Portal:Golf/Selected article archive

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April 22, 2007 to April 30, 2007; June 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007; July 20, 2007 to August 31, 2007; September 3, 2007 to September 30, 2007[edit]

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A caddy (alternatively, caddie) is an individual, most often at a private golf club or resort, who carries the golf bag of a player and offers him advice on play and moral support. A caddy is expected to be acquainted with the rules of golf generally and a golf course in specific and to be able to advise his player as to club selection, shot yardage, pin placement, and overall strategy. The term is dated by historians to the late 16th century, when Mary, Queen of Scots, is thought to have brought the term to Scotland from her native France, where military cadets carried golf clubs for royalty. Traditional caddying, in which a caddy walks a course with a player, remains the most common method of caddying used at public and private golf clubs and the only form permitted on major professional golf tours. Caddies, who in professional golf are usually travel weekly with a single player but who at the club level are most often attached to a given club, serve also to perform a variety of common golf duties, such as the raking of bunkers and the repairing of divots. Caddies who work on the professional level often draw large salaries and earn fans of their own right; Eddie Lowery, pictured, became a celebrated figure after he, aged 10 years, caddied for American Francis Ouimet in the 1913 United States Open and was ultimately depicted prominently in the 2005 dramatic film The Greatest Game Ever Played.

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December 16, 2006 to April 22, 2007[edit]

Pinehurst Resort is an upmarket golf resort at Pinehurst in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It has hosted a number of prestigious golf tournaments.

Pinehurst was founded by Boston soda fountain magnate James Walker Tufts. He purchased five and a half thousand acres at around a dollar an acre in 1895 and opened the Holly Inn that New Year's Eve. The first golf course was laid out in 1897/98, and the first championship held at Pinehurst was United North and South Amateur Championship of 1901. Pinehurst's best known course, Pinehurst No.2 (fifth hole pictured) was completed in 1907 to designs by Donald Ross, who was associated with Pinehurst for nearly half a century.
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From 1902 to 1951 Pinehurst was the home of the North and South Open, which was one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the United States at that time. Pinehurst is still home to the annual North and South Amateur Golf Championships, a series of tournaments which includes a Men's Championship inaugurated in 1901 and the Women's Championship that began two years later.

The first PGA Tour major staged at Pinehurst was the 1936 PGA Championship which was won by Denny Shute. In 1951 the resort hosted the Ryder Cup and in 1991 and 1992 it was the venue for The Tour Championship. In 1999 Pinehurst staged its second major, the U.S. Open, which was won by Payne Stewart. It also hosted the 2005 U.S. Open, which was won by New Zealand's Michael Campbell.

The resort now has eight golf courses, three hotels, a spa and extensive sports and leisure facilities. In 1996 Pinehurst was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It was ranked as the world's largest golf resort by the Guinness World Records before it was surpassed by Mission Hills Golf Club in China.

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July 28 to December 16, 2006[edit]

The Stableford and Modified Stableford are systems used on both the professional and club levels to score rounds played by golfers contesting formal stroke play tournaments or informal matches; the former is recognized by the United States Golf Association and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and is codified in the Rules of Golf. Each assigns points to a player in view of his performance on each hole relative to par and is designed to minimize the significance of any individual hole, in order that a player should not be effectively without a chance to win should he perform very badly on a single hole

The Stableford system, most often used in amateur competitions and more popular in the United Kingdom than in the United States, recalculates par, the number of strokes in which a player is expected to complete a hole, in the context of a player's handicap, the total number of strokes over an eighteen-hole round that he, in view of his previous performances, is expected to take in excess of par, distributing those strokes over the course, such that a player with a handicap of eighteen plays each hole to a par one stroke in excess of that otherwise posted.
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Points are then awarded for performances relative to a player's own par; where a player exceeds his par (or an organizer-fixed par) by two or more strokes (double bogey or worse), he receives no points; where he exceeds par by one stroke (bogey), he receives one point; where he matches par, he receives two points; where he betters par by one stroke (birdie); the pattern continues with a player's receiving one additional point for each additional stroke by which he betters par. Those stroke penalties that entail the committing of certain offenses (e.g., carrying more than fourteen golf clubs) are typically rendered as points penalties, with the loss of the points scored over one or more holes undertaken as in match play.

