Nepali Times
Tee Break
Talking golf


The mechanics of golf, the golf swing and other advanced techniques may be useful to seasoned golfers, but for those unfortunate enough to be subjected to a bewildering conversation between hackers, exploring a few more commonly used golf terms would be much more useful.

Hazards - The bane of all those who land within them. These are many sand bunkers and water hazards, including lakes, drains, streams and any other part of the course that has been declared as such. You'll often hear golfers discussing how many balls were lost in water hazards and arguing on the proper place the ball should be dropped back on the course before the next shot is played.

Through the green - Ideally, the place the golf ball should remain after being hit before reaching the green, of course. This is the whole area of the golf course except:
l The teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played
l All hazards on the course (such as bunkers and water hazards)

Closely mown area - Usually, the place where the ball should be, which is any area of the course, including the paths through the green where the grass is cut to fairway height or less (approximately one inch).

Embedded ball - The rules permit a free drop when the ball is embedded in its own pitch mark in the ground in any closely mown area through the green. A ball embedded in a hazard must be played as it lies. If embedded in the rough, it should be played as it lies, unless the local club's rules permit a free drop. In Nepal, this local rule is almost always applicable in the wet monsoons.

Abnormal ground conditions - Does not refer to all the divots and holes made when trying to hit the ball. Neither is it any indentation made in the ground out of frustration. It is any casual water, ground under repair, or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, reptile or bird.

Ball lost - A common phenomena that afflicts errant golfers. A ball is lost if:
. It is not found or identified by the player within five minutes after the player (or their caddie) started the search.
. The player has put another ball into play under the rules, even though he may not have searched for the original ball.

Ball in play - A ball is "in play'' as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground. It remains in play until it is holed, except when it is lost, out of bounds or lifted, or another ball has been substituted, whether or not the substitution is permitted under the rules.

Out of bounds (OB) - Usually said with a grimace - "I hit the ball OB." This is an area outside the boundary of the golf course or a particular hole. Borders are usually marked with white stakes and lines on the ground. The road over the fence is usually OB. So are places such as the club house, practice range, parking lots, public areas and neighbouring farmland.

Next time you're subjected to an endless dissection of the game, impress the hard core golfers with some of these terms. Be warned however, to quickly move away, unless you're ready to be inducted into this marvelous game.

Deepak Acharya is a golf instructor and Head Golf Professional at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort & Spa, Kathmandu.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)