Pro Sports Official Team Sites Golf Professional Page
The Professional Golf Page is about links to Professional Golf. Professional Golfers Association - PGA, Ladies Professional Golfers Association - LPGA, Canadian Professional Golfers Tour - CPGT and the Canadian Women’s Tour - CWT are the Pro Sports Links shown. The page is divided in half by Logo’s from important golf organizations from North America and Internationally. The U.S. Associations are at the top of the page, showing the current top 20 money winners, and the Canadian Associations are at the bottom of the page, showing the current top 10 money winners.
The PGA has a 48 official, and 8 unofficial, tournament season from the beginning of January to the middle of December. The Masters Tournament is in early April; played at Augusta, Georgia. The PGA Tour formed in 1968 when the Tournament Players Division split from the PGA. The Tour starts in Hawaii, moving to the U.S. South before warmer climates allow northern events. The LPGA has a 34 official, and 2 unofficial, tournament season from late January to late December. The women’s U.S. Open is in late June/early July and the British Open is in early August. The LPGA started in 1950 and is now a non-profit organization involved in every aspect of golf. The CPGT has a 15 tournament season from early March to mid September with the Canadian Tour Championship in early September. The Canadian Open is a PGA event and is part of golf’s Triple Crown. The CPGT has a couple of dates in the United States and some in Mexico as their climates are more favourable in the early season. The CPGT started in 1970, with the Peter Jackson Tour, as part of the CPGA, but, left in 1986 to be an independent non-profit organization. The CWT has 5 tournaments, from late May to late August/early September, with exemptions earned into the Women’s Canadian Open - a top 10 LPGA event. The CWT, conducted by the RCGA and sanctioned by the CPGA, started in 2002 changing major sponsors along the way. The governing bodies of golf in the United States are the PGA and the United States Golf Association - USGA, while the governing bodies of golf in Canada are the CPGA and the Royal Canadian Golf Association - RCGA. Bodies that govern golf internationally are the International Golf Federation - IGF and the International Federation of Professional Golf Associations.
Each association name is linked to their home pages. Each PGA and CPGT player’s name is linked to their Official World Golf Rankings page, while their national flag is linked to their home page. Each LPGA player's name is linked to the Rolex Women's Golf World Rankings or their Home Page. Each CWT player’s name is linked to their Futures Tour bio. page. Each player’s portrait is linked to their biography page at their association’s web site, and each association Logo is linked to the league standings page. However, CWT portraits do not link. Each Event Logo is linked to that event’s home page and each organization Logo is linked to that organization’s home page. All of the images have captions to explain what they are and where they link. From each association or player web site, their store can be viewed to see golf gear and equipment for fans and players. Players’ insignias on clothing, caps and many other items can be purchased for gifts or collecting a special item. Advertisements, are also shown and, can be a source for just that right item to enhance your enjoyment of golf or your favourite player. There is no cost in linking with an ad or any web site.
The game of Golf has been in North America a long time and arrived with the Europeans, who brought it from it’s origins in Scotland. Played with ‘Golf Clubs’ on ‘Golf Courses’, the game has grown into a popular sport entertaining fans and participants the world over. The objective in golf is to hit a ‘Golf Ball’ from a ‘Golf Tee’, or raised level mound, to a hole on the ‘Golf Green’ in as few ‘Strokes‘, or ‘Shots‘, as possible. This is done for ‘18 Holes’ and the combined number of strokes becomes a player’s final score. Some friendly ‘Matches’ are only ‘9 Holes’ and some professionals, overcoming rain delays, play ‘36 Holes’ (two rounds) in one day. All ‘Rounds’ played by a single golfer are considered practice rounds and are not dealt with here.
Golf is played outdoors on a golf course that is up to 7500 yards long and covers hundreds of acres that are landscaped, irrigated and maintained all year long. There is often a club house where the members meet, a pro shop where; ‘Golf Equipment’ and paraphernalia can be bought, where the guests pay their ‘Green Fees’ and some even have a restaurant, bar or lounge. There is also a parking lot there, too, as most golf courses are away from built up areas out in the country side - Golf and Country Club.
