How to be a good golfer ? A few advices from Franck Peltier

Are you a fan of Golf or would like to go back to the source of this fascinating sport with tangled origins? Whether you are just curious, amateurs or professionals, you will read this article why golf is not a sport like any other. I asked Franck Peltier to tell us more about it.

Golf: an elite sport?

What are your favorite Gold legends? Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Fijian Vijay Singh, Severiano Ballesteros, Norman Greg, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Payne Stewart, Nick Price, Ernie Els, Sandy Lyle, Jose Maria Olazabal, Ben Hogan, etc.? A name is missing? Would you like to complete the list? If so, with what name? Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Gary Player, John McDermott, Jock Hutchison, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones, Willie Anderson, James Braid, Harry Vardon, John Henry Taylor, Senior Willie Park, Mungo Park, Old Tom Morris, Young Tom Morris, etc.? Or with little modesty, Franck Peltier ?

To go through all these big names, the evidence remains: golf, whose modern origins date back to the 16th century European, is an atypical sport.

Derived from the German « Kolbe » meaning « stick », then derived from the Dutch « colf », the term golf refers to an elite sport codified in Scotland in 1754. Sport of precision, endurance, technicality and concentration. Playing in the open air, golf involves sending, in fewer shots possible, a ball in a hole with the help of clubs on a defined course. Golf is usually played on an 18-hole golf course. However the courses with 9 holes or below exist. Savannahs, bushes, lakes, rivers and streams can strew the course. These water obstacles are delimited by yellow or red stakes depending on whether the obstacle crosses or runs along the hole laterally.

Four areas make up each hole: « fairway », « green », « pre-rough » and « rough »; all accompanied by repair areas delimited by blue stakes. This is part of the golf standardization process based on thirty-four (34) rules arranged in eleven (11) sessions.

Golf is a sport that highlights the equipment that a good golfer must have: pairs of shoes, a golf bag, golf tees (wooden or plastic support intended to be planted in the ground at starting from a hole to place the ball), golf balls and wooden golf clubs, iron or putter (short distances) used to hit the ball. Other important elements complete the decor: gloves, pants or short pants for the bottom (for women skirts and shorts), a shirt or a T-shirt for the top, a vest, a cap, a cart and the famous cadet. Called « caddy » in English, it is a bag carrier to do everything, employed as a counselor and moral support of the golfer. Franck Peltier told me he wished to have one to support him on golf courses.

Inspired by ball and stick games from Antiquity to the Roman era, imported from the Netherlands where it was originally practiced following fruitful trade with Scotland until its codification and popularization in the 18th century, golf enjoyed a boom in the second half of the nineteenth century thanks to the emergence of private clubs and a surge of professionalism. Occupied by professionals from all over the world, the first British Open was born in 1860. The Americans put an end to British supremacy since the First World War, which redefined and prioritized leadership in this elite sport. The Second World War marks the opening of the sport to several other nations in Europe, Africa and Australia.

The sport will be recognized as an Olympic discipline after two historic trials in 1900 and 1904 before disappearing from the world sports scene for more than a century. Thanks to a session of the Olympic Executive Board in 2009, golf is back in action at Rio 2016. Franck Peltier was able to witness this major event ! Long practiced by men, opening little by little to the female population despite the colossal challenges related to its popularization, golf is regulated on a global scale by the International Golf Federation (IGF) born in 1958 with Lausanne as its seat (Swiss).

Golf types

Even if for many specialists, golf is not a sport in the real sense of the word, it is considered by many professionals such as Franck Peltier as a sport in its own right with variants recognized internationally just like football today. Among the variants of Golf, are listed the following sports with particular emphasis on the most popular: minigolf, urban golf, pitch and putt, speed golf, golf swin, disc golf, beach golf, codeball and agrogolf, etc.

The minigolf

Still called golf in miniature or mini-putt (Quebec), it is the most popular Golf variant of the contemporary era. Mini golf is a miniaturized version of golf that is played on slopes between one (01) meters wide and three (03) to fifteen (15) meters long with obstacles. Created in 1867 in Saint-Andrews, the minigolf was originally intended for women, at a time when this sport was the chaste guard of the male caste.

Urban golf

Probably created in Scotland in 1741 thanks to Duncan Thomas, urban golf opens the way to libertine streets where, thanks to various clubs each player or team constituted hits the ball to a hole or any target that would serve as a hole. Better known under the anglicism « Urban golf » or « street golf », this game has gained popularity around the world because of the diversity of its formats.

Pitch and Putt

Less expensive, the pitch and Putt is the golf of the workers. Practiced on a reduced area varying between five (05) and fifteen (15) hectares, this variety of golf created in 1929 in Ireland is practiced 2 by 2 and is intended for the golfers of all levels, including all the social layers. However, Franck Peltier wants to add a side-note about this type. Don’t think it’s only played by workers, because even professionals can find an advantage to play it from time to time. It allows to practice short game and putting.

Speed golf

Created in 1979 in California by Steve Scott, it is a variant of Golf combined with running. The « speedgolfers » are called his players, run every shot and every hole in the course to make fewer shots possible in a minimal time. This sport is also known as: « Extreme Golf », « Golf Fitness » or « Hit and Run Golf ». The swin golf (1982) is played with only one club on rustic grounds. The disc golf is achieved using discs similar to flying disc and consists in bringing the disc by successive throws in a kind of metal basket. Beach golf (1999) is golf on sand, usually on a beach, using a small ball of expanded polyurethane. While the codeball (1927) combines golf and football, the agrogolf is a fun activity practiced in meadow.

The biggest contemporary golf tournaments in Franck Peltier’s opinion.

On October 9, 2009 in Copenhagen, golf is recognized as an Olympic sport, more than a century after its entry into the Olympic circuit. The contemporary golf circuits, divided into men’s and women’s tournaments, as well as tennis, are well-known and are a hot topic for the media.

The Golf is first practiced locally and can lead to international competitions involving most professional golfers.

The Association of American Professional Golfers (PGA) holds about twenty professional golf circuits. At the top of these circuits rests the Grand Slam with its four major tournaments: the Masters (April), the American Open (June) and the British Open (July) and the PGA Championship (August).

The Women’s Grand Slam has five tournaments after several formulas tested by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA): the Kraft Nabisco Championship (March-April), the LPGA Championship (June), the American Open (June-July), the British Open (July-August) and The Evian Championship (September). The Canadian Open, also called Classique du Maurier, has been supplanted by the British Open.On October 9, 2009 in Copenhagen, golf is recognized as an Olympic sport, more than a century after its entry into the Olympic circuit. The contemporary golf circuits, divided into men’s and women’s tournaments, as well as tennis, are well-known and are a hot topic for the media.

The Golf is first practiced locally and can lead to international competitions involving most professional golfers. That’s one of Franck Peltier‘s hope.

The Association of American Professional Golfers (PGA) holds about twenty professional golf circuits. At the top of these circuits rests the Grand Slam with its four major tournaments: the Masters (April), the American Open (June) and the British Open (July) and the PGA Championship (August).

The Women’s Grand Slam has five tournaments after several formulas tested by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA): the Kraft Nabisco Championship (March-April), the LPGA Championship (June), the American Open (June-July), the British Open (July-August) and The Evian Championship (September). The Canadian Open, also called Classique du Maurier, has been supplanted by the British Open.