everybody does the same thing. They hit the ball into the hole. That's the task. Instead, they measure the number of strokes or the number of times you hit the ball.
Ann: To win at golf, you need to put the ball in the hole in the least amount of strokes.
Braden: That’s right. The person with the most strokes or what would appear to be the highest score is in fact the big loser in a golf. That just about does it for this lesson. Thanks for listening!
Ann: We’ll see you next time.