The course is divided up into 18 holes, or ‘Links’, that are laid out in a similar way; a ‘Tee’ area which is usually an elevated flat mound, the ‘Green’ which is an extremely well maintained, manicured lawn and the ‘Fairway’ which is the well maintained grass length in between. The tee often has several sets of blocks - in pairs. The pairs are in different colours to mark the type or difficulty indicating an associated distance to the hole. A common colour scheme is ‘Blue’ and ‘White’ pairs for men, ‘Red’ and ‘Yellow’ pairs for ladies. Men and Ladies can play the same hole at the same time, but, from different ‘Tee Blocks’- Ladies are not able to hit the ball as far as men, but, can compete equally in every other way. In this case, the Blue and the Yellow are much further back adding up to 40 yards onto the length of the hole from each gender’s standard length. The golfers must hit their first shot from between their preferred pair of tee blocks, or from behind, but, not in front of them. This allows maintenance of the tee area as usage digs up the ground where golfers land their clubs - the blocks are then moved daily to allow the grass to grow back. Out on the fairway, grass removed from a golf swing is called a ‘divot’ and must be replaced. The fairway is between the tee and green and is between the longer, not as well kept grass on each side called the ’Rough’. There may be a short piece of rough between the tee and fairway, as well. Down the fairway, there may be hills, valleys, turns called ‘Dog Legs’, ponds and sand holes called ‘Traps’. ‘Sand Traps’ are also called ‘Bunkers’ and some can be very deep and difficult to hit a ball out of. Water and traps are categorized as ’Hazards’. Sand traps may be put anywhere, even around the green. They are usually right where an errant shot might go; at the corner of a dog leg, behind, in front of, or to the side of a green, or even in the middle of the fairway just short of where a good long ‘Tee Shot’ would land. The green is a manicured lawn and is built for ‘Putting’ - rolling a ball across the surface of the grass to drop into the hole. The green has a smooth surface, but, it is far from level. It can be tilted towards the front, or towards the back, to one side or not at all. The green is not flat, either; there are undulations and small moguls, while the lay of it changes making the ball roll to one side and then the other - all having to be accounted for when the golfer ‘Lines Up’ the ‘Putt’. The green is surrounded by an ‘Apron’ or ‘Fringe’ of longer, thick grass that is not as nice to putt over, but, generally is better than the fairway. Outside of these areas, the ball could land on an adjacent fairway and be played from there, or, ‘Out of Bounds’ which requires a lift to ‘Inbounds’ territory adding a ‘Penalty Stroke’ to the score. The rough is usually longer grass along the outside of the fairway, but, can be very long grass, or bushes, or shrubs, trees, forest, a ditch or a river bank. Water hazards can be ponds, lakes, rivers or streams that invade a fairway, or nearby rough, that cost a penalty stroke, and possibly a lost ball, if hit into one.
The three main parts of tee, fairway and green are referred to as a ‘Hole’, eg. 1st hole. The course is made of 18 holes, or ‘Links’, as the 18 fit together sitting side by side parallel, and sometimes perpendicular, to each other in a jigsaw puzzle like precision. The golf course creators utilize every bit of space without wasting any. All the contours and lays of the land are incorporated into beautifying and creating unique challenges on each course.
The objective of golf is to hit a ball from the tee, down the fairway, to the green and into a hole in as few strokes as possible- and to do this for 18 holes, holing out with the same ball started with on the 1st tee. Each hole has a different layout and is a different yardage or meter length. There is a set amount of strokes, that guide each hole, called ‘Par’. There are par 3 holes, par 4 holes and par 5 holes, meaning that it is the standard number of strokes that each of those hole types should take. The par 3 holes are short and are meant to be landed on, or ‘Reached’, on the first shot with two more strokes for putting; a total of three. The par 4 holes require a tee shot and then a fairway shot, or ‘Chip Shot‘, with two strokes for putting. The par 5 holes require 2 fairway shots with a tee shot and two strokes for putting. The par 3’s are the easiest and shortest, while the par 5’s are the longest, but, the extra fairway shot can be forgiving. The hardest holes are the par 4’s that are not quite long enough to make them par 5, but, are still very long. Men’s par 3 holes are up to about 250 yards, the par 4’s are up to about 480 yards, while the par 5’s can be 600 yards or more. Commonly, a golf course will have two par 3’s and two par 5’s on each of the front and back 9 holes, while all the other holes are par 4’s - par 72 for the course.
