Playing a match of golf in America

Golf is a club and ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible.

Golf is one of the few ball games that do not require a standardized playing area. The game is played on a course with an arranged progression of either nine or 18 holes. Each hole on the course must contain a tee box to start from, and a putting green containing the actual cup. There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough, and hazards, but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement.

Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play.

A golf course consists of either 9 or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground that is set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area, fairway, rough and other hazards, and the putting green surrounded by the fringe with the pin (normally a flagstick) and cup. The levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty, or to allow for putting in the case of the green.

While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing area to the green, some holes may bend either to the left or to the right. This is commonly called a “dogleg”, in reference to a dog’s knee. The hole is called a “dogleg left” if the hole angles leftwards and “dogleg right” if it bends right. Sometimes, a hole’s direction may bend twice; this is called a “double dogleg”.