Golf Course Design for Beginner Golfers
One of the first things I learned about golf actually before taking a swing lesson was the basic design of a golf hole. Learning this was sort-of an accident actually; it only happened because I met a friend for coffee at a course in my hometown. The course was still recovering from a terrible winter but it was starting to feel like spring outside so we sat at a patio table that allowed us to overlook the course's first hole. And we watched the sunrise. It was honestly beautiful! Even though I didn’t know anything about golf until literally that conversation, I did immediately fall in love with the beauty of a golf course - the fresh air, greenery and peacefulness.
It was in that very conversation that I learned and could actually see the differences between the fairway, rough and green.
And if I were a betting lady (Ha!), I’d be willing to bet that if you don't already know the basic layout of a golf hole, knowing it will make you feel 110% more comfortable for your first round of 9 holes!
And for that reason, we're covering it fully in this post!
Let's do this!
1.Tee Box: the area where players place their tee at the start a hole. Every hole on the golf course has a tee box. And each tee box area has some form of tee box markers...
2. Tee Box Markers: there are sets of markets on the tee box (Men’s, Women’s, Veterans/Juniors), and each set is marked by a different color. Men's markers are typically the furthest from the green and therefore the furthest back in a tee-box. Then women’s markers, which is sometimes in another, closer tee box altogether. And then veterans/juniors. PRO TIP: some courses also indicate competition markers (typically white), which are significantly further back then the men’s. The course’s score card (picked up in the club house) will typically tell you the yards to each green from each tee box (also known as the length of the hole). And you can actually play from whichever tee-markers you'd like and your skill set allows.
3. Fairway: the fairway is the area between the tee box(es) and the green where the grass is cut/maintained. The fairway runs nearly the length of the hole. PRO TIP: experienced golfers pick their clubs based not only on distance, but based whether or not they can control it to land in the fairway. Since the grass is cut and maintained in this area, it's easier to control the next stroke.
Does #3 make you wonder what to pack to help you stay in control of your game? I've got your back - with the a checklist covering all of the non-essential, essential items to help you out, out there!
And now back to...
Golf Course Design For Beginner Golfers
4. Rough: the area between the fairway and the out of bounds. It's made of unkept, taller, thicker grass.
5. Beach: also called sand (or more commonly a bunker) this is a sand pit that are typically worked into the bends of the fairway and usually around the green. PRO TIP: sand can be really difficult hit out of depending on how deep the pit is. So, if you notice a lot of these placed about the hole, I suggest selecting a club that will help you avoid it at all costs! :)
6. Water (hazard): ponds, lakes, rivers, are all water (hazards) that can surround a hole or multiple holes on the course.
7. (Putting) Green: the part of the hole with the shortest grass, allowing players to make very precise strokes. To “putt” is to play a stroke ("swing") when on this surface. The size and space of the putting green can vary without any real constraints. And the green itself does not include any bunkers or hazards on it.
8. Hole: the hole is, is a hole, located on the green indicated with a flagstick. This is where you're aiming! And it is moved around daily to make the putting on green more difficult.
9. Pin: the pin or flagstick is located in the hole so that the hole maybe seen from a distance (for moments such as when you’re teeing off, or somewhere in the fairway, rough, etc.)
And don’t forget to get your free checklist for what to pack in your golf bag!
A golf hole has 9 primary features: tee box, tee markers, fairway, rough, beach, water, green, hole, pin. And a single hole itself can have pretty much any combination of the 9 above.
PRO TIP: depending on whether or not you consider “out of bounds” as a feature, there technically could also be 10 features to a golf hole.But, for the record, in the three years I’ve been playing, the only times I’ve considered a ball "out of bounds" is when I've lost it in the woods, or when it dropped into a pond, and I literally couldn’t retrieve it without going for a swim (haha!). Otherwise, I pretty much play every shot I can! I find a round to be even more fun that way. :)
That my friends, is the basic design of a single golf hole!
And maybe in case you don't know, a course can be made up of 9, 18, or even 27 holes.
By the way, have you ever heard someone say “hit ‘em straight?”? That’s because the trick with every hole, no matter the design of the course, is to hit the ball straight down the middle off the tee (from the tee box)! It's the safe shot. It's the shot that get you to the green the fastest because you're not stuck dealing with tall grass, the woods, around the water, etc. It'll be safely in the fairway! In case you missed you, you should really check out this post on what to pack in your golf bag! It'll help you navigate the course with speed and efficiency!
P.S. Before I go, I want to invite you to join my email list community full of positive, supportive, fun loving female golfers! Sign up below!