GOLF


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GOLF


Golf is played on a tract of land designated as the course. The course consists of a series of holes. A hole means both the hole in the ground into which the ball is played (also called the cup), as well as the total distance from the tee (a pre-determined area from where a ball is first hit) to the green (the area surrounding the actual hole in the ground). Most golf courses consist of nine or eighteen holes. (The "nineteenth hole" is the colloquial term for the bar/grill at a club house). The first stroke on each hole is done from the Tee (officially, teeing ground), where the grass is well tended to make the tee shot easier. After teeing off, a player strokes the ball again from the position at which it came to rest, either from the fairway (where the grass is cut so low that most balls can be easily played) or from the rough (grass cut much longer than fairway grass, or which may be uncut) until the ball comes to rest in the cup. Many holes include hazards, which may be of two types: water hazards (lakes, rivers, etc.) and bunkers. Special rules apply to playing balls that come to rest in a hazard, which make it undesirable to play a ball into one. For example, in a hazard, a player must not touch the ground with his club before playing a ball, not even for a practice swing. A ball in any type of hazard may be played as it lies without penalty. If it cannot be played from the hazard for any reason, it may be removed by hand and dropped outside the hazard within two club lengths and a penalty of one stroke. If a ball was observed entering a hazard but cannot be found, it may be replaced by dropping another ball outside the hazard, with one stroke penalty. Exactly where a ball may be dropped outside a hazard is governed by strict rules. Bunkers (or sand traps) are hazards from which the ball is more difficult to play than from grass. As in a water hazard, a ball in a sand trap must be played without previously touching the sand with the club.