The Modified system is more often used by professional golf tours, inasmuch as it assigns fewer points for better-than-par scores and makes no handicap adjustment. The system assigns negative-three points to a player posting a score of double bogey or worse on a hole, negative-one point to a player posting a score of bogey, zero to a player posting a score of even par, two to a player posting a birdie, five to a player posting a score of two-under-par (eagle), and eight to a player posting a score of three-under-par (double eagle, or, less frequently, albatross).
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The system is used on the PGA Tour at The INTERNATIONAL, held in Castle Rock, Colorado, United States, alongside the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship one of just two Tour events that does not employ a traditional stroke play scoring system (of which the winner is the player to take the fewest strokes during a tournament), the winner of which is the player to amass the most points over four eighteen-hole rounds. South African Ernie Els, pictured at right, and American Phil Mickelson, respectively the 2000 and 1997 tournament champions, rank, amongst all players, first and second respectively in career points accumulated at The INTERNATIONAL and hold the record for most points accrued during any single tournament (plus-48 for each); over 72 holes, Els recorded 42 pars, 24 birdies, one eagle, and five bogeys, whilst Mickelson posted 45 pars, 21 birdies, two eagles, and four bogeys. Mickelson, having won also won the tournament in 1993, became the first multiple winner in 1997; he was joined in 2003 by countrymate Davis Love III, pictured at left, the champion of the tournament's fifth iteration, contested in 1990.

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July 2 to July 27, 2006[edit]

A links or seaside links golf course is the oldest-known style of golf course, having been developed in Scotland, whence golf is thought to emanate and bearing the Scots language term for coastal sand dunes.

A links course is one that is located near a body of water, often an ocean, on a grass surface overlying sandy soil, with few water hazards and trees, reflecting both the nature of the Scottish terrain and the difficulty that faced course architects in moving earth prior to the invention of earth movers. The appellative links, having evolved from the early Scots, came to refer to land betwixt the sea and farming communities, which land was not arable, having previously been underwater, and was thus used for golf.

Links courses typically present varied challenges to players, often featuring deep pot bunkers, uneven fairways, thick rough (frequently featuring gorse), and strong winds; because courses are often arranged with an outward nine holes proceeding in one direction along a coast and an inward nine holes returning in the opposite direction, players often encounter diametric wind currents during rounds.

Links courses are most common in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and The Open Championship and Women's British Open are contested solely on links courses; they are, respectively, the only men's and women's major championships to be played exclusively on links style courses.
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The Old Course at St Andrews, which dates to 1552, a component of the St Andrews Links, which comprises the six oldest courses in Scotland, has, since 1873, hosted 27 Open Championships and, inasmuch as the clubhouse, pictured, alongside the 18th hole of the Old Course, of the The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the international governing body for the sport (save for in the United States of America and Mexico) and a joint publisher of the Rules of Golf, is likely the best-known links course in the world. Like many links courses, the Old Course was originally composed of 22 holes, but the first four and last four holes were conflated in order that the course should have 18 holes; seven putting greens are shared by two holes each, as at several other links courses.

Three American courses used for major championships are also considered to be links courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links (in California, on the Pacific Ocean), Whistling Straits (in Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan), and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (in New York, between the Shinnecock and Peconic Bays.

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June 3 to July 2, 2006[edit]

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Golf is played with golf clubs of various types, comprised by one of four categories: woods, hybrids, irons (pictured), and putters; wedges are sometimes referred to as of a fifth category, but these resemble irons in design and purpose and may be viewed as irons. Under the Rules of Golf crafted by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the United States Golf Association, a player make carry up to 14 clubs in his/her bag during a given round.

While it is possible to play a range of different shots using only one club, modifying only the speed and direction of swing, players often prefer to maintain consistent swings and to alter the character and distance of ball flight by using different clubs for different shots. In order that one may readily determine which club to use, all irons, as well as most woods and wedges, are graded by loft, shaft length, and weight. Clubs are numbered cardinally for identification; the degree of loft increases and, in general, the distance achieved decreases, as numbers rise.

Loft is imparted to a golf ball when an angled club face contacts a ball; as the angle between a vertical plane and the clubface when the club at rest increases, the expected loft also increases. With the exception of the tee shot, each shot involves the application of horizontal or downward force on the ball, and so it is the loft, rather than the golf swing, that propels the ball on an ascending trajectory; grooves on the clubface impart a counterclockwise spin (backspin), which, in concert with the rebounding effect of the compressed ball, provide lift to the ball.

Until nearly the 1970s, a set of club almost always consisted of three woods, three wedges (including one sand wedge and one lob wedge), seven irons (numbered three through nine), and one putter (a fourth wood was sometimes substituted for a third wedge); technological innovations, though, have served to deprecate longer irons, generally perceived as being more difficult to hit well, in favor of higher-lofted woods and extra "utility" wedges, of which the construction varies greatly. As lower-numbered irons are looked upon with disfavor, manufacturers have worked to improve the distance provided by each iron, such that the three-iron of 2006, ceteris paribus, produces a shot, on average, 10 feet (3.0 m) longer than that a three-iron of 1980 would produce (equivalent to that which a 1980 two-iron would produce).

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