Nepali Times
Tee Break
Golf talk


A few weeks ago we were looking at getting started, basics components, golf terms, and other fundamentals.

I was amazed and gratified that a lot of non-golfers have been reading Tee Break. I will take this opportunity to give my sincere thanks to those who liked the column, and even more appreciation to those who gave constructive comments for its improvement. It's great to know that so many non-golfers are interested in knowing more about the sport. Some have let me know that they were quite disappointed that the column moved away from explaining the basics of golf. Well, I am here for the readers and for golf, so off we go on more aspects of the game. When talking golf, here are more terms we use to describe the swing and type of shots played.

Addressing the ball - When a person is ready to hit the golf ball, they address the ball when they take their grip on the club, stand before the ball and place the club behind the ball in preparation for a backswing.

Backswing - This is the first part of the swing. It involves the backward movement of the club away from the ball and around over the shoulder, in preparation for the downswing. A good backswing paves the way for a good downswing and follow through. Ideally, at the top of the backswing the shoulders are turned until the shaft of the club is parallel to the ground and target line, and the golfer's weight is more on the back foot.

Downswing and follow through - The movement of the club between the top of the backswing to the point of hitting the ball is called the downswing. A good down swing usually brings the club face back to an almost identical position as the club face was at in the address position (before starting the backswing). The follow-through is an acceleration of the swing after the club face hits the ball and also involves the body turning towards the target to add more power the swing.

Full shot - On a full shot, an ideal backswing, downswing and full follow-through is taken, where after the shot the body has turned towards the target and the weight is almost all on the forward foot. Most beginners and club golfers are seen taking more than a full backswing, where the club passes the parallel point at the top of the swing, and then taking only a short follow-through. This leads to weak and inconsistent shots.

Chipping and Pitching - These are shorter length shots around the green. A chip shot usually aims at hitting the ball a shorter distance (5 to 30 yards) than a pitch shot (30 to 70 yards). On a chip shot the ball travels less distance in the air and runs more on the ground. On a pitch shot, the ball would be hit higher into the air and travels a shorter distance on the ground.

Putting - The shot played on the green is called putting. A special club called a putter is used, which is quite different from all other clubs. The putter is used to roll the ball along the ground towards the hole. Putting the ball is one of the most high pressure aspects of playing golf, and cases of putters being broken in anger during a round, or thrown in disgust into a lake after missing a crucial putt, are not uncommon.

Bunker Shot - This is a shot played from a hazard filled with sand. The usual club used and the method of hitting the ball is different from normal golf shots. Beginners almost always find hitting a bunker shot a nightmare.

Need to know more before next week? Hop down to your nearest golf practice facility and take a lesson from a professional. Meanwhile please keep giving me feedback, and hopefully I shall be able to meet your expectations better.

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

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)