The golfer makes golf shots with ‘Golf Clubs’; a heavy, angled faced head on a long metal shaft with a handle grip at the other end. Recently, the big club heads, used for tee shots, were still made of wood. But, today, they are often made of a light, hollow metal and are called ‘Metal Woods’. The woods can also be used for fairway shots of a long distance. The ‘Drive‘, or tee shot, is often made by the #1 wood; called a ‘Driver’. On the tee, the golfer uses a ‘Gadget’ made of wood, or plastic, also called a ‘Tee’. It is a little wooden stick with a cup on top, a spike on the bottom and is used to hold the ‘Golf Ball’ up off of the ground and out of the grass to get the ‘Face’, or flat front of the driver’s head, behind it. The driver is swung to hit the ball very hard to start the hole with a long distance shot. Other woods have numbers indicating their size and slope angle on their face; the higher the number the less weight of the ‘Club Head‘, the shorter the shaft length and the more ‘Elevating Angle‘, or ‘Loft‘, the club head has. The higher numbered clubs cause the ball to fly higher, but, shorter, with an increase in ‘Backspin‘. Fairway woods are used for long distance shots hit directly off of the grass; only the tee shot uses a wooden tee. The ‘Irons’ are for fairway, rough, and hazards that require loft to have the ball rise up out of the grass, immediately, on it’s way down the fairway. The grass impedes the ball’s flight and can change it’s direction, distance or spin. Short accurate shots, from the tee, to a par 3 green, also use irons. The angle on the iron’s face changes with it’s number; 1 - 9 and wedges; long irons are 1 to 3, mid irons are 4 to 6 and short irons are 7 to 9 and the wedges. The iron club picks the ball up faster, with the increased angle, but, shortens the distance attained. With an increase in ‘Club Face’ angle is an increase in ’Backspin’; impeding the forward distance a ball travels after a bounce or landing. This allows a golfer to ’Stick’ a ball right where it lands - not rolling more than a few feet from a ball’s landing mark. Some of the highest numbered clubs allow the Professional golfer to ’Back the Ball Up’ - having the ball land and travel a few feet back towards the golfer. This reduces the possibility of ‘Going Over the Green‘ and having the ball go to far and run out of the back into a bunker, or, a rough area behind the green. The angled face of a club strikes the ball and forces the impact area down under the ball, while the force lifts the ball off the ground on a vectored course forward. The use of backspin is a big part of professional golf. The best clubs for producing backspin are the wedges; pitching wedge and sand wedge. These are short distance irons, used near the green, that have increased face angles over the other 9. The sand wedge is also heavy to knock the ball out of sand traps. Golf irons are used for different distances, where; #1 has a near vertical face and sends the ball far with nearly no backspin; #5 has a moderate face angle and has some backspin while still attaining some distance; and #9 has a greater face angle slope achieving a lot of backspin, but, not a great deal of distance. Most golfers carry irons 3 to 9 and the wedges - irons 1 and 2 are left out in favour of the woods. A golfer may only carry 14 clubs in his ‘Golf Bag’ during a round.
The ‘Caddie’ is a knowledgeable helper that carries the golfer's golf bag and all the equipment. The caddie advises on his experience, to what he sees and knows, which is substantial, but, it is the golfer who must make the shots. Golf shoes are worn by all the pro’s and have a sole with special grip on grass and dirt embankments - like spikes or special rubber - that allow the golfer to push with the legs and hips in the ‘Downswing’. When a player lines up a ball with the club, known as the ‘Address’, the club is taken away in a rounded arc, known as the ‘Back Swing’. At the top of this back swing, the club is brought down, fast and determined, back to and through the ball - it’s known as the ’Down Swing’. The club continues out in front of the golfer, in another arc known as the ‘Follow through’. Analysts ‘Read’ the follow through - as it is set up during the down swing and impact of the ball - to determine if proper posture and stance were maintained through the ‘Golf Swing’. Timed to impact, the golfers wrists also swing through the ball increasing ‘Club Head Speed’ and distance on the shot.
The ‘Putter’ is a short club with a heavy, metal, flat faced head designed to make a ball roll straight when struck with it. Neither spin nor loft is achieved with the putter. The golfer must ‘Read’ the lay of the green and understand the contours and bumps that will make the ball roll in different directions on the way to the hole. It is not uncommon, for a golfer, to have to putt up or down hill, across a piece of the fringe, over a ball mark, or deal with an entire golf course that slopes toward the ocean. When a ball lands on a green with back spin, it often grips the grass surface, tears it and bunches it up in front of the ball - bouncing the ball backwards or just stopping it short. The damage must be repaired by the golfer who doesn’t always make the spot smooth again - it leaves a ‘Ball Mark’.
Pro Sports Official Team Sites Golf Professionals Page can link you with all the action, right to the Pro Golf source; the Professional Players and Associations. Their professional golf news and events pages will keep you up